Monday, September 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


FIRs or twisted facts?
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — Are the FIRs registered by the local police statements of fact? Are these manipulated by the police to suit the law or the accused?

The second statement seems to be true if the facts and the FIRs in some of the recent cases are any indication.

Gurdeep Singh, a local ginger trader and a resident of Thapar Nagar, is allegedly involved in the smuggling of fake foreign currency into India from Nepal through Siliguri. He had visited Gur Mandi to sell off fake US currency worth $ 5,000.

An influential licensed foreign-currency exchangers, who is a popular Hindu faction leader, reportedly, recognised the bills as fake. After threatening the accused that he would report the matter to the police, he took away all fake notes from him. He also took Rs 2,000 from him and issued him a receipt for donation towards a temple fund.

The police arrested the accused after receiving an information that he was carrying fake currency. Allegedly, the dollar bills were handed over to the police by the leader in two instalments, but after a lot of persistence. The police formally showed the arrest of the accused only after this.

However, according to the FIR, the CIA staff had laid an ambush near the Jalandhar bypass on September 10, after they had received an information about a person carrying fake currency. The police found a thick wad of fake US dollars in his possession. A case under Sections 489-B and 489-C of the IPC had been registered against the accused.

In another case, on September 13, a truck driver travelling on the Ferozepore Road lost control and hit a Maruti car on the other side of the road divider. A Deputy Superintendent of Police was travelling in that car. He got out and began abusing and hitting the truck driver. The driver of another car tried to save the truck driver, but chickened out when he realised that the attacker was a DSP.

The FIR registered in this case does not mention the name of the DSP. It has been registered on the statement of a person named Mohinder Singh Arora, who has alleged that the truck driver hit his car.

Virender Kumar, a resident of Bathinda, had visited a local lottery stockist to sell some lottery tickets a few days ago. The stockist realised that the tickets were fake and immediately informed the police, following which the accused was arrested.

Officials of the Kotwali police station were sent to Chandigarh to ascertain the facts. It was only when the team returned on September 15 that the police registered a case.

The FIR says that the police has registered a case under Sections 7 and 3 of the Government Lottery Act, 1998, against the accused. However, the complainant in the case is the Additional Controller (Finance) of the Punjab State Lotteries, Mr Karnail Singh, and not the stockist.

The District Attorney (Legal), Mr G.S. Nahar, against whom a case of attempt to murder was registered, was reportedly in Chandigarh on the day of the murder.

An official logbook and the documents produced by the accused prove that he was in Chandigarh to consult the Advocate General regarding four cases that were to come up for hearing in the High Court the next day. He has now, reportedly, taken up the matter with the Department of Home.

However, the FIR says that Mr Nahar and 20 others were booked by the police under Sections 307, 452, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr Gurbachan Singh of Talwara village. He had alleged that on September 3, all these accused had come to his house and Mr Nahar had shot at his father, Teja Singh.


Bogus voting in PU Senate poll
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — Polling for the Panjab University Senate elections for the 31 seats of the principals, lecturers and graduates constituencies passed off peacefully here today amidst reports of bogus voting in the for graduates constituency.

The scene outside most of the educational institutions was quite colourful here. Scores of supporters of the candidates contesting the Panjab University Senate elections had put up their stalls outside the polling booths. They had displayed their banners.

As per the instructions of the university, the voters were told to produce some kind of proof in the form of a driving licence, passport, ration card or any identity card duly attested by a gazetted officer. Some voters tried to misuse the last provision.

It is alleged that two girls carrying fake identity cards came for voting at polling booth No. 177 at Government Senior Model School, Punjab Agricultural University, where votes for the graduates constituency were being cast. The identity cards were attested by a principal of a local college but the photographs had not been attested. When the Presiding Officer of the university, Mr Rattan, asked them to get the photographs attested, the girls returned with attestation by a senior officer of Punjab Agricultural University who was also a relative of a contestant. Still feeling suspicious, Mr Rattan asked the girls about their qualification. While one girl replied that she was studying in BA (II), the other replied that she did her graduation last year.

It may be mentioned that a voter is eligible for the graduates constituency if he or she had passed out at least five years earlier. When the senior officer who had attested the identity cards was contacted, he said that the girls showed him their degree certificates. However, Mr Rattan said that the girls could not produce any such certificates before him.

