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EDITORIALS

PM flags off peace offer
Nankana Sahib bus ends a long wait

T
HE Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service flagged off by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday has come as an answer to a long-held yearning of the Punjabis. The birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev is the dream destination of every Sikh and being able to board a bus right at Amritsar for reaching it has more than a symbolical value attached to it. 

Amend the law
An all-party consensus needed to enact it

M
rs Sonia Gandhi’s resignation from the Lok Sabha and the National Advisory Council on Thursday, close on the heels of Mrs Jaya Bachchan’s disqualification from the Rajya Sabha, underscores the imperative need to have a new look at the existing law enacted in 1959 and the office of profit clause under Article 102 of the Constitution.






EARLIER STORIES

Sonia outwits the BJP
March 24, 2006
Dialogue with Dhaka
March 23, 2006
Eleven years after
March 22, 2006
BJP’s creed — Intolerance
March 21, 2006
Fuel for Tarapur
March 20, 2006
Need to practice secularism in letter and spirit
March 19, 2006
A soft budget
March 18, 2006
EC gets tough
March 17, 2006
Jessica case goes to HC
March 15, 2006
The delivery of justice
March 14, 2006
THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
King’s obduracy
Makes parties partner Maoists
I
f Nepal is headed for a confrontation with the mainstream democratic parties and Maoists joining hands for a “decisive” agitation against absolute monarchy for the restoration of parliament, King Gyanendra can thank himself for it.
ARTICLE

Quality of justice
When judges come out with split verdicts

by Pran Chopra
W
RITING with his usual wit and humour and his fund of anecdotes, Senior Advocate, Fali Nariman (The Tribune, February 3), has given us precious insights into how and why two judges, sitting on the same bench, hearing the same facts and arguments, applying the same law, may deliver two contradictory judgements in the same case.

MIDDLE

UnReal Estate
by Jayanti Roy
T
he city is obsessed with real estate. It was there all along but an incident highlighted it more glaringly. When I introduced my brother who is teaching in a university to my neighbour’s teenaged daughter — the first question she shot was not about academics or qualifications or anything else relevant to her age.

OPED

The vanishing tiger
Govt steps fail to reign in poachers

by Lt Gen (retd) Baljit Singh
T
he recorded history of faunal extinctions in India began in the latter half of the 19th century. The first to perish was the Himalayan mountain quail in 1876 followed by the pink-headed duck in 1935. Both birds were endemic to India and were driven to extinction by excessive hunting alone.

‘No proof oily fish has health benefits’
by Jeremy Laurance
F
or at least 20 years doctors have been urging their patients to eat more oily fish to benefit the heart. Adding two servings a week of mackerel, salmon and similar fish to the family shopping list was believed to help fend off cardiovascular disease.


From the pages of


 REFLECTIONS

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PM flags off peace offer
Nankana Sahib bus ends a long wait

THE Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service flagged off by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday has come as an answer to a long-held yearning of the Punjabis. The birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev is the dream destination of every Sikh and being able to board a bus right at Amritsar for reaching it has more than a symbolical value attached to it. Not just a spiritual fulfilment, it is also an ideal confidence-building measure which the two countries badly need. As the Prime Minister himself said during the flagging-off ceremony, he is willing to “think the unthinkable” of moving together in pursuit of the common objective of getting rid of chronic poverty, ignorance and disease that still afflict millions of people in the two countries. H even went to the extent of offering Pakistan a “treaty of peace, security and friendship”. Hopefully, Pakistan’s response to the Prime Minister’s offer will be warm and positive.

Significantly, he has said that a meaningful agreement is also possible with Pakistan on Siachen. That underlines India’s desire to move ahead skirting contentious issues like Jammu and Kashmir. They can achieve their shared destiny only if they bury the ghosts of the past. It is the irony of history that the two countries should have separated during an orgy of bloodbath. Otherwise, there is no need for them to live like sworn enemies. Nearly six decades of daggers-drawn posture should have convinced them that only death and destruction can be caused by this policy.

