Sunday, February 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Will marketing whiz-kid’s arrow be off the mark again?
Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 2
First, it was Divali. Then, it was the winter festival, culminating in the New Year celebrations. And now, it appears, the focus has shifted to Valentine’s Day.

Pushed to the wall by plummeting sales, consumer goods majors are leaving no stone unturned to convert Valentine’s Day on February 14 as a major marketing opportunity. Thus this Valentine’s Day, there will be love letters, bouquets, proposals of marriage and much more – At least that's what the promotion gurus are hoping. Notwithstanding the threats from Shiv Sena and other vociferous votaries of the Swadeshi. Almost anything and everything has been put on sale under innovative discount schemes to lure the customer, who, as of now, appears rather unexcited. Thus, for the suave and the well-dressed, there is the `Cool Valentine Offer’ by leading clothing store, Pall Mall. There is also the `Big Heart Offer’ from Titan Industries while Swatch Group has gone starry-eyed and introduced ‘Cupid’s Bow’ with the promo catchline stating: “Love is forever … Sometimes. Get creative in your declaration”.

For home décor lovers, The Home Store (THS) has launched a new range of special products and gifts. The products include photo frames, candles, watches, candle stand, and flower vases in different shades “symbolising love and passion”.

Swiss ice-cream major, Movenpick. is unveiling a major promo exercise which will culminate into a grand finale on February 14. The campaign centres around the mood of Valentine’s Day.

Traders and retailers, however, admit that publicity gimmicks are unlikely to woo the consumer. “ Already there is a huge inventory build up following the unprecedented low take-off during the festival season of Divali, Christmas and New Year. ``Among other things, this has inflicted a serious blow to the liquidity position of the shopkeeper,’’ a retailer based in Connaught Place said. Experts feel that the low off take of goods despite the sales blitzkrieg is a clear manifestation of depressed demand, which is currently characterising the country’s economy. “This (the low sale of goods) is a clear sign that there has been a cut in the household budget. Households cutting corners is a clear indication that the economy is not in the pink of health. A drop in retail sales is a parameter of downslide in the economy”, a Delhi-based economist said.

Consumer goods manufacturers, on the other hand, are putting up a brave face. “This is the first ever Valentine offer that we have introduced, keeping in mind the tastes and aspirations of an individual. I am sure, through these gift offers, we will be able to reach out to our target audiences”, Mr Rajendra Mohan, Director of Pall Mall, said. Whether marketing practitioners will succeed this Valentine’s Day or the event will turn out to be another damp squib will be known only from the force of the Cupid’s arrow and how many buyers it strikes 



Anything for love

Strange are the ways of heart. A married man from Etah, Sukhbir, living in Chhalera village in Noida, fell in love with a young girl in the neighbourhood. When her family members objected to his amorous designs, he agreed to leave Noida and went back to his hometown, Etah. Fed up with the taunts and jeers, the girl suddenly left her house and dashed to her lover’s place, only to be reprimanded by Sukhbir’s wife and other family members. The girl said she would commit suicide if Sukhbir refused to accept her. She was ultimately allowed to stay on with her lover. Meanwhile, her parents lodged a complaint with the Sector 39 police station in Noida alleging that she had been kidnapped. She told her family members that they could kill her if they liked, but she would not return. The police, acting on the abduction report, arrested Sukhbir and his beloved from Etah. Much against her wishes, the girl has now been restored to her parents, it is learnt. But nobody can say who is the winner or loser in this game. OC



Gurgaon takes lead in disaster management
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, February 2
The Gurgaon division has drafted a Disaster Management Plan with emphasis on pre-disaster and post-disaster management, covering five kinds of contingencies: fire, earthquakes, accidents, industrial mishaps and epidemics.

The possibility of a disaster hitting the division is grounded in the economic and industrial complexities of the region, the burgeoning population and the large-scale influx to the urban areas, especially to Gurgaon and Faridabad.