In yet another case at the same booth, a middle-aged man carrying a fake identity card could not tell his father's name correct when Mr Rattan enquire from him. He was not allowed to vote.

These were just a few examples of bogus voters trying to poll for the Senate elections.

Several other cases of bogus voting were also reported from various booths. As already reported the voters' list included the names of dead persons and non-resident Indians, in addition to double entries.

Non-availability of voters’ cards also created problems for some retired people. A retired principal, who is 84 years, could not cast his vote at polling booth No. 173 at SD Government College. He could not produce any proof of his identity and was, therefore, not allowed to cast vote.

For the principals constituency polling was 100 per cent and for the lecturers constituency it was more than 60 per cent. The graduates constituency, however, registered the minimum voting being less than even 40 per cent. Since there were over 1.75 lakh voters, several voters could not be intimated by the university, resulting in less percentage in the polling.


Punjabi scholars honoured
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — “Our government is not encouraging Punjabi in Punjab by not laying enough stress on teaching of Punjabi in schools at elementary level, and further harming the interests of Punjabi by introducing English from class I. It is unfortunate that Punjabi culture is not being encouraged by the government. English should be introduced from class VI and taught till class X and it should be taught so well that the students learning English should be able to compete with the students studying in public schools,” said Mr Pritam Singh, chief guest, and ex-principal, Government College for Boys, while addressing the guests and postgraduate students of Punjabi at Government College for Boys, Ludhiana. The function was organised by the Punjabi Postgraduate Department. The department has at present 120 students in part I and part II in M.A.

While paying rich tributes to Dr Raghveera, he said. “This Sanskrit scholar switched over to Hindi and then to Punjabi and made Gurmukhi more scientific. He gave it a Punjabi script. After that writings in Punjabi have increased manifold. I implore the teachers not go on strikes for higher wages, but put in hard and sincere work.” He asked the Principal to get hold of all latest publications of Punjabi books for the college library.

Former principals, founder teachers, Heads of Departments and old students were honoured by the Principal, Dr S.S. Sooch on the occasion. The function was organised by Mrs Harvinder Kaur Grewal, Head of Punjabi Department of the college.

Former Principal Pritam Singh, Professor K.S. Abhilash, Prof M.S. Cheema, Prof K.S. Kasel, Dr Parminder Singh, Dr Joginder Singh, Mr Shamsher Singh (Punjabi Tribune, Chandigarh) Dr Sarabjit Singh, Dr Hazara Singh, Mr Kartar Singh Kalra and Mr G.S. Gill were presented ‘dushalas’ and a citation each.

Dr Hazara Singh, an old student of the college, and now Head of Publication Department (Punjabi University Patiala), said, “We have prominent writers like Gurdial Singh, who has written History of Punjabi Literature. Mr Talib has translated the entire Guru Granth Sahib into English, while Mr Harbans Singh has edited an encyclopaedia of Sikhism.”

Mr Gurbhajan Gill, an old student of the college, and now working as an Editor (Punjabi) in Communication Centre, Punjab Agricultural University, also spoke on the occasion.


Information warehouse at PAU
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 17— Punjab Agricultural University has developed an information warehouse, which will serve as ready reference for postgraduate students and teachers in different agricultural and allied fields. The research work done during the past 30 years has been compiled by Dr M. S. Bajwa, Director, Research, with the help of Dr V.K. Dilawari and Dr Jagrup Singh Sidhu.

This compilation of research work contains titles and abstracts of all the theses submitted in different departments of the university during the past three decades. This data base will be useful for the researchers, teachers, students and planners in locating and referring to different disciplines in the university.

According to Dr Bajwa, this has been done to check the repetitive research by supplying this information in a consolidated form so that students and teachers are fully aware of the postgraduate research work already done in the varsity. The other objective of the compilation was to document titles of all the theses submitted under different disciplines and specialisations so that future research could be planned, reoriented and prioritised.

He said that this information could be used as a reference material for planning future research work and to control imbalances in research efforts in different areas.

During the past 30 years, the total number of theses were 5,705 under different masters programmes and 1,571 under different Ph.D programmes.

It indicated that major contributions were by the College of Agriculture, followed by the College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, the College of Veterinary Sciences and College of Agricultural Engineering. It also revealed that female students contributed more than male students.

