Perspective | Oped | Reflections


Crossing Ichhogil Canal: How Lt-Col Hayde did it
by Maj-Gen Kuldip Singh Bajwa (retd)
T was September 6, 1965. The troops of 11 Corps stormed into Pakistan in Amritsar-Khemkaran sector. The goal: to secure the east bank of the Ichhogil Canal in Lahore’s outskirts.

On Record
Groupism will be tackled with a firm hand: Dullo
by Varinder Singh

Unlike most of his predecessors, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, does not seem to be a rubber stamp held by a Chief Minister.


Needless setback
September 17, 2005
Indo-US deal on track
September 16, 2005
Rape in the train
September 15, 2005
From Paris with love
September 14, 2005
Saving the child
September 13, 2005
Hooda must stand up
September 12, 2005
Punjab the ‘best’ state! — Really?
September 11, 2005
Not the fault of the bridge
September 10, 2005
Harsh punishment
September 9, 2005
The petro pain
September 8, 2005


Quota has outlived its utility
by R.K. Gupta
N India, some classes of people have suffered deprivation for a long time. Contemporary justice demands that steps are taken to help them come at par with other sections.


Wanted: A definition of terror
by Shruti Bedi
MAZINGLY, there are several international conventions that define war crimes, but there is no internationally accepted definition of terrorism. It is an important issue that requires immediate attention.

Building bridges with ULFA
by Harihar Swarup
ESTINY has taken many twists in popular Assamese writer Indira Goswami’s life. The latest is her involvement with affairs of the United Liberation Front of Asom.

Diversities — Delhi Letter
Akademi festival on Kashmir’s sufi mystic
by Humra Quraishi
ATELY, we have had this fashionable trend of holding elaborate sufi meets, but miles away from the very place of origin, in today’s capital settings.




Crossing Ichhogil Canal: How Lt-Col Hayde did it
by Maj-Gen Kuldip Singh Bajwa (retd)

IT was September 6, 1965. The troops of 11 Corps stormed into Pakistan in Amritsar-Khemkaran sector. The goal: to secure the east bank of the Ichhogil Canal in Lahore’s outskirts. On Sept 8, 1 Corps proceeded to Pasrur-Sialkot sector. The goal: to secure the near bank of the Ravi-Marala Link Canal. This strategy of offensive-defence was launched to relieve critical pressure of the Pakistani attack in Chhamb-Akhnur sector.

As the decision was taken in a hurry, there was little time to prepare troops mentally and emotionally for the inevitable. Troops could not be recalled from the units. The artillery and signal parties could not match with the infantry battalions. This resulted in the failure of communication.

The operational scenario in 15 Infantry Division in Amritsar sector was dismal. Of the seven infantry battalions that went into action, six had wavered under the first impact of the enemy fire. Only 3 JAT had resolutely advanced to the Ichhogil Canal, captured Dograi on the east, and Batapore-Attoke Awan in Lahore’s outskirts. This was a remarkable military achievement.

The brick-lined Ichhogil Canal, 112 feet wide, 30 feet deep, with a depth of 20 feet of fast flowing water, ran parallel to the border, 8 km inside Pakistan, and only a short hop to Lahore. The home bank was lined with concrete pillboxes. On the east bank, astride the Grand Trunk Road (GT) from Amritsar to Lahore, Dograi was a sizeable town. The whole complex was a strong defence structure.

In the early hours of Sept 6, 3 JAT bypassed the Pakistan border post at Wagah and captured Ghosal-Dial villages after a sharp fight. Though Commanding Officer 15 Dogra tasked to advance to the canal, Commander 54 Infantry Brigade accepted his plea that his battalion was in no state to undertake the mission. Subsequently, Lt-Col Desmond Hayde, Commanding Officer 3 JAT, readily agreed to take the challenge.

