L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Jaundice threat in city localities
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 13
Reports of jaundice outbreak in a couple of residential colonies on the Tibba road in Ward No 10 here, though of a low intensity, has once again created a scare of water-borne diseases in the city.

Even as only one case of jaundice has so far been reported from the area, teams of the Municipal Corporation and the district health administration have been deployed to monitor the situation.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune from a number of city hospitals revealed that there had been no spurt in the number of jaundice patients during the past few days and only some stray cases were being treated, which was a routine.

It was reported that at least three colonies, Maharana Partap Nagar, Moti Bagh and Adarsh Nagar, were getting supply of discoloured water, which had led to affliction of a number of persons with jaundice. However, residents confirmed that the affected persons were being treated by private doctors.

According to the residents, more than two dozen cases of jaundice had been reported from Adarsh Nagar and Moti Bagh colonies and most of these persons were getting treatment at their own from private clinics. Health officers of the corporation, Dr K.S. Kakkar and Dr Usha Dhingra, said besides educating the residents about preventive measures, chlorine tablets and ORS packets were being distributed.

Sources in the health department said five water samples had been taken from these colonies which had been sent for chemical analysis. The municipal officials, holding camps in the area, maintained that the water supply was safe and fit for drinking.

“We are keeping a strict eye on the quality of water supply and in case of any complaint, alternate supply of potable water will be arranged,” they added.

The councillor of Ward No 10, Mr Kuldip Janda, said he had received a complaint of supply of contaminated water from one colony a few days back, which was attended to and thereafter the residents had not lodged any further complaint about supply unsafe water.

Meanwhile, the district health administration has initiated steps for the prevention of diseases. At a meeting of the vigilance committee set up for this purpose on the directions of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, held here on Friday, it was decided to launch an awareness and education campaign against water-borne diseases.

Giving this information, the Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur, said the meeting discussed ways and means for prevention of diseases and the role of local bodies to achieve this objective.



Giving voice to feminine aspirations
Tribune News Service

A scene from the play Dhukhdey Kleeray presented at Guru Nanak Auditorium in Ludhiana
A scene from the play “Dhukhdey Kleeray” presented at Guru Nanak Auditorium in Ludhiana. — Tribune photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, March 13
Nirmal Rishi has carved a niche in the theatre world for giving voice to feminine aspirations. The phenomenal social and economic progress notwithstanding, the feminine voice in Punjab, like in other Indian societies, remains gagged. Rishi has dared to dissent and protest, although the protest also ends in a tragedy only.

“Dhukhdey Kleeray” was an outstanding performance by the Alive Artistes Group at Guru Nanak Auditorium. Directed by Rishi, the play tries to portray the plight of women, more so girls in society and the mad pursuit of youth in seeking immigration to foreign countries. “Dhukhdey Kleeray” is a satire on contemporary Punjabi society, which has still to go a long way to claim progress and emancipation.

The plot revolved a round the family of a Sarpanch, who wants to send his young son to Canada. At the same time he does not allow any freedom to his daughter, who cannot even attend her telephone calls. He settles for a deal with an NRI for Rs 12 lakh. According to the deal, the NRI’s daughter is to be married to Sarpanch’s only son so that he could go to Canada. He had married off his eldest daughter four times for the same reason. His younger daughter is quite upset about it and is not prepared to marry the Sarpanch’s son.

The NRI wants that the marriage should not be revealed to his daughter. But she gets to know about it and retracts. The Sarpanch is so desperate to send his only son to Canada that he accepts an idea by a broker to marry off his daughter to the NRI, who is of his own age. The story ends in pathos and the daughter has no other choice but to marry the person of the age of his father.

The outstanding performance of artistes like Sonujit and Sukhpal besides impressive background music added to the colour. The direction by Rishi was brilliant. 