According to the Gurgaon Commissioner, Mr L. S. M. Salins, the proposed Disaster Management Plan (DMP), pending before the state government, envisages a series of steps all government agencies, their personnel and citizens’ groups must take to minimise loss of life and property. The plan revolves around the notion that the disaster must be tackled in a minimum response time through affirmative action on the part of the community and government agencies.

The objectives of the DMP are: (a) Taking timely measures to prevent the occurrence of a disaster; (b) Having an effective response time for relief and rescue operations; (c) Damage control by minimising the loss of life and property; and (d) Training government officials and volunteers for the aforesaid.

The DMP recommends that the district administration should conduct drills for the officers, so that they do not take preparations for disaster management casually or as a low priority job.

Fires, which can occur anywhere any time, generally have man-made causes. The district-level authorities, entrusted with fire control management, ought to train officers and volunteers at regular intervals. There is also need to inculcate `disaster awareness’ in schools, institutions and industrial units.

The DMP further suggests that the responsibility must be shared by all authorities, especially those vested with care of cinema houses, schools, marriage pandals, banquet halls, sites of religious congregation, circuses, hotels, bus stations etc.

Discussing the role of the residents welfare associations, the DMP urges them to make a thorough survey of their areas and identify the vulnerable spots. The association should identify civilians who can be asked to undergo training in fire management. It further asks the market associations to inform the authorities of hazardous agents and chemicals stored in their locality and the names of the dealers and shopkeepers with their addresses.

The representatives of these associations should immediately arrive at the scene of fire to help the authorities organise rescue and relief operations.

They should assist the authorities in arranging buckets, drums, spades etc for fire-fighting operations.

The plan tries to assign all work, in the case of a disaster, to a particular officer, depending upon the magnitude, so that no officer can shun his responsibility. It involves all officers of the district concerned and directs them to execute the assigned task.

The pre-disaster plan should take into account the development plans of the region, zonal mapping etc. The pre-disaster plan, however, has taken a back seat as of now. Mr Salins clarified that the thrust is on ensuring that the post-disaster management plan takes off. He appealed to the masses to give their inputs to make the DMP more effective and result oriented.



Student tele-counsellors at your beck and call
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, February 2
To help dispel anxiety and to motivate children facing stress prior to their examination, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has been running helpline services. About 28 teachers and principals from schools across the country have already begun their work as tele-counsellors. To cater to the students studying in CBSE affiliated schools in the Middle East, centers have been set up in Doha, Muscat, Kuwait, and Bahrain. The students can ring any of the mentioned numbers:

* Neera Chopra, Principal, Naval Public School, 8 am to 3 p.m., on telephone number 4671892 and between 6 a.m. and 9.00 p.m. on 6137484

* Rupa Murghai, counsellor, Naval Public School, 8.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., on 4671892 & 3.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. on 6254006

* Bharti Sharma, Principal, Amity International School, between 10.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. on 6962583 and between 8.00 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. on 2200099

* Seema Taneja, counsellor, Amity International, 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon on 6867606 and between 6.00 p.m. & 10.00 p.m. on 6523046

* R.D. Srivastava, consultant in guidance, between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 noon and between 6.00 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. on 6163772

* Mamta Sharma, counsellor, DPS, R.K. Puram,10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on 6161893

* Dr. Etishree Bhati, DPS, R.K. Puram, between 7.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. on 6171267,6174235 ext.233, and 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. on 6187887

* Aloka Bose, counsellor, Birla Vidya Niketan,10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on 6969251 and between 5.00 p.m. and 11.00 p.m. on 6850636

* Vinita Kaul, Birla Vidya Niketan, 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on 6969251 and between 3.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. on 6287415

* Meenakshi Thakkar, Mothers International School, between 10.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on 6949769 and 7.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. on 6964140

* Stalin Malhotra, Principal, DPS Gurgaon, 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon on 916377255

* Aditi Mishra, DPS Gurgaon, between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 noon on 916377255

* Dr. B. Singh, Principal, Dayawati Modi Academy, Meerut, 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on 0121-570787

* Dr. Poonam Devdutt, counsellor, Meerut, between 10.00 a.m. and 2.00 a.m. on 1021-760674 and 0121-762723

