Friday, September 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


  • Ranchan a multifaceted genius

  • Bangkok honour for scholar

  • Monsoon nightmare


DENTAL CAMP: The Lions Club Bathinda Fort organised a dental camp here on Wednesday. In a press note issued on Thursday, Mr D.S. Mastana, president of the club, said Dr Parvinder, Dr Amanish and Dr Avinder, examined about 1,000 students at the camp.

MEMORANDUM: In a memorandum submitted to the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, the Public Grievances Association here demanded opening of more reservation counters at the railway station. In a press note issued on Thursday, Mr Sham Lal Bansal, press secretary of the association, said the present number of reservation counters were not being able to cater to the needs of railway commuters.

PLEA: The Senior Citizens Council here has urged the Railways to make a special arrangement or to open a separate ticket window for senior citizens. In a press note issued here on Wednesday, Mr Lakshami Narayan Goel, president of the council, said there was no special provision for the purchase of tickets for the senior citizens due to which they were facing problems.

SEMINAR: The district unit of the Lok Morcha, Punjab, will organise a seminar on the problem of debts in rural areas on Sunday at the Teachers’ Home here. In a press note issued here, Mr Jagmail Singh said various scholars and agriculture experts would participate in the seminar.

SEMINAR: The Beopar Mandal, Dasuya, held a seminar on Tuesday to apprise the people of the area of their obligations under the Income Tax Act, especially the applicability of the 1/6 scheme. Mr Avtar Singh Thukral, president of the mandal, presided over the seminar. The chief guest was Mr Ajay Goyal, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax. He said only 1 per cent of the population was paying income tax. He asked taxpayers to encourage non-taxpayers to file their returns of income.

2 BURIED ALIVE: Sarabjit Singh and Paramjit Singh, both labourers of Mirzapur Khadiala, died on the spot when they got buried under the debris while digging a well on Tuesday. They were reportedly digging the well when sand suddenly slipped burying them alive under it.

BODY FOUND: An unidentified body of a person was found near a petrol station in Miani on Wednesday morning. The Tanda police has registered a case.

2 KILLED: Jai Kaur of Bahowal succumbed to her injuries at the local Civil Hospital on Tuesday night. She was seriously injured when she fell from a bicycle near Mahilpur on Monday. Ranjit Singh, an employee of ABC Paper Mill, Siala Khurd, succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday. He fell from the crane block while performing his duty in the mill.

TWO BOOKED: On a complaint of Joet Vimal, Diocese, Northern India Church, Chandigarh, the police registered a case under Sections 420, 408 and 120-B of the IPC against Vidya Sagar and Johan Dogan, advocate, Civil Courts, Ludhiana, on Tuesday.

APPOINTED: Mr Brij Mohan Batra, a local Councillor, has been appointed special invitee of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee by Capt Amarinder Singh, President, PPCC, said a party spokesman here on Tuesday.

DEMANDED: Mr Rajbir Singh, vice-president of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, has demanded that a CBI inquiry be conducted into the publication of a Granth written by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniaranwala. He was addressing a gathering of Sikh sangat at the Tehsil Complex on Wednesday after a procession in various parts of the city. The participants in the protest march demanded that a case under Section 302, IPC, be registered against him and the Granth published by him be banned. Mr Sadhu Singh Todermajra and Mr Jaswant Singh Taan, both members of the SGPC, were among those who took part in the procession.

CHALLAN : The police, on Wednesday, presented a challan in the court of Mr Roshan Lal Chauhan, Judicial Magistrate, against Thakur Dalip Singh, nephew of Satguru Jagjit Singh, chief of Namdhari Samaj. The court has fixed October 8 as the next date of hearing. The challan had been presented against five persons.

OFFICE-BEARERS: New office bearers of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for its units in SCD Government College and Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College were appointed by Mohit Goyal, secretary of the district unit, on Thursday. The members from Government College include: president — Sukhraj Singh Bhullar; secretary — Devinder Mohindru from; and joint secretary — Ashu Gupta. The members from Kamla Lohtia SD College include: president — Saurabh; secretary — Nikhil Jain; vice president — Aman Batra; and joint secretary — Sapan Jain.

PAINTING CONTEST: The Param Institute for Home Arts and Craft, Ranjit Nagar, is organising a glass and fabric painting competition on October 8. An eight-day camp for preparing students will be conducted from October 1 to 8 prior to the contest, said Mr Amarjeet Singh Riat, chairman of the institute.