Woman’s murder; father-in-law, husband held 
Our Correspondent

Khamano, March 13
The Khamano police has arrested two persons responsible for a murder. Both accused were presented in the court of Mr G.S. Dhillon at Fatehgarh Sahib. They were sent to the Nabha jail up to March 26 in judicial custody. The accused have been identified as Jaswant Singh, husband, and Labh Singh, father-in-law of the deceased.

According to the DSP, Khamano, Mr Balwant Singh, and the SHO Mr Darshan Singh, Jaswinder Kaur was murdered on the night of October 17 last year and body was found next day, burried under debris.

They said her on inquiry it was found that the issue was dowry, but the main reason behind the murder was that the deceased had three girl children.

On the night of October 17, a serious quarrel took place and Jaswant Singh attacked Jaswinder Kaur with a sword. Labh Singh beat up the woman with a lathi that resulted in the death of Jaswinder Kaur. Later the accused informed the police that Jaswinder Kaur had been kidnapped in a car. But when the police reached the scene, they recovered the body of Jaswinder Kaur from a nearby field from under the debris.

A case was registered in this connection under Sections 302, 204 and 34, IPC, and the police was working on different theories. After a long time it was established that Jaswant Singh and Labh Singh were responsible for the murder. The police has recovered the sword and the lathi used in the murder.



Pak fans overwhelmed by warm reception
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
For Nadeem Mushtaq Ramay a young journalist from Burewala town in Pakistan all myths of the perceived Indian ‘hostility’ exploded once he landed on Indian soil. He was overwhelmed by the warm reception accorded to him and many others, right from the Wagah Border up to Mohali. Wherever he went and identified himself as a man from Pakistan he was received with open arms.

Nadeem was here last night on the invitation of Sonu Nilibar, an owner of a silk store. Nilibar is a region between rivers Ravi and Beas in Pakistan. Sonu Nilibar’s grandfather Mohkam Singh had migrated here in 1947 from Burewala village only. Sonu disclosed that his father had always been nostalgic about his ancestral village and the region. That is why he named his trading house after Nilibar, the region he belonged to.

Burewala is also famous as it is in close proximity of the Indus valley civilization. Once he expressed his desire to his grandson to learn about his village, which has already grown into a modern town, Sonu started surfing the net and found Burewala mentioned along the Indus valley civilisation. Then other link was the Burewala News Online, a website developed by Nadeem for disseminating news about the ‘village’ through the worldwide web.

Mohkam Singh could not believe his eyes that somebody from his native village, he had left about 60 years ago was meeting him. He started making inquiries about his childhood friends. And he had not forgotten anyone of them. Some were surviving and some had passed away. “I have gone back by miles and years and I am feeling as if I am in Burewala village when there was not even a mention of partition”, he remarked, while regretting at the same moment, “but that is the past”.

Narrating his experiences, Nadeem disclosed that in Mohali he was making some inquiries about money exchange. Initially the person he asked was reluctant to cooperate. But once he came to know that he had come from Pakistan, he went along to find out the place Nadeem had asked. Not just that he invited Nadeem and his friends for an overnight stay with his family.



Fruit, vegetable sellers postpone strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
The Punjab State Fruit and Vegetable Commission Agents Association has decided to postpone the statewide strike scheduled for tomorrow after the assurance by the secretary, Punjab Mandi Board, that their demands would be considered. The association has been protesting against the 25 per cent hike in the reserve price for the auction of the fee collected from 127 mandis.

Mr Amarvir Singh, general secretary of the association, said the Punjab Mandi Board had straightway announced an increase of 25 per cent over the previous years’ collections. This was resented by the association. He pointed out that since the fruits and vegetables were perishable commodities and the prices were never uniform, it would not be possible for them to accept the 25 per cent hike.

Mr Madan Lal Bagga, president of the association, said there was a consensus among the commission agents all over the state against the board’s move as it would only lead to losses for them. They had called a statewide strike tomorrow. However, it has been postponed now after the secretary, Punjab Mandi Board, invited the association for a meeting at Chandigarh tomorrow.