* Mohina Dar, Principal, Amity International, Noida, 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on 91-4579322

* Anjali Mehta, Amity International, 11.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. on 91-4576209, ext. 138, and 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. on 2722551

* Nina Sehgal, Principal, DPS, Noida, between 9.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. 91-4456469

* S.C. Singhal, Principal, Sumer Mal Jain Public School, Janakpuri, between 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. on 5594608 (o) and 5547696 ®

* Meenu Bhargav, S.K.V. Bhola Nath Nagar No.1, Shahdara, on 914-623979® 914-4621432 and 2467975 (school)



Ahirwal, nursery of soldiers, simmers in anger 
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, February 2
The south-west of Haryana, which comprises Rewari and Mahendragarh districts and parts of Gurgaon and Rohtak districts, is dominated by Ahirs. It is popularly known as Ahirwal or Ahir land.

The first preference of most Ahirs has been the armed forces since pre-Independence times. It continues even now. That is why Ahirwal has about 75,000 ex-servicemen and more than 25,000 serving defence personnel.

In fact, the Kosli sub-division – where almost every house boasts of either an ex-serviceman or a serving soldier/officer – is often called the “Israel of Haryana”.".

Ahirwal jawans fought in the Indo-Pak and Sino-Indian wars of 1947-48, 1962, 1965 and 1971. They created history at Razangla during the Chinese aggression.

More than 60 jawans and officers of Ahirwal have won Mahavir Chakras, Vir Chakras, Kirti Chakras, Shaurya Chakras and Sena Medals.

It is a pity that the government has not done much to fulfil the demands of the Ahirs, which include the setting up of a recruiting centre, the opening of a sainik school, the formation of an Ahir regiment in the Indian Army and the launching of large-scale rehabilitation work for ex-servicemen.

In September 1983, Mr R. Venkataraman, the then Defence Minister, announced in the presence of the then Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, that a sainik school would be opened in Mahendragarh district. Mr Bhajan Lal, in turn, promised land for the school. The Chief Secretary, in his letter of January 30, 1984, stated that a sainik school would be set up at a cost of Rs 2.20 crore in Pali village near Rewari and it would start functioning from July, 1986. The village panchayat even donated 200 acres of land for the purpose.

Unfortunately, the project got bogged down in petty caste politics, following which the then Chief Minister, Mr Devi Lal, at an ex-servicemen’s rally in Hisar on February 6, 1989, publicly announced that the sainik school would be now opened at Matanhel village in Rohtak district.

However, the sangharsh samiti of people of the Rewari region organised protest rallies and it also sought Mr Chandrashekhar’s intervention in the matter. Finally, Chief Minister Mr Devi Lal mellowed down and declared that two sainik schools – one each at Pali and Matanhel – would be opened in Haryana. However, the project got derailed with the end of the Devi Lal-Chautala regime in May 1990. The demand was again voiced at the Rezangla Shaurya Diwas Samaroh here on November 18, 1992 before the then Defence Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, who announced that as soon as his ministry received a proposal in this regard from the Haryana Government, it would ensure the setting up of a sainik school in Rewari district. But nothing followed.

Later, the demand was raised at a rally here on August 24, 1996 before the then Defence Minister, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, who also gave an assurance to do the needful. The matter has still been hanging in the balance. The present Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had also stated sometime back that he would see to it that the school was opened in Haryana. Nothing has come of it yet. Similarly, the area has also been crying for a recruiting Centre. The recruiting office of Ahirwal, which is at Gurgaon, was shifted to Charkhi Dadri in Bhiwani district in the 1970s for reasons best known to the then state government. The rehabilitation of about 30,000 ex-servicemen, who are reportedly still below 50, is another big problem. It is true that the government launched one or two projects for their rehabilitation, but still a lot of work needs to be done in this direction.



How about Mahabharat in Persian
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 2
Delhi’s oldest library, Hardayal Public Library, which was known as the library of Whites before Partition, now boasts of a collection of hundreds of rare books. Among the rare books preserved with tender care in this Municipal Corporation of Delhi-run library are a copy of the holy Quran handwritten by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. The book with more than 500 pages was gifted to the library before Partition by a resident of the Walled City. He had found it in a house. The book was partly damaged and now the library authorities plan to laminate it to preserve it for posterity.

