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Sunday, April 4, 1999
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Two children burnt alive in fire
PANCHKULA, April 3 — Two children of a vendor were burnt alive in a fire which broke out in a servant quarter located in the backyard of a Sector 4 house here this morning.


‘India must play leading role in world affairs’
CHANDIGARH, April 3 — India, the largest democracy in the world, has an important role to play in the new ‘just international economic order’ and to show how the third World countries should face the challenges of globalisation , says Mr Abdelhamid S. Bereksi, Ambassador of Algeria to India.

400 jhuggis demolished
PANCHKULA, April 3 — In a major drive against encroachment at least 400 jhuggis were demolished by enforcement staff of the Haryana Urban Development Authority in Sector 14 here this morning.

line Chandigarh map

Views on Sikhism

Ageing worries both sexes: scientist
CHANDIGARH, April 3 — “It is a myth that only women are obsessed with anti-ageing. You can sell anything to a man to maintain his ‘mardangi’ or to cure his baldness”. This was stated by a Denmark -based Indian scientist, Dr Suresh Rattan, who is recognised internationally for his work on the biology of ageing.

50 years on indian independence 50 years on indian independence 50 years on indian independence
50 years on indian independence


Mayor listens to problems of residents
CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, held an open darbar at Dadu Majra colony today to listen to grievances of the people.

Fire at power sub-station
SAS NAGAR, April 3 — A fire broke out at a power sub-station in the Industrial Area here today, affecting electricity supply to this town and parts of Chandigarh.

No salary for 3 months
DERA BASSI, April 3 — The secretaries of various Block Samitis of Punjab have been working without salaries for the past three months. More than 75 secretaries have not got their salaries since January.

Seminar on renal diseases
CHANDIGARH, April 3 — General awareness and patient education were of paramount importance in the prevention and management of renal diseases which contributed to the morbidity in the adult population, said Lieut Gen H B Kala, General Officer Commanding- in- Chief, Western Command, while inaugurating a seminar on awareness about renal diseases in the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, today.
Exhibits in charcoal
Crime file
4 persons injured in mishaps
Campus beat
Senate resolution on acting Principal

Market not developed for 8 years
CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The shopkeepers of the Sector 46 market are an agitated lot due to the inaction of the authorities in solving some of their long-standing problems.




Two children burnt alive in fire
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 3 — Two children of a vendor were burnt alive in a fire which broke out in a servant quarter located in the backyard of a Sector 4 house here this morning.

The charred bodies of the children were retrieved after more than half an hour when the flames were doused by a fire tender from a local fire station.

Anu Gupta (3) and Anuj Gupta (1), who were sister and brother were reportedly sleeping in the room when the fire caught them unawares. The kids had been left at the place by their mother, Maya Gupta, who works as a maid servant in the landlord’s house.

The victims lived with their elder brother, Rajinder (9) and their parents in the one-room accommodation in the one-kanal house. While Rajinder had gone to school, his father, Snatam Gupta, who runs a rehri in Sector 20 here, left for his work in the morning. The mother of the children went to the landlord’s house for daily chores, leaving behind them.

The blaze was first sighted by the sarpanch of Haripur, who immediately informed the occupants of the house about it at around 9 am. By the time the fire tender was called, the fire had engulfed the entir room. A cot made of nylon on which the children were sleeping was apparently the first item in the room to catch fire.

It was a heart-rending scene at the house where the wailing parents were being consoled by their landlord, Mr Rakesh and his wife Abha. When the bodies of the children were being moved to hospital, all those present could not control their tears.

Officials of the fire station said the suspected cause of fire was a short-circuit as a temporary power connection had been taken from the main house. An empty kerosene stove and a television set were also among the items burnt.

The access to the room was through a garage in the house and it was surrounded on all sides by a boundary wall. As per the SHO of the Sector 5 police station, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, who also reached the scene, the bodies of the children were handed over to their parents for last rites in the afternoon. Inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Cr. P.C have been initiated in the case.Top


Emotional farewell to Pak fans
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — An emotional and tearful farewell was given to 1000-odd Pakistani cricket fans at Chandigarh railway station here this morning. The departure of the special train, which had brought the visitors here on the night of March 30, was delayed by more than two hours.

The visitors had come here to watch the one-day international match between traditional rivals India and Pakistan at the PCA Stadium at SAS Nagar on April 1. A large number of city residents had also gathered at the station to personally see off “the new friends they had made from across the border during the past few days.”

“It has been a memorable trip. I enjoyed every bit of it,” said Mr Moin-ud-Deen Hameed, Chief Sports Photographer of The News. “Though I have been to India many times, my wife accompanied me for the first time. She is very happy because she could do lot of shopping in Chandigarh.

“Also this is the first time that we were invited to specially organised functions and festivities which made us feel so special. I thank everyone, including the two Prime Ministers, for making this dream trip come true,” he said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by others, including some of the journalists. They were also excited to get copies of Chandigarh Tribune which carried special stories on them and their colleagues.

Also present at the railway station were the local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain; the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, besides others. Both the visitors and their hosts raised slogans in favour of Indo-Pak friendship and the Prime Ministers of the two countries.

In a statement issued here this afternoon, Mr Satya Pal Jain said that the visit of Pakistani cricket fans had clearly indicated that the attempts made by the Prime Ministers of the two countries to improve bilateral relations by the Lahore bus yatra had yielded positive results.

“Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee is now a popular leader not only in India but in Pakistan also,” Mr Jain said.

Mr Jain, who spent about two hours at the station with the visitors, said that almost all the visitors were appreciative of the efforts made by the Indian Prime Minister for improving relations between the two neighbours.

“They were looking forward for cordial relations. Their interest in shopping clearly indicates that Indian goods are quite popular across the border. They were also praising the Indian crowds at the PCA stadium. They were also impressed by the sportsman spirit displayed by the crowd in spite of the fact that India lost the game. The people of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar, Panchkula and surrounding areas deserve all credit for showing respect and regards to their Pakistani counterparts.

“Chandigarh has also played its role in normalising relations between the two countries,” Mr Jain said. He also appreciated the efforts made by the Administration in looking after the guests from Pakistan well during their stay here.Top


Migratory birds given send-off
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The members of Children’s Alliance for Protection of the Environment (CAPE) and children from different schools of Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar gave a warm send-off to the migratory birds at Sukhna Lake here today.

About 85 saplings of neem, jacaranda, tun, mulberry, marorphalli and silver oak were planted along the Radha temple on the lake-Saketri road.

The CAPE has urged the Chandigarh Administration to provide telescopes for bird watching and scanning the Kasauli hills. The president of the Environment Society, Mr S.K. Sharma, appealed to the residents of surrounding villages to plant fruit-bearing trees and carry out soil conservation measures.Top


Projecting Sikhism in right light
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — “The Sikh religion needs to be projected in the right light. My seven years of research into the Khalsa history has shown me that there is a lot of contradiction in the interpretation of Sikh history. I have tried to make a very acceptable film on Khalsa,” said actor Mangal Dhillon, while talking about his Punjabi documentary film, ‘Khalsa’, at a press conference today at a hotel in Sector 11.

The film will be released on Baisakhi, to coincide with the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa panth. It covers a brief history of the Sikhs from the first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev, to the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. With the emphasis on Guru Gobind Singh, ‘The Khalsa’ intends to “revive the glorious past of the Sikhs”.

Mangal Dhillon had earlier complained that Sikhs had let him down. He revealed today that the Punjab Government had given him Rs 30 lakh for the film, “which was only 25 per cent of its cost. “I had thought that the Sikh community would come forward to help me, which did not happen,” he said.

Describing it as a difficult film, Dhillon said, “After producing, directing and writing the film, which has been an emotional project for me, I think I can handle any project. The way Sikhs are, one has to be very careful while filming them. Making this film has been like walking on the razor’s edge.”

“A Sikh who ‘is’ a Khalsa is trusted more than a Sikh like me, who does not keep long hair. But I think that it is not necessary to look like a Khalsa. One should rather be a Khalsa,” the theatre-television-film actor added.

“I feel I was chosen by the Gurus for this project for which I have put in years of research. I have done an honest work from my side. And as far as historians are concerned, I have collected some material as proof of historians either condemning our religion or playing around with our history,” he said.

He said, “I had always felt that being a Sikh I needed to repay a debt. I think I have done that by making this film. All Sikhs, I think, have a strange kind of dignity, and when it comes to their religion, they have a great deal of respect and reverence.”

His acting projects had taken a backseat since November, 1998, when he started filming ‘Khalsa’. His forthcoming serials include ‘Akbar and Noorjahan’, in which he is playing the lead role, ‘Belagaam’ and his own production ‘Sikh to Singhs’, a historical film on Sikh history. He is also making a television serial on the world of spirits, titled ‘Beyond Logic’, in which he claims to have interviewed “actual ghosts.”

“Acting is the easiest way of earning money and fame and I will always go back to it,” Dhillon laughed.

Meanwhile, today morning the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, released the audio cassette of the film, which contains nine ‘shabads’, set to tune by Arvinder and Surinder and sung by Sonu Nigam, Sukhvinder Singh, Ram Shankar and Arvinder Singh.Top


Seminar on Sikh religion
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — A two-day seminar organised by the Institute of Sikh Studies (ISS) got underway at the Gurdwara Kanthala Sahib, near The Tribune roundabout, here today.

Dr Kirpal Singh, president of the ISS, delivered the keynote address and invited opinion on the doctrine of the Guru Panth, Takht Sahib, Jathedars of the takhts, their relationship with the SGPC and the Panj Piaras.

Mr Gur Rattan Pal Singh, commented that Akal Takht was superior to the other takths. Mr Gurbax Singh Shergill, said the takhts should attend to the needs of the Sikhs and matters concerning the entire panth should be referred to Akal Takht. There should also be no voting on matters pertaining to Sikhism.

Mr Kulwinder Singh from Amritsar said the Jathedar is the “mukh sewak” of the takht and with the SGPC coming into being, the importance of the takht had decreased. Dr Balkar Singh from Punjabi University stressed the need for identity of the panth. The takhts should be beyond the interference of the SGPC.

Dr Kehar Singh of the Panjab University said everybody was aligned and no one could give an unbiased opinion and it would be better if both sides were heard before forming an opinion in the present crises.

Dr Gurbax Singh from the USA, while quoting Sant Attar Singh said one could only serve the panth if one was dedicated to the Guru Maryada should be allowed to be amended according to local culture as the Sikhs were living all over the world. But such changes should be within the parameters of the Gurbani.

Brig Hardit Singh expressed apprehension that the SGPC, being under parliament, was subject to political interference. Therefore, it could not act independently.

Dr Kuldeep Singh, Mr Chamkaur Singh and Mr Kartar Singh also expressed their opinions on various topics. Top


Emphasis laid on martyrdom concept
by P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — On the second day of the seminar on the "Relevance of the Khalsa value system in the 21st century", scholars presented their papers on "Sikh ideology, its evolution and role of the Sikh institutions".

The seminar was inaugurated on Friday and concludes tomorrow, it was purported to be an "international" affair but now it seems it is confined to the "region" alone with professors from various universities putting forth their academic works. The venue is the ICSSR complex on the Panjab University complex.

His programme is part of the tercentenary celebrations organised by the Anandpur Sahib Foundation. Only a handful of people attended the day-long seminar today.

The topics chosen by the presenters varied from the "legacy of martyrdom", which was also the key-note address given by Dr J.P.S. Uberoi from Delhi School of Economics; the "spirit of the sword" by Dr Muthu Mohan from the Department of Guru Nanak Studies Madurai Kamraj University; the "Sikhs and Article 25 of the Constitution of India" by Dr Kashmir Singh from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, to the "Sikh ideology and the role of the institutions" by Dr Balwant Singh Dhillon from GND varsity, Amritsar and Dr Jodh Singh. professor of Sikhism, Punjabi University, Patiala, who spoke on the main theme. Dr Kharak Singh presented the theme paper on the "Sikh ideology and its evolution". The morning session was chaired by a former GND varsity Vice-Chancellor and historian, Dr J.S. Grewal, and the evening session by Justice R.S. Narula.

Dr Uberoi made a comparative study of the concept of "martyrdom" by referring to Jewish, Christianity, Islamic and Sikh religions and faiths drawing parallels, commonalities and similarities. He laid special emphasis on martyrdom concept, philosophy and ideology in Sikhism, which he said, had unique features. The long and short of history, theology and sociology of the concept of martyrdom is "self-sacrifice of the real and the true martyr mysteriously results in the resurrection of the congregation and the cause of truth".

He quoted extensively from Gandhiji's views on Nankana Sahib episode and went on to say that the first "modern" martyr of India was Guru Arjan (1606), the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, who in his mature years steadily and calmly provoked the arrogance of man and his state to reform itself or to kill him, thus establishig an unending line of men and women martyrs for the faith, who are twice daily recalled by all Sikhs in the congregational liturgy (prayer), morning and evening.

The other sacrifices he mentioned were of Guru Tegh Bahadur (1675), who was executed for trying to "protect the custom of wearing denominational marks by the pundits of Kashmir as a right of conscience and freedom of worship as a universal human right" and the sacrifice of Guru Gobind Singh, whose two teenaged sons were executed at Sirhind for refusing to change their religion; this was in 1705.

The Khalsa Panth ws thus created as a "society for salvation or self-realisation through baptism of the spirit and sword of genosis and conferred on it the freedom as well as the responsibility of both spiritual and temporal self-rule and self-reform at Anandpur Sahib in 1699". The purpose, in short a prayer to God, was threefold" "protector of the saints, friend of the poor and destroyer of the tyrants". Thus the final lesson of martyrdom is "it marks both the limit of power, especially the state power and the limitlessness of self-sacrifice conceived as salvation in society".

Dr Kharak Singh said the Sikh ideology was pronounced by Guru Nanak in his bani in the very first instance and is not the result of a gradual evolution over a period of time as a response to subsequent socio-political developments. The Khalsa too is a direct outcome of the ideology of the first Guru. Thus his philosophy will remain universal and eternal.

Guru Nanak deplored hatred between Hindus and Muslims because it violated the docrtine of "Ik onkar" — who is creator of the universe and father of all human-beings. He delved on the basic elements of Sikh ideology and mentioned about certain special features like Sikhism being a "life-affirming faith with a positive attitude towards the world". Neither pacifism nor pessimism have a place in Sikh thought.

On Khalsa values and the 21st century, he said World War I was because of clash of national interests among European colonial powers, the second due to the clash of ideologies between democratic and fascist forces, and was followed by prolonged cold war between the "free world" and "Communist regimentation".

His apprehension was that the Third world war would be nuclear becasue of clash of "civilisations". It is here that Sikhs have a role to bring broader understanding among civilisations to avert the Third world war. He did not elaborate.

Dr Balwant Singh Dhillon said the institutions that put the Sikh ideology into practice have not become obsolete, rather they are still relevant and can perform the role of mitigating the sufferings of mankind in the next century.

Dr Jodh Singh spoke on "Spirituality and temporality" which was conceived by Guru Hargobind and concretised by Guru Gobind Singh. The biggest gift of the Guru was the "value system" in respect of giving honour to women.

Dr Muthu Mohan talked of "thementis" of the sword. After referring to basic features of Indian society he talked of accumulative, hierarchy and dichotomy, which resulted in Khalsa's birth. It is the moment of negation that guarantees the Sikhs freedom and critical spirit".

The paper by Dr Kashmir Singh electrified the atmosphere. After defining Article 25 of the Constitution of India and explanation II of the same, he proposed that latter be deleted. Even if that happens the right of the state will remain to pass laws. He felt that constitutional amendment to delete only explanation II to Article 25 is necessary. Otherwise as such the Article does not harm the Sikhs or their interests in any way.

The floor participants who spoke on the issue were divided and their views were diametrically opposite to each other. While Dr G.S. Shergill wondered why bring up this topic at all at the seminar, others like Dr Karnail Singh, Mr Prabhsharan Deep Singh said because of the "humiliation" of the Sikhs over a period of time "Khalistan" was the only way out. At one stage, on behalf of the organisers, Mr Inderjit Singh Sandhu, tried to intervene and say that those expressing their views should stick to the theme rather than raising controversies. But he did not succeed.

Dr R.S. Narula, who was the chairperson, said there was freedom of speech and thought but relevance to the theme should be maintained. If some questions have been raised the best course is not to answer for that itself will lead to controversies.

Dr Joginder Dayal of the CPI said that the Sikhs still believed in casteism and even untouchability. He had his own views on Article 25 but said the freedom movement was "secular".

The theme of the topics for tomorrow's session is "Equality and Social Order" (morning), and "Sikh Diaspora: The Spirit of Enterprise" (afternoon). While Dr S.S. Johl will be the chairperson in the morning, the afternoon session will have Justice Mota Singh from the UK as the chairperson.

The papers will be presented by Dr J.S. Grewal, Dr Indu Banga, Dr Gurnam Kaur and Dr Gurbakash Singh from the USA. Also listed are Mr Harbhajan Singh Yogi and Mr Jagjit Singh.Top


‘India must play leading role in world affairs’
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — India, the largest democracy in the world, has an important role to play in the new ‘just international economic order’ and to show how the third World countries should face the challenges of globalisation , says Mr Abdelhamid S. Bereksi, Ambassador of Algeria to India.

The need of the hour is not only to revive the non-aligned movement and other such regional groupings but also to make them more forceful and dynamic, so that developing nations can express their concerns and more clearly and unitedly to face challenges.

The Third World countries have a right to question before they give their consent to globalisation. “We are not against it. But at the same time, we should not forget history. See what was said before colonisation began. Those supporting it talked about the education, prosperity and civilisation it would usher in. But the results were all before us. Those advocating globalisation are talking on similar lines. One has to be careful while dealing with the concept of globalisation,” Mr Bereksi said.

In an interview with the Chandigarh Tribune, the Algerian Ambassador said that he respected Indian democracy, which has an important role to play not only in international affairs but also in the struggle of the Third World for democratisation of the United Nations. “Even in the process of globalisation, you cannot accept marginalisation of two-thirds of world population”, he said.

Talking about the developments in the Indian subcontinent, Mr Bereksi said that Algeria welcomed the move for closer relations between India and Pakistan and expressed the hope that this process would continue. Only dialogue could solve all major problems and one should hope that India and Pakistan solve their mutual problems within the framework of the Shimla agreement.

Talking about the nuclear blasts conducted in May last year, Mr Bereksi said that the Indian decision had to be respected. “Indian democracy and cultural diversity has always impressed me the most,” he added. He had been the Ambassador to India since 1994. He had a brief stint as Algeria’s Ambassador to Pakistan in 1988-89 also.

Talking about Indo-Algerian relations, Mr Bereksi said that a joint business council between the two countries was likely to be launched soon. Soon thereafter an Indian delegation comprising experts from the oil and natural gas industry, including ONGC, Indian Oil and other companies, would visit Algeria. The relations between the two countries, he said, had been excellent and the trade had been growing.

Talking about Algeria, he said, after decades of turmoil, democracy was quickly settling in. A number of democratic institutions had come up and stabilised in the country. The most important political event in the country — election of the President — was scheduled for April 15 this year, with seven candidates in the fray.

Talking about the role of women in politics in Algeria, Mr Bereksi said that the women had always been on the forefront in the liberation struggle and they had equal rights. One of the candidates in the race for presidentship was a woman but she was eliminated in the preliminaries. But she was still in the Parliament of the country.

To facilitate voting by Algerians in India for the presidential election, the Ambassador said, a polling station would be set up in the Embassy in New Delhi. “Every Algerian has a right to vote and this right cannot be denied to those who are not in the country at the time of polling.”

This was Mr Bereksi’s, second visit to Chandigarh. “I first came here in 1995. After a gap of nearly four years, I am able to come here again,” he said. He pointed towards the increase in vehicles and people, in the city since his last visit.

“I find this city beautiful and attractive and do not agree with those who feel that the city lacks a ‘soul’. The ‘soul’ is how the people feel about their city,” he concluded.Top


Seminar on renal diseases
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — General awareness and patient education were of paramount importance in the prevention and management of renal diseases which contributed to the morbidity in the adult population, said Lieut Gen H B Kala, General Officer Commanding- in- Chief, Western Command, while inaugurating a seminar on awareness about renal diseases in the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, today.

“Our sedentary lifestyle and eating habits also contributed to the problem,” he said. Referring to the facilities available at the dialysis centre at the hospital, he hoped that the patients would take full benefits from the centre.

Dr H S Malhotra, Head of Department, Medicine, GMCH, Sector 32, while speaking on chronic renal failure ,said that revival was possible in case of sudden kidney failure due to poisoning, but when in course of time the kidney is damaged, specialist care was essential.

In the event of total failure of the kidney, regular dialysis with dietary discipline has to be followed to prolong the life of the patient, he added. The patient can lead a normal life provided he gets a healthy kidney, as a single kidney can sustain a normal lifestyle.

Dr M Mintz, transplant surgeon, PGI, who spoke on kidney transplant, with the help of slides explained the various aspects of renal diseases with special references to stable treatment through transplantation. In India, only 5, 000 kidney transplants were done every year as against the requirement of one lakh.

Referring to the reluctance of family members and relatives to allow the transplanting of organs from cadavers, he said a mentally dead person could donate 25 organs or in other words meet the needs of 25 human beings in desperate medical help. He appealed to the relatives of such patients to allow for transplantation.

He also said the shortage led to people fulfilling their needs from the thriving organs bazaar which did an estimated business of 10 million pounds annually worldwide. Such trade was despicable, he added.

Earlier, Major-Gen Virendra Singh, Commandant, Command Hospital, while welcoming the guests said more such programmes would be held to generate awareness.

As many as 40 patients suffering from renal diseases participated in a question answer session. Mrs Kusum Kala, president of the AWWA, distributed booklets and folders containing literature on renal diseases.Top


Ageing worries both sexes: scientist
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — “It is a myth that only women are obsessed with anti-ageing. You can sell anything to a man to maintain his ‘mardangi’ or to cure his baldness”. This was stated by a Denmark -based Indian scientist, Dr Suresh Rattan, who is recognised internationally for his work on the biology of ageing.

At present an Associate Professor at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, Dr Rattan is known for his discovery of a compound called Kinetin, in 1988, from which more than 20 cosmetic products are being made today and which has proved to be a very effective anti-wrinkle product.

Talking to TNS, Dr Rattan said, “It makes me very angry when people ask me about anti-ageing medicines, pills or devices when they come to know that I am doing research on ageing”.

“Being a scientist it becomes my duty to improve the quality of human life, since I believe that science is based on humanism. In fact, as a scientist I have always aimed for the ideal, and have always felt why elderly people should suffer”, added Dr Rattan.

“Every organism has a way to maintain and repair itself and this dynamic process is called ‘homo-dynamics’. Due to this process the child grows and matures. But there is nothing intrinsic about it that it has to happen. In fact, ageing does not start until the peak of reproductive age is reached”.

“Every human being has ‘vita-genes’, a word that I have coined, which are the genes of life. Out of the almost one lakh genes in a human cell, we reckon about 50 ‘vita-genes’ are very crucial for our maintenance and repair and these genes keep us alive”, he added.

While maintaining that there was something in every body that measured time, called “geronto-genes”, Dr Rattan said that the dominant viewpoint of the scientists around the world was that the ‘geronto-genes’ determine when we should die.

“But I feel that no gene can kill us and we as scientists need to look for a friend in our bodies. There is no angel of death, since life-genes rule out this possibility. Just like you cannot spread darkness and it emerges only out of absence of light, death is only an emergent property”, he said.

But Dr Suresh emphasised the fact that his research on ageing did not aim to increase the life-span but to improve the quality of life.

For those interested in living long and healthy lives he gave an ‘eight-point theory’. “The basic characteristics of people who live long and healthy lives is optimism, commitment to some activity in life, self-incentiveness, adaptability, self-love, a sense of humour and enjoyment of sensual pleasures without the feelings of guilt and solitude”.

Interestingly, Dr Rattan had been writing in Punjabi about ageing since 1985, primarily for the Punjabi Tribune. “I find we are trained very well in science in India and the level of information content is fantastic here. But when it comes to using science in our daily lives, it is in a mess. When I write in Punjabi, I want to use it as a tool to communicate scientific values”, he said.

Recently his Punjabi book for children, ‘Baba Kithey Gaya’, was translated into English, titled ‘Where’s Baba Gone’, which deals with the issues of ageing and death.

“If a book can be understood by children, it can be easily understood by adults also”, Dr Rattan said.Top


400 jhuggis demolished
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 3 — In a major drive against encroachment at least 400 jhuggis were demolished by enforcement staff of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Sector 14 here this morning. The jhuggi dwellers had captured three sites in the Sector.