Just past 9 am, 3 JAT advanced to the canal with C Squadron Scinde Horse. Near Dograi. Though the battalion came under accurate artillery fire, it moved forward to quickly attack from the northern flank. After a stiff fight, one company from 3 Baluch ran back from Dograi over the debris of the bridge, partially demolished a little earlier.

By 11.30 am, 3 JAT was in full control of Dograi and the canal bank. However, it came under heavy machine gun, mortar and observed artillery fire from the tall buildings of the Bata Shoe factory and the Attock Awan village across the canal. Though Pakistani Sabres had destroyed most battalion support weapons, reserve ammunition and defence stores carried in the follow up transport, the enterprising Lt-Col Hayde chose to tackle the situation very aggressively. He led C and A companies across the demolished bridge to secure Batapore on the left of the GT road and Attok Awan on its right.

Around 2 pm, two enemy tanks marched down GT Road from Lahore. Machine guns opened up. While firefight was going on, the Pakistani tanks broke contact and sidestepped behind Batapur. Having seen this, the machine gunners also pulled out.

The C Company grabbed this opportunity and pushed forward deeper into Batapur. Soon after, three truckloads of Pakistani soldiers were seen rushing from Lahore at great speed. Subedar Pale Ram, who had reached the far edge of Batapore with a C Company platoon, demolished the first two at point blank range. The third turned back to flee. Meanwhile, the two Pakistani tanks appeared from Batapore, and tried to cross over to Attock Awan. The leading tank brewed up with a direct hit from the Scinde Horse troop of tanks. The second Pakistani tank and the third lorry were destroyed while both were trying to escape.

3 JAT effectively dealt with the enemy reaction. The battalion had fought at Ghosal-Dial, Dograi, Ichhogil Canal, and Batapore-Attocke Awan. There was no communication with the brigade headquarters. Despite the outstanding feat of 3 JAT being known through the armour radio net, no senior commander had come forward to determine the operational situation on the ground. Except for a troop of tanks on the east bank of the canal, there was no sign of any follow up force. The demolished bridge over the canal was fast crumbling away. Lahore was intensifying.

By mid-afternoon, Lt-Col Hayde was seriously concerned about the fate of his two companies across the canal. He had sent an officer to the brigade headquarters but no response.

At about 3 pm, the tank troop commander, informed Lt-Col Hayde that his squadron commander had asked him to pull back to Ghosal-Dial. The gallant 3 JAT pulled back the two companies from across the canal, abandoned Dograi, and were back in Ghosal-Dial by 5.15 pm.

In the generally depressing operational scenario on the first day of the war, the gallant 3 JAT led by Lt-Col Hayde stood out in the highest traditions of military grit and valour. Their outstanding achievement of putting two companies across the Ichhogil Canal practically in Lahore’s outskirts was not exploited. In the words of Field Marshal Maurice Comte De Saxe, French Army, “When we have incurred the risk of battle, we should know how to profit by the victory, and not merely content ourselves, according to custom, with the possession of the field.”

Major-General Karl Von Clausewitz, the well-known military thinker of the Prussian Army, said, “Next to victory, the act of pursuit (in this case exploitation of the crossing of the Ichhogil Canal) is the most important in war.” Exploitation of success in battle, whenever it comes, is vital, as the elements that caused or assisted in it may not obtain again.

During the operations in 1965, the stout and gallant 3 JAT was the only battalion that crossed the formidable Ichhogil Canal. This exceptional operational achievement was, however, overshadowed by their subsequent recapture of Dograi on Sept 21-22. The cry that involuntarily comes from the heart ‘Bravo 3 JAT!’ is tinged with regret at this lack of recognition of an operation outstanding in its own right.