The other rare books in the library are ‘A Relations of Some Years’ by Travaile Begvenne published in 1634, ‘History of the World’ by Sir Walter Raleigh (1676 to 1677), ‘A Voyage Around the World’ by John Francis Jenili Koriri (1705), ‘Manuscript of Mughal King Humayun’, ‘Tajkeera-Al-Vakyat’ by Charles Steward (1828), ‘Rigveda Sanhita’ by H. H. Wilson (1854), ‘Satik Mahabharat’ (1879) and ‘Satyarth Prakash’ by Swami Dayanand Sarswati (1881). Besides, the Mahabharat in Persian script written by Abul Fazal, one of the nine courtiers of the Mughal king, Akbar, is another rarity at the library.

The library décor is antique with ancient bookracks and almirahs. It has unique and priceless books numbering more than 1,70,000. This is one of the few libraries in the world with a collection of at least 8,000 rare books.

The library, which is located in the heart of Chandni Chowk, is named after freedom fighter Lala Hardayal, a resident of Old Delhi. It was set up in 1862 as part of a reading club meant only for the Whites. Englishmen, who came to India, used to carry a lot of books with them to read in the long journeys stretching to several months.

These books were given to the reading room called the Institute Library, which was part of the Lawrence Institute, named after the then Viceroy of India. In 1902, the library was renamed the Delhi Public Library and shifted to the Kaccha Bagh building. But on December 23, 1912, when a bomb was hurled at Lord Hardinge, the fortune of the library changed. The bomb was hurled by Lala Hardayal but Lord Hardinge escaped unhurt. To mark Hardinge’s escape, a new building of the library was constructed and it was renamed again as Hardinge Municipal Public Library in 1916.



Where milk is cheaper than mineral water 
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 2
Milk sells cheaper than drinking water in some villages of Faridabad district. Hard to believe, but it is true that milk is sold at about half the rate mineral water is sold in most parts of Mewat region, considered one of the most backward area of the State. According to residents of some of the villages of Hathin sub-division of the district, milk is sold at Rs seven to Rs nine per litre to vendors by farmers who rear cattle. On the other hand, a bottle (one litre) of mineral water is available for Rs 15 to Rs 20, depending upon the availability and the place.

The most recurring problem in the region is shortage of power and water. The canal water is scarce and residents have to trudge many miles at several places to fetch potable water, especially during summer.

Again, availability of water for irrigation remains a distant dream, who have turned to rearing of animals and other occupations to earn a living. A large number of villagers eke out a living by selling milk. Although various milk co-operatives operate in the area and claim to offer good remuneration for milk sold to them, owing to poor fat content, the prices seldom rise above Rs 10 a litre.



Relive the Rajputana past in Alwar’s forts and ruins

A Shiv temple amidst the ruins in Neelkanth.

Two hours drive from Delhi is a whole new world – it is the citadel of the Rajputana heritage. Alwar district in Rajasthan, with its lush green trees and the Aravalli mountain range, provides a welcome relief to tourists — from the hustle and bustle of city life to the cool comfort of the countryside. Historically, the kingdom of Alwar has been a transit point of political and cultural transformation in Rajasthan and Delhi. It has been witness to invasions by the Sultans and Mughals. And, the people here, in the true Rajput style, lived by sword and answered every attempt to subjugate them with rebellion.

The district witnessed the rise and fall of many kingdoms and small principalities. While the rulers have left the scene, the architectural structures built by them still stands as lasting memory to their era. One such spot is Neelkanth, an historical spot with religious significance. It is located south-west of Alwar city. A beautifully crafted Neelkantheshwar temple stands tall amidst the ruins.

The sculptures at the Shiva Temple, built by King Ajaypal in the 10th century, still look good as if they were built only a few decades ago. The white marble Shiva Lingam in the temple, which is located about 60 km from Alwar city, is worth the trouble a tourist takes to come to this majestic spot. The picturesque setting of the temple, amidst the ruins surrounded by mountains, indicates that a flourishing civilisation had existed here.