Closed minds and shut doors at the border can only shrivel the future of the two nations. There is more in common between India and Pakistan than between any other two countries. It is time to nurture this commonality rather than harping on perceived grievances and differences. The bus service is a laudable initiative. There is need to build on it by relaxing visa rules and making travel across the border less expensive and irksome.
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Amend the law
An all-party consensus needed to enact it

Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s resignation from the Lok Sabha and the National Advisory Council on Thursday, close on the heels of Mrs Jaya Bachchan’s disqualification from the Rajya Sabha, underscores the imperative need to have a new look at the existing law enacted in 1959 and the office of profit clause under Article 102 of the Constitution. Although the founding fathers felt that this provision would help MPs carry out their duties in a free and independent manner, this has been followed more in its breach than in practice with many MPs and state legislators holding one office of profit or another. It would be eminently sensible for the Manmohan Singh government to evolve an all-party consensus and enact a new legislation that would serve as a model law for both the Centre and the states.

Having promptly resigned from the Lok Sabha and the NAC, though Mrs Sonia Gandhi has taken the wind out of the sails of the BJP, one has to admit that the government handled the issue rather clumsily. There was no need for it to seek Parliament’s adjournment sine die on March 22 and plan for an ordinance to identify 62 posts as offices of non-profit. The government’s peremptory rejigging of the parliamentary schedule has led to a messy situation and considerable political acrimony.

Even the thought of proroguing Parliament was bad in principle and politically ludicrous. The ordinance route was bound to lead to heat and controversy as it tended to undermine Parliament’s authority as the supreme lawmaking body. Moreover, the issue is essentially a matter to be resolved through discussion between the government and the political parties so that the widest possible consensus can be arrived at among all the stakeholders. The government cannot bypass Parliament and resolve a legal conundrum through a questionable measure. Consequently, the government should convene an all-party meeting and table a Bill in Parliament after taking all political parties into confidence. This Bill should serve as a moral and legal benchmark for Parliament, state legislatures and political parties who like to use the law to appoint MPs and MLAs to important positions not ordinarily meant for legislators.
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King’s obduracy
Makes parties partner Maoists

If Nepal is headed for a confrontation with the mainstream democratic parties and Maoists joining hands for a “decisive” agitation against absolute monarchy for the restoration of parliament, King Gyanendra can thank himself for it. His autocratic and repressive rule since the dissolution of parliament in May 2002, followed by his seizure of absolute power on February 1, 2005, has only served to strengthen the resolve of political forces to intensify the battle against the monarchy. The earlier strategy of pitting the Maoists against the democratic parties through his off-now, on-again negotiations can no longer work. This is borne out by the 7+1 understanding between the seven-party Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) and the Maoists that was arrived at on March 19. This pact — to work together for “full democracy” — further isolates the obdurate King and strengthens the forces that are determined to push towards formation of an interim government and the holding of elections for a Constituent Assembly.

This is a significant advance over the November 2005 agreement between the ARD and the Maoists to unitedly boycott the municipal elections that were held last month. Having succeeded in that objective, the 7+1 are now gearing up for a mass agitation to be launched from April 6. The Maoists resolve to join this agitation, including general strike and civil disobedience, comes close on the heels of their ending the blockade of Kathmandu; which was with a view to marching in step with the ARD.

The ARD’s tie-up with the Maoists has been criticised by Washington while New Delhi, given its known commitment to the twin institutions of constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy, has chosen to be less forthcoming about its position on the evolving situation. As the moves gather for the restoration of democracy in Nepal, it is the momentum and effectiveness of forces in the Himalayan kingdom that will ultimately determine the course of Nepal’s future.