COMPUTER DONATED: The Ludhiana Welfare Society donated a computer to students of the School for the Deaf, Rajpura Road, at a function held recently. Giving this information, Mr Manjit Singh Matharoo, president of the society, said the students after taking computer education could become entrepreneurs in the field. Ms Suversha Kalra, Principal of the school, thanked the society.

GURMAT TEST: The Directorate of Education and Training, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, will organise a gurmat test in schools of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi on Friday. Giving the information, Mr Satnam Singh, director, said 437 centres for over 24,000 students would conduct the test. He said the test would be of two hour duration.

LECTURE HELD: The Punjab Agricultural University unit of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle organised a lecture on the topic, ‘Spirituality, Struggle and Good Society are the Keys to Successful Living’ on Thursday. Addressing the gathering, Prof Balwinderpal Singh, editor of Punjabi monthly, Sada Virsa Sada Gaurav, stressed upon the need to have positive attitude in life. Dr Charan Kamal Singh, veterinary pathologist and teacher in charge of the unit, was also present on the occasion.

SEMINAR: The Bethany Education Society, Mangalore, and Dharma Bharthi National Institute, Secundrabad, will organise a seminar on National regeneration through peace and value education at Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, on Saturday and Sunday. Stating this in a press note, Sister Reshmi, Vice-Principal of the school, said the seminar would be conducted by Acharya Sachinand, founder of the Dharma Bharthi.

ARRESTED: In a drive against anti-social elements launched by Mr Dilbag Singh Gill, SSP, a police party led by the Sardulgarh Station House Officer (SHO), Mr Baljit Singh, has arrested Gopal Singh of Kanganpur village in Sirsa district and seized a country-made pistol and 12 cartridges from his possession. A case under the Arms Act has been registered against him and he has been remanded in judicial custody.

ARREST DEMANDED: A delegation led by Mr Jagdish Rai Dhosiwal, president of the state unit of the SC and ST Ekta Bhalai Manch met Mr Dilbagh Singh Gill, Senior Superintendent of Police on Thursday and demanded immediate arrest of those involved in an attack on Mr Satish Parocha, a scavenging contractor, last week. They demanded action under Section 3 of the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The SSP assured them that steps were being taken to apprehend the accused.

PHONES ON DEMAND: The Telecom District, Sangrur, organised an “open house session” at the local telecom exchange on Thursday. Mr G.S. Gill, General Manager, Telecom, Sangrur, presided over the function. While addressing the audience, Mr Gill said all exchanges in the district would provide telephone connections on demand by March 31, 2002. He also said that the department would open cash counter at Malerkotla, Ahmedgarh, Dhuri, Sangrur, Barnala and Sunam in the first week of October.

PROTEST: Employees of the Indian Bank held a protest demonstration in front of the bank on Thursday on account of non-implementation of the seventh bipartite settlement. Mr Gurbax Singh, secretary, Punjab Bank Employees Federation, while addressing the gathering stated that as per the settlement, the management had agreed to resolve the issue of payment of arrears to the staff at the earliest but three months had elapsed and the union representative was yet to recieve a call from the management. Mr Sushil Gautam, general secretary, State Bank of Patiala Employees Union, claimed that the Indian Bank Employees Union would observe a full-day strike on Friday to press its demands. The All-India Bank Employees Association has urged the Indian Bank Management to resolve the issue failing which bank employees throughout the country would join the protest.

MEETING: In a meeting of Cinema Owners of Punjab at Tagore Theatre here on Thursday senior Akali leader Mr Surjit Singh Rakhra was unanimously elected president of the Association. The association is likely to take up important issues, like the excise entertainment tax, which is higher than states like Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat, and the recently imposed additional levy on high consumption as surcharge by the Punjab State Electricity Board. Mr Madan Kapoor, Mr Harnipal Singh Kukku, Mr Upvinder Singh and Mr Gurraj Singh have been elected as vice-presidents, Mr Harjinder Singh was elected general secretary and Mr Anil Deepak as joint secretary.

CONGREGATION: Baba Hardev Singh of the Nirankari Mission would address a religious congregation to be organised by the Sant Nirankari Mandal at Dasahra Ground, Phase VIII, on September 30. Over 20,000 followers of the mission are expected to take part in the congregation, Mr R.L. Suri of the mandal said in a press release on Thursday.