Thousands of sculptures, some still in tact but many broken at different points of history, had been built in the temple surroundings. Some of these sculptures are rare and they denote the sculptural style of the region, which was influenced by the Hindu and Jain tradition. These priceless sculptures, even today, could fetch huge sums of money. About 100 metres from the temple are the ruins of the Jain temple, where there is a 16-foot long and six- feet wide statue of a Jain Tirthankar. While the Neelkanth brings out a picture of a lost civilisation, the Bala Quila, built in the 10th century, portrays the majestic heights at which the rulers resided and ruled their subjects.

The Quila is a classic example of the Rajput style of fort architectural design. Located at a height of 1,000 feet, the fort is more than 3 km long in one direction and 6 km long in another. The fort has been designed in such a manner that more than 6,700 bullets could be fired at a time. The fort has six doors, 51 small towers and 446 holes for musketry. A visit to the fort gives a bird’s eye view of the majestic Alwar city. A section of the fort is at present used by the local police as a control room and the antenna for their wireless sets acts as an eyesore to conservationists. If you do not admire such structures, which were once centres of power, then Siliserh, located 16 km away from the city, is an interesting picnic spot. Situated in the confluence of dense forest and mountain is a beautiful lake, which attracts different various species of birds throughout the year. After the rainy season, when the water in the lake is full to the brim, tourists throng this spot for a boat ride. In such a photo frame setting is the beautifully built Lake Palace, which was once the resting area for the rulers after their forest adventures. 



Tyagis recount criminal pastimes with pride
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, February 2
“I was a BA student and Viney was my classmate in 1989. Our entry into the world of crime was made with the murder of a college peon. It was due to the rivalry between two student groups. This triggered a chain of murders. We killed no fewer than eight persons, one after the other, taking care not to cross the path of the police all this time.”

This is the proud statement of dreaded criminal Sharad Tyagi, who, along with his accomplice and old friend Viney Tyagi, was remanded to police custody and was taken by the Link Road police for a medical check-up at the district hospital here on Wednesday. The duo have since been taken back to the district jail, Bullandshahr.

Sharad Tyagi and Viney Tyagi, his sharpshooter, narrated their exploits, including the murder of the Afghan envoy in New Delhi in 1995 with a sense of pride. Though Tyagi had got a fat sum for the murder, nobody suspected them. It was attributed to the terrorists, he said.

Contract killing and moving in costly foreign cars had become a craze with these young criminals. His gang had committed some dacoity too, he said. Sharad’s popularity with the gangsters soared so high that many gangsters were very keen to have him in their gangs in 1990. However, he preferred to have his own separate gang along with the trusted pal, Viney. Viney Tyagi claimed that he had become the talk of the town after he murdered Sub Inspector Charan Singh and proprietor of Nancy Restaurant in Meerut. “But nobody is a criminal from birth. It is the bad phase one goes through at a given time and circumstances that pull one into the cesspool of crime and corruption. We have come rather too far and there is no turning back,” he said.

How many murders have they committed? Well, they aren’t sure. But it would be more than hundred, they thought. It included some journalists, and of course, the Afghan Ambassador to India. And Sharad said that he could murder any number of people he liked.

The duo also bragged about having looted Trifle Jewellers, jewellery, cash and Honda City car from Dr Vimal Nakra and three other prominent crimes in Ghaziabad city. Sharad and Viney also bemoaned the absence of ‘money and right connections’ for their present incarceration.



Sonepat main hub of smuggled liquor
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 2
Smuggling of liquor has been on the rise in the city and other parts of the district for the past few months, thanks to the “failure” of Excise Department authorities. Representatives of various political parties, social and voluntary organisations today urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the complaints about the smuggling of liquor and to transfer officials of the Excise Department who are said to be involved in the racket. Such an inquiry is likely to expose the misdeeds of the officials of the Excise Department and liquor mafia, they said.

