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


Case registered against DSP
From Our Correspondent

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Oct 15 — The district police today registered a case against Mr Gurpreet Singh, DSP, Khamano, and Mr Ramesh Kumar, munshi, Kheri Nodh Singh police station, for allegedly torturing and keeping Harbhajan Singh in illegal custody. He later fled from the police custody and appeared in the High Court with handcuffs. Mr H.S. Saran, SSP, said a case had been registered after getting an inquiry conducted by Mr Inderjit Singh Randhawa, SP(H). He was asked to conduct an inquiry on the basis of news items published in some newspapers about the disappearance of Harbhajan Singh from policy custody.

Harbhajan Singh, a resident of Gagarwal village had a love marriage with Gurinder Kaur, a resident of Chamkaur Sahib, without the consent of her parents. The parents of the girl approached the DSP Khamano. He took Harbhajan Singh into custody and allegedly tortured him in his room.

In his report submitted to the SSP, Mr Randhawa had mentioned that after recording the statements of all police officials concerned and checking the records of Kheri Nodh Singh police station it was found that neither any case was registered against Harbhajan Singh nor any report was written in daily “Rojnamcha” against him. On October 10 Mr Malkiat Singh, ASI, and Dharmpal SPO, on the orders of Mr Gurpreet Singh, DSP, Khamano took Harbhajan Singh to police station from his office at 9.30 pm. He remained in police station for two days and on the night of October 11 he fled from the police custody. A case should be registered against the DSP and Munshi who were responsible for the illegal detention and torture of Harbhajan Singh, Mr Randhawa said.

Police sources said he fled when police personnel were in drunken state.

After fleeing from police station Harbhajan Singh appeared in the High Court and alleged that DSP, Khamano, in connivance with his father-in-law Jawala Singh was planning to eliminate him and his wife Gurinder Kaur for getting married without his consent. He further alleged that he was taken into custody while he was going to his Gagarwal village on his motorcycle. He was mercilessly beaten by the DSP and Rs 10,000 was snatched from him.

The High Court had directed the DGP, Punjab, to inquire into the detention and alleged atrocities committed on Harbhajan Singh, who had married Gurinder Kaur. The inquiry has to be conducted by an official not below the rank of DIG and reported to court by October 17. He had also directed Vigilance Judge Haryana S.D. Anand to record the statement of Harbhajan Singh and his wife Gurinder Kaur. The court sent Harbhajan Singh to Burail Jail and his wife to Nari Niketan, Chandigarh.

The SSP said a case has been registered under Sections 342, 34, IPC, at Khamano police station and both accused are absconding.


Inquiry against principal sought
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 15 — The Brown Memorial Hospital Employees Union here has sought an inquiry against the Principal of the Christian Dental College and the Deputy Director (General Administration) of Christian Medical College and Hospital, Dr J.L. Joshi, for his alleged “misuse of powers and misconduct”.

Mr B.M. Fredrick, General Secretary of the union, said the executive committee of the union had urged the Director of the CMC, Dr Silas Charles, to conduct an inquiry against Dr Joshi. Copies of the representation were also circulated among members of the governing body of the college who were here to attend their annual meeting.

The union has sought an inquiry into the sources of income of Dr Joshi. He has allegedly built a house in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar at a cost of about Rs 25 lakh. He has also been accused of favouring his assistant and harassing the women staff.

The union has accused him of increasing the charges of the contractor for Betty Cowan Apartments by 5 per cent, although he “does not have the powers to do so”.

The union alleged that Dr Joshi had got the PVC flooring and a telephone installed at the residence of his assistant under his own supervision.

The union alleged that Dr Joshi always appointed a retired professor of a local college as inquiry officer to doctor reports according to his wishes. The union alleged that while no payment was made to an in-house inquiry officer, this inquiry officer was being paid a hefty amount for his services.

Dr J.L. Joshi was not available for his comments. One of his family members said he was in Delhi and would return on Tuesday. The Director of the CMC, Dr Silas Charles, was also not available for his comments.


Nanaksar limps back to normalcy
Compromise between rival groups
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 15 — After a week of tension, Nanaksar gurdwara, an ancient shrine, at Jagraon, about 45 km from here, appears to be limping back to normalcy with the rival groups arriving at a compromise for performing sewa and ardas.

While for one week rival groups belonging to Baba Sadhu Singh and Baba Kundan Singh were trading charges of disrupting the sewa which had led to an armed scuffle between the members of the two groups on October 6, yesterday both the groups performed akhand path together.

It was for the first time after tension erupted at the gurdwara that Baba Kundan Singh and Baba Sadhu Singh sat together for the bhog ceremony. They were accompanied by their respective supporters also. They included Baba Gala Singh, Baba Geja Singh, Baba Lakha Singh, Baba Bhajan Singh, Bhai Karnail Singh and Bhai Gurmail Singh.

The compromise between the two factions was reached after they agreed to allow Baba Lakha Singh to perform the sewa at the gurdwara. Baba Lakha Singh enjoys the blessings of Baba Sadhu Singh. However, he had been alleging that he was not being allowed to perform the sewa by the rival group despite a court order.

Earlier a lower court had decided in his favour for performing ardas at the gurdwara but the rival faction had appealed against the decision of the lower court in the High Court which had rejected the appeal and upheld the lower court's decision.

In a volte face Baba Bhajan Singh and Baba Lakha Singh, representing two respective factions, claimed that there were no differences among them. They claimed that the controversy was created by the media. They said that everybody was performing his duties as ordained by Sant Ishar Singh.

According to a handout yesterday, the two sants performed the sewa together. On the orders of Baba Kundan Singh and Baba Sadhu Singh, the chaur sewa was performed by Baba Lakha Singh. The chaur sewa was earlier performed by Baba Sadhu Singh. The sants disclosed that an akhand path would be performed in Gurdwara Nanaksar to repent and seek pardon for having disturbed peace in the shrine.

Meanwhile, the FIR registered following the scuffle on October 6 was likely to be cancelled as both the groups had agreed to a compromise. While the two groups agreed to bury the hatchet in the evening, in the morning the supporters of Baba Lakha Singh distributed a handout accusing the supporters of Baba Kundan Singh of preventing the former from performing sewa. They also accused the police of not taking any action on the FIR.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Jaskaran Singh, who was instrumental in making the two parties reach an agreement, disclosed that the situation was completely under control and peace had returned to the gurdwara. He said all the rival groups had been party to the agreement and had agreed to the decision that Baba Lakha Singh would perform the chaur sewa at the gurdwara. 


A treasure trove of Rajasthani craft
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Oct 15 — Chelsea Clinton went to Jodhpur to celebrate Holi. Even President Bill Clinton broke into an impromptu dance in the company of Rajasthani women in Nyla village. Rajasthan is on the itinerary of almost all foreign tourists for its sights palaces and it beautiful handicrafts. Ethnic clothes and bric-a-brac from different corners of Rajasthan are a big attraction for the tourists.

In a basement, in Ludhiana’s busy Ghumar Mandi is a showroom packed with such articles from Rajasthan are available at affordable prices.

Carved furniture in old-fashion and in different shapes and sizes and carved chests with Kishangarh paintings are available here in plenty. Tables, stools, ‘peedes’ and coffee tables look so beautiful that one is reminded of the royal period of yesteryear. All these objects of art have been crafted by artisans of Jodhpur.

Rajesh, the owner of the store, said, “The carved furniture from Jodhpur is far superior to that from Saharanpur. It does not gather dust. Some items come from Barmer too. Rajasthan carving represents the Rajputana and the Mughal styles.”

The sheer variety of furniture available at this showroom makes it difficult to exercise choice. Each piece has its unique beauty and demands attention. The collapsible chairs with Kishangarh paintings and the matching chests and stools can add an elegant touch to your lobby.

You are dazzled by gold 24 carat inlay work in marble. Vases of different sizes, statues of Ganesh and other gods, plates and tables are a delight to behold. One is mesmerised by the intricacies of the fine Mughal paintings etched on marble and embellished with 24 carat gold.

One can also buy idols made of emerable, jades and stubbed with precious stones. Of course, the prices of these idols are on the higher side. Another novelty is paintings made of crushed stones like amethyst, agate, garnets, chalcedony etc. Samples and names of the these stones are mentioned on the back of the paintings. No colours are used in these paintings. Stones and gems lend their natural colours to the paintings.

Wooden objects are available in various sizes. There are moustached watchmen in bright red turbans and idols of gods. Wooden horses, ‘peedas’, wooden spoons and forks vie for attention. Consoles, elephants and boxes of various sizes made in teak wood are also available in this showroom.

In one corner, one can find boxes made of camel bones and metals and silver-enamelled vases. Some pieces of the famous blue pottery are also on display. In another section of the showroom, one can buy quilts and bed covers. The bed covers are embroidered with gold and silver thread. One can also buy jewellery made of lac studded with stones and pearls of different colours. Tanjore paintings, the latest craze among art collectors, are also available here. One can also buy silk paintings from Udaipur.


CMC rejects chauvinist demand
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 15 — The governing body of the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMC) has rejected the demand of some chauvinistic elements seeking deletion of the name of Tara Devi from the private OPD of the college.

It is worthwhile to mention that an action committee has been formed by various organisations to oppose the move of naming the private OPD after Tara Devi, mother of a local donor.

The demand was rejected by the governing body of the college. The Director of the college, Dr Silas Charles, regretted that such demands were being raised. He pointed out the institution stood for service to humanity and not any particular section.

He clarified that none of the people raising the demand had any connection with the CMC. He said: “We could do little than opposing and rejecting the demand”.

It may be recalled that members of an action committee led by Capt Ajit Singh Masih of the Salvation Army have been distributing provocative pamphlets against the naming of the private OPD after some non-Christian persons. Besides distributing pamphlets, the committee members have also raised a banner at the church demanding that the name of Tara Devi be deleted from the private OPD.


Boom time rare for mehndiwalas

MEHNDIWALAS in Ludhiana can be seen sitting outside shops that sell women’s things like cosmetics, clips, jewellery, bindis etc.

Most of them have come from Agra or districts of Agra and Faizabad. Vinod Kumar (20) hails from Agra. He says, “I started learning at the age of 10 and for the past 10 years I have been applying mehndi. Initially, I practised on paper and sometimes even on my own hands. Now I have become an expert. I do not get many customers on a regular basis. On lean days, I charge only Rs 20 per hand and I make about Rs 60-80, and sometimes nothing.”

However, during the past three days I had a rush of customers. So I hired a few chairs for customers to sit. I have also called my relatives to help me apply mehndi. Now we are about seven people applying mehndi.

Vinod says that on an average he makes Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 these days. These days I am earning good money, so I am going to send some money to my family.

Jeewan Ram, another mehndiwala, said, “Don’t go by the customers you see today. Today, I have two men employed at Rs 10,000 each. We are doing 60-70 hands today. I am charging Rs 50 to Rs 250 today. He says that the charges depend on intricacies of the design. The complicated the design, the more money we charge. Usually, I earn Rs 75 to Rs 100. Sometimes, no customer comes, and at times weBack go without even earning a penny. — AA



A painter of distinction

LUDHIANA, Oct 15 — Material progress is easily visible in the form of farms and factories. Cultural progress implies improvement in the quality of living. Universities, theatres, art galleries, fine-art clubs etc. form a city’s cultural profile.

Our cultural endeavours have been ceremonial only. People at least know the name of Sahir, courtesy films, radio and television. Sahir brought fame to Ludhiana, but what has Ludhiana done for him in return?

It is impossible to write about Calcutta without talking about the Tagore siblings. Shimla similarly is proud of Amrita-Shergill. Amritsar has been enriched by the works of Sohan Singh, Thakur Singh and Phulan Rani.

Harkrishan Lall, a leading artist in the world of painting, was born, brought up and educated in Ludhiana. Besides his birthplace, he also shares his date of birth with Sahir. Harkrishan Lall’s works formed part of the group-exhibitions held in England (1947, 1974); Afghanistan (1949-50); the USA and Canada (1951, 1972); Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (1951); China, Japan and Australia (1953); Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Bulgaria (1958), Venice Biennale (1963) Sao Paula Biennale (1962) and Tokyo Biennale (1963).

Harkrishan Lall won several awards. The Fine Arts Society of Calcutta awarded him a gold medal. In 1961, the Bombay Art Society also awarded him a gold medal for distinction in painting. He held a number of one-man exhibitions at renowned art galleries in India such as Freeman Hall in New Delhi (1951) and Doomi Mal’s Gallery (1977, 1979).

In 1959, at the government museum in Srinagar his work was highly appreciated. At Ashoka Gallery in Calcutta, his work was critically evaluated in 1962. Near home, in 1973 and 1978 he exhibited his paintings at the Panjab University Museum in Chandigarh. In Mumbai, he exhibited his paintings at Artists Centre, Jahangir Art Gallery, Taj Art Gallery and Rampart Art Gallery.

Harkrishan Lall also held an exhibition in Paris at the Gallerie dela Tournaele in 1967 and 1969. At San Jose (California), he won appreciation from the art lovers of the USA.

Harkrishan Lall did his matriculation from Arya High School, Ludhiana, in 1936. He then joined Government College. The co-curricular club in the college was the nucleus of budding talent. Mohan Sehgal (film producer) and Sahir were his close friends. The Principal of the college, Mr A.C.C. Hervey, recommended him for admission to Sir J.J. School of Art, Bombay, where his talent for painting flourished. He got his diploma in 1947 and worked as an art teacher at Delhi Polytechnic from 1949 to 1953. He visited several art museums of Europe. In 1962, he resigned as Deputy Director (Designs), Ministry of Commerce, to do creative work.

Harkrishan Lall’s ancestral home (Krishna Lodge, Karimpura) is well known to his friends besides a few admirers. Later in life, he settled in Chandigarh to be close to his birth-place. He went to Kerala to regain his health, but he went into a coma there and breathed his last on September 6, 2000.


‘Need to publicise India’s secular image’
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 15 — India’s secular charachter is not much known in the world and if the country has to fight menaces like cross-border terrorism, as practised by Pakistan, the secular image has to publicised more.

These views were expressed to Ludhiana Tribune here today after a function of the Rotary Club by Mr Daljit Singh Pannu, former Ambassador of the country to several countries and who is better known for his diplomatic success in convincing 17 Islamic countries in Africa about the evil designs of Pakistan and the safety of the Muslim community in India.

Mr Pannu, who is presently serving as Chairman, Punjab Backward Classes Development Board, said when he visited 17 African countries as part of his assignment to change the pro-Pakistan attitude of these Islamic countries so that they did not support a resolution likely to be moved by Pakistan on Kashmir in a United Nation convention, Geneva, he was shocked to learn that the countries did not know about the secularism practised in India. Mr Pannu said the leaders of the countries were amazed when he told them that our country has the second highest population of Muslims in the world and countries like Pakistan stood nowhere in the comparison of numbers.

He said none of the country knew about the high secular values of India and if the country had to make more friends, then this aspect needed to be publicised more.

“The countries were not joining us as they treated Pakistan as brother, purely on the basis of its Muslim religion’’ remembered Mr Pannu . He added that it was really hard for him to convince the countries, all of whom were members of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), purely because they believed the propaganda unleashed by Pakistan that Muslims were being victimised in India because it was a country of Hindus.

Mr Pannu said his experience as Ambassador had made him realise that our Secularism had remained on papers in the country’s Constitution only and now the time had come to spread the said charachter far and wide.

Mr Pannu’s much-talked about success in the diplomatic mission had proved very fruitful for the nation. Ultimately, nine of the Islamic countries voted against the Pakistan move of introducing a resolution on the Kashmir problem in the United Nations. Accepting the defeat, Pakistan ultimately withdrew the resolution. The diplomatic victory was hailed far and wide and notable mentions about Mr Pannu were also made by the media.

Reflecting on his work, Mr Pannu said he was being regularly guided by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. Mr Pannu said the work in those Islamic countries was just a beginning and if India practised secularism in letter and in spirit and also made it known to the whole world, the country could achieve major diplomatic victories in future also.


Congressmen finalise demonstration plan
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 15 — A meeting of the District Congress Committee (Urban) was held here today under the presidentship of Mr Surinder Dabar to finalise preparations for taking part in the demonstration against the Punjab Government in Chandigarh on October 17.

Mr Dabar told Ludhiana Tribune after the meeting that thousands of party workers would leave the city early morning on Tuesday for Chandigarh to take part in the demonstration at Matka Chowk.

The party is protesting against the state government on a number of issues such as the slow pace of paddy procurement, growing unemployment in the state, worsening law and order situation and the alleged irregularities committed by the ruling combine in the Sunam byelection.

Addressing party workers, Mr Dabar said that the media has successfully exposed the poor policies of the Badal government vis-a-vis the farmers who were being compelled to sell their paddy at much lower prices thant the fixed price of Rs 540 per quintal. He criticised Mr Parkash Singh Badal for declaring himself a friend of the farmers while all the time he was pursuing anti-farmer policies. He reiterated that the Congress would not tolerate such highandedness on the part of the state government. Mr Dabar urged all party men to make the Chandigarh protest rally a success.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |