Wednesday, August 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gaiety, fervour mark Independence Day in city
Martyrs’ sacrifices recalled; people exhorted to 
protect hard-earned freedom

Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 —Traditional gaiety and fervour marked the Independence Day celebrations here today with a number of functions organised to mark the occasion. The main function was held at Government College, where Minister for Local Bodies Balramji Dass Tandon unfurled the Tricolour and took salute at a colourful and impressive march past which included contingents of the Punjab police, Home Guards, NCC boys and girls, NCC Air Wing, scouts, girls guides and the ex-servicemen.

The function was marked by presentation of a colourful cultural programme with the theme of freedom by the students of various educational institutions. The early morning showers caused some discomfort to the organisers. But the programme passed off smoothly amidst tight security arrangements.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Tandon exhorted the people to rededicate themselves with full commitment to safeguard the hard earned independence. He emphasised the need for strengthening the unity and mutual brotherhood among different sections of society. He cautioned the people against the designs of anti-national elements who at the behest of Pakistan were trying to create tension and differences among people in various parts of the country.

Paying rich tributes to the martyrs who laid down their life for the freedom of the country, Mr Tandon said it was only because of their sacrifices that the country could get rid off the foreign rule. He pointed out that although the entire country was involved in the freedom struggle, yet the contribution of the Punjabis was unmatched.

He said Punjabi martyrs, including Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh, Sukhdev, Madan Lal Dhingra and many more had enthused a new spirit of patriotism and revolution among the countrymen to make the struggle a mass movement. The important patriotic movements, including the Kuka lehar, Kisan Movement, Gaddar lehar, Kama Gata Maru, Jalianwala Bagh episode, Prajamandal and Gurdwara Liberation Morchas were all launched by Punjabis with the active participation of the people against the foreign rule.

He asserted that the Central and state governments were fully committed to completely wipe out the subversive and terrorist activities being carried out by the anti-national elements under a planned conspiracy hatched by the ISI of Pakistan to destabilise the country.

Referring to the achievements of the Punjab Government under the leadership of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Tandon said the state had been put on the fast development track. He said that during this period big industries amounting to more than Rs 45000 crores had been brought to the state and a large number of prestigious projects like the Thein Dam, international airport, Science City, rail links had been launched in the state.

Mr Tandon claimed that the government had also launched a comprehensive plan to provide all basic facilities, including sewerage water supply, roads, streetlights, parks and cleanliness in all cities of the state and with the proper management, the income from the octroi of municipal bodies had been enhanced by more than Rs 500 crore and now all the municipal councils were in a position to carry out development projects on their own. He said the government had also revamped the education system and made it job-oriented by introducing a large number of new vocations and computer training programs.

The Minister presented 10 sewing machines to the needy women and 10 tri-cycles to disabled persons on behalf of the District Red Cross Society. A colourful cultural programme was presented by the school children.

Mr. S. K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. Mr S. S. Arora, District and Session Judge, Mr P. S. Sandhu, DIG, Ludhiana range, Mr Kuldip Singh, SSP and Mr S. R. Kaler, ADC, were also present. Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Technical Education Minister, unfurled the National Flag at Khanna.

Addressing the function, Mr Garcha said “we must remember martyrs of freedom movement who while fighting, the mighty British power made big sacrifices to liberate the country”. He said the Punjabis had always remained in the forefront of the movement and had made tremendous sacrifices to take the freedom movement to its logical conclusion.

At Jagraon, Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM, at Samrala, Mr Sandeep Hans SDM, at Payal, Mr Amarjit Paul, SDM, and at Raikot Mr Inderpreet Singh Kahlon, SDM, unfurled the national flags and took salutes from the march past.

At a separate function held at PAU, Dr K. S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, unfurled the Tricolour and took salute .

The Punjab Police Academy at Phillaur celebrated the Independence Day with traditional fervour. Mr Chander Shekhar, IGP, unfurled the national flag. Addressing the staff and the trainees, he said independence being enjoyed by the people was achieved after supreme sacrifice.