TRAINING PROGRAMME: A two-day “Organisational effectiveness”, a training programme by the Central Board for Workers Education, concluded on Thursday at the Milk Plant. Inaugurating the programme, Mr S.K. Sharma, General Manager of the plant, was of the opinion that persons working at the machines were more important than the machines and therefore such training programmes play important role in development of human resources. The workshop was conducted by Senior Education Officer of the Central Board for Workers Education, Mr J.P Phogat. Dr Nareshanand, a Chandigarh-based psychiatrist, Dr Dazy Zarbi, Programme Coordinator of Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Mr D.R. Prashar, Regional Director of the Central Board, delivered lectures during the programme.



INSTALLATION CEREMONY: The installation of the Lions Club Chandigarh Greater was held at Lions VTC, Sector 30, here on Wednesday The president, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh and his board of governors were installed by the former District Governor, Mr Satish Mahendru, at a ceremony. The District Vice-Governor, Mr Darshan Monga, was the chief guest. Mr Singh informed that the club has a computer centre, a sewing school and a reading room at the VTC.

SENIOR CITIZEN: The Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association would arrange two picnics for its members to Sahara Resorts on the Chandigarh-Kalka highway and Kasauli Resorts near Garkhal on September 28 and October 28, respectively. The members desirous of joining the picnic could contact the vice-president (phone no: 602028) and secretary administration (phone no: 600029), according to Mr V.S. Sodhi, secretary, public relations.

MUSICAL SHOW: A musical night would be organised by Seagrams blenders pride at the Chandigarh Club on Friday. A Delhi-based model, Shefali Talwar, would host the show. The show would be exclusive for members and would constitute a lucky draw. In addition to this, the club would also host an ‘‘Awadh food festival’’, which would feature delicacies by master chef M.K. Quereshi. The festival also starts on Friday.

URGED: The Footpath Workers Rozgar Bachao Samiti has urged the Chandigarh Administration to implement their accepted demands of the roadside workers. The demand was put forth at the meeting of the samiti, presided over by Mr Devi Dayal Sharma, general secretary of the AITUC. The meeting regretted that despite several agitation their demands had not been implemented. In a press note it threatened to launch an agitation if the demands were not implemented within three weeks.

WEBSITE LAUNCHED: The Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre launched its Cyber Youth Club and a website at a function organised at the CYP centre here on Thursday. The club was inaugurated by the Head and special advisor, Youth affairs of Common Wealth Secretariat, London, Ms Jane Foster. The website,, provides virtual free space where young people would be able to interact by exchanging their cultures. Information on job counselling, education links, news, games, discussion forums, chat channels etc. can also be accessed on the site. The CYP Asia website,, which was inaugurated by the Director Information Technology, Mr Vivek Atray, is aimed at providing detailed information about the CYP centre, its mission, objectives and activities.

COLOUR CONTEST: As many as 300 students participated in all-India camel colour contest held at Government Senior Secondary School, Daulat Singh Wala, Bhabhat, here on Thursday. Class X to XII students made colourful drawings on the topics, including festivals, environment and family relations. The results of the competition would be declared later on.



PURSE SNATCHED: A purse containing cash was snatched by a scooterist from a lady in Urban Estate, Sector 9, on Thursday. The incident took place at 3 p.m. when Richa Chauhan, a school teacher, was returning home from school on a rickshaw. A scooterist overtook her rickshaw and then accosted her. The scooterist snatched her bag, which contained cash, a gold ring and an electronic diary. Her husband, Mr Chauhan, has demanded a security beef-up in the area.

MAZDOOR UNION: As part of the protest week against the recommendation of Dr Rakesh Mohan committee by the Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union, a gate meeting was held at Railway Station, Ambala City. The union activists raised slogans and demanded that their grievances be redressed at the earliest. The union leaders, including Mr S.N. Bharti, Mr Vijay Chopra, Mr Dharam Singh, Mr Inderjit Pal and Mr Ashok Lehri, criticised the government for its “anti-labour” policies. They said the government had failed to generate more employment for the unemployed youth and the existing strength working in the government was being reduced indiscriminately. Mr S.N. Bharti, while reviewing the situation of labour in the Railways, said vacancies were not being filled up which was causing unrest among the existing staff due to overwork. They were also not getting timely leave and rest. He said the rate of interest on PF had also been reduced and the income tax policy on Central Government employees was harsh. The Railway employees were not given latest equipment and tools which was also causing less production and loss to the Railways.