Mr Bagga said the association hoped that the issue would be amicably resolved and the Mandi Board would understand the limitations of the fruit and vegetable commission agents. Otherwise, he said, the association would have no other option but to go for a strike.



Degrees conferred on 237 students
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 13
Convocation and prize distribution function of A.S. College For Women, Khanna was held on March 13 on college premises. Mrs Rekha Bhardwaj Principal of the college conferred degrees on 237 students on the occasion.

Mr P.S. Rajput, Director Administration, University Grants Commission and Mr R.B. Chopra, Undersecretary, University Grants Commission were chief guests. The Principal and members of the managing committee of the college welcomed the chief guests. Both guests took a round of the college and interacted with members of the faculty.

Principal read out the annual report of the college and talked of achievements of the college and students. As many as 445 students got prizes and certificates for their achievements in various fields.

Mr Rajput awarded degrees to toppers of the college and Mr R.B. gave academic prizes to 150 students.

Seventy students were honoured for curricular activities in which they had participated. The ceremony ended with the singing of National Anthem.

Mr Joginder Sharma, President of the College Managing Committee, Mr Ashok Sharma, General Secretary of the College Managing Committee and Mr Bipan Devgan, Secretary of the College, were among those present on the occasion.



‘Save language to save Punjabi culture’
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
Giani Gurdit Singh, an eminent writer and an authority on Sikh religion today emphasised the need for saving the language to save Punjabi culture. He said, the way Punjabi was being ignored and sidelined, the day was not far when children might not be able to converse in their mother tongue.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune at a function organised by the Shiromani Punjabi Lekhak Sabha here today, Giani Gurdit Singh maintained that English and Hindi were being preferred to Punjabi did not auger well for the Punjabi culture. He pointed out, “language is the soul of a culture and once it goes out there would be no life left in this culture”.

The Giani agreed that Punjabi in itself did not offer much in terms of career prospects which English promised. But at the same time he said, it was essential that the younger generation was made to incline towards the Punjabi literature. He asked, “if the youth do not read Punjabi literature, how will they come to know about the real attributes of the Punjabi life”.

He is no lingual chauvinist nor a puritan. He is a staunch votary of change and progress. But he adds, while the change is essential, tradition is also to be maintained. He sought a synthesis between the two. “One cannot be ignored at the cost of other”, he remarked, while arguing that both tradition and change were necessary for the growth and progress of the civilisation.

Giani Gurdit Singh, who has lived a versatile life of an academic, politician and a religious scholar blamed the modern day political establishment for the sorry plight of the Punjabi language. He pointed out, politicians had abandoned it and so had the youth. He disclosed that Gian Singh Rarewala, the last Chief Minister of PEPSU, who held the Finance portfolio also, would present the budget speech in the state legislature in Punjabi only. He said, once he was told that the speech could not be printed in time and he decided to get the budget speech cyclostyled to ensure that he made the speech in Punjabi only. “Such commitment towards the language is nowhere seen these days”, he regretted.

The Giani avoided any references to Mundavani and Ragmala controversy saying, this was not the forum to speak about it. He said, his main purpose was to preserve and safeguard the Punjabi culture and he was working towards this end. He has mostly presented pastoral life in his writings. Some of these include Ek Pind di Aatam Katha and ‘Mera Pind’. He says, the real Punjabi culture can be felt in the rural life only. 



Passing Thru

Satinder Satti
Satinder Satti, Punjabi anchor

What qualities should an anchor possess?

An anchor plays a key role in the success or failure of a show. It thus, becomes important that an anchor should possess a pleasant voice and capability to modulate it. An anchor should be very witty and very alert and be able to gauge and quickly respond to public reactions.

Do film stars make good anchors?