Dr Bajwa further said that a review of the theses and the data base so generated would help in planning, improving and strengthening future research efforts in PAU in particular, and other research institutes/SAUs in general.

He opined that this data base would also be useful in establishing a network for exchanging information which would be required under the newly emerging globalised conditions and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) regimes.

The research compilation also indicated an increase in the emphasis on research in areas of cropping and farming systems, biotechnology ,food science and post harvest technology, agro forestry, horticulture, argo meteorology,integrated pest management, integrated soil health management, improvements in farm machinery, protection technologies for bringing about genetic improvements in animals and providing health cover to livestock, conservation of natural resources, agricultural marketing, agri-business management and others.


India, Pak need to talk: Nayar
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — “Rulers of India and Pakistan should understand that peace is the need of the hour and dialogue is the only way to achieve this. However, a conducive atmosphere has to be created for a productive dialogue. For this, goodwill gestures by both sides, including a total ceasefire, were the prerequisites,” said Kuldip Nayar, a member of the Rajya Sabha and a former Indian High Commissioner to the UK. He was in the city on Saturday to attend a function organised by the Swami Vivekanand Study Circle to mark the 107th anniversary of the Chicago Address.

He told mediapersons that efforts were being made to persuade the governments of India and Pakistan to announce a six-month ceasefire on all fronts. He said, during his visit to Pakistan at the end of this month, he would try to meet General Parvez Musharraf in this regard. “A ceasefire will mean an end of hostilities on all fronts, including Kashmir. This will meet India’s precondition for talks between the two countries,” he said.

He said it was not a backdoor diplomacy or any such thing. He said he favoured contact between the people of the two nations. In both nations, there were a large number of persons who wanted peace. The candle-light meetings on the Wagah border that had to be suspended after the Kargil War, would be resumed next year. He said such activities were significant in an atmosphere of distrust.

Earlier, in his address at the function, He said Swami Vivekanand was a messiah of the poor. He said a large number of persons in the country did not have anything to eat and such a nation could not be the one of Vivekanand’s dreams.

The founder President of the circle, Mr J.B. Goel, the founder General Secretary, Mr Chander Shekhar Talwar, and the Secretary of the Ludhiana chapter of the body, Mr Vinay Sophet, also addressed the gathering.


Pirouetting feat by dancer
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — Imagine a girl carrying eight pitchers on her head, closing her eyes, bowing to pick up a handkerchief with her teeth and pitchers remaining positioned stable on her head, undisturbed.

Sharmishta Mukherjee was born with magic in her body, particularly her feet. The 19-year-old Bengal-born Kathak dancer has already created waves, not by her dance alone, but also by her ‘balancing act’ performances.

She holds eight pitchers on her head and keeps on moving around the stage while, balancing herself on the edges of a pahrat. But more amazing and thrilling is her picking up of a piece of cloth with her teeth, with pitchers on her head and eyes closed.

Her performances do not end here only. She claims to be adept in pirouetting 400 times without a break. It takes her about seven minutes to perform this feat. After taking a brief break, she can start again. While the world seems to shake for the people watching her perform, she continues to revolve like a disc, non stop.

And when Sharmishta presented these performances during the Atmanand Jain Bhajan Sandhya organised by the Mahavir Jain Yuvak Mandal Punjab at the Lord Mahavir Medical College and Hospital here last night, the entire audience was enthralled and spellbound.

While it was the noted lyricist, musician and singer Ravinder Jain who captivated the audience with his melodious voice for hours together, Sharmishta supplemented the occasion with her dancing and balancing acts.

Shamrishta started her dancing career in 1986, at the tender age of five under the tutelage of renowned Kathak dancer Sri Krihsna Rao Holker of Lucknow gharana. She made her first public appearance in Delhi in International Trade Fair. Since then she had performed in all parts of the country, besides abroad in Belgium, Frankfurt, Brussels, Holland, Antwerp and Nepal.

Her father Mr R.K. Mukherjee has been a great inspiration for her. Although the family did not have any background in art, yet Mr Mukherjee tried his level best to see his daughter become a good dancer. He sought voluntary retirement from the railways to groom his daughter. And to a great extent, he managed to realise his dream. They are now settled in Pali in Rajasthan. Shamrishta has already performed in two Rajasthani films. However, she does not want to take acting as her career, and instead wants to perfect the art of dancing only.