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Thought for the day

We never know the love of our parents for us till we have become parents.
— Henry Ward Beecher
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Quality of justice
When judges come out with split verdicts

by Pran Chopra

WRITING with his usual wit and humour and his fund of anecdotes, Senior Advocate, Fali Nariman (The Tribune, February 3), has given us precious insights into how and why two judges, sitting on the same bench, hearing the same facts and arguments, applying the same law, may deliver two contradictory judgements in the same case. To those who may be baffled by this phenomenon he gives the comfort of a quote from Emerson, that “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” But then he casts us into the sea of another quotation which has some disturbing implications. It is from Lord Goff, whom he describes as “England’s seniormost judge”.

He reminds us that when Lord Goff came to India to deliver a G.S. Pathak Memorial Lecture, he said “it was his experience that when a judge approached a particular case before him he had an instinctive feel for the result in that case. That feel was not a mere hunch but an amalgam of his knowledge of legal principle, his experience as a lawyer, his understanding of the subtle restraints with which all judges should work, his developed sense of justice and his innate sense of humanity, and his commonsense. A combination of these factors provides experienced judges with a strong instinct for the appropriate legal result in any particular case”.

This is an elegant description of a “committed” judge, not committed to the politics of the government of the day, as those other judges were said to be who were so described in the Emergency days, but “committed” to those values which would guide his “amalgam”, his “instinct” and “sense of justice” towards his “understanding” of what would be an “appropriate legal result of a particular case”.

But the values and instincts of any person, be he a judge, are the essence and end product of all those socio-economic circumstances, upbringing and education, and all the other and equally subjective influences which have shaped his “amalgam”. Being so very subjective, these influences differ from person to person. Hence the diversity of the “amalgams” which can come into play when many judges sit in judgement on the same case on the same bench or in a hierarchy of benches.

This explains what every litigant experiences. The initial dialogue between him and the advocate to whom he goes is invariably about whether the case is weak or strong, under which law would it be stronger, which special circumstances of the case would be most useful to plead. But somewhere along the way the discussion changes to how the case may be steered into the court of that judge whose “instinct” may seem to the advocate to be most “suitable” for the desired outcome. In the eyes of the advocate even a delay by a few days might not be too high a price to pay for waiting for the judge with the right “amalgam” to be available.

While worrying about the cost of waiting, the poor litigant, if he is new the ways of courts, may also ask in puzzlement why the subjective personas of the judges should matter when the laws and the circumstances of the case would remain the same no matter which judge heard the case or when.

But that is where that “amalgam” comes in by one door, and by another door enters the phenomenon of contradictory judgements and split benches. An advocate’s fee may depend as much upon his reputation for understanding the “amalgams” of judges as it may upon his reputation for understanding the law.

The more judges there are on a bench, each with his own unique “amalgam” to guide him to the “appropriate result” as he sees it, the greater might be the variety in their judgements about the same case, on the same evidence, and the variety can multiply as the case travels from one bench to a higher one and thence to a still higher one. As the higher benches have more judges the variety they can generate can be more perplexing, even for some of the judges themselves.

The Keshavananda judgement is the best example of that. It was delivered by the largest number of judges that have yet adorned a bench in India, and they not only differed from each other but could not even agree with summaries of their respective judgements made by the court. The circumstances of that disagreement have been narrated in my recent book, The Supreme Court vs the Constitution. But also on those disagreements rests the stinging comment by H.M. Seervai, the most respected authority in these matters, that “the summary signed by 9 judges has no legal effect at all”.

While experts continue to explore the debris of the Keshvananda judgement, lesser minds must scratch their heads over three issues. First. If such authorities as the seniormost judges, acting with all the time and learning at their disposal, and in dealing with only one case at a time, can be led by their subjective “amalgams” into such knots of disagreement, would it not be better if they allowed the plainer language of the law before them to speak a little more, and a little more in the light of the objectively verifiable facts of the case before them, and a little less in the light of their diverse “instincts” about the “appropriate result in a particular case”?