On Record
Groupism will be tackled with a firm hand: Dullo
by Varinder Singh

Shamsher Singh Dullo
Shamsher Singh Dullo

UNLIKE most of his predecessors, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, does not seem to be a rubber stamp held by a Chief Minister. This is clear when he speaks out from the core of his heart. He openly admits a number of follies, if not all of them and without any regret. A grassroots-level party worker, he started his career as a councillor of the Khanna Nagar Council. He is ready to go to any length if it could help strengthen the party. He has been the PPCC general secretary thrice, its vice-president twice and a confidant of the late Beant Singh. Despite his plain speaking, the Dalit leader has not fallen out with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

As the PPCC chief, he aims to make a big dent in the Malwa area, the stronghold of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) chief Parkash Singh Badal. In an exclusive interview to The Sunday Tribune, he reveals his ideas and plans for the party.


Q: Why did the Congress lose its base among the Dalits and Backward Classes?

A: These sections joined the Bahujan Samaj Party as our own party leaders neglected them. The government funds meant for their welfare were hardly utilised for their benefit. During the NDA regime, the Congress preferred to contest about 126 out of 425 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, leaving the ground open for the BSP. But, now, this strategy would not work as the Dalits are returning to our fold. They have realised that the BSP had exploited them long enough.

Q: The youths are getting disenchanted with the Congress and other parties due to the unemployment problem. How will you address the problem?

A: Though we have hardly one-and-a-half years to go for the elections, we have envisaged some concrete programmes for helping nearly 35 lakh unemployed youth. We don’t promise jobs to all of them. Still, we will do something so that they don’t become addicted to liquor and drug abuse. We will strengthen the youth clubs in the villages. Since I am told that 60 per cent of the youth are drug addicts, we will initiate drug de-addiction camps in rural areas in a big way. This will be our way to present a glimpse of a vibrant Punjab which once fed the country and emerged as the leader of the green revolution.

Q: Is privatisation of public sector undertakings the only answer to decades of mismanagement?

A: The privatisation move has come as a shock to those government employees who had taken it for granted that their jobs were secure forever. I don’t think that privatisation of everything should be the response of a mature party like the Congress. We are thinking of alternative ways to avoid it. I have already spoken to the Chief Minister and had conveyed the feelings of those against blatant privatisation. At this stage, I can only assure you that we are in process of making some alternative arrangements. Personally, I am in favour of such alternatives.

Q: What is your dream as the PPCC president?

A: My dream is to give a sound drubbing to Badal and his party in the coming elections, especially in the Malwa region. We have got tremendous response from that region. The only problem there is that some genuine Congressmen feel that they have been ignored. But when I went there two weeks back, all of them came to me and swore that they would work whole-heartedly for our party’s victory in the elections. I believe that the party worker at the grassroots level will have to be strengthened as he or she is the heart of party and this is what I had made it very clear in the AICC’s Talkatora session.

If this was done, he would be ready to take on Mr Badal’s party which believed in autocracy. I firmly believe that sycophants should have no say in the party affairs, even though they have surfaced everywhere and sidelined the genuine workers. I will try my best to discourage this trend.

Q: What about farmers and traders? Are they satisfied with your party’s performance?

A: They have no problems. Unlike the SAD-BJP regime, we ensured that they had no problem in the procurement of their crops and they got the minimum support price. During the SAD-BJP rule, some ministers had looted them as commission agents. Traders need to be made aware of the VAT-related intricacies. I am a votary of a uniform tax without any complexities. Actually, Badal has no following in the Malwa area. It was groupism in the Congress which made him possible to win most seats there.

Q: Do you think that groupism will again pose a threat to the Congress in the next elections?

A: We will tackle groupism with a firm hand. No groupism will be allowed; it will stop automatically when we activate grassroot level party workers. I will meet them at Chandigarh’s Congress Bhawan every Tuesday and Wednesday for a direct one-to-one interaction.



Quota has outlived its utility
by R.K. Gupta

IN India, some classes of people have suffered deprivation for a long time. Contemporary justice demands that steps are taken to help them come at par with other sections. The system of reservation was introduced in the Fifties to bring the disadvantaged sections on a par with the upper castes. Accordingly, a certain percentage of jobs and seats in educational institutions have been reserved for them for an initial period of 10 years.