Farmers hold back paddy
Tribune News Service

KHANNA (LUDHIANA), Sept 17 — Hundreds of quintals of paddy has accumulated in Asia’s largest grain market here, as the farmers are holding back their produce in the hope that government agencies may provide them at least Rs 540 per quintal against the rates offered by the commission agents and sheller owners.

While various government agencies will start procurement of paddy from September 21, the farmers prefer to wait for a few days more. Jora Singh of Bharpurgarh arrived here on September 15 with about 200 quintals of paddy. He had come with the hope that he may be able to dispose of his product the same day. To his utter disappointment he could not sell his paddy as the millers were offering far less a price than the minimum support price (MSP).

According to Jora Singh, his paddy was the best of its kind, a claim admitted by millers and commission agents also. And still he was not able to get the MSP for it. Raj Sood, a rice miller, who also exports rice, said, the millers were in a fix. So far the government had not fixed the price of rice. The millers purchased paddy from farmers in the hope that 75 per cent of it would be levied by the government.

However, the government levies the rice only after the price is fixed. So far the government has not fixed the price and they will have to sell it in the open market. Mr Sood said, according to the current market prices of rice, they cannot afford to purchase paddy at more than Rs 400 per quintal.

Farmers from places as far as Nawanshahr have come here with their produce in the hope that they may get better prices here. But so far it has been more of a disappointment. There are hundreds of farmers like Jora singh who are desperately awaiting September 21 so that the government agencies may purchase their paddy.

Farmers like Harbans Singh, Gurmail Singh, Jeet Singh and Charan Singh, who had come from different parts of the state were hopeful that they may get the desired price after the government agencies step in for purchasing.

According to Mr Ranbir Sood, Vice-Chairman of the Market Committee, Khanna, so far 1.05 lakh quintals of paddy has arrived in the Khanna grain market. On an average 10,000 quintals of paddy is arriving daily. The daily arrival may increase over a period of time and after the purchase by various government agencies.

Despite a bumper production of paddy this year, both the farmers and millers are not too optimistic over the sale prospects. Mr Raj Sood pointed out that most of the godowns of the FCI,the main procurement agency, were already full of stocks from the previous years. Besides there was no demand for rice from other states. There was every likelihood that like the huge stocks of wheat, the paddy may also have to be kept in open. Mr Sood said, there was not much hope from the exports, as the countries like Vietnam and Malaysia were selling rice at much lower price in the international market than the Indian exporters.


Puncturewalas — rescuers on highway

WHO is an entrepreneur? A person who undertakes a job on his own. We have talked about successful women entrepreneurs. However, there is another breed of entrepreneurs that is unsung and unappreciated, yet works quietly and with dedication in adverse situations, but earns a meagre sum.

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — One may own any vehicle, but the person that rescues drivers often is the man who fixes punctured tyres.

Every driver gets stranded on the road, at one time or the other, in intense heat or rain, on a highway or a lonely spot, with a punctured tyre. Without a puncturewala, it is difficult to get out of such a situation.

These persons can be divided into three categories — those who fix bicycle and rickshaw tyres, those who fix tyres of scooters, motor cycles or three-wheelers and those who repair tyres of heavy vehicles. The tools of trade and repair charges vary from category to category.

Suraj Kumar who fixes bicycle tyre punctures, says, “I came here from Bihar because I did not have a job there. I have been fixing tyres for past eight years. I charge Rs 5 per repair job. Our job has become easy after readymade puncture caps have arrived in the market. We only have to find the puncture and smoothen the surface around it with a file. After this, we stick the readymade puncture cap on the damaged part of the tube,” he said.

“For filling air in one tyre, I charge Rs 1, but the compressor cost me Rs 10,000. I have to carry it home everyday.”

In spite of working all day, he earns only about Rs 40 daily. He also has to take a day or two of rest. A rainy day always means a day off from work. His meagre income does not allow him to enjoy pleasures like watching movies.

Jagdish, another one of the kind, has come here from Kanpur in search of work. He is a specialist in fixing punctured scooter tyres. He uses readymade puncture caps as well as the old-fashioned machine. He also has a compressor. He sells bicycle-tyre tubes at Rs 30 apiece and bicycle-seat covers at Rs 10 apiece. He earns about Rs 70 only. With two children and a wife to support, he finds that he is not earning enough.