Second, in testing the substance of the case with the substance of the law, should they be guided more by the conformity of the law with the Constitution or by its conformity with their own “sense” of what would be “the appropriate result” in the particular case?

Third, in judging what would be “the appropriate result” in the light of the Constitution, should they go by what the Constitution does say, or by what in their opinion it should say to be in conformity with their own “sense of humanity” and “commonsense”?

All of this must always remain subordinate to the right of a judge to “interpret” the law and the Constitution. But that right itself must also remain subordinate to legitimate limits on “interpretation”, which too have been lucidly explored by Seervai. Sometimes these limits are ignored rather liberally. Judicial willingness to tolerate them is not always broad enough to wait for the “ideal remedy” which has been propounded by the eminent advocate, Soli Sorabji, that improvements in the Constitution which may be desirable should first be incorporated in the Constitution.

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UnReal Estate
by Jayanti Roy

The city is obsessed with real estate. It was there all along but an incident highlighted it more glaringly.

When I introduced my brother who is teaching in a university to my neighbour’s teenaged daughter — the first question she shot was not about academics or qualifications or anything else relevant to her age. “Do you own a house? How many marlas?” she asked.

It set me thinking. In the eyes of the girl who has just turned 13, the worth of a person can be measured by the real estate he owns. The malady was serious, I knew but that it has sunk so deep in our psyche was shocking.

There is no respite from this infection. One cannot even enjoy the quiet luxury of drinking a cup of tea and going through the morning newspaper. “Chandigarh Housing Board announces housing schemes in sector so and so. Nayagaon houses regularised, five marla house fetches fifty lakhs”, scream the headlines and the head throbs with pain as one tries to strain the eyeballs to find some refreshing news that would gladden the heart.

A visit to the market to relieve oneself of the stress proves futile. Hoardings of leading banks vie for your attention — “Get hundred per cent loans, buy a home at the heart of the city”! The market place is full of all types of operating centers of property dealers. Almost every other person in the locality is a property consultant. I doubt whether there are as many property dealers in any other city.

You cannot expect to get pleasure even through the traditional methods of visiting friends. All social conversation, gossip, small talk are heavily peppered with keywords of plot, marla, HUDA, PUDA, CHB, appreciation, premium, and earnest money. Your friends and acquaintances are more worried about your not applying for the CHB scheme than for your declining health.

The escalation in rates is unprecedented, mind boggling and unbelievable for somebody not seeped in the real estate culture. It jumps not in hundreds or thousands but in lakhs within days. Listening to people speaking in terms of lakhs or crores you think you are watching some Bollywood movie.

The initiation ceremony in the real estate matters starts quite early in life for the city kids. They may not know their multiplication tables but they know by heart the conversion tables of gaz, marla, kanal and acre.

All office colleagues without fail are either buying or selling property. If not your boss, your junior staff or even the office peon is bound to goad you to own a plot or land or to try your luck at the lottery at least once.

Then greed takes over, you visualise your money growing like bacteria in a perfect culture. You too join the frenzy feeling insecure in not owning real estate. Before you know you have also become a rat following the pied piper’s hypnotic tune being merrily led to the gutter. You forget the price you are paying not only with your money but peace of mind, leisure time and sweet thoughts.

God save the city!

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The vanishing tiger
Govt steps fail to reign in poachers

by Lt Gen (retd) Baljit Singh

The recorded history of faunal extinctions in India began in the latter half of the 19th century. The first to perish was the Himalayan mountain quail in 1876 followed by the
pink-headed duck in 1935. Both birds were endemic to India and were driven to extinction by excessive hunting alone. The next to be exterminated was the Indian cheetah when the last two were claimed by a shikari in November 1947 in Madhya Pradesh. In the 19th century, the tiger remained comparatively safe because the Mughal Emperors had glamourised lion hunting as “The Sport of Kings.” The feudatory chieftains of India, the functionaries of the East India Company and later of the Crown were quick to ape the Mughals. As a result by 1890, it was believed that there were no more than 25 Asiatic lions left in India.