The State Bank of India Overseas celebrated Independence Day with the inmates of blind school, Brail, Ludhiana. On this occasion the national flag was hoisted by Assistant General Manager S. S. Sharma and sweets were distributed to blind students. 


Schools celebrates I-Day
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 — The management, staff and students of several schools of the city assembled to celebrate Independence Day on their campuses today.

At Tagore Public School, Mr Apinderjeet Singh Grewal, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, hoisted the national flag. Students of the school presented highlights of the freedom struggle through a well-organised cultural show following which sweets were distributed among them. Others present on the occasion were Mr Amrit Lal Gupta, manager of the school, Mr D.J. Jain, school president, Mr Jinder Pal Gupta, school vice-president and Mr Surinder Kumar Gupta, president of the Ludhiana Aggarwal Cooperative Housing Board Society.

At New High Senior Secondary School, Mr Sunil Maria, president, school management committee, hoisted the national flag and let off multi-coloured balloons. School students presented folk and cultural heritage dances. In his address, Mr Maria told the students about the sacrifices made by the national heroes during the freedom struggle. Mr H.C. Gupta, Principal, laid stress on discipline and punctuality which, he said, were vital qualities for becoming a responsible citizen.

It was a joint celebrations at Spring Dale Public School, as Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan were celebrated together yesterday. A group song “Ai mere vatan ke logo” was sung by the students. Another song item ‘I love my India’ in which the children danced while holding coloured flags in their hands won everybody’s applause. A poem on Independence Day was recited by Amanjeet and another on Rakhi by Tanu Monga. Speeches were delivered by Ravneesh and Munish for which they got first and second prizes, respectively. The founder principal, Mrs Avinash Kaur Walia, urged the students to guard the freedom of the nation.

At GMT Public School, the national flag was unfurled by Mr S.S. Sandhu, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, yesterday. The march past was followed by a cultural programme in which the school students made speeches on Independence Day. Present on the occasion were Mr Darshan Arora, president, Citizen Council, Mr Gajan Singh Thind, director of the school, Mrs Hema Jaisal, school Principal and Mr R.S. Grewal, Principal, GGN Public School.

The Central Bank of India celebrated the 53rd Independence Day at its regional office in Ghumar Mandi.

Mr J.P. Srivastava, Regional Manager, hoisted the national flag. The function was attended by more than 100 employees of the bank, revealed Mr R. Bhalla, a branch manager. Remembering, the sacrifices made by the national heroes, he urged his colleagues to work hard.Back


Independence Day brings little cheer for them
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 — The first Independence Day of the new millennium has been an occasion for great celebrations for freedom fighters, politicians and the like but the common man on the street had not much to cheer about.

Amrik Singh, alias Gyani, is a man in his late thirties who runs a roadside tea shop in the Focal Point area. Educated up to XIth standard in Haryana, Gyani is very hard working as he employs no help for his small but taxing business.

When asked if he was going to have a holiday on August 15, he counter questioned, “What is special about August 15?”. Well, does he not know it is Independence Day? So What? It does not matter to him. He says ‘azadi’ has given him nothing. He has to work on the side of the road almost 15 hours a day to make a hand to mouth living for his family of five. All of his three children, two boys and a girl, go to school. Everyday he is confronted with a demand or another, be it for school fee, tuition fee or something else.

He is full or ire and scorn for the politicians who have, according to him, plunged the nation into a deep well over the past 50 years or so. The English were far better, he opines.

Patru is a young migrant rickshaw-puller and is a bachelor. “Phir kya hua?” he says. Independence means little to him. According to him, all talk of independence is the sole preserve of the babu log, the barra sahib and so on.

Qayoom is a young matriculate who earns a meagre living as a factory worker in Dhandari. He shares his small shanty in Jamalpur with two other factory hands. Though he had a holiday today, he had very little to celebrate about.