TWO INJURED: Two persons were injured in a scuffle over a land dispute at Lohani village on Wednesday. The injured are Bhagtu Ram and Pratap.

COOKERY CAMP: The Inner-Wheel Club, District-309, is organising a cookery camp for women at the local Durga Mandir Bhavan. The district treasurer of the club, Ms Leela Jaswal, told mediapersons that the camp began on Tuesday and would continue till Friday. Ms Sunita Gawri is giving lessons to women on recipes.

“OPEN DARBAR”: An “open darbar” was organised by the district administration at Madlauda on Wednesday to motivate villagers to get their illegal power connections regularised on the spot by paying Rs 600. Presiding over it, the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr U.S. Sohail, said special camps were being organised in villages for this purpose.

COMPENSATION: The Haryana Kisan Sabha staged a dharna outside the camp office of the Deputy Commissioner here on Wednesday demanding compensation for the damage caused to the cotton crop due to the American bollworm. Speaking on the occasion, the district secretary of the CPI, Mr Swarn Singh, demanded that the Central Government should set up a fund of Rs 1,000 crore for the purpose.

BODY FOUND: The Ganaur police found the body of a rickshaw puller lying under a burnt truck on the GT Road, about 20 km from here, on Thursday. According to a report, the loaded truck, on way from Delhi to Chandigarh, was found burnt on the road on Sunday.

10 BOOKED: The police has registered a case against five persons of Ashok Vihar here in connection with the alleged assault with a sword on Mr Tirath Ram, a resident of the same area. According to a report, a land dispute was stated to be the cause of the assault. According to another report, Mr Ishwar Singh was allegedly attacked with lathis at Vikas Nagar here on Wednesday.

ARRESTED: The police has arrested 12-year-old Rakesh, who escaped from custody, while he was trying to board a train at the railway station here on Wednesday night. The Superintendent of Police told mediapersons here on Thursday that he was involved in two cases of theft and was being kept in the State Care Home since September 17. A case has been registered.

SUICIDE BID: Liloo of Khewra village, 13 km from here, reportedly attempted suicide by consuming insecticide tablets in his house on Wednesday. According to a report, he was immediately hospitalised and is stated to be out of danger. 



LOANS: An amount of Rs 10 crore has been distributed as loans during the first quarter of this year to various sectors under the Annual District Plan by various banks. Presiding over a review meeting of the District Advisory Committee of Bankers here on Tuesday, Deputy Commissioner Joginder Singh Rana said a sum of Rs 29 lakh was provided to the agriculture sector, Rs 47 lakh to the small-scale industries sector and Rs 42 lakh to other primary sectors.

SANCTIONED: The vice-chairperson of the State Planning Board, Ms Shyama Sharma, has said Rs 30 lakh has been sanctioned for the Kolar Drinking Water Supply Scheme to end drinking water problem in the area. She was speaking at an awareness camp on prohibition organised by the Information and Public Relations Department at Kolar.

MONKEY MENACE: Monkeys are playing havoc in localities here by attacking children and women. As many as 24 residents have been injured by monkeys. Shortage of anti-rabies vaccine at the local Civil Hospital has also added to the woes of the victims.

PUBLIC MEETING: A public meeting was organised here on Wednesday to educate people about the introduction of 1/6 scheme of income tax. Mr S.P. Gupta, Income Tax Officer, said earlier similar meetings were also held at Kasauli, Nalagarh and Nahan. He also clarified various queries of the public and apprised them of penal provisions for failure to furnish the return covered by the scheme. He said anybody fulfilling one of the six conditions of having telephone, club membership, property, foreign trip, credit card and four wheelers, was under legal obligation to file the return. He highlighted proper payment of advance tax to avoid penal interest, provisions of law relating to transfer pricing and international transaction were also explained. He said a similar meeting was also held at Dharmpur to highlight the advance tax payment and filing of tax returns.

APPOINTED: The PCC President, Ms Vidya Stokes, has appointed Mr Kewal Singh Pathania, a former minister, as chairman of the state-level Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Cell of the HPCC.


Ranchan a multifaceted genius

It is difficult to write about a person whom you have personally known over the years but whose intellectual prowess has remained an enigma. His long voyage for the search of the self started with the publication of the first collection of poems, “The Splintered Mirror” (1960). The college teacher and the avant-garde poet merged their entities into a persona that defied understanding. With a begging bowl he knocked at the doors of the sages and seers only to pass on alms to the younger generation.

