Friday, July 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kale kachhewale gang strikes again; 
4 of family hurt

Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 6 — In a third daring strike by members of the Kale kachhewale gang in just four days in Ludhiana district, three houses in a village of Raikot subdivision were looted and four persons of a family were injured.

The incident occurred at around 1 a.m., when five members of the gang scaled the walls of the house of Piara Singh in Bassian village. The house is located on the outskirts of the village. The assailants were carrying iron rods and beat up Basant Kaur, 80, his son, Piara Singh, 55, daughter-in-law, Mohinder Kaur, 53, grandson, Jagroop Singh, 25, and grand daughter-in-law, Shaminder Kaur, 23.

They then snatched the gold earrings worn by Mohinder Kaur and Shaminder Kaur and escaped. All injured persons – Piara Singh, Mohinder Kaur, Jagroop Singh and Shaminder Kaur have now been admitted to Satluj Hospital. A few neighbours heard the agonised cries of the victims and came to their help. Even the announcement of the attack was made from the village gurdwara, the criminal gang struck two other houses in the vicinity.

The gang then attacked at the house of Dhana Singh. While all male members of the house were not at home, only Amarjeet Kaur and Jasbir Kaur were at home. The robbers took away gold earrings and then went to the house of Baldev Singh. There they reportedly tried to inject a sedative to Baldev Singh and then escaped after taking the earrings of his wife, Inderjeet Kaur . Baldev Singh was also hit by the robbers with iron rods. It is learnt that the robbers ran away in the direction of nearby village, Lamma Kamaalpura.

It may also be noted that the gang had also conducted robbery on the house of Harpreet Singh Toor on the outskirts of Jagraon town in the wee hours of July 4.

Two members of the family-Gagandeep Kaur, 23, and Kuljeet Kaur, 80, had died on the spot, while Mr Toor, his wife, Mrs Kamaljit Kaur, his son, Jaideep Singh, and a 13-year-old domestic servant, Nikku, had sustained injuries. All these four persons are presently admitted to D.M.C. and are out of danger.

The gang, according to the survivors consisted of 12 members and had attacked the victims with iron rods and other sharp-edged weapons. The survivors said the assailants were wearing underpants and speaking to each other and abusing in Punjabi, so it could be a handiwork of a local criminal gang.

It is learnt that the entire family, except the aged mother,was sleeping in one room. It is believed that the old lady either died of injuries or of shock as her body carried very few injury marks.

The assailants had ransacked three rooms and reportedly decamped with only cash and jewellery. It was only around 4.30 a.m. that Mrs Kamaljit Kaur regained consciousness and telephone a few neighbours, who taken them to the hospital.

Four days ago, members of the gang struck two houses in the Jamalpur area in Ludhiana and had decamped with some cash.

Meanwhile, the SSP, Jagraon, Mr Jaskaran Singh, when contacted, informed that the police had rounded up several people in this regard.” The involvement of the Kale kachhewale gang in all these recent incidents is confirmed. We have put up 40 mobile police parties to carry out night patrolling in 297 villages and thikri pehras are being conducted,” the SSP said.


Fund scarcity likely to delay the project
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 6 — The shortage of funds is set to become the toughest hurdle in the path of the much awaited Chandigarh-Ludhiana Rail line and it can even take more than 15 years for its completion.

This in spite the fact that the first phase of acquiring land from Chandigarh to Morinda has been completed and land acquisition work in the second phase (from Morinda to Sahnewal) will be completed within the next four months. The rail track already exists from Sahnewal to Ludhiana and not much work is required there.

But from then onwards the work may proceed at a slow speed as the Railways is struggling for funds and rail tracks which are passenger train-oriented do not come on the priority list of the department.

"We are facing immense shortage of funds and resources due to which the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link work will progress slowly and may take 15 years or more to be completely realised " conceded Mr A.K.Saxena, Chief Operating Manager, Northern Railways, while talking to this correspondent after attending a meeting of the Divisional Railway Managers at the railway station here today. Mr Saxena said the work could be started on war-footing only if sufficient funds for material and other works were supplied to them. He said an estimated Rs 250-crore was required for the project and the present 'sensitive' condition of the Railways' finances did not allow the rail line to be taken on priority.

Explaining the problem Mr Saxena said all earnings of the Railways came from the freight trains and the revenue generated from it actually cross-subsidised the passenger trains. Due to this factor the Railways was now concentrating on the construction or upgradation of those routes which had better potential for freight trains.

Though Mr Saxena did not have figures ready with him, earlier reports in the Press had stated that the Railway Ministry had sanctioned only Rs 30 crore for the project in this financial year. Mr Saxena said such projects would  depend on the supply of grants as well as from other sources of revenue generation like auction of advertisement sites on the trains, railways stations and commercial use of the railway land.

The railway line is a prestigious project not only for the people of the state but also for the political parties, particularly the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). While the people of the state do not have any direct rail link with Chandigarh and have to come through Ambala, different political parties during their rule had been announcing their efforts forgetting the the construction work of the rail line started.

Due to terrorism and other 'political' reasons (including the allegation of constant neglect of the state by the Railways in the past) the project had already been delayed for several years. The delay already had resulted in escalation of the costs of the project which is expected to be go further up with the latest hurdle of the shortage of funds.

The project has immense imporatance for the ruling SAD-BJP combine who have been making statements about getting maximum benefits from the Centre Government headed by the BJP.



Ads: how they affect our mind
From Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, July 6 — Advertisements: Can you imagine life without them? This article would not have been possible and would not have seen the light of the day if advertisements were not being published in the newspapers. All the media TV, cable TV, magazines, journals, newspapers thrive on advertisements only. So in this case it is a boon.

Advertisements are a boon as they give consumer knowledge of different consumer goods ranging from a small little thing like Re 1 Babool to Rs 7-8 lakh Tata Safari or Qualis. They give the consumer a right to choose. If there were no advertisements how would the people know about job vacancies or tenders or all the new information of I-T that is flooding the market? So many marriages are not made in heaven but in the columns of newspaper.

Advertisements educate us about different products. Of course, they spend lakhs and crores of rupees to sell their products. Just imagine the billions of dollars spent on Pepsi and Coke wars. They want to be one up on the other sparing no cost. But is there such a great need to promote an artificial drink which has no food value.

According to Arjun, an MBA from Symboisis: “Advertisements are necessary for sale because they are like a spokesperson of a country instructing consumers about the features of the product. They help build the brand. The advertisements target the whole family like washing powder, TV or even a car. Though the payer in most of the cases would be the husband, yet the decision regarding the style, the colour brand etc. will be influenced by the wife and the kid”.

When asked if he was influenced by the advertisements, he said: “Certainly repeated showing of a brand unconsciously or consciously affects your thoughts and tempts one to try out a new product”. Mr. Maan, a chemist says that matrimonial advertisements are really making inroads into the marriage scene. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find spouses. Newspapers are really a must in this area.

Mr Bittu, a shopkeeper in Chaura Bazar, says that good and attractive advertisements mean the product is good, for, according to him, small companies cannot spend money on advertising. The unemployed look forward to newspaper and keenly go through the vacancy columns. Advertisements are becoming so alluring that the consumer is willy-nilly attracted towards them. Take the case of expensive items like refrigerators, washing machines. How they tempt the consumer by saying buy one and get a CD-player, or an oven or a toaster or some other expensive item free.

But are they really useful? Are they necessary? Yes, but do they have to be blatant? No. The latest advertisement of Matiz where they go for a test ride suggestively hints at a sexual relationship between the man and the woman at the first meeting. The advertisement on ‘Thums Up’ of Salman Khan and Sunil Shetty carries a warning.

The Indian obsession with fair colour has given rise to hordes of advertisements. Why should one be fair? Just look at the advertisements of “Fairever” and “Fair and Lovely”. Godrej’s new soap also promises to improve the complexion. ‘Himani Turmeric Cream’ also promises that the complexion will become fairer within six weeks. How many people have used these creams and found them to be effective?