For him the day was like any other day or holiday. In fact he had not yet got the wages for the past month because the factory cashier took his own time to work out his wages. Under the circumstances, what meaning could Independence Day have for him.Back


Is freedom a myth ? 
From Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 — Today the nation celebrated its 54th Independence Day. While going in the morning, this correspondent saw that Independence Day was like just other day, not a special one. Everyone was busy in their chores — the only reminder of today being the Independence Day was the presence of posse of policemen at every corner. The threat of terrorists and bomb explosions have brought out the police in large numbers.

Was this kind of freedom had Tagore visualised when he said: Where mind is free and the head is held high.

We are not free. Scores of people have been shot dead by the law for no fault of theirs. Freedom is a myth. Who is really free — a business man? No. He is bound by so many laws of different departments; teachers, they have to dance to their students' tunes. The students say, "give us marks, allow us to cheat or your life is in peril". On the other hand, the students are helpless when teachers go on strike and their studies suffer.

Doctors. Are they free? They are bound to each other as they have to give cuts to other members of fraternity to make good money and are not at liberty to practice their profession ethically. The police is not free at times to do its duties as political interferences is there, the hands of judiciary are tied too. The only people enjoying freedom are Laloo Prasad and others like him. They are the masters of all they survey. They can turn their lawns into dairy farms and treat the state as their fiefdom. The public is not free to exercise its rights. John Rousseu had said, "Man is born free, but is bound in chains everywhere". It is very apt and true.

But who says we are not free ?. Are not the young children of 10-12 years free to drive big cars and scooters without caring for the consequences? Similarly the youngmen have the liberty to drive powerful cars and mow the people sleeping on the road.The police has the right to pick up people at any time for questioning, if those people disappear then the families are not entitled to know their whereabouts The politicians who are free to take away the lives of their drivers, to satisfy their lust, kidnap women, to satisfy their vengeance by transferring the people again and again.

Doctors are free to prescribe expensive, but useless medicines to the patients, operate on the wrong eye, remove a kidney without the patient's knowledge. The children, when grown up, are free to turn out their old parents and force them to live in penury, force them to stay in old age homes forgetting completely the debt of gratitude they owe to their parents. Movies are free to show uncalled for violence or obscenities and corrupt the minds of people. Idiot box is not behind. The free exposure of human flesh is distracting youngsters.

The financial companions are free to run 'scheme' to loot people of their savings by floating very alluring schemes and ruining them. Sometimes they are forced to take their own lives too.

Men from ages have the freedom to exploit the women, free to sell them as cattle. A woman can be sold for as low as Rs 5 where as a bottle goes for Rs 20. Freedom to start communal riots over trifles and kill any number of people in the name of religion. The list of freedom of actions in negative kind things is endless.

Who is going to change the attitude? Society! It is us. We have all to motivate ourselves and everyone connected with us. In this context this example is very apt. "An Income Tax Commissioner, on retirement, was asked to make a speech before the people. "All my life I have been very honest.

I never took any bribes. Now on my retirement, I do not have a grand house. The only money that I will get is my provident fund. Al the other Commissioners I know of, have made huge house, have a big bank balance. Now my son is going to be an Income Tax Officer. I do not know whether to tell him to be like me or like others. What set of values should I give him - of truth and integrity or of dishonesty?"

To this one erudite gentleman present there replied, "As a parent, it is your duty to give him right values. Your son is grown up now and he will come across another set of values. Now let him choose and decide for himself."

So it is the duty of every parents, every teacher to give right values to their offsprings and the things will definitely improve. Then only and then, when every one does his job honestly and conscientiously we will be truly free. Freedom is ours, provided we work towards this goal.Back


Doctors for abolition of octroi
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 — The Indian Medical Association has drawn the attention of the authorities towards the problems faced by doctors on account of some “wrong decisions” of the Municipal Corporation. It has alleged that the corporation was creating hurdles in the way of the doctors’ medical practice.

In an open letter to the Commissioner of the corporation, the association said the octroi on medical equipment was to high and it should be abolished. Dr Gursharan Singh, president, IMA, said abolishing the octroi would reduce the cost of treatment.