Not really. I can challenge any film star to face large crowds and hold them together for three hours. They can perform before the public but they cannot do anchoring. Even when they do anchor for some shows they keep the script before them in the teleprinter. It is tough to learn couplets and have presence of mind.

What are your plans?

I have signed two Punjabi films in the lead roles. In fact Hema Malini, with whom I co-hosted a show in Canada, had also suggested to me to join films. But I will never give up anchoring. Since I write poetry, I am able to remember good lines and quotes very easily and they prove very handy when I am compere.

— Asha Ahuja



Ludhiana Calling

CELEBRITY hunting is not alien to Ludhiana. In fact it is a universal phenomenon, so Ludhiana, the city of vanity, cannot be expected to be an exception. The only difference being that the Ludhianvis have their own definition of the “celebrity status” of the celebrities.

These can be anybody or everybody, the only condition is that the person should matter. Today’s heroes can be tomorrow’s nobody and vice versa. Last month, a leading college of the city organised the birthday celebrations of its founder. If one of the members of the trust is to be believed, that particular day was not the birthday of the ‘founder’. In fact the trustee even did not agree that the person whose birthday was being celebrated was the founder, although he had enormous contribution towards the development of the college. Interesting fact, however, was that the college management keeps on shuffling the date here and there subject to the availability of the chief guest, who usually is a VVIP. Recently the management did the same, but the chief guest did not turn up. All in vain. The particular trustee remarked: “Nobody knows when the birthday (of the founder) would fall next year.”

Cricket euphoria

With the traditional rivals India and Pakistan once again fighting it in the cricket, thousands of fans have started coming from Pakistan. They have been witnessing unusual hospitality from the people here. Interestingly, only a few years ago an Indo-Pakistan cricket match was considered to be “a war without arms”. But that hostility seems to have been long last. Now people have started enjoying the game in its true spirit. There are no longer any disappointments and desperations over an Indian defeat at the Pakistani hands. Same was the case when the Indian players went to Pakistan last year. One wishes that the friendship and warmth keeps on expanding. Like the rivalry in cricket has already given way to warmth and competitive sportsmanship spirit, so should it lead to the mutual trust and love between the two neighbours even when they talk about Kashmir.

Of changing trends

An increasing number of Ludhianavis are opting for alternative medicine. Even more popular are becoming therapeutic diets, the latest fad thus being low calorie, high-protein foods. While the trend indicates city residents’ growing consciousness towards better health, equally fast are emerging those offering weight loss and treatment of various ailments by following a particular form of diet.

Clumsy cover-up

The city mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, was once again in the news, but for wrong reasons. In an unsavoury incident on Thursday evening, a contractor of the municipal corporation here was stopped from entering the Sutlej Club while carrying four bottles of Scotch whisky, meant to be served to his guests at a party attended by a number of councillors, a few MC officers and some Pakistani visitors. As the club staff stuck to their ground and an elected office-bearer of the club also objected to this act, the Mayor intervened saying the whisky bottle were to be offered as gifts to the Pakistani visitors. In his zeal to defend the MC contractor, the first citizen forgot that consumption of alcohol is forbidden to the Muslims and a visitor from Pakistan would not only feel offended but will expose himself to a grave risk in carrying booze back to his country.

Be punctual

For celebrities and political leaders, it seems, making people wait for them for hours has become more or less a routine. City too seems to have adapted the trend quite comfortably. The result is every function begins almost two hours late from the scheduled time. The sufferers are the punctual ones. And those who want to adhere to schedules, the price to pay is lesser participation. The trend is catching on even in case of important meetings and press conferences. Isn’t it time we learn a lesson in punctuality?

Party time

The farewell season is on. Every day one college or the other bids adieu to their students. Gone are the days, when girls used to go on such functions wearing simple dresses without any make-up. The dress, the hairstyle, make-up, matching footwear and accessories are planned much in advance these days by the damsels. Not only this, they queue up at various beauty parlours with prior appointments. Some come for full-party make up, while many want to put designer bindis by the professionals. And the beauticians are definitely having a field day.