However, the reservation system has been continuing for two reasons. First, the beneficiaries themselves have a vested interest in its continuation. And second, politicians too have a vested interest. By advocating quotas, they try to protect their vote banks.

It seems the quota system will continue in perpetuity. More and more castes and sub-castes are demanding reservation. Women too want quota in Parliament and state legislatures. Reservation was first mooted to ensure social justice. And now the protagonists of the quota system say that as it has not helped to achieve the goal fully, it should continue for some more time.

Undoubtedly, the policy of reservation is flawed. While it has kept the deprived sections permanently in need of a prop or crutch to come up in life, it has completely ignored the interest of society as a whole by overlooking merit, quality and performance.

It is nobody’s case that the people concerned should not receive a special consideration. But how long and at what cost? As reservation has failed to address the problem, the Centre and the states should think of reasonable and dignified ways by which the backward classes can be extended help so that they acquire the capacity to compete with others. Providing free education is one. Secondly, concerned citizens, bodies and institutions can provide free coaching to people in addition to their education in schools and colleges. And thirdly, the people should themselves be prepared to put in hard work.

Gandhiji says that the deprived classes should get, and also aspire for, positions in society not on the basis of their caste but merit. In his book, Social Service Work and Reform, he wrote: “The wish to be so educated as to be qualified for the highest post is to be appreciated and encouraged, the wish to be appointed to such a post on the basis of belonging to a caste or class is essentially to be deprecated and discouraged.”

He further wrote, “My advice to Tantis of Kolhan is that they should reform and raise themselves by means of honest work and the more fortunate should help them to do so.”



Wanted: A definition of terror
by Shruti Bedi 

AMAZINGLY, there are several international conventions that define war crimes, but there is no internationally accepted definition of terrorism. It is an important issue that requires immediate attention.

Any violent act — whether by the government, a frenzied mob, militants or criminals — is viewed as a terrorist act. Do people using violent means to protect us fall in the category of terrorists? This is where the difficulty arises because “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. The meaning of terrorism is how an individual views it.

Whitbeck says, “It is no accident that there is no agreed definition of terrorism since the word is so subjective as to be devoid of any inherent meaning. At the same time, the word is extremely dangerous, because people tend to believe that it does have meaning and to use and abuse the word by applying it to whatever they hate as a way of avoiding rational thought and discussion, and, frequently, excusing their own illegal and immoral behaviour.”

The meaning of the term has changed frequently over the past 200 years. Earlier, it consisted of freedom fighters fighting for independence of their countries from the foreign yoke. Then it came to be viewed as a revolutionary concept.

People in minority feel threatened by the majority and chose to demonstrate their strength through violent means. Then we saw the growth of state-sponsored terrorism. A terrorist group backed by a state, which financed and trained it. It is easy to identify the area of operations of that group.

Lately, it has become difficult to identify the people responsible for such acts. Terrorism in today’s era, as Fareed Zakaria says, is society sponsored, where the terrorists draw support not from states but from private individuals. The word terrorism has adopted within its ambit serious offensive connotations. Today’s terrorists, after committing a crime, just fade away. One just cannot track down an enemy, who has no abode. In every age, terror gets a new face and a new meaning.

However, the terrorists’ aim has always been to induce fear in the minds of the people to make them act in a pre-planned manner. The lack of consensus on a universally applicable definition of terrorism is a major lacuna in the struggle against international terrorism.

The word “terror” was coined during France’s Reign of Terror in 1793-94. Originally, the leaders of this regime praised terror as the best way to defend liberty, but as the French Revolution soured, the word soon took on grim echoes of state violence and guillotines. The Jacobeans, who led the government at the time, were revolutionaries and gradually “terrorism” came to be applied to violent revolutionary activity in general.