Giving details, the letter pointed out that many surgeons and anaesthetists visit the peripheral towns like Samrala, Doraha, Raikot and Mullanpur. They also carry equipment with them which costs lakhs of rupees. While re-entering the city, these doctors were harassed by the corporation staff. It alleged that at times the equipment had been forcibly taken by the corporation staff causing damage to the equipment. Many companies were unable to display their equipment in exhibitions and during demonstrations because of this. This prevented doctors from getting to know about the latest technology as the companies were required to pay octroi for bringing in the equipment which they had to taken away after a few hours only.

The letter added that the house tax charged on the buildings where nursing homes were located should be abolished as it would reduce the cost of treatment in the city where migrant labour constructed a major chunk of the population and was unable to pay even a nominal amount for their treatment. It also demanded that the corporation should take steps to dispose of medical waste properly so that spread of epidemics could be avoided.Back


Break politician-criminal nexus’
From Kuldip Bhatia

ISSRU (LUDHIANA), Aug 15 — It was fun and frolic all the way in this non-descript village with politics thrown in good measure as several politicians converged here today to pay homage to Karnail Singh, martyr of Goa, on the Independence Day.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, a former Punjab Chief Minister and senior Congress leader, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, and activists of the CPI, the CPM, the Bahujan Samaj Morcha and the Bahujan Samaj Party, were all here, but the people took a keener interest in folk singers who regaled the audience with their songs.

Mr Badal’s claim that the state had made enormous progress under the three-year rule of the SAD-BJP combine was countered by almost all other parties who flayed the government for “mis-governance, the deteriorating law and order situation, a dismal economic scenario and its anti-people policies”.

The Chief Minister and senior leaders of various political parties garlanded the statue of Shaheed Karnail Singh before holding political conferences.

Speaking at a thinly-attended meeting, Mr Badal claimed that it was for the first time in the history of Punjab that a number of big projects were allocated to the state by the Union Government. These projects, both in the public and private sector’s, would open new vistas of progress and prosperity in the state and provide employment opportunities to the youth, he said.

He blamed the spurt in violence and recent incidents of bomb blasts at some places in the state on Pakistan-trained terrorists. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan was making desperate attempts to disturb peace and create chaos in Punjab, but the government, he said, would thwart such attempts.

Flaying the Congress Mr Badal said the party had carried out an Army operation at the Golden Temple. It had instigated the massacre of Sikhs in 1984. “Now the same party is seeking the support of the people of the state, but there is disappointment in store for it.” He also blamed the Congress for prolonged discrimination against Punjab and for entering into agreements like GATT and the WTO which would “ruin the industry and the farm sector.”

The Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh and the Minister for Technical Education, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, were among those who addressed the meeting.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal lambasted the SAD-BJP government for increasing lawlessness and incidents of violence in the state. She said recent bomb blasts at a few places, including Ludhiana, were pointers to the complete failure of the law-enforcement machinery and the intelligence set up. She cautioned the government that if it failed to act now, the state might once again be in the grip of militancy. She lamented that the government had withdrawn several concessions granted to women by the Congress government. Freedom fighters and martyrs too were not being given due honour by the government, she said. Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP and former Punjab ministers — Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo and Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha — were also present on the occasion.

Former SGPC President and the SHSAD President, Mr Tohra, launched a frontal attack on the SAD, in particular on Mr Badal, charging him with breaking several of his poll promises. He said on coming to power, Mr Badal and his party had forgotten the fate of TADA detenus. He further alleged that police repression had assumed alarming proportions in the state and political opponents were being implicated in false cases at the instance of the ruling party.

Mr Tohra gave a call to the masses to come out of their slumber and break the politician-criminal nexus. Corruption, he said, had crossed all limits and the promise of the SAD-BJP combine to provide clean and transparent governance had proved to be a big joke.

The SAD(A) chief, Mr Mann, also made a scathing attack on the state government charging it with rampant corruption, politicisation of the police and betrayal of the people of Udham Singh Nagar. He said the SAD(B), led by Mr Badal, had made an abject surrender to the BJP and the RSS and had sacrificed the interests of the state and the Sikh community to remain in power.