There never was a census of the tiger in India, or for that matter, of wildlife per se. It was for the first time in 1963 that EP Gee, a tea-planter from Assam and an eminent naturalist of India, provided a guesstimate that in 1900 AD there were perhaps 40,000 tigers in India.

This figure has since generally been accepted as a reasonable working hypothesis. Unfortunately for the tiger, 1900 AD was also the high-mark of the British Raj in India when shooting a tiger became a status symbol as much with the British as with the Indian nobility.

But for the fateful intervention by the two World Wars, the tiger in India might have been hunted to extinction in the first half of the 20th century. The stories of tiger hunting excesses are simply unbelievable. There is this record of a tiger shoot organised over 10 days in 1903 (?) in the Indian terrai region when 32 tigers were shot. An identical number was shot the next year also and 14 the year after.

In Nepal, during the 11-day state visit in 1911 by King George V, 39 tigers were shot. And between 1933-40, guests of the Nepalese Prime Minister dispatched another 433 tigers.

In 1950 Jim Corbett had opined that there were no more than 18,000 tigers surviving in India. Yet the tiger was to have no respite. The liberalised policy of possessing licenced firearms post-1947 proved so devastating that by 1963, EP Gee (by then a member of the Indian Board for Wildlife) estimated no more than 4,000 tigers surviving in India.

At this point of dire-straits for the tiger’s very existence there crops up the greatest enigma. That Mr Nehru, who had put all his weight behind the survival of the Asiatic lion in India, should have had a blind-spot to the plight of the tiger? He wrote a most scholarly and erudite foreward to EP Gee’s book “Wildlife of India” published in 1960.

Mr Nehru expounded: “Wildlife?.... I wonder sometime what these animals and birds think of man and how they would describe him if they had the capacity to do so..... In spite of our culture and civilisation in many ways man continues to be not only wild but more dangerous than any of the so-called wild animals.....we must try to preserve whatever is left of our forests and the wildlife that inhabits them”.

“Extremely well stated Mr Prime Minister, but why did you betray the tiger”, I ask in bewilderment.

Unlike many other countries, in India the leadership for the conservation of wildlife has always been provided by Prime Ministers. The creation of the Indian Board for Wildlife in 1952 was itself Mr Nehru’s brain-child.

It is quite likely that he was influenced to act decisively both by the extinction of the cheetah and the fear that the only surviving population of the Asiatic lion in the world confined to the Gir, was poised on the brink of extinction.

Indeed, he did save the lion as from 50 odd in 1952, today the Gir lions are 326. But there is no explaining Mr Nehru’s indifference to the tiger.

By 1970 the tiger numbers plumetted to no more than 1,800. The World Wide Fund for Conservation of Nature seized the opportunity to mount a global initiative to save the tiger.

By 1972 they created a corpus of $ 1 million to save the tiger and pleaded with Mrs Indira Gandhi to take up the challenge. And so she did with her characteristic grace and steely determination.

To uphold National pride, Mrs Gandhi spontaneously pledged an equivalent of $ 2 million to the corpus and thus was launched the Project Tiger in 1973.

Having accepted the chairmanship of the Project Tiger Steering Committee, Mrs Gandhi directed that it should meet once a month. Her commitment to the tiger was so fierce that not a single monthly meeting was ever cancelled or postponed and she personally presided over each! Little wonder that by 1984, tiger numbers had revived to around 2,500

Much was expected from Mr Rajiv Gandhi. Regrettably, besides creating the Ministry of Environment and Forests and taking brief holidays in wildlife preserve, he provided no meaningful direction.

However, the momentum of Mrs Gandhi’s legacy, meanwhile, reached the zenith in 1988 when the tiger population crossed the 3,000 mark.

Just when the tiger seemed poised to shake free of the dark phase of 1930-60, the country entered the era of new political alignments characterised by frequent changes of Prime Ministers.