However, the use of “terrorist” in an anti-government sense is not recorded until 1866 (Ireland) and 1883 (Russia). Today, most terrorists dislike the label, according to Bruce Hoffman of the Rand think-tank.

The word “terror” is of Latin origin (from terrere and deterre, which means to tremble). When combined with the French suffix isme, referencing “to practice,” it becomes more like “to practice trembling”, or “to cause or create the trembling.” Trembling here obviously is another word for fear, panic and anxiety — what we today call terror. The English version of this word — terrorism — owes to an Englishman’s characterisation of the bloodshed he had observed from afar in France, where the same revolution was underway.

It entered modern Western vocabulary only in the 14th century through the French language. The first English usage was recorded in 1528. The basic mechanism of terror was captured in an ancient Chinese proverb: “Kill one, frighten 10,000.” This means that for a terrorist, an act of violence is aimed not just at the destruction caused, but in the message of terror being driven home.

There are many reasons as to why a terrorist commits these acts of violence. For example, a religious sentiment, which he wants to impose on the entire community. And when terrorism gets compounded with religious or ethnic fanaticism it is at its worst.

What happened in Ayodhya recently defies all logic. Suicide terrorism is another phenomenon, which is growing in the world today. The attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York and in London are illustrations of this type of terrorism.

It is difficult to fight against an enemy who is ready to kill himself. The concern regarding terrorism is increasing day by day with the terrorists’ threat to use biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Our growing dependence on computers makes us very vulnerable to a cyber attack. Cyber terrorism is not fictional anymore.

The obstacles to defining terrorism are compounded by different perceptions, ideologies, values and factors. But consensus on a clear-cut definition is very important as it is a pre-condition to enacting an anti-terrorism law.

This is necessary as any terrorist activity over a period of time creates a sense of insecurity in the general public. This growing perception that the government is incapable of protecting the citizens contributes further to the disruption of law and order in society.

The Supreme Court of India, while rejecting the appeal of 18 extremists against their convictions under TADA, the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act held that terrorism is a peacetime war crime.

Since the United Nations member nations had failed to evolve a consensus on the definition of terrorism, as it was seen in some parts as a fight for freedom, the court said the lack of clear definition was the major obstacle in taking counter measures against the menace. It tried for the first time to evolve a definition.

The Supreme Court said “terrorism is one of the manifestations of increased lawlessness and cult of violence, which constitute a threat to an established order and a revolt against civilised and orderly society.” It further said, “If the core of war crimes — deliberate attacks on civilians, taking people hostage and killing prisoners — is extended to peacetime, we can simply define acts of terrorism veritably as peacetime equivalents of war crimes.”

If we view terrorism as war, we are less concerned with individual capability. All that we need to do in such a case is to identify a terrorist group instead of a particular individual. The focus is not on the accused individual, but on the correct identification of the enemy.

It is terror which is waged consciously and deliberately and is implicitly prepared to sacrifice all moral and humanitarian considerations for the sake of some political end. There is need for a definition of terrorism, acceptable to all. Our lack of cooperation on the problem is an indicator of our willingness to live in a world controlled by terror.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan should hopefully help evolve a definition acceptable to all. Every nation should extend a helping hand in this regard. After all, we need to know what is terror to control it. Don’t we? The sooner, the better.


The writer is Lecturer, University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh



Building bridges with ULFA
by Harihar Swarup

DESTINY has taken many twists in popular Assamese writer Indira Goswami’s life. The latest is her involvement with affairs of the United Liberation Front of Asom. ULFA has nominated her as facilitator of the nine-member People’s Consultative Group to prepare the ground for direct talks with the Centre with the objective of bringing peace in the strife-torn state. Without losing time, she got in touch with National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan and told him of the ULFA overture. The response was positive.