The joint conference of the CPI and the CPM was addressed, among others, by the state secretary of the CPI, Mr Joginder Dayal, a national council member of the CPI, Mr Bharat Parkash and the state secretary of the CPM, Mr Gurbaksh Singh. The speakers assailed the policies of liberalisation and globalisation of the Central Government and the failure of the state government to check the rising prices of essential commodities.

The Bahaujan Samaj Morcha and the Bahujan Samaj Party had also organised separate political conferences on the occasion.


PSEB engineers flay Electricity Bill
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 — The PSEB Engineers Association has flayed the Electricity Bill, 2000, which the Union Government proposes to introduce in the current session of Parliament.

In a press note, Mr M.S. Bajwa, president of the association, has criticised the Bill and said that instead of being drafted by the Ministry concerned or a committee comprising technocrats and experts on power and economics, the draft has been prepared by an economic research institute.

While reiterating their earlier stand that there is no need for another legislation, the association said it was bound to be disastrous for the nation and have an adverse effect on agriculture, industry and domestic consumers. The association expressed its reservations on the Bill and lamented that the deteriorating condition of the electricity boards was a result of the state governments using these boards as tools for helping the economically weaker sections of society and create vote banks.

Mr Bajwa alleged that all state governments while forcing the state boards to adopt concessional tariff never bothered about the frequent violation of the Electricity Supply Act, 1948, and this was the reason that the boards were suffering losses. He said there was ample scope within the Electricity Supply Act to make these boards healthy once again.

Mr Bajwa said since the new Bill aimed at unburdening the Electricity Boards and dividing them into corporations for separate generation, transmission and distribution functions, there was apprehension that after these corporations were sold to private parties, the private sector would have a monopoly this would an ultimately lead to a manifold increase in the power tariff. Citing the recommendations of the World Bank consultants for a 652% hike in rates for the agriculture sector and 450% hike for domestic consumers, he said this proved his prognosis.

The association has appealed to the state government to pursuade the Union Government to not introduce the Bill as this was bound to prove counter-productive and adversely affect the economic development and the autonomy of the states in the power sector. 


Police still clueless on blast
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 — Three days after a powerful explosion that rocked the city and razed a large part of the District and Sessions Court to the ground, the police is still groping in the dark.

In spite of the fact that the police here has been carrying out massive search operations and nearly 500 persons from all over the state have been rounded up, no conclusive theory has emerged about the blast.

While initially the police was anticipating that the bomb blast could have been a handiwork of either a Kashmiri or a Khalistani militant organisation in the wake of the Independence Day celebrations, but since no one has so far taken any responsibility for the blast and the local police has now been forced to think on other lines.

In fact, immediately after the blast was reported the police swung into action and two police parties were sent to nab former Khalistan supporters and militants. Sukhchain Singh, a former militant owing allegiance to the Khalistan Commando Force (Panjwar) and now a resident of Jalandhar, was nabbed for questioning as the methodology used in the blast was similar to the one that he had been using during terrorism. However, he was reportedly let off by the police last evening after his involvement in the case was ruled out.

Other than this, the police had also raided the "hideouts" of supporters of the Khalistan movement. The hand of Kashmiri militant organisation, Hizbul Mujahideen, was also ruled out as the organisation is believed to be always taking responsibility for any acts of sabotage being performed by them.

It was later that the police began exploring the possibility of the bomb being planted in the court complex on behalf of a undertrial whose case had been put up in the court of either the District and Sessions Judge or any other judicial officer in order to scare them into taking a particular decision.

The police then shortlisted all cases that were being heard by the different Judges and all the judicial officers were asked to inform if they received any threats. However, the police then zeroed in on a murder case being heard by the District and Sessions Judge himself and that has been made date bound on the instructions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It is alleged that a Kashmiri militant who had links with one of the accused in the murder of a local councillor in Abdullapur Basti earlier this year, could be responsible for the blast.

The police is now working on the line that this militant, who had been recently released on bail and his whereabouts are not yet known, could have been involved in the blast.Back


Rain lashes city
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 — Never before in living memory had the month of Shravan been so dry.