A Rs. 2/- shampoo sachet can give you luxuriant hair. Is it possible? Hair have no life of their own. It is the general health of the people which determines the quality of hair. The advertisements mislead the people. The boosters like Horlicks and Boost use cricketers to improve their value. Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are paid hefty sums of crores to endorse these products. Do they check the authenticity of the products before advertising or are only interested in the money.

Advertisement industry with the coming of I-T technology is progressing by leaps and bounds. Computers are weaving magic and making the advertisements more alluring.

Every day younger and younger audience is being targetted. One mother complains that these Barbie dolls and He-man are making a big hole in their budget. Children are an easy target and hence, pester their parents to buy a certain product. The parents have no choice for they want to avoid their children’s tantrums. Hence ads are bane. Moreover, unlike foreign countries, beauty products except Shahnaz Hussain’s never mention the ingredients.

There is a code of conduct also for the advertisement but some of them are pathetic. The worst advertisement was of lux under garments which says yeh ander ki baat hai. The advertisement should not be explicit like of sanitary napkins. My little cousin after watching such an ad asked his mother why did she not keep those napkins on the dining table if they were so soft and absorbant.

Advertisements are necessary as they help us to have the latest knowledge of loans, building societies, different rates of interest offered by bank. The students too benefit a lot, as they know through them which examination is being conducted, which university is offering which courses, how to migrate to other countries etc. So far so good. But all the good work done by the advertisements is nullified by the crude and crass advertisements which have a negative impact on the viewers.

Advertisements are both a boon as well as bane.


‘Old city needs a facelift’

LUDHIANA is a city with two faces — the bright and the dark. While some parts of the town are neat and tidy, others are no better than slums. The well-kept parts include more than 50 posh colonies which house the palatial buildings. The Mall, the Rakh Garden, the Rose Garden and the Punjab Agricultural University campus are the beauty corners of this part of the mega-city.

The roads are wide and clean with ornamental trees on either side. All efforts of the local administration and the Municipal Corporation seem to have been directed towards the maintenance and beautification of this VIP zone, as most of the high-ups, politicians and bigwigs reside in these areas.

The old city and its adjoining areas have been, by and large, neglected. There are over two dozen slums in this part of the city. Though names of certain abadis like Brahampuri, Shivpuri, give an impression of swargpuris, yet they are narakpuris. A few hours rain is enough to convert Sunder Nagar into “samundar nagar”. Although called Sundar Nagar, there is nothing beautiful about it.

A team of activists of the Public Cause, headed by its Chairman, Mr K.K. Sharma, last month carried out a survey of certain localities in the old city and its adjoining areas bordering the Budha Nullah which becomes jawan during the monsoon and wreaks havoc. In every abadi, the heaps of garbage greeted the team. Members of the team talked to a number of residents of these abadis who hurled abuses on the municipal authorities for neglecting their localities. Roads and parks are in a bad shape.

The association will take up all these issues with the Municipal Corporation Commissioner. A detailed note is being sent to the Minister for Local Bodies, Punjab. The association is seriously concerned that the nullah running between the Islam Ganj and Field Ganj is a great nuisance to the residents of these localities. It needs to be covered.

During the monsoon, Saban Bazaar, Karimpura Bazaar, Field Ganj, Janakpuri and several parts of Miller Ganj and Dholewal Chowk are flooded. Water enters into houses and shops. Knee-deep water flows even in Chaura Bazaar, the main shopping centre of the city. It is all due to the poor drainage and faulty sewerage. Will the Municipal Administration wake up from its deep slumber and make efforts to give the old city a neat and clean look? asks Mr Sharma. Yash Pal Ghai


Tohra flays Centre on autonomy issue
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 6 — The SHSAD President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, today flayed the Union government led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee for rejecting the autonomy demand raised by the J and K government.

Addressing mediapersons here today, he said the sudden change in the stand of the NDA government was beyond comprehension. The government had earlier agreed to hold a debate in Parliament on the issue but it appeared to have given in to the pressure mounted by radical and communal groups within the ruling party.