None of the six encumbents of the PMO who followed Mr Rajiv Gandhi had either the inclination or the time for wildlife in general and for the tiger in particular.

The tiger which had had a sheltered existence in national parks and tiger reserves between 1973 and 1988, grew less wary of man. Concurrently, the exploiters of the free-market economy (particularly in SE Asia) targeted the elephant and the tiger as prime commodities for commerce.

While Veerappan and his gang accounted for over 600 tuskers for ivory, the tigers of India fared even worst; they were besieged by a most sophisticated country-wide tiger poachers network.

Tiger poaching was accomplished with such practised ease and aplomb that for instance the Government was not even aware or feigned ignorance of it till in 2001 an international agency intercepted “31 tiger skins and 581 leopard skins etc” in Tibet from a single consignment from India destined for China. Sounds much like the sudden dawning of the reality of the presence of the Aksai-Chin road in the 1950s.

We shall never know the truth whether the government was thoroughly inept or it misled the nation. However, the nation awoke to a rude shock in early 2005 when one fine morning the Tiger Reserve at Sariska was found cleared of all its 22 tigers!

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, made a public commitment to the nation that he would never allow another “Sariska” and that he would save the tiger for posterity.

Rather than profit from wildlife management success stories prevalent elsewhere in the world, the Prime Minister’s advisers have persuaded him to opt for a package of quick-fix remedies.

For instance, the Project Tiger Directorate will become a statutory body in the new garb of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

But this will be a meaningless cosmetic reform as the home-territories of the tiger and the people who manage them remain outside the jurisdiction of the NTCA.

Despite its statutory status, the NTCA has no mandate to impose compliance of its policies on the state. It will be a perfect setting to evade accountability at all levels as always.

The tiger cannot be saved by such half measures. This need of the hour is to create on a war-footing a Federal Wildlife and Forest Service (as for income tax) with statutory jurisdiction over all tiger habitats in the country and the staff who manage it. Failing that, the tiger may be exterminated from India by 2050, the latest.

While the ambers of “Sariska” have not been fully doused, there are reliable reports that the 2000 sq km Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve have lost all but one of its 61 tigers.

While the Field Director of the park and the Chief Wildlife Warden of Arunachal Pradesh have not denied these reports, they are busy circulating the alibi that 66 families of the Lisu Tribe from Myanmar had infiltrated surreptitiously and settled in three clusters inside the reserve in 1987.

The state governments are now ostensibly checking the ground reality and planning to resettle the tribal people outside the Park. Can there be a better example of locking the doors after your home has been ransacked?

If the Lisus had indeed been preying on the tiger since 1987, how come that the state governments were unaware? And how come that the 2001-2002 census of 61 tigers shows an increase rather than a decline in the tiger population? Again, we shall never know the truth.

Dr Manmohan Singh is destined to be marked by history as among India’s greatest PMs. He had the genius and the drive to recast India’s economy and to impart a renewed sense of purpose and pride to the nation as a whole.

Though not of his choosing, but in times to come Dr Manmohan Singh’s name will always be associated with either the survival of the tiger or its extermination from India. And if the tiger perishes in India, it will axiomatically perish altogether as a free-ranging mammal from the world.

And an extinction of a species is for ever.

While the government moves at its own pace, the poachers have again stolen a march over it. For, there is fresh evidence that at least three more Tiger Reserves have been “Sariska-ed.” And another four are close to being “Sariska-ed”.

End of the road for the tiger? Even an avowed optimist will not find easy to utter a forthright “NO”.

The writer is an eminent wildlife enthusiast.
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‘No proof oily fish has health benefits’
by Jeremy Laurance

For at least 20 years doctors have been urging their patients to eat more oily fish to benefit the heart. Adding two servings a week of mackerel, salmon and similar fish to the family shopping list was believed to help fend off cardiovascular disease.