Today's morning showers lasted for about an hour. So far the city was lashed by rains a couple of times apart from the one in the beginning of the month. That makes for five rains in the month at the most.

Interestingly, today's showers were caused by clouds brought in by a strong west wind in the early hours instead of the east wind which had been bringing the clouds earlier in the month.

The scanty rainfall has led many a weather watcher to wonder whether they were passing through Shravan or Ashadh. Some people attribute the erratic rainfall to the depleting forest cover in the Himalayas, while still few others to the increasing air pollution.

Whatever, they are still hopeful of the rain gods, who may cope for the Shravan lapse in the month of Bhadon beginning tomorrow.


Brats carry cellphones to classrooms

Ludhianvis are known for exhibiting their wealth in every possible manner at every given opportunities. The trait seems to have been passed on to the younger generation as well. While so far it used to be things like branded cars and jewellery which people flaunted with a flourish, the latest trend appears to be the cell phones.

Mobile phones are no longer a luxury nor their use is. But when teenaged school-going children carry such gadgets it certainly creates a different impression. A number of children, obviously from well-to-do families, are now frequently seen carrying a mobile even to their school. While in parties and other social gatherings this may not be out of place, its possession or use in a place like classroom is highly objectionable.

It can definitely give a complex not only to the fellow students but also to the teachers. How many of the school teachers can afford a mobile phone? Should the schools put up a notice board outside the classrooms that mobile phones are not allowed? Or should the parents step in and put their foot down?

Doorless toilets

The newly built Guru Nanak Dev Bhavan, a state-of-art auditorium located behind the mini secretariat, was the venue of staging of a play, Ghasiram Kotwal, on Saturday evening.

The imposing exteriors were impressive. As one walked into it one was happy with the good air-conditioning. One heaved a sigh of relief to find the huge auditorium with nice comfortable seats and good acoustics. The actors on the stage did not have to use any mikes showing that the sound system was good.

So far so good. While the show was going on suddenly a piece of plaster fell narrowly missing one actor. On looking carefully, one discovered that the stairs inside the auditorium were shoddily made. Almost all stairs had broken edges which were covered with the carpets and hence not visible. The carpets must have contained a lot of dust and sand which were quite visible to the naked eye.

During the interval, there was a long queue of ladies waiting to use toilets. To the dismay of ladies, they found the toilets sans doors. Only a reddish orange cloth curtain was hung. The toilet cabinets were too narrow and not at all comfortable.

When the bhavan has so much space, why were the toilets not given more attention? Crores of rupees must have been spent on its construction. Surely some lakhs could have been spent on making decent toilets too.

The upkeep of such a beautiful building is a must. The in charge of the building must ensure that the building and the furniture are kept in perfect order. The carpets should be cleaned thoroughly. These days big machines are available to clean the carpets.

Ludhiana is grateful for the gift of such a beautiful auditorium, but shoddy workmanship has taken away some of its charm.

Computer education

New software packages keep arriving in the market but not in most of the schools of the city. In such a case, students are taught but basically obsolete languages. Advanced programming courses are not being taught.

None of the schools is imparting knowledge of graphic designing or animation.

Some of the schools are equipped with good infrastructural facilities. They have sufficient number of computer systems (latest models with complete multimedia kit), Internet connection, scanner, printer and even books and magazines on computers. But their utility is very limited. Students have to take special permission and give complete explanation for using these common items. Course in Internet is not being taught in any of the schools.

Computer education is being treated very lightly. Two teachers take a class of 50 students for 90 minutes in a week. In some of the schools, it is an optional subject. One computer teacher of a school says that the main aim of imparting computer education is to make the kids friendly with computers and to develop interest in them. School students are imparted computer education for almost 10 years in the school but after they pass out this school training does not really help them to earn their living.

Most of the students rue that not much attention is being paid to improve computer education in their schools and thus not able to learn much out of it. Parents say that though they pay a huge sum to school authorities as annual fee for computer education but they have to send their kids to some computer institutes to provide them computer education. But a computer teacher of a school says that students go to these institutes to only get a certificate.