Mr Tohra was of the view that the state autonomy, as visualised by the J and K Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, would have gone a long way, not only to improve the Centre -state relations but also to strengthen the hands of the National Conference government in the state, in its fight against the militants and subversive elements.

Mr Tohra challenged the ruling SAD(B) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal to make his stand clear on the autonomy issue, which the Akali Dal had always been espousing.

He charged the Punjab government for all-round failure. He asserted that all sections of society — trade and industry, farming community, employees, youth and dalits, were feeling frustrated and betrayed. The SAD(B)-BJP government, which had raised high hopes among the people, when it assumed power, had failed to deliver the goods. “Corruption had reached a new high, favouritism and nepotism had become a routine and government funds were being misused by senior functionaries of the government to further their political objectives,” he commented.

Mr Tohra said there was little chance of a mid-term poll in Punjab as misconceptions in the minds of SAD(B) and BJP leadership about their poll prospects were cleared in the nagar panchayat and municipal council elections held recently in the state. 


Railway inquiry goes hi-tech
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, JULY 6 — In order to end the problems faced by the public, especially railway commuters of the city, the local railway authorities have upgraded the railway enquiry from the present manual system to the hi-tech Inter-Active Voice Recording System ( IVRS ).

The upgradation is aimed at reducing all complaints of the public regarding continuous engaging of the railway phone as well as non-answering of the calls.It would also help the Railways in better management especially in the current staff shortage scenario.

According to the new system people wishing to know about the timings of the train or other enquiries like reservation will have to dial any of the six telephone lines installed at the railway enquiry.The numbers are from 470314 to 470319.After the enquiring person is connected to one of the lines, a recorded message is heard from the either side like the computerised telephone complaint system .

The answering machines specifies code numbers beginning from serial number one which categorises the type of enquiry one desires.After dialling the code, the person again specifies his enquiry which is immediately answered. The facility is in line with the status of the model station of the local railway station.

Sources in the Railways Department said it was a constant complaint from the public that the enquiry wing’s functioning was not upto the mark due to which the commuters faced lot of problems. Even the railway officials who were not associated with answering such queries were called up for detailing the timing of the trains or whether it is coming or not.Even senior railway officials were subject to such harassment by the public who in the absence of the efficient railway enquiry dialled any railway station number they found.

According to Mr J.S. Marwaha, Divisional Regional Manager, Ferozepore division of the Railways, under which the local railway station comes with this facility, this railway station has got another feather in its cap.He said the station was already declared a model station and efforts were on to maintain this status.He disclosed that the station is one of the few in the north region to get this facility.


Cop’s suspension recommended
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 6 — The recommendation for the suspension of a Sub-Inspector posted as a head clerk in the SSP’s Office has been made to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Ludhiana Range.

The erring police officer was found in an inebriated state while on duty on the evening of July 5 and had first bashed up a junior and then misbehaved with a Superintendent of Police, who had reportedly come to check up the earlier unsavoury incident.

According to the information available, SI S.S. Arora, head clerk, had a disagreement with his driver, constable Sukhdev Singh, over a trivial issue and had, allegedly abused and slapped the latter. The humiliated subordinate then went to the house of the Superintendent of Police ( Headquarters), Dr Utpal Joshi, and reported the incident to him.

Confirming the incident, Dr Joshi said,” The driver of the head clerk reported the matter to me around 4:00 p.m. and I immediately left for the Police Lines where the SI was roaming about. The man was so drunk that he failed to recognise me and instead misbehaved with me. I, then, informed the SHO of the police station division no. 5 and the man was taken to the Civil Hospital for examination. The medical examination showed him to be under the influence of alcohol.”

Dr Joshi, however , denied reports that the man had abused him.Back


City Mayor lauds Rotarians
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 6 — City Mayor Apinder Singh Grewal has lauded the commendable services done by the Rotary Club and exhorted the Rotarians to work for the upliftment of the weaker sections of society.