The writer, who had earlier made an attempt to act as a bridge between the Centre and the ULFA, may succeed this time. She has gone on record saying that “this is the biggest opportunity to solve the ULFA problem and bring back normalcy in Assam”. People have known Indira Goswami as a great writer. She was conferred the Jnanpith Award, the country’s highest literary honour four years back. But people have not seen Indira Goswami in her new role as an activist. Doubtless, she is a very committed person. When she takes up a cause, she will never give up.

Indira Goswami was a cursed child when she was born. A renowned astrologer had carefully studied her stars and predicted that misfortunes “would come upon her thick and fast to bedevil her life”. So much so that he advised Indira’s mother: “This girl’s stars are so bad that you will do well to cut her into two pieces and throw her into the Brahmaputra”.

Misfortunes did come one after another according to the forecast. But the astrologer could not foresee another facet of her life. Noted Punjabi writer Amrita Pritam said once: “The astrologer had not visualised the metamorphosis the girl would undergo after her baptism of fire, engendered by her misfortunes”. The astrologer did not live to see Indira being decorated with the Jnanpith Award and now her attempt to bring ULFA and the Centre to the negotiating table.

The Assamese writer rose to the position of Professor of Modern Indian Languages at the Delhi University. Amritaji wrote a moving foreword to her life story, An unfinished autobiography, covering the period up to 1990. She wrote: “Indira’s life story could well nigh be termed as Life is no bargain” (Jindagi koye sauda nahin hai).

Indira Goswami’s husband died within two years of marriage. She told this columnist soon after receiving the Jnanpith Award that she had met both “good guys” and “bad guys” in her turbulent life and she may write about her experience with them. Asked who were the good guys, she named a few — Kamla Ratnam, Amrita Pritam, Prof Sisir Das, Padma Sachdev, Rajiv Seth and so on.

She would not like to name the “bad guys” now, but could not forget a Professor, a scholar of Ramayana, who got attracted to her when she was young. “He proposed to me when his wife was on the death bed”. Indira says: “I developed an instant repulsion for him; how can a man do such a thing”.

She also proposed to write about her experience in academic life, how some scholars do not allow bright youngsters to come up. Right from the days when the astrologer wanted her to be cut into two pieces, tragedy after tragedy struck her. When Indira was 16, her father, who loved her most, died. So desperate was she that she attempted to take her own life.

She wanted to become a writer from her childhood. As agony and despair continued to haunt her, she picked up her pen and the latent creativity burst into open; she churned out stories after stories.

Fate took another twist when a young engineer from South India came to stay in her neighbourhood. Both fell in love and married in 1965. Indira left Assam, for the first time, having accompanied Madhavan Roysom Iyenger to Kutch and then to Kashmir where he worked as a civil engineer. His company, Hindustan Builders, undertook heavy civil works like construction of bridges, roads in difficult mountain terrain and dams. She lovingly called him “Madhu”.

Indira was fascinated with her life outside Assam. As she was driving along her husband at the work site, the Chenab bridge project in Kashmir, she saw half a dozen pyres burning and the yellow-red flames leaping towards sky. “Who are these people”, she asked Madhu but he evaded the question. Later, Indira discovered they were labourers employed in the construction works and were killed in accidents. Casualty on such projects was quite high and the compensation paid was a meager amount. She was moved by their plight, worked amidst them and it was here that she conceived her novel, The Surge of Chenab, little knowing that the same tragedy was to befall on her. She lost her husband in an accident.

Her widowhood motivated her to go to Vrindavan, near Mathura, to study the lives of widows. She wrote two novels based on her experience. Indira has now taken up the cause of ULFA. Watch her.



Diversities — Delhi Letter
Akademi festival on Kashmir’s sufi mystic
by Humra Quraishi

LATELY, we have had this fashionable trend of holding elaborate sufi meets, but miles away from the very place of origin, in today’s capital settings. So it did come as a surprise to know that the Sahitya Akademi is holding this upcoming festival on Lalla Ded on October 1 in Srinagar. As historians point out, this Kashmiri woman mystic/sufi was born in a family which lived about four miles to the south east of Srinagar. She died at Bijbihara (which lies about 30 miles to the south of Srinagar).