Now a major new study suggests the advice was wrong. Scientists who reviewed no fewer than 89 studies of omega 3 fats, the key constituent of fish oils thought to protect against heart disease, found no clear evidence that they are of any use at all.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia and eight other institutions say that when the results were pooled they showed no strong evidence that omega 3 fats had an effect on overall deaths, heart disease, stroke or cancer.

The finding, if confirmed, will place fish oils at the top of the list of medical shibboleths that turned out to be myths. Among them are claims that fibre can prevent bowel cancer, vitamin C can halt colds, spinal manipulation can cure back pain, tranquillisers can cure anxiety and removing tonsils can prevent throat infections.

All have held sway, in some cases for decades, leading patients to treat themselves or seek treatment that turned out to be worthless.

Sales of fish oil capsules have soared on the back of the advice — for the millions who find oily fish unpalatable. Eggs high in omega 3 fats and margarine enriched with them have appeared on the market in recent years, in response to consumer demand.

The health value of these products is now in doubt. On Thursday the British Heart Foundation responded to the unexpected result by calling for more research. The Health Supplements Information Service, representing manufacturers of fish oil capsules, suggested omega 3 fats might affect different people differently. Only further studies could supply the answer, it said.

For their review of omega 3 research, the scientists from the University of East Anglia selected studies that involved a treatment group and a control group, and had investigated the effect of consuming extra omega 3 fats on health for at least six months. Differences in the quality of the studies were taken into account to minimise bias. In 48 of the trials, the omega 3 fats were taken in the form of dietary supplements such as capsules.

Until three years ago, cumulative evidence showed a benefit from omega 3 fats, but a major study called the DART-2 trial published in 2003 changed the overall picture. It included more than 3,000 men and showed a higher heart death rate in those taking fish oil capsules.

Many consumers take fish oil capsules, which are enriched with vitamins A, D and E, for their joints, skin and hair, but the study did not examine their effect on these.

The potential of omega 3 fats taken as supplements for preventing memory loss and dementia in elderly people is currently being tested, with results due in 2008.

In addition to oily fish, which contain long chain omega 3 fats, shorter chain omega 3 fats found in some plant oils are also thought to be good for health. But the review found no effect of either kind.

The findings, by researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of East Anglia, are published in the online edition of the British Medical Journal today.

The authors say the findings do not rule out the possibility that omega 3 fats have an important effect. — The Independent
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From the pages of

JANUARY 26, 1935

THE KING OF NEPAL

His Highness the Maharaja Judhha Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal, the world’s only independent Hindu Kingdom, is on a visit to Delhi.

His Highness has great love and sympathy for his subjects, which was so very well expressed in the munificence he extended to his earthquake-stricken subjects last year. His Highness, along with Commander-in-Chief, the Generals and the Raj Guru and other high officials personally visited the devastated areas, enquired into the conditions of the people and made suitable arrangements for all. A relief fund was at once started with a capital of Rs 50 lakh to be lent free of interest for four years. The services of over 9, 000 soldiers were also placed at the disposal of the Earthquake Society. The credit for the fact that Nepal finished reconstruction within one year, without external help, goes to His Highness’s indefatigable energy, great generosity and patriotism.
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He is also the King(al-Malik), the Holy (at-Quddus) who is without a fault or deficiency. His kingdom is not like earthly kingdoms, which may pass into other hands or cease to exist of themselves. The subjects may all emigrate to another country and thus leave a ruler without anything to rule over. Such is not, however, the kingdom of God. He has the power to destroy the whole creation and bring new creatures into existence into existence.

— Islam

It is lust born of passion that becomes anger when unfulfilled. Lust is insatiable and is great devil. The senses, the mind, and the intellect are said to be the abode of lust; with these is deludes a person by veiling self-knowledge. By controlling the senses first control this devil of material desire that destroys self-knowledge and self-realisation.

— Bhagvad Gita
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