The enforcement staff, escorted by a strong posse of the police, started the drive at around 7 am and continued till 10 am. The Estate Officer, DSP (city) and Executive Engineer of the area led the drive.

According to the officials, an area of over 10 acres which had been encroached by the slum-dwellers in Sector 14, was cleared. The area is earmarked for future development.

The drive was launched as part of the weekly demolition drive planned by HUDA to keep a check on the growing menace of jhuggis in the township. In today’s drive, a store of a private contractor was also demolished.

No resistance was offered by the jhuggi dwellers. Soon after the drive the jhuggi dwellers along with their belongings squatted along the road dividing sectors 12-A and 14. The officials said a constant vigil was being kept on them so that they did not encroach upon the land again.

A similar drive was carried out yesterday to remove quacks selling medicines along the Chandigarh — Kalka road.Top


Mayor listens to problems of residents
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, held an open darbar at Dadu Majra colony today to listen to grievances of the people.

He was accompanied by senior functionaries of the Engineering Department of the corporation.

Residents highlighted poor upkeep of roads, insanitation, inadequate street lights and poor garbage disposal, besides many other problems. The residents complained that despite repeated representations and complaints, nothing had been done to redress their grievances.

The Mayor assured them that their problems would be solved within a fixed time frame. He said similar open darbars would be organised in other parts of the city at regular intervals.Top


Fire at power sub-station
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, April 3 — A fire broke out at a power sub-station in the Industrial Area here today, affecting electricity supply to this town and parts of Chandigarh.

The fire at the 220 KV substation started when around 1.50 p.m. a current transformer (Ct) burst and oil spilled out. Grass below the Ct also caught fire.Top


No salary for 3 months
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, April 3 — The secretaries of various Block Samitis of Punjab have been working without salaries for the past three months. More than 75 secretaries have not got their salaries since January.

In a press note, the president of the Panchayat Secretaries Union, of the Dera Bassi block, Mr Jagir Singh, said that after repeated inquiries from officers, the employees had to return empty handed. He has urged the government to release the salaries soon.Top


Market not developed for 8 years
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The shopkeepers of the Sector 46 market are an agitated lot due to the inaction of the authorities in solving some of their long-standing problems.

The market, which came up about eight years ago, remains under-developed and all efforts to get the needful done have failed to have any effect. Numerous representations and a couple of visits by the present Mayor, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, have also been futile. The market forms part of the ward of Mr Gian Chand Gupta, the previous Mayor.

The problems listed by the Market Welfare Association, Sector 46, include lack of a proper approach to the booths and some of the constructed and under construction showrooms and booths, non- existent parking lot for the booths at the rear of the main market and lack of drinking water and sanitation. The partially dug sites of showrooms, which have been abandoned midway, are a cause of insanitary conditions in the market.

Mr Balwinder Singh, president of the association, said that they had written many letters to the authorities, both the Municipal Corporation and the Estate Office, but to no avail. Pointing out to the dug sites, which are filled with garbage, he said, such sites were an eyesore. “We have spent lakhs in constructing our shops and have also spent on making the surroundings aesthetic, but these craters stand out like a sore thumb.”

The condition is especially worse during the monsoon. The stagnant rain water not only stinks but also floods the basements of the shops. On many occasions “we have had to call for help to get stray animals which fell into the crater to safety.”

“The issue as to who would fillup the dug out sites is yet to be decided by the Estate Office and the municipal authorities. While the former claims that they are responsible for only auctioning the sites, the latter washes its hand off the matter saying it is the responsibility of the Estate Office to get such disputed sites filled up on their own or at the expense of the owners,” he alleged.

Mr Anil Katiyal and Mr Mahesh Chaubey, shopkeepers of the market, alleged that while a toilet was built at some distance from the market, the sanitary fittings were burgled even before the new block could be inaugurated. Despite reminders nothing had been done to set things right.

Others in the market, particularly those running their business from booths, complained that there was no water stand post for their convenience or that of the public. They had to store water in the morning from a tap in the rehri market across the road.

Similarly, the issue of constructing a proper approach road and a parking area has been hanging fire for the past one year. At present the area is covered with wild vegetation and is unlevelled making parking impossible. The problem is aggravated during the monsoon when the entire area becomes muddy.

Non-functional streetlights and lack of sanitation are the other problems voiced by them. They have urged the authorities to do the needful at the earliest. Top


Campus beat
Senate resolution on acting Principal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — A resolution for appointing the senior-most teacher as officiating principal in the absence of the regular principal in case of retirement, illness or resignation and another resolution laying down the working conditions of part-time teachers of affiliated colleges of Panjab University was passed by the Senate unanimously, at its meeting held on March 28.

The former resolution was moved by Prof Charanjit Chawla, a fellow of Panjab University. Prior to this meeting, the resolution had been accepted by the university Syndicate at its meeting held on March 17 after a committee, on the resolution, submitted its report.