“I am a Punjabi,” says Goldie. He fixes punctured tyres under a tree near a bridge. I can repair punctured tyres of even trucks. He has a pressure gauge that he had bought at Rs 1,000 and a compressor that had cost him Rs 15,000. To buy it, he had to take loan from a bank. Every month, he pays Rs 1,000 as interest on the loan. His daily income is between Rs 80 and Rs 100.

"I had a shop earlier, but it was demolished by Municipal Corporation. All roadside entrepreneurs do not like the MC officials because they take away their tools. The MC should charge a license fee from us and allow us to stay where we are,” says Goldie. Imagine that there are no puncturewalas on highways. Then, how will you reach your destination on time if you have a flat tyre? — AA


DYC chief lashes out at SAD-BJP govt
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — The newly appointed president of the District Youth Congress (urban), Mr Parminder Mehta, today asked the youth in general and the YC activists in particular to ‘come out on roads’ to protest against policies which had virtually ruined the lower and middle class people. Speaking in a function organised at Sawan Public School here in block no. 10, he lashed out at the SAD-BJP government, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for repeated hikes in the power tariff for all categories of consumers and for imposing several other taxes.

Claiming that Congress alone was a political party in the country which could keep people belonging to different castes, creeds and religions together, Mr Mehta said Youth Congress Workers would strive to bring in more and more youth within the party fold.

Party activists, including former general secretary of the Punjab Youth Congress Mr Sanjeev Bhargav, Mr Rajinder Gogna, Mr Nirmal Singh Thekedar, Mr Surjit Kaushal, Mr Raman Jagdambe and Mr Jawahar Pehlwan, felicitated the new DYC president.

In another function held in Jamalpur colony, the PPCC secretary, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, councillors, Ms Barjinder Kaur, Ms Asha Garg and Mr Kuldip Janda, were among those who hailed the appointment of Mr Mehta as the DYC president.

Meanwhile, Congress and Youth Congress functionaries, in the city, have welcomed the appointment of Mr Pawan Diwan, the former DYC president as chairman of the Urban Development Cell of the Indian Youth Congress by its chief, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala.

A meeting held in the circuit house here to accord a welcome to Mr Diwan, was attended among others, by Mr Jagjit Singh, leader of the opposition in Punjab Assembly, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP, Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, president of the Punjab Youth Congress, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa and Ms Harbans Kaur, both secretaries of the PPCC.


Makkar hits back
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — Mr Narinder Singh Makkar, a former Vice-Chairman of the Congress Business Cell, today lashed out at the supporters of Mr Parminder Mehta, President, Ludhiana Youth Congress, for digging up his past since Mr Makkar opposed the appointment of Mr Mehta a few days ago.

In a signed statement released to the press, Mr Makkar warned against the use of "personal matters" by Mehta supporters. He said that dowry torture case against him had been registered at the behest of the Akalis in connivance with Mr Mehta. He had been acquitted by the court later and re-admitted to the party. He accused Mr Mehta of being a selfish leader who was misleading the youth for his personal gains.


The Seven Sisters (Part V)

PUNJAB is a land with glorious past. In education, Punjab made a significant mark. The university of Taxila is too great a landmark of learning to be briefly written about. Pannini compiled his Sanskrit grammar here. It was a seat of higher learning known all over the world. It is an irony of history that Punjab suffered the worst at the hands of raiders and marauders. During the middle ages, classical education gave way to madrasas and deras. The role of a rare woman merits our attention here. A great daughter of Ludhiana shone like a star.

Here is the true story of a daughter of Ludhiana who discovered the need of education. She was gifted with inner urge, a healthy mind and a futuristic outlook. By her power of motivation she set an example for others.

Narain Singh was the father of a simple village girl. She was born in Sidhwan-Khurd village. Her name was Harparkash Kaur. She remained MLA of her area, Jagraon. The government awarded her Padmashree.

Haparkash Kaur was married to Amar Singh, of Moranwali village near Hoshiarpur. Incidentally, it is the paternal village of the mother of Shaeed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh. The couple was blessed with a son, Gurdev Singh. However, cruel things were in store: Harparkash Kaur’s husband died in youth. She shifted to her paternal home Sidhwan Khurd (Ludhiana). After some time her son too died. She nearly lost all her hopes of survival. Darkness at noon. No more sunrise, no hope!