From traditional to pop

The Independence Day celebrations come only once in a year. While there is a general indifference among people towards such functions for various reasons, yet there are so many organisations which celebrate the day in their own way. These include political parties, trade and business organisations and several others.

As usual on this year's Independence Day, a number of functions were organised. In fact every nook and corner in the city witnessed a separate and exclusive function of flag hoisting. In order to attract as many people as possible, most of the organisations had adopted unique methods.

Special orchestras with good number of dancers were hired by these organisations to match the general indifference among public about such programmes and make "their" function more live and attractive.

Earlier, the Independence Day celebrations were marked by colourful cultural programmes with traditional themes. Now there appears to be a total shift from tradition to pop.

That probably explains why the organisers of a number of these programmes made the artistes dance to the scintillating music, no matter even if it was the Independence Day celebrations.


BUSINESS launched
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 — The team of Net Media Internet Services celebrated Independence Day by launching, a site which is totally dedicated to Ludhiana business. The site was formally launched today by Mr Amarjit Bhatia, Vice-President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal). has classified various Ludhiana businesses into various categories which include arts and entertainment, industries, travel, health, legal and financial consultants, sports, automobiles, media, computers and education. Each of these categories is further divided into sub-categories. Industries is classified into groups like cycle, steel and hosiery. Arts and entertainments is divided into groups like restaurants and cinemas, and the sports section into swimming pools, shooting ranges, gymnastics and snooker pools.

The sub-groups further give a complete list of the companies engaged in that business. Mentioned along with the company name is its address, telephone number and business details.

The paid entry is more detailed. It gives the e-mail address, name of the person to be contacted and a more detailed description about the business along with a colourful banner of the company.

Say Mr Balwinder Bassi and Mr Harish Raheja, two of the three partners of Net Media, “Though we have tried to collect all categories of business but several things may be missing. For this reason, we have added a feedback section in which we have invited suggestions and more inputs from the surfers. The site will be updated everyday, keeping pace with expanding business in the city.”

The site has a search engine on which a visitor to the site may simply type the requirements and click the search button to find out about a particular company. In addition, the site has a city map which will help the visitors to the city to quickly locate their destinations. The history of the city may also be read from the site. A city guide with phone numbers of clubs, hospitals and police stations has also been posted. “Railway timings will be added in the next two days,” said Mr Raheja. 


Rakhi celebrations on the Net
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Aug 15 — This year Priyanka who lives in Sydney sent Rakhi to her brother Nitin through All that she did was to select a Rakhi pattern, make the payment through an international credit card and type the postal address of her brother in Ludhiana. Nitin had not received Rakhi till yesterday, and today being a national holiday, he did not expect Priyanka’s Rakhi to reach him in time.

Geetika had mailed Rakhi to her brother Abhimanyu almost 15 days ago. To confirm that it had reached him, she chatted with him today on Yahoo and sent him musical greetings through 123

The Internet is assisting in strengthening the bonds of love between a brother and a sister, especially if one of them goes abroad. It was evident on Rakhi this year as several residents of the city went to the nearby cyber cafes to send greetings and mail to their siblings today.

Various sites on the Internet offer the options of designing greetings of one’s choice. Musical greetings have become common.

Mr Tejpreet Dhooria, owner of a cyber cafe, said more than 20 persons came to his cafe to send messages to their brothers or sisters abroad or at for off places in India. “They sent e-greetings, chatted and used e-mail. Compared to last year, the response was much better,” he added.

“But had it not been a national holiday, more persons would have visited my cyber cafe. Girls from nearby colleges and schools who generally visit my cafe when their classes are off could not come today,” Mr Dhooria said.

He said he had tied up with, an e-commerce site. The site receives orders for various items from persons abroad to be delivered to their friends or relatives in India. Several persons had sent orders for Rakhis, sweets, candies, cakes and other gifts to be delivered to their relatives here, he said.

But Dimple was a little sad as she could not send Rakhi to her brother staying in California through the Internet as e-commerce is not available on India as yet. But maybe by next Rakhi her dream will come true.

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