The committee, comprising Mr DS Mangat, DPI Colleges, Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh, Dean College Development, Mr Charanjit Chawla, Mr Satish Sharma, Mr Joginder Singh, all fellows of Panjab University, and Mr SK Pandhi, Deputy Registrar (Colleges), accepted the resolution with the explanation that the provision was required because the absence of the principal had led to dislocation of normal functioning of colleges. Appointing the senior-most teacher as stop-gap arrangement would save the academic institutions from unnecessary litigation.

This resolution was moved in the wake of a nearly five-month long controversy between the DAV College Teachers Union of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers, Union and the managing committee of the DAV colleges over the appointment of Principal RC Jeewan from Kangra after the retirement of Principal KS Arya.

The spirit of the resolution was that due to a large number of controversies in affiliated colleges on account of change of Principal, delay in selection of a new principal and in the absence of specific rules and regulations on the issue, a specific provision was the only answer to resolve a dispute between the managing committee and the teachers.

Earlier, disputes had arisen over the appointment of senior-most teacher as acting Principal in Guru Nanak College, Moga, Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh, and DAV Samaj College, Ferozepore.

The officiating principal of a college must fulfil certain conditions which include a minimum three months of service left, fulfil norms laid down by Panjab University without any charges pending against him.

The other resolution, also adopted by the Senate, moved by Principal Joginder Singh, aims at providing at least 25 per cent of the basic pay of a regular teacher for six periods a week to a part-time teacher.

The resolution also suggested that the total number of part-timers in a college affiliated to Panjab University should not be more than 10 per cent of the total staff. At present, the total strength of part-timers in many colleges, especially women colleges of Ludhiana, is about 30 per cent, employed at a salary of Rs 3000-3500 per month for the full work load of a teacher which amounts to 24 periods a week.

The resolution also suggested that steps should be taken to fill the vacant teaching posts at the earliest by appointing full-time permanent teachers. However, the resolution moved by Principal Joginder Singh suggesting that election of teachers from affiliated colleges to Boards of Studies by faculties concerned be held by simple majority system did not get the nod of the Senate.Top


Crime file
4 persons injured in mishaps
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — Four persons were hurt in separate incidents in the city here today.

Mr Heera Lal, of S A S Nagar, and working as a cook with the PGI, was scalded after the rice he was boiling accidently fell on him. He was admitted to the hospital.

Mr Harminder Sachdeva, of Sector 30, was injured when some glass pierced his neck. He was reportedly under the influence of liquor. He was admitted to the PGI.

In separate incidents, Ms Anu Malhotra, a resident of Sector 18 and Mr Vijay Rana, of Panchkula were injured after their scooters skidded in the Sector 18 market and near the roundabout of Sectors 18, 19, 7 and 8 respectively. Both were admitted to the PGI.

Missing: Mr Ramesh Kumar Mantroo, in a complaint to the police has said that his 14-year-old son, Arvind alias Lucky, was missing from March 31. He said that Arvind went from home to get his Class VII result from the Government Model School, Mani Majra, and had not returned ever since.

He was wearing a checked shirt and blue coloured trousers. A case had been registered at the Mani Majra police station.Top


by Priti Verma
Exhibits in charcoal

CHANDIGARH: Birds, animal, shall we say, nature in general has always fascinated artists. Magnificent animals like lion, elephant, have been well treated as subjects for paintings.

Amit Sethi, a local artist too seems to be attracted by the huge and popular ride-giver to the kids, i.e. the elephant.

Amit has been taking guidance from Bama Academy of Arts, Panchkula, for the past six years.

He works only in charcoal and pen and ink. The current exhibition at Indus Ind Bank Art Gallery also has exhibits in charcoal only.

In his frames Amit has depicted various profiles of an elephant. What is missing is a frame which has the animal itself as a whole.

This is the second solo show by the artist. The first was in the previous year at Chandigarh Club. It will be open till April 15.Top


‘Expedite recovery of funds’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The Administrator of the All Bank Cooperative U.S.E.T. and C Society has been directed to expedite the recovery of amounts due to the society and submit a report regarding its financial status within six months, while disposing of five similar complaints.

The complainants have in their complaint, contended that they had deposited various amounts with the society for various periods on different rates of interest. But even after the deposits matured, the amounts due to them were not repaid. It was alleged that the office-bearers of the society had committed irregularities. The payment to the depositors was being made in a haphazard manner such as those persons whose FDRs matured later than the complainants were paid off earlier.

In reply, the society said there were 425 depositors who had submitted their claims for the refund of the matured amounts. As the funds with the society were short, the society prepared a seniority list of the claimants in accordance with directions earlier issued by the Consumer Forum in a similar case decided in 1995. The society was now satisfying the claim of the depositors strictly in accordance with that list and directions of the forum.

On behalf of the complainants, it was further submitted that the Administrator was not making necessary efforts to realise the assets of the society so as to collect funds for payment to the depositors.