According to a report, the smuggling of liquor has been causing a huge financial loss to the state exchequer. It is alleged that the district has become one of the main hubs where smuggled liquor from neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh comes. While a large quantity of liquor in pouches is consumed in the district itself, a good quantity gets smuggled across the national Capital and neighbouring towns. Although the district police have seized illicit liquor from time to time, it is reported that smugglers behind such activities have links with politicians, officials of the Excise Department and the police.

Some policemen and officials of the department allegedly have direct links with prominent smugglers and are learnt to be on their monthly rolls. The nexus became strong after the imposition of prohibition in the state in 1996. It is alleged that although the police and Excise Department officials have information about smuggling of liquor, no action has been taken against the culprits.

It is reported that pouches of liquor are easily available at shops and vends in both urban and rural areas. Each pouch contains 250 ml of liquor and is normally sold at Rs 10 to Rs 15. Illegal liquor sales continues unabated at dhabas, restaurants and hotels on the G.T. Road and other state highways passing through the district where liquor is served to the visiting customers on demand. Most of the customers are truck drivers and long-distant travellers. Even after the state government sent a message to all the district and police authorities to crack down on illegal liquor vends and bootleggers operating from the villages, they still manage to do brisk business. Many people who buy liquor from the roadside dhabas, hotels and restaurants said that they get the liquor pouches from under the very nose of Excise Department officials and the police at a higher price.

Illicit liquor is also freely available in several villages where liquor pouches are the main source of livelihood for many people there, including shopkeepers. Some panwallas used to stock liquor pouches, which are generally good quality liquor. But following police raids, many shopkeepers appear to have discontinued the practice.

During the past year, the police had seized thousands of bottles of country-made liquor, liquor pouches and English wine worth several lakhs of rupees and challaned hundreds of people under the Excise Act. The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, claims that strict orders have been given to each of the police stations in the district to check the smuggling activities.

According to informed sources, certain officials of the Excise Department are in league with the mafia engaged in the liquor smuggling and its sale. The gangs bring the liquor from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and sell it in the city and elsewhere in the district in connivance with some officials of the Excise Department and the police.



The true martyr seeks no reward

Bertrand Russell once defined patriotism as the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. One tends to have a similar view of martyrdom seeing the way youngsters are willing today to cast away their lives for trivial and bizarre causes, or commit suicide accomplishing nothing but destruction of more lives in the process.

The Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan in Delhi recently held a seminar on martyrdom and its contexts with special reference to the Sikh tradition. Prof Dipankar Gupta, well-known sociologist and chairman of the Centre for Studies of Social Systems at Jawaharlal Nehru University, gave an elaborate exposition of martyrdom.

Prof Gupta began by providing glimpses of the earlier instances of martyrdom in other faiths. St Stephen, a martyr of the Christian faith, was stoned to death by a riotous mob even as he prayed for their souls and sought God’s forgiveness on their behalf. Saul, who had taken part in the persecution of the Christian, later turned into one of the chief disciples of Jesus Christ, taking on the name of St Paul. The Maccabees are revered as martyrs among the Jews for valiantly holding on to the tenets of their religion in the face of death. The elderly Eleazar chose to give up his life rather than eat pork. Ali and Hasan also fit in this mould as they stood for the Shiite Islamic tradition, the professor pointed out. Though Ali fought wars, he was killed while he was in prayer, unarmed, at a mosque in Kufa.

In the Sikh tradition, Guru Arjan Dev and Tegh Bahadur died as martyrs at the hands of those who wielded superior temporal power. The gurus, according to historical accounts, were given several chances to accept Islam and spare themselves and their loved ones the agony of a painful death. They also did not offer any resistance while being tortured.

Prof Gupta draws our attention to certain salient features of martyrdom as recognised in old times. The true martyr seeks no reward; he does not even seek glory in death. They are forced to face a critical choice, which involves death. None of the Christian martyrs from St Stephen to St Paul down to Bishop Bossilkov of Bulgaria sought martyrdom willfully.