To say that Dr Som Ranchan had taught English and American literature in the colleges and universities in India and USA is to say the obvious. Then again to talk about his writing in various genres of literature is just an attempt to touch the tip of the iceberg.

Dr Ranchan had been a fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Shimla, for three years and in October 1998, he submitted his research thesis, “Autotherapy,” based on the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. The most distinctive feature of Aurobindo’s philosophy is that he does not subscribe to the illusionist school of thought widely prevalent in India. The illusionists proclaim that this world is all illusion — “maya.” But Aurobindo professed that this material world is as much a part of the divine as the inner being.

Basically, he is a poet and his collections like “America with Love”, “To Vivek then I came”, “Loose Ends”, and “Love Poems” have considerably enriched English poetry written by Indians. Sometime ago he ventured forth into fiction.

He came from Lahore to Shimla on partition. Shortly after his postgraduation in English literature, he went to the USA, where he stayed for about a decade. He retired as Head of the English Department at Himachal Pradesh University, where he remained from 1977 to 1992.

How come he has so close an affinity with Punjabi culture ?

“You know I was born and brought up in Lahore. I appeared for matriculation in March ,1947 at Lahore and then I moved with my family to Shimla where my father waked in the office of the Accountant-General, Punjab. For Intermediate, I shifted to Doaba College, Jalandhar, and mostly stayed at a village, Phambian (Sham Churasi), where my maternal grandparents lived.

How does he view his stay in America for about a decade? “For me it was no less than a rebirth. On my earlier visit to America, as a research scholar, I presented my Ph.D thesis on Walt Whitman and the Great Adventure with the Self, at the University of Wisconsin. It was, however, on my second visit in 1966 as a university teacher that I realised my true affinities with that country”.

His longer poems such as “America with Love”, have tightly knit structures and have epic dimensions. Still at places they betray lack of unified sensibility.

“ The texture of my poetry is determined by the fact of my being in the self. Now, my texture comes from diverse registers. It has do to with my diverse relationships and exposure to various disciplines. My interaction with the hippies, blacks, yogis and sufis has enriched my mind. Their language becomes my own language because they become part of my inner space”, he says.

Bangkok honour for scholar

Dr Adrash Batra, an alumni of Mukand Lal National College, Yamunanagar, has recently been selected by Assumption University, Bangkok (Thailand), as a visiting professor in tourism. It is interesting to mention that he has been offered this assignment without any interview keeping in mind his pioneering work on eco—tourism — a new concept emerging in the tourism industry.

Dr Batra was awarded Ph.D. by Kurukshetra University in his unique work “Eco-Tourism in Shimla Region” in March 2001. He has established himself as an outstanding scholar on tourism through his articles and research papers published in journals of repute.

Dr Batra comes from a family of teachers. His father, Prof K.L. Batra, is teacher of political science.

In his opinion, there is an urgent need for promoting eco consciousness among foreign as well as domestic tourists. He foresees a bright future for the tourism industry.

Monsoon nightmare

About half a kilometre stretch of the road across the Fazilka railway station leading to the court of the SDM, offices of the DSP, the Block Development and Panchayat Officer, three schools and hundreds of residents in the Civil Lines has virtually turned into a pond these days.

The reason for this stagnant water is that there is no effective drainage system along the road. Water accumulates on this road and even a drizzle is enough to make pools of water. Thousands of people have to use this road to go to work. In addition, 4,000 students of schools and residents, including VIPs have to pass through stinking water on the road.

Potholes on the road have caused several accidents. The stretch of road is on a low-lying area across the railway lines. Moreover the proposal to lay sewers to drain off water in the affected area is hanging fire for several years as it is yet to be approved by the railway authorities for laying sewers beneath the railway track.

A number of gardens and yoga centre also surround this area. As a result, hundreds of people keen on a morning or evening walk are deprived of it. The plight of about four dozen families whose residences are located on this road is miserable. Foul smell from stagnant water is poses a grave threat to their health. Sometime back as an ad hoc measure, water used to be drained out of the land belonging to the railway authorities adjoining the BDPO houses. But a portion of the wall in that area collapsed due to stagnant water and the officers raised the level of ground by filling earth which has aggravated the situation.

Contributed by N.S. Tasneem, Ashwani Dutta and P.C. Nagpal


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