Later, she picked courage and started a school. She studied and got a teaching certificate. She led a staff of volunteers.

The village of Sidhwan Khurd got a high school. It achieved a place on the map of school education when high schools were rare. A revolution of sorts started in the area. She lit lamp in darkness. Harparkash Kaur’s devotion to her work resulted in achievements in academics sports and games.

Sidhwan Khurd is a rare campus having a premier rural postgraduate college for girls. It has well-established teachers’ training college for B.Ed./M.Ed. degrees. The public school is shining like a diamond in the crown of education. It is also a vocational institute of job-oriented avenues. Another high school serves common persons very successfully.

Bibi Harparkash Kaur promised hope and good future to all her wards. She is a symbol of glory of womanhood. M. S. Cheema


Meeting on ozone layer depletion
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — The Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha observed International Day for the preservation of ozone layer by organising a meeting at the Government College for Boys here today.

The meeting was attended by a large number of teachers, students and activists of the BJGVJ. Dr Arun Mitra while addressing the meeting explained that the ozone gas in the stratosphere around the earth helped in absorbing the ultra-violet rays and reflect back the infra-red rays. These rays if enter the earth in large quantity will not only lead to rise in the temperature of earth, adversely affecting the flora and fauna but also cause an increase in skin cancer, cataract, visual impairment, change in crop pattern and genetic changes in life on earth. The ozone, which was a protective layer, was getting depleted as a result of blatant use of chloroflourocarbons.

These CFCs were used in refrigeration, airconditioning production of foam mattresses, aerosol propellants and fire extinguisher. The items had been used in abundance in the developed countries while the contribution of India had been only 1 per cent. He said that the activities of a few wealthy people in the West were causing changes for which whole of humanity was suffering.

As a part of international agreement under the Montreal Protocol these CFCs were to be phased out by 2000 in the developed and 2010 in the developing countries. The developing countries were asking that since the problem had occurred due to the developed countries they must pay for the same.

He also said that already with the entry of MNCs into the country under the WTO, the biodiversity of India was under threat. They were patenting even the age-old bioproducts of India, which had been used by our people.

Mrs C.M. Garg, Vice-Principal of the college, called upon the students to stop using the spray perfume as these contained CFCs. She said that students must increase their knowledge about these new problems being faced by mankind.


Youth festival begins
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — The 12th Professor S.N. Kakkar memorial youth festival began with on-the-spot sketching and poster-making competitions here yesterday.

In the sketching competition, Gurpreet Singh Dillon of THE College of Agriculture won the first prize, while Manpreet Dhami from the College of Home Science stood second. The third position was snatched by Randeep Chahal from the College of Basic Sciences.

In the poster-making competition Randeep Chahal, Mandeep Dhami and Gurpreet Singh Dhillon got the first, second and third positions, respectively.

Many students participated in the rangoli competition today, the results of which will be declared later.


Parents no more averse to modelling

THE woman has been playing a wonderful role of a model since time immemorial, but this role has been that of a model daughter, model sister, model wife and model mother. She was considered to be the pride of the home and never allowed to become a show-piece. Many social reformers advocated the uplift and equality of women. Even Guru Nanak said, “so kyon manda aakhiye, jit jame rajaan” (the one who gives birth to kings and monarchs should not be treated badly).

The status of woman has undergone a sea change during these years and now a woman enjoys equal or rather better status than man in our society. Leaders like Indira Gandhi and Chandrika Kumaratunga have proved that the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world”.

But alas, the hard-earned liberty appears to have gone to the head of our modern woman. She believes that she looks more beautiful and more modern in fewer clothes. In this pursuit, she has left the western countries far behind. No doubt, Miss World and Miss Universe titles have brought fame to Indian beauty but at what cost?

A number of young and talented girls are discarding their studies and striving to become the future beauty queens. In this process, they are blatantly compromising on our basic cultural values. The woman of today may opt for modelling as a career, but she should also represent the country in a dignified and a graceful manner. It shall give a greater boost to the Indian image abroad than the scantily clad beauty queens.