— Sentinel



Residents burn councillor’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
Residents of several colonies on the Daba-Lohara Road here today held a demonstration against poor pace of development and lack of amenities and also burnt an effigy of area councillor Surinder Sharma (Ward No 22) accusing him and neglecting colonies represented by him.

Activists of the Urban Development Cell of the District Youth Congress, including Mr Baljit Malra and Mr Dev Dutt Sharma, who led the protesters threatened to resort to dharna and indefinite fast if several development projects, were not taken up by the administration.

Terming the demonstration as a political stunt, councillor Surinder Sharma of the BJP maintained that the entire area in his ward was under-developed and allegations of poor development were not only far from truth but also politically motivated. He alleged that the mastermind behind the protest, Mr Dev Dutt, had lost municipal election against him and he, being a coloniser, was also responsible for mushrooming of a score of unauthorised and unapproved colonies in the area, which had rather added to the civic problems of the residents.

Mr Sharma claimed that he had been undertaking the development works in the ward in a relentless manner, which was evident from a move by the Residents Welfare Association to felicitate him at a function to be held in a couple of days. He said anti-people policies of the Congress would also be exposed so that his political rivals could not mislead people.



‘Residential colony has government’s approval’
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 13
Promoters of Sundar City residential and commercial colony being constructed at Samrala Road Khanna have warned people against false propaganda. Mr Anil Jindal, Harpal Singh Gulati and Parmjit Singh Duggal partners of Raj Shree Steels the promoters said that the Principal Secretary of Local Government Punjab had given permission to the project vide Order No. 4/7/2004-2 LG-3/3569. The local Improvement Trust had said that the said colony was illegal.

Promoters had said that the area of the project was 90 acres in which 800 residential plots, 150 shops and 40 showrooms are being constructed. They said that project would have big roads, streetlights, parks, sewerage, drinking water and parking area. They threatened legal proceedings against the trust.



Punjabi writers honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
The Punjabi Language is being ignored by the Punjab Government and the people of Punjab. This was the main worry of every speaker, who spoke at the annual awards day function of Shiromani Punjabi Lekhak Sabha here today. The function was held at Punjabi Bhavan and presided over by Dr Khem Singh Gill, former VC of Punjab Agriculture University.

Giani Gurdit Singh author of “Mundawani” and “Ragmala” was the chief guest. Karamjit Singh Aujla conducted the stage,” Bhai Thakat Singh Memorial Award” was given to Dr Col Dalwinder Singh Garewal. “Nam Nidhan Apar” a book written by Mr Joginder Singh Kohli was released, on which Prof Mahinder Singh Cheema gave detailed talk.

Personalities, who distinguished themselves in various disciplines of literature were honoured . They were Isher Singh Sobti, Mr Joginder Singh Kohli, Ms G Prempal Singh, Mr Tarlochan Singh Tarsi, Dr Rajinder Singh, Principal Dial Singh, Giani Gurdit Singh and Khem Singh Gill, Prof Mr Kirpal Singh Chandan. Mr Balwinderpal Singh, Mr Satnam Singh, Dr S. Tarsem, Mr Kundan Lal Badhan, Mr Sukhdev Singh and Mr Ajit Singh Arora suggested strong steps to compel the Punjab Government, Doordarshan, Telephone, Railways and AIR to start official work in Punjabi. 



Telephone exchange row resolved
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
An incident in Mata Rani telephone exchange here yesterday in which lineman Mr Nand Kishore allegedly misbehaved with senior section superintendent Swarn Chand over the refund case of a private firm, was resolved amicably with the intervention of a few persons including councillor Rakesh Parashar.

Mr Swarn Chand had lodged a complaint with the Kotwali police against his colleague, charging him with assault and using abusive languages. According to a press release, the accused person had tendered an apology and had further assured to maintain proper conduct in future.


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