Speaking at the installation function of Rotary Club of Ludhiana North, the Mayor dwelt upon the developmental activities of the Municipal Corporation being undertaken to make the city a better place to live in.

The outgoing President of the club Rtn Gurjit Singh, said at this occasion that the club, chartered in 1972, had won the maximum awards, during the year, among the Rotary District 3070, comprising parts of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. These included the ‘Best President of the Year 1999-2000, Outstanding Club Award, ‘Pulse Polio Awareness Award and, Village Adoption and Rotary International President Citation Award.

During its eventful existence, the club had been honoured by the visits of various distinguished dignitaries like Noble Laureate and Bharat Ratna Mother Teresa and Padam Shri Bhagat Puran Singh of Pingalwara, Amritsar.

The new President of the club, Rtn Manmohan Singh Kalanauri, and his team were installed at the function.Back


Patar awarded Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Puruskar 
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, July 6 — Surjit Patar, an eminent Punjabi poet, has been awarded the coveted Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Puruskar for the year 2000. He received this award from the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan on June 30. This award is presented to four literary figures every year.

Even though Patar has several achievements to his credit, he is very down to earth. In June last year, Patar was invited to the World Poetry Festival at Columbia. He was the only poet to represent India.

Patar has four collections of poems to his credit titled ‘Hawa Wich Likhe Harf’, ‘Birkh Arz Kare’, ‘Hanere Wich Sulaghdi Varanmala’ and ‘Lafzaan Di Dargah’. For the third one he had won the Sahitya Academi Award in 1993.

Patar started writing poems while studying in school. At the age of 19, his first poem ‘Gayika’ was published in the Preetlari magazine.

Patar has penned poems on a wide range of themes though most of these are on the reality of life, historical events, nature and life experiences. Reminiscing about last year’s trip to Columbia, he said that as he was strolling on a street with his translator, a native child there on seeing a turban on his head asked the translator, “Eres un mago? (Is he a magician?)”. To this Patar replied, “Yes I am a magician but of words”. On his way back to India, he composed a poem on this experience. A small stanza from the poem goes like this:

“Mein drakhtan to saaz bana sakda

Te hava nu saaz nawaaz

Mein cheezan da jaadugar nahin

Mein shabdan da jaadugar han”

His book ‘Hanere Wich Sulaghdi Varanmala’ is a dialogue between ancestors who hold on to old values and new generations who demand a new ethics.

“Har vari apne hi athroo akhian wich nahi aunde

Kadi kadi sade pitar vi ronde ne sadian akhan thani”

(It is not always our tears which shimmer in our eyes.

Sometimes our ancestors too weep through our eyes.)

Patar has composed poetry on current affairs too. On the tense occasions, he once wrote:

“Maatam hinsa khauff bebasi te anyaan

Eh ne aj kal mere dariyawan de na”

(Mourning, violence, fear, helplessness, injustice

These are the names of my rivers)

The various forms of Patar’s poetry are free verse, prose, traditional poetry, ghazals and songs. His love for music prompted him to write poems in the forms of ghazals and songs. He believes that every poem is a lexical translation of the music created by our soul and body. He quotes the translated lines of classical poet Kabir:

All my veins are now chords

My body has turned into a musical instrument

A deep feeling of separation harps on the strings of this instrument.

Nobody but I and my God listen to its music

Even the theme of some of his poems is music and musical instruments.

“Saaz us da nahin hunda

Jo us nu mul lainda hai

Jo us chon khubsoorat tarzaan kade

Us da hunda hai”

(A Musical instrument does not belong to the one who buys it.

Instead it belongs to the one who plays it)

Patar has adapted more than six plays originally written in French, Spanish and German. Two of these adapted plays were staged at World Drama Festivals in the years 1996 and 97. ‘Kitchen Katha’, a play recently directed by Neelam Man Singh was recreated by Patar from an English novel.The script of the play was changed according to Indian culture and feelings.

Patar also compiled an anthology of last decade’s poetry ‘Sade Pind Dian Tarkalan’.