*Kanwar Inder Singh Khurana, Manager, Punjab and Sind Bank, Dugri Road, Ludhiana

Modelling is an art and the model is an artiste. An artiste is supposed to be over and above an average person. This is not everybody’s cup of tea. One has to acquire with hard work the skills and characteristics of a model such as confidence, good looks, physique, and poise. Confidence leads her to the heights.

Former Miss World Aishwarya Rai and now Yukta Mookhey and Miss Universe Lara Datta all are good models. Beauty when combined with brains can conquer the world. And they are living examples of this. A feeling of joy that comes when one looks at a pretty face and the feeling of admiration for the good personalities and physiques break the monotony of life.

Thinking has changed in past 15 years. There have been major changes in the lives of people. Today mothers feel happy in announcing that their daughters want to become models. Such girls are treated as extraordinary persons and are respected.

Whatever profession or art one acquires, one has to behave within certain limitations and standards. But the problem arises when a person jumps the boundaries and limitations. One has to maintain certain standards and develop into a graceful person so that she can command respect both as a person and as a model.

*Ena Ahuja, beauty therapist, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana

The glamourous world of modelling has attracted us all. The money, the fame, the popularity, the status are the envy of society. The glamourous world of showbiz has always attracted the young and old alike. Boys and girls really go crazy for the profession of modelling.

It is the Indian woman who has done us proud. She has daringly come out of the traditional veil, fighting all odds to become a shining star in the universe. The glamourous and charming beauty of the Indian women is well-known the world over. Today she has come out and charmed the people the world over. She has established her identity and has done wonderfully well in this field.

She is a woman with versatile qualities and has to perform all types of roles. The Indian woman is really going places in search of her identity. She is not only charming and beautiful but also loving and caring.

It will be wrong to assume that she did it all on her own. She is helped by her parents and society. Twenty years ago, the profession of modelling was not considered honourable. With the passage of time, the Indian society has grown and people have changed their attitude. Now parents encourage their daughters and society appreciates them.

Some think that modelling is all about exposure, but it is a negative way of looking at it. People think that modelling, fashion shows, beauty pageants are all about exposure. But it is a rash thought. It is beauty combined with brains that makes one a good model. Beauty polished with confidence and intelligence is the key to success.

Today’s woman must set an example for the youngsters. While there are models like Cindy Crawford and Madhu Sapre, there are great women like Mother Teresa and Kiran Bedi and many others. The future of Indian women lies in the hands of the youngsters. We should try to be good role models for the next generation.

*Mohit Goyal, Law student

The modern woman is independent and versatile, ready to break social taboos. Girls today are bold and daring. The women are conscious of their personality and appearance. If women are taking up careers which till now were mostly restricted to males, then why not modelling.

More and more girls from respectable families are entering this field. Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mukhi and recently Lara Dutta have shown to the world what Indian women are. “Beauty unaccompanied by virtue is like a flower without perfume”. These models have not achieved their goals by beauty alone but also by their virtue and intelligence.

It is said, behind every successful man there is a woman. To safeguard this status, woman should maintain her dignity and originality by not crossing the limits as our customs, civilisation and culture are more important than modelling.

*Harpreet Kaur Jagdev, CA Inter, Gill Road, Ludhiana

Beauty is a trait which does not need recognition. Every human being is a model created by God. Everyone of us is complete within oneself.

We should not encourage beauty contests or modelling as a profession. Though it is fascinating but it is mere entertainment and nothing more. We should work to enhance our personality or the hidden qualities within us. Do you think, the person who is chosen Miss Universe or Miss World is the most beautiful person in the world. No, it cannot be possible. A person who is kind at heart is beautiful. A person who respects the elders is beautiful. A person who loves the fellow beings is beautiful. We encourage only one person and crown her for being beautiful.

Women do not need to show their curves and figures to be counted beautiful or a model. Be beautiful or a role model by being an obedient daughter, a perfect wife, a loving mother and so on. Our real self should be beautiful. There are many other spheres where women have to explore and prove their calibre. They have to be strong and confident in their approach to any profession they take up.

Going in this profession (modelling) or beauty contests is a stagnant job. A woman should work to be complete within herself. She should be emotionally, financially and physically strong.

*Gurpreet Kaur, Industrial Area-‘B’, Ludhiana.


