Tuesday, February 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Patiala’s heritage festival

As a citizen of Patiala, it gives me immense pleasure that the Patiala heritage festival is being celebrated in all its grandeur. It was a long cherished dream of Patialvis, which at last has come true. Patiala, known as a royal city, is full of heritage wealth and has got a distinct identity and history. The unrelented and selfless services of erstwhile rulers of Patiala for the well being of its citizens have greatly contributed towards the rich heritage for which Patiala is known worldwide.

The place chosen for the inaugural function, Qila Chowk, was the best choice as in the good olden days this was the seat of governance by the erstwhile Maharajas of Patiala.

What a pleasant look the busiest market of Patiala, Adalat Bazar, gave on the eve of the Patiala Heritage Festival on February 14, 2003. The walled city especially bore an impressive and bright festive look. The immaculate torch light march past presented by the participants in their traditional army attire was so impressive that it kept thousands lined up on both sides of the road spell bound. A sense of joy and pride prevailed in them for being the citizen of this city.

The well-directed exploitation of Patiala’s tremendous tourist potential, with special efforts in keeping the city clean and green, both Indian as well as foreign tourists are bound to be attracted. This would not only prove to be a boon for the citizens of Patiala, but would also give a boost to the economy of the city.


I would like to appeal to the citizens of Patiala to uphold this age-old tradition and keep the torch lighted and co-operate in reviving and retrieving the rich heritage of our “princely city”, Patiala.



What ails Indian cricket

How long will we, the blind followers of Indian cricket, be mock followers of the “crisis” in Indian cricket? In India cricket is a “religion”, and then how come we are not able to produce world class cricketers? Who is responsible for this dearth of world class players even though such a love for the game exists? The problem is the mishandling of domestic cricket and not grooming the youngsters. I think the BCCI is responsible for this plight of Indian cricket as Indian domestic cricket stands for zero.

What must be going in the head of Ganguly, Dravid or other like Kaif (after producing an amazing inning at Lord's) while they are batting here at the World Cup?. If they look around they see no body good enough who can replace them in the team. So when our captain scores eight runs in Holland match and scoring just nine runs in Australia match, then while coming back to pavilion is he worried? No. He still will be in the team for a long time. So is he concerned while playing? I don't mean that they should play under pressure of losing their place in the side, but they should have it at the back of their mind that somebody can replace them if they don't perform well. And for that we need to improve our domestic cricket so as to have enough buffers to give these players a scare of their place in the side.

India has already lost to Australia, and with this kind of performance, they cannot beat Pakistan either. At the back of my mind, I might want India to lose. Why? What if they some how manage to crawl into super-six stage and then get thrashed by the pool B teams. What's the use? Australia and South Africa have been performing well consistently and deserve to win the cup. Then why should India win with a performance which will just be a “fluke”? But if they crash out of league stages, there won't be any easy let go, some of them will lose their place in the Indian side and hence lose their contracts with multinationals and that's what gonna pinch them. After all its all about money, honey!

Needless to say, the hype built through commercialisation of sports, especially Cricket, gave rise to exaggerated expectations. Now that the star-dust lies mingled with real-dust, the Frankenstein created monsters, the idol worshippers, have yet again reared their heads in hatred, impatience and intolerance, this time aimed against their chosen ‘demi-gods’ — the Indian cricket players. The immature exhibition of ire by fans, at the dismal performance of the Indian cricket team, is a telling reflection of a complete lack of sportsman spirit and fairplay on our part. It would have been in keeping with the highest traditions of the gentlemen’s sport to take it on the chin like a ‘man’ and still be able to cheer the boys onto a better display of their skills. The whole world is watching, let’s not make a spectacle of ourselves. If a member of the family is unable to perform some task to standards expected of him or her, do we disown, condemn, criticise, threaten and assault them?

Vivek Khanna, Panchkula


Boycott of Dalits

The increasing number of incidents of boycott of members of the so-called lower castes by the so-called higher castes is a worrisome social trend. The recent incidents at Talhan village in Jalandhar and Harsola village in Kaithal in which members of the Dalit community were made the target of what may be called “caste hysteria” of the so-called upper communities reveal that Dalits have always been at the receiving end as far as social relations are concerned. In the social setup, they perform all such jobs as the members of the so-called upper castes consider petty and inferior and are afraid of doing these jobs themselves. And still they insult them publicly, rape their women and call for their social boycott when all other tactics fail.

The role of the police and the civil administration during such incidents also deserves to be flayed. They either turn mute-spectators on such occasions or support the culprits.

It is high time that the members of the so-called upper communities realise that if social peace is to be achieved, they should give a better and healthy treatment to their down-trodden fellows. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes also should take a serious note of such incidents and take steps to prevent such happenings in future.

DEV KUMAR, Mahilpur

Night bus to Jammu

I want to bring to public notice the harrowing experience I and other co-passengers had to undergo at the hands of Gobind Travels. On February 10 I purchased a ticket for travelling in its night bus from Chandigarh to Jammu. After charging the money, they made us to go to the bus parked at a secluded and dark place beyond Sector 14. They bundled eight of us in one autorickshaw along with luggage. Our protests did not budge them. On the way, one passenger actually fell down with luggage and narrowly missed a speeding car. On boarding the bus we found to our horror that half of the windowpanes were broken and we had to suffer the chilly wind the whole night.


Tips for New Zealand

A self-assessment guide can help the aspirants who wish to migrate to New Zealand. Under the general skill category the most important factor is qualification. You should be at least a graduate from a recognised university and you may gain maximum 12 points under this factor. The qualifications in some professions need registration in NZ before lodging the application for residence.

The second important factor is the experience in full time job relevant to the qualification gained. Under this factor, maximum points you can gain are 10. For each two years experience one point is awarded.

Your age can also earn points for you. If you are of 18-24 years or 30-34 years, you can earn eight points, if you are 25-29 years old you can 10 points, 35-39 six points, 40-44 four points, 45-49 two points and after 49 you are not eligible to apply under this category. If you have NZ $ 100,000 to carry with you to NZ at the time of migration, it can give you one point and NZ $ 200,000 will give you two points. Maximum points under this factor are two. You can claim a maximum of two additional