He recalls that martyrs were often taunted by their tormentors to perform miracles as a proof of their being extraordinary. But they refused to exercise the miracle option because they would not use such powers for their own glory or for impressing mere men.

This needs a little explanation. Jesus had imparted powers to his disciples to “tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. He assured them that “nothing shall by any means hurt you”. But they are not to boast of their powers such as the power to cast out demons. They should rather rejoice only because their “names are written in heaven”. A clear indication that they are not to seek the applause of men.

It may be recalled that Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh refused to perform miracles in the face of threats. “It is by committing oneself solely to one’s faith and to one’s God as the most superior of all causes, and suffering untold tortures (insignia of pain) that one attained martyrdom in the days of old,” concludes Prof Gupta.

“Greater love hath no man than that a man lay down his life for his friends.”(John 15:13) With the increasing realisation of the world being one family, such love should be capable of the widest definition. In this context, to attempt the ultimate in self-sacrifice for trivial causes and narrower ends should be divisive and a waste. It would seem living for a cause in a spirit of sacrifice should be as honourable as dying. It was the first memorial lecture instituted in the memory of Bhai Chanan Singh by Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan. Among others, Dr Mohinder Singh, Prof J. S. Grewal, Prof Pritam Singh and Mr J. S. Maini (IAS) addressed the gathering of scholars and eminent public men.

M. P. K. Kutty



Body of Delhi policeman found 
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar February 2
The Bahadurgarh police found a body of a Delhi police man on the outskirts of Asaudha village of the district yesterday. A district police spokesman said here today that the deceased was identified as Om Prakash of Ismaila village. Several bullet marks on his neck and stomach indicated that the body was thrown there after shooting him to death. The police has registered a case under Section 302 and 201 of IPC against the unidentified accused on the basis of the statement of the Sarpanch of Asaudha village today.

Bribe demanded

The Bahadurgarh police has registered a case under Section 420 and 506 IPC against a senior clerk of the Northern Railway on the basis of a complaint lodged by Chander Singh of Vikas Nagar colony here. In the complaint, he alleged that the railway clerk, Mr Somnath offered to arrange a job for his son in the Railways and demanded a sum of Rs 236000 for doing the favour. Three other persons, Raju of Bhiwani district, Karamvir of Kabir basti in Bahadurgarh and Satbir of Narela were present at his home when the money was handed over to Sombir three years ago.

Youth arrested

The Sampla police last night arrested a youth who allegedly murdered the sarpanch of nearby Ismaila village in July last year. The murder suspect, Sunil alias Sushil of the same village, was arrested from Ismaila-Atail road.

According to police sources, Sunil and Ashok of Ismaila village sought the help of a dreaded criminal, yudhbir, in eliminating Mr Om Parkash, sarpanch of Ismaila village. All of them reached Sampla town on a motorcycle and shot dead the sarpanch standing in front of a medical hall. The irritated Yudhbir also shot dead his accomplice Ashok when the latter failed to kick start the motorcycle. After the dual murder, both the assailants managed to escape. Yudhbir was arrested by the police on December 1 last year.


Three motorcycle borne youth robbed Rs 38,209 at gun point from the Model Town branch post office today. According to information, the miscreants reached the post office on an unnumbered motorcycle at around 12.30 pm. They fired two shots and snatched the amount at gun point. No body was injured in the incident.

Rs 90,000 looted

Buglers took away an iron safe containing Rs 90,000 in cash from the office of Mr Satyapal Mehta, SDO, Telecom of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) at Gohana town, 35 km from here. According to a report, this amount was brought to the office only last evening for disbursement of salary among the staff. The thieves managed to take away the iron safe after breaking the wall.



Traffic flow at roundabouts to be streamlined
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 2
In order to streamline the burgeoning traffic in the city, the city traffic police have now decided to fine those motorists who do not stop at the roundabouts.

The move that is likely to come into existence from Monday, will penalize all those who try to sneak in and manage to speed up on the roundabouts. The decision to launch this drive was taken following increasing number of complaints that heavy vehicles are almost bulldozing smaller ones into submission at the roundabouts and have often resulted in minor accidents.

Often, the bigger vehicles intimidate the smaller ones, halting them completely for minutes or ending up with an accident.

The traffic police want to inculcate a habit to slow down at the roundabouts and proceed further if there are no red lights, so as to reduce accidents.

There is a gross indiscipline among the motorists and they should be made aware of traffic rules the hard way if necessary. “Till now, the police have not been challaning them, but not any more, stringent action will be taken against them”, said the Traffic Police chief Maxwell Periera.

“One has to stop and proceed when there is an opening in the traffic moving along the roundabout,” he said.



Duo on 15-year world bicycle tour
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 2
Amidst the worldwide tension due to terrorism, two youths of Etawah district in Uttar Pradesh are on a 15-year tour on bicycles to spread the message of peace and harmony throughout the world. This daring expedition started on October 2 last year from Etawah and would conclude in 2016 in the USA.

On the way, the cyclists, Mr Sarvesh Kumar Soni (27) and Mr Ashish Mishra (22), today reached Rohtak. Talking to this correspondent, they said the tour was started to disseminate the message of harmony and fraternity among the nations of the world. Mr Soni who is a postgraduate in Political Science, Economics and Philosophy, said they were holding corner meetings at colleges, universities and other places during the expedition.

They said they were motivated by Swami Vivekananda and started the tour with the blessings of the Uttar Pradesh Governor and the grand daughter of Mahatma Gandhi. They said they had covered a distance of nearly 5,820 km by passing through Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Nepal, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.



DSGMC employee retires
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 2
Mr Ajit Singh, general manager of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee office, has retired after serving for 31 years. Colleagues and members of the committee gave him a warm send off.

Mr Ram Singh, manager (Administration), has taken over as the general manager of the DSGMC office.

He joined the office in 1975 and has served in various departments before assuming this post, a release said.

During his tenure, he was admired by his friends, colleagues and members of the committee for his dedication and hard work.



Student crushed by DTC bus 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 2
A class IX student of Government Senior Secondary School, Srinivaspuri in South Delhi was crushed to death by an Under DTC bus in Maharani Bagh this afternoon. The victim was identified as Ghanshyam, resident of New Railway Colony in Hari Nagar Ashram. The incident occurred at about 2 pm when the victim was returning from his school. He slipped while he was getting down from rear gate of the bus (DL1PA-6135) and came under the wheel. The bus driver did not care and he had started the bus. The boy died on the spot. The bus was plied on route number 543 from Safdarjung to Anand Vihar.


A 55-year-old man Satyanarain Arora, an owner of a copper tanning factory in Friends Colony Industrial area near Shahdara flyover, was killed by his servant, yesterday night at the formers house in Seemapuri. The police said, that the servant Raju (25), worked in the factory and was involved in a minor theft a few days back. Last night, when Satyanarain went to his house along with another servant he was involved in an argument with him. During the argument, Raju hit Satyanarain with an iron rod and fled from the spot.

Three arrested

The Samai Pur Badli police have arrested three persons including a woman in connection with Kidnapping, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and causing hurt to two persons.

The suspects, Rohit and Gautam, used to run a restaurant, ‘Handi Restaurant,’ at Labour Chowk, Libaspur. On Thursday, one of their servants, Javed went missing and Rs 50,000 was found missing from the restaurant. Suspecting Javed’s involvement, the owners brought Ompal (35), Javed’s friend and locked him in Ritu’s house, who is an acquaintance.



MoU with Germany on energy sharing 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 2
The Government of NCT of Delhi and the Federal State of Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for exploring opportunities of economic co-operation and technology sharing for environment-friendly solutions for sustainable use of energy.

The MoU was inked by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Economic Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal State of Baden-Wurttemberg Dr Waller Doring on the occasion of the inauguration of exhibition on environment and building technology at the Delhi Pavilion of Pragati Maidan.

Ms Dikshit said nodal agencies had been identified for exchange of industry and trade related information as well as responses to queries between individual companies in both the states. While the International Economic Co-operation Baden-Wurttemberg would be the co-ordinating agency in Germany, the Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) would be the facilitator here.


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