Chinmaya Mission chief arrives today
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — The Chief of the Chinmaya Mission (Northern India), Swami Subhodhanandji, would be accorded a warm welcome on his arrival here tomorrow for delivering a series of spiritual discourses at Lions Bhavan, Udham Singh Nagar.

He would deliver the first of his sermons on karam yoga in the evening which will continue till September 24. In addition, he would be delivering a sermon in the morning as well September 19 to 24 on the Sadhana Panchkam written by Adi Shankaracharya, according to the Ludhiana Chinmaya Mission Secretary, Mr Rajiv Keshav.

The inauguration and the ceremony of lighting a jyoti would be performed by Mr K.K. Kapila, Commissioner, Income Tax, tomorrow evening.


Missing child found
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Sept 17 — Navjot Singh alias Jyoti (13) a resident of Ismailpur village and class V student of Sacred Heart School, who went missing yesterday was found this morning at Gurdwara Rara Sahib while taking a bath in the sarovar.

As per information received, he carried Rs 5,000 to the school and hosted a party for his classmates to celebrate his birthday. He reportedly left his bicycle on the school premises after finishing his classes and joined his friends on another bicycle. The Parents after getting panicky started looking for him and ultimately informed the police.

Since the case came close on the heels of Aman Sood’s kidnapping and subsequent murder, the police was immediately put on the alert. The SP (Operations), Mr Ram Singh, ordered nakas on all the roads leading to the town.

The boy was, however, located while taking bath in the sarovar at Gurdwara Rara Sahib, by his parents at 8.30 am today. Navjot said that he had went on his own.


Body found in PAU
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — The body of a 23-year-old man was found on the Punjab Agricultural University campus, near Gate No 2, last evening.

The body was later identified as that of Rakesh, a waiter in a local restaurant and resident of Mandeep Nagar. He belonged to Garhwal in Uttar Pradesh. It is learnt that the body was first noticed by some people at around 5.30 pm and the matter was reported to the PAU security men. Later, the police searched the body and found his address.

According to the police, the death seemed to have been caused by some fit or intoxication as blood was oozing out of the body. However, the family members of the deceased reportedly did not want the post-mortem to be conducted and said they did not suspect any foul play.

The police has now proceeded under Section 107 of the Cr PC after the body was handed over to the family members.


Shearing: a new-found attraction
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — The rich, industrial city walks parallel to metropolitan cities in the changing trends of fashion. Ludhianvis do not lag behind in the rat race of the changing world of fashion. They organise national-level fashion shows and seminars on the latest moods in the fashion world by renowned choreographers, models and beauticians to encourage new ideas on the subject. And why not today, at least in Ludhiana, people judge the personality of a person by his dress.

Shearing appears to be the latest in vogue. The markets of city are flooded with huge quantity and varied variety of this cloth. The material has created waves for the past few years.

The cloth is being sold in the market by weight. Its range differs from material to material, depending on the durability and the quality of the product. It varies between Rs 200 to Rs 500 per kg. The shopkeepers keep a wide range of the cloth as there is a demand every variety. Plain, printed, self, striped, all for its varieties are available in the market.

Earlier this cloth was made with imported machines only. The machines were imported from Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Spain, Italy and England. The cost of these machines usually ranged from Rs 14 to Rs 80 lakhs and even more. Computerised shearing machines had also arrived in the city, the cost of which is about Rs 80 lakhs each.

Shearing used to be quite expensive in the beginning. However, due to its heavy demand, the local manufacturers started assembling machines here only. They have provided a better option to manufacturers of shearing.

People wear a variety of shearing in the shape of night-suits, ladies suits, shirts, T-Shirts, baby frocks, bed covers and curtains too. Shopkeepers confirmed its heavy demand and said that the cloth was in vogue due to its durability, shine and colours. One of the shopkeepers said,“ladies are crazy about it. If they like the material and colours, they would go for it at any cost”. When asked about the difference between the imported stuff and Indian stuff, he replied, “people say that imported stuff is superior, but it is only a belief. Indian material is as good as imported one”.

According to the local manufacturers the cloth will not lose attraction for another 2-3 years. Ankita, a college going student has a passion for this cloth, she said, “the material is very comfortable during winters, I generally do not put pullovers on it because it is too warm and colours are very bright, above all, the rates are very nominal”.

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