‘Suraj da Sirnawan’, a Punjabi serial on Jalandhar Doordarshan, was scripted and presented by Patar in which he focussed on 30 Punjabi poets from Sheikh Farid to Shiv Kumar Batalvi.

Last year his audio cassette ‘Birkh Jo saaz Hai’ was released in which Patar has recited his own ghazals.

As far as other poets are concerned, Sheikh Farid, Guru Nanak, Bulle Shah, Hashim and Mohammad Baksh are Patar’s favourites. According to Patar, a poet can write best when he is depressed. In this condition, he goes to the shrine of words from where he returns back with a new poem.

Meanwhile, Patar’s fans at PAU are preparing for a function to honour him on his latest feat. 


Three killed in mishap
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, July 6 — A retired militaryman, his wife and a daughter, were killed on the spot when a truck rammed into their scooter on the Sahnewal-Dehlon road, last evening.

Mukhtiar Singh (42), his wife, Jaswinder Kaur (40), daughter, Amandeep Kaur (13) and son, Ravinder Singh (10), were coming from their native village, Paddi, when their scooter was crushed by the truck near Dharaur village, here yesterday. The three breathed their last on the spot, while the son was injured and admitted to a nearby hospital.

Mukhtiar Singh, who retired from the Army last year, was now working as a security guard in Metro Tyres, Ludhiana. On the fateful evening, he was coming with his family to Sahnewal.

The whole Paddi village is in a state of shock and mourning. Government Middle School, where Amandeep was a seventh class student,was declared closed for the day.


Traffic disrupted on highway
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 6 — Traffic on the Jalandhar-Ludhiana highway was adversely affected after a truck loaded with apples and plums overturned near here late last night.

Two other vehicles, a Tata mini bus and a Tata Sumo were also damaged partially soon after, at the same place. The mishap occurred due to the negligence of the Drainage Department which was responsible for digging too wide a chasm for the laying of sewerage pipes. The heap of clay bisecting the Jalandhar-Ludhiana lane of the two-way highway, acted as a speed breaker resulting in sudden use of brakes. The pieces of pipes lying on the roadside further compounded the mess.

A cleaner accompanying the fruit-laden truck told that the driver could not see any sign warning the driver of any work in progress. The mishap occurred at around 11:30 pm, according to the cleaner.

While the truck and the Tata Sumo swerved to the right, the mini bus that swerved to the left could have fallen into the deep wide pit had the driver not applied the brakes well in time.

There was no sign of the officials concerned at the site even by the afternoon today to set things right. Sewerage pipes were still there and the heap of dust lying across the Jalandhar-Ludhiana lane resulting in a flying of dust all around the place.



City in grip of heat wave
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 6 — The city is beginning to hot up again after the relatively cool weather that followed the heavy downpour on Saturday last.

After the rain, it had been quite breezy and cloudy for three days. While it was the east wind during daytime that brought some clouds in its wake, the same were swept away by the moderate west wind that blew at night.

But last night there was no wind at all, either from the east or the west, making it quite hot and humid.

It was hotter than yesterday as the sun shone brilliantly throughout the day today, raising the maximum temperature by about three degrees.

Though the monsoons are in the offing, the Municipal Corporation has not woken up to the need of the hour. No such activity as cleaning of drains etc is visible anywhere in the old city areas.

Apparently, the city high ups are pre-occupied with inter-party rivalry than the welfare of the citizens. 


The greatest national sin

“I CONSIDER that the greatest national sin to be the neglect of the masses and that is one of the causes of our downfall. No amount of politics would be of any avail until the masses in India are once more well educated, well fed and well cared for ——. If we want to regenerate India, we must work for them.

“Our mission is help for the destitute, the poor and the illiterate peasantry and the labour classes and if every thing has been done for them, there is spare time then for the gentry.”

The above lines were spoken by Swami Vivekananda on the conditions of down trodden. His version of charity is today more relevant. During the period 1892 to 1900 the population of India (consisting of the present India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) was less than 30 crore and the estimated population living below poverty line was around 20 crore. Swamiji had never visualized that India would be divided into two countries i.e. India and Pakistan and further Pakistan would also be sliced into two i.e. Pakistan and Bangladesh. He had been greatly worried about the 20 crore people below poverty line.