After going through the records, the forum comprising its president, Mr R.P. Bajaj, and members Mr H.S Walia and Mrs Kamlesh Gupta, held that the funds at the disposal of the society were admittedly short, and therefore, it was necessary that sincere and earnest efforts should be made to collect the amounts due to the society from its debtors. They further observed that collection should not be difficult since the members were employees and the sources from where they drew their salaries were well-known. Top


Seating problem at Secretariat
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, April 3 — The local mini-Secretariat, which was inaugurated in April last year, lacks many facilities. There are more than 15 advocates and nearly 40 typists sitting in the premises of the Secretariat, but visitors have to face a lot of problems as the latter have to sit in the open as there is no seating arrangement.

Interestingly, the building has offices of Deputy Commissioner, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, besides offices of several other district officials. There are complaints of few chairs outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner. Visitors have to stand as benches at the Superintendent of Police office are occupied. Similar situation prevails outside other offices also.

Mr Rattan Chand, a visitor to the DC office, complained of non-availability of any canteen in the building. He said one has to face a lot of problems as there was no regular bus services to the Secretariat. The building also has no waiting room. There is also no proper arrangement for parking of vehicles.

Advocates complain of non-availability of a watchman at night. “As we do not have pucca structures, it is a matter of concern regarding safety of our goods during night”, said an advocate.Top


School holds function
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25, held its annual function which was presided over by Mr Jagdish Sagar, Adviser to the Administrator, here today.

More than 200 prizes were given away for various competitions in academics, extra-curricular activities, games and sports. The Principal, Mr C M Sharma, read out the annual report. The children presented a colourful cultural programme on the ocassion.

Speaking at the function, Mr Sagar exhorted students to work hard and contribute towards the development of the city and the country. Top


Scouts’ function concludes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The two-day Regional Cub-Bulbul Utsav organised by the Bharat Scouts and Guides, Punjab, for primary school children concluded here yesterday.

While Dr Sarwan Kumar, Director, Bharat Scouts and Guides, India, presided over the function, Mr L.M. Jain, National Commissioner, Bharat Scouts and Guides, was the chief guest at the valedictory function. The chief guest, in his address, appreciated the efforts of the Bharat Scouts and Guides in organising such educative programmes. He elaborated on the concepts of joy of learning and joyful learning. He also applauded the human resource development system of scouting which has changed personalities of millions of young people in India.

Young scouts and guides presented a colourful cultural programme including, Haryanavi dance, Rajasthani dance, Kashmiri dance and Bhangra on the occasion.

As part of the function, the participants were taken for sight-seeing and interactive outing to the Rose Garden, Museum, Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Mansa Devi temple and Chhat Bir Zoological park on April 1. They got an opportunity to meet Mr Nek Chand, creator of the Rock garden, who guided them to make use of waste material. He also answered queries of the children.Top


Musical evening at carnival
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — An evening of ghazals and songs was organised at the Plaza Carnival, here today. “Honthon se chhoolo tum”, “Milti hai zindagi mein mohabbat kabhi kabhi” and “Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho” were some of the songs that elicited tremendous applause from the audience.

The singers were D.R. Kochhar, Richa Sharma, Nishi and Neeru Sharma. The dancers were Meena Wadhera, Shweta Sood and Sangeeta Das.

The artists corner for sketching and painting activities attracted a large audience. The guest artists were Surjit Kaur and Sarabjit Singh. Top


SAD thanks Advani for inquiry
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has thanked Mr L.K. Advani, the Union Home Minister, for ordering an inquiry to fix responsibility for ordering the registration of a false case leading to the arrest of the elected representatives of the BJP-SAD combine in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

A Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs will conduct the inquiry, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, President of the local unit of SAD, said in a press statement today.

Mr Riar said that the fate of the common man could well be imagined by the treatment meted out to the councillors, who are elected representatives of the people. He urged the Union Home Minister to look into all aspects of the incident.

In a letter to the Home Minister, the president of the local unit of the BJP demanded a probe to ascertain the role of the local MP who, he alleged, played a partisan role in the whole episode to settle personal scores.Top


YPS ex-students’ meeting
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — The annual general body meeting of ex-students of Yadavindra Public School, Mohali, will be held at Chandigarh Club tomorrow evening.

The meeting coincides with the 20th founders day of the school.

The evening will be attended by the Principal, Vice-Principal and the alumni of the school.Top


Cycle rally flagged off
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 3 — A cycle rally organised as a part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the 144 Air Defence Regiment, also known as Skylancers, was flagged off on its next leg from Chandigarh to Ambala by Lt Col Gurcharan Singh here this morning. Col Singh, who raised the unit in 1949, is at present settled in the city.

The expedition aims to connect all locations served by the unit since its raising since 1949 at Nasirabad. The rally was flagged off from Nasirabad on March 13 and will terminate at Ambala on April 5 after covering a distance of 1,600 km in a period of 21 days.

The places touched by the expedition include Devli, Kota, Shivpuri, Jhansi, Gwalior, Delhi, Panipat, Patiala, Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

The expedition comprises one officer, two JCOs and 12 jawans and the aim of the rally is aimed at building espirit de corps, comraderie and to enlighten the participants on the rich regimental history.

The unit saw action during the Sino-Indian war in 1962 and the Indo-Pak conflicts in 1965 and 1971. The regiment has to its credit two Sena Medals and six Mention in despatches besides other decorations.Top

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