She was married into a family at Pampore, which lies on the outskirts of the Srinagar city. But that’s a different story altogether. The marriage was an extremely unhappy one. Fed up, she had just walked away from it, wandering about in search of peace. Till she’d found solace in her very soul. As her verse goes, “Passionate, with longing in mine eyes/ Searching Wide, and seeking nights and days / Lo, I beheld the Truthful one, the Wise /Here in mine own House to fill my gaze/ That was the day of my lucky star /Breathless, I held him my Guide to be…”

Lalla Ded’s life and the turns in it could be termed as many as the names she is bestowed with. Besides being called Lalla Arifa, there are more names attached to her. Hindus call her Laleshwari or Lalla Yogeshwari, Muslims Lalla Ded or Lalla Maji. Its even said that though she was born into a Hindu family in 735 AH (1335 AC), but was deeply influenced by the sufi thought and sufis of that era that she’d embraced Islam. But then, she was a mystic whose perceptions and beliefs went beyond set parameters.

World Alzheimer’s Day

World Alzheimer’s Day falls on September 21. It will be an occasion for some focus on this disorder which is primarily connected with aging. One of the first signs is forgetfulness of a rather definite strain. My father battled with Alzheimer’s for almost eight years. It was extremely depressing to see him reduced to a state where he couldn’t even remember his name or recognise his children

Though Alzheimer’s-related chapters have opened in several towns, even today most are not even aware of this disorder. To worsen the scenario, those misconceptions that it is linked to madness of a kind. Together with the fact that there is no cure for it. The basic factor is to treat the Alzheimer’s-stricken with a lot of love and care as you would handle your young children.

The season is in swing

Amidst constant rains, the season is picking up. There’s been a round of ongoing farewell dos for the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman, Khalifa Bin Ali Al Harthy, who is getting posted to Germany. The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Saleh Mohammad Al-Ghamdi, hosted a farewell dinner for him where several of the guests sang farewell songs.

National Day of Libya was observed on Sept 8. National Day of Saudi Arabia falls on Sept 23.

There are many ongoing exhibitions. There’s an offbeat one, titled ‘Papermark’. It focuses on multiple mediums of art on paper. Exhibited at the India Habitat Centre’s Visual Arts Gallery, its curator is Alka Pande.

And also passed by was the week-long European Union celebrations — artists from several of the European countries together with several of ours putting up shows.

Among the upcoming events, there’s Pran Nevile’s tribute to Naina Devi. On Sept 27, a concert stands arranged at the IIC, in her memory. The artists for that evening are her former disciples, Vidya Rao and Madhumita Ray. Credit must go to Nevile to focus on those artists from that golden era which have left a definite mark; he has formed a society in memory of K.L. Saigal.

Monsoon festival

Megha, the monsoon festival, is setting off this coming week-end (Sept 23-25). At Nehru Park. It will be thrown open for this cultural and poetic festival. Thankfully, there would be no entry tickets. Afterall, it is being presented by India Tourism.



The soul has to go back to where it came from. In order to rise in spiritually, one has to think clearly and deliberately and for this he needs the power of discrimination.

— Kabir

The Great Consciousness is the final refuge of all.

— The Upanishads

Therefore, focus your mind on God, and let your intellect dwell upon him alone through meditation and contemplation. Therefore you shall certainly attain him. If you are unable to focus your mind steadily on him, they long to attain him by practice of any spiritual discipline; such as a ritual, or deity worship that suits you.

— The Mahabharata

If you keep thinking of all the ways in which others cheated you, fought with you, degraded you or angered you; your heart will forever be full of hatred. Learn to let go, and be happy.

— Book of quotations on Happiness

Beyond the darkness of death shines the immortal land. We will ferry ourselves there on the boat of our knowledge and good deeds.

— Book of quotations on Hinduism


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