Today after Independence, the conditions have only worsened. A population of more than 30 crore is living below the poverty line and with the increase in population this figure is increasing year by year rapidly. The segment of the population increasing most is composed of people who are not tax payers.

Every year, a country, the size of Australia is added to India. Every year, our government has to manage for them food, shelter, education, health facilities, clothing, water, light and other basic amenities. To provide such facilities, the Central Government imposes more taxes (direct & indirect) in the hope that the tax payers will pay taxes. But that is never the case. Tax collection vis-a-vis imposition is at the low in India. Sales tax in India is probably the highest in the world i.e. 10% to 13% on major items. Were the traders to pay tax honestly, our Central and state governments would much richer and would provide all the facilities required for our masses.

Due to the poor collection of revenue, the government is left with no other option but to approach the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and governments of various countries for help. These agencies are money banks who lend money on interest. As per recent budget estimates, the Government of India is paying more than one lakh crore of rupees as interest during 2000-2001. On the other hand, the allocation for annual plan expenditure for the year 2000-2001 is only Rs. 88,000 crore. The position is worsening year by year. This interest is only on the amount taken by the Government of India and does not include the interest being paid by various state governments on the loans directly taken by them from the World Bank.

The financial position of the country touched its lowest ebb during the Chander Shekhar government when our government mortgaged 46 ton of gold with Britain for the payment of the interest amount due to the various agencies operating in other countries.

Our trade and industry has not so far understood the gravity of the situation. Because of their non-cooperation, our country is in a serious debt trap. It is high time that all the traders and industries pay the tax to the government honestly. In Punjab, the sales tax collection during 1999-2000 was around Rs. 3000 crores against its previous year’s collection of Rs. 2000 crores. Ludhiana is the biggest trade centre after Delhi in Northern India and if only the trade and industry of Ludhiana pays tax honestly, the tax collection from Ludhiana alone would not be less than Rs 4000 crores annually.

The poorest of the poor of the country are the beggars. They could be the aged, the mentally retarded, the handicapped, the gamblers or drunkards, and the uneducated. An interesting aspect of Ludhiana’s beggars is that they never die of starvation. Whenever an unnatural death occurs among them, it may well be due to over-eating. The general problem in Ludhiana is that well-off traders and industrialists almost daily visit temples and other places where beggars sit and seek alms. They provide the beggars with two “paranthas” each for breakfast while often offering wholesome lunches. Lakhs of rupees are spent by these well-off people in the belief that they are helping the poor. This is not correct. There is a need to banish begging. Let us start with Ludhiana. — D.P. GROVERBack


Remembering Krishan Adeeb

Krishan Adeeb was not an enigma but an open book. Whenever he talked of his past, he was truthful to a fault. He left his home town Phillaur, where he was born on November 21, 1925, after doing his matriculation. After trudging a long path that passed through Delhi, Assam and Bombay, he settled in Ludhiana in 1965. He was a tramp that loved leading a carefree life. He could sleep on the pavement under the star-studded sky without entertaining in his mind any thought for tomorrow. At long last he lived his life 'not wisely but too well'.

He had a sharp mind and his memory was phenomenal. Just a hint would put him in his memory lane that seemed to be unending. He had an inexhaustible treasure of anecdotes and he could quote at the slightest provocation Urdu couplets with relish. He was a good talker in projecting his image of a poet whom his contemporaries and the coming generations would not easily forget.

He regarded death as the grand finale to the drama of life. He agreed with me fully when I told him that a true poet awaits death as a lover waits for his beloved. During the last five decades till his death on July 7, 1999, he had composed numerous delectable ghazals and impeccable poems in Urdu. In fact, he had lived poetry all through his life. He had rubbed his shoulders with poets like Sahir Ludhianvi, Shiv Kumar, Balraj Komal, Ajaib Chitarkar and a host of other renowned personalities like Balraj Sahni, Jagjit Singh and Har Krishan Lal.

A photographer by profession, he retired from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana in 1998, after availing of three years' extension. Perhaps he had learnt the art of photography to look intently at the beautiful faces of young damsels through the lens of his camera. In some of his ghazals, he has referred to beautiful faces as books to be read with delight.

Hum bhi parhte thhe roz-o-shab usko

Chehra uska kitaab jaisa thha

(We had also read, day and night, her face that was like a book)

The recurring motif in his ghazals is that of something opening up which had earlier been held together tightly. It may be the unfurling of the sails of the boat of life, when the sea places its forehead at the threshold of the evening. Else it can be the sudden revelation of the ethereal being of his beloved, when he is in the throes of separation.

In one such couplet, he has surpassed his own felicity of expression:

Khul jaata hai tanhaee mein malbus ki maanind

Who rashke - gule - tar jo kam - aamez buhat hai

(In loneliness my beloved opens up to me like the loosening of a tight garment. Otherwise, she, who is the envy of a newly-blossomed flower, is much-less inclined to be my confidant).

Ghazal indeed was his forte but he was in his true self as a person when he composed poems. Known to be a zealous follower of 'Bacchus and his pards', Krishan Adeeb was a broken man, longing for the warmth of the hearth. The chilly winds of the unsavoury experiences of bohemian existence had taken their toll. Yet, he wanted to drink the cup of life to the lees, not in a haphazard but dignified manner. In his poem Khusk Pattey (Dry Leaves), he says:

Hawa ek vehshi haseena ke maanind

Mehboob patton ki mayyat utthaye hue aaj

Biphri hui cheekhti phir rahi hai

(Today the wind, like a wild maenad, holds aloft the bier of dead leaves. She is indeed in a ravaging and devastating mood).

Krishan Adeeb considered his unfulfilled desires obdurate children who were intent upon drawing his attention to them. For long he had fed them on the manna dew of false promises or the nectar of dreamy nothingness. In the autumn of his life, his desires were hard put to be held in check. He lamented for the fate of his age old ambitions that were bound to be interned with his bones. In Ziddi Bachche (Obdurate Children), he says:

Chhut kar tujh se to main aaj bhi ji sakta hun

Wakt ke saath mere zakhm bhi sil jaayen ge

Kitne ma'sum hain yeh phul se nazuk bachche

Gham-zada dil ko liye khak mein mil jaayenge

(Today I can live in separation from you. Of course time will put its healing balm on my wounds. But my desires are innocent like children, more delicate than flower. They too will be interned in the dust with me while bleeding profusely). 


Merit list
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 6 — Hardeep Kaur, a student of class X at Guru Nanak khalsa Girls High School (Gujjarkhan), Model Town, Ludhiana, secured a position in the merit list by getting 585 marks.


Satluj Hospital row deepens
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 6 —The controversy surrounding Satluj Hospital today deepened further with the four directors of the hospital accusing its former Managing Director of criminal trespassing and violence in the hospital, and the latter also alleging that he was beaten up by the other doctors.

On one hand, Dr Ravinder Tah, Dr Sarvesh Mathur, Dr Shaddangi and Dr Grewal alleged that the former Managing Director of the Hospital, Dr B.S.Sekhon, entered the hospital premises and after dismantling the equipment in the operating theatre, locked it up. He then called the hospital cashier and asked him to sign a few blank papers. When cashier, Varinder Gupta allegedly refused to oblige, Dr Sekhon beat him up, fracturing his finger in the process.

It is also alleged that Dr Sekhon was accompanied by two-three other persons and one of them, Dr Rajesh Sharma, was brandishing a revolver. They are also alleged to have threatened the other doctors.

On the other hand, Dr Sekhon has alleged that he was still the Managing Director of the hospital and had gone there as usual. But he was stopped on his way inside the building and the other four directors along with a few of the hospital staff beat him up. He is presently admitted in the CMC.

When contacted, Superintendent of Police G.S. Sandhu said the DSP, Sarabha Nagar, Mr Harmanbir Singh, was looking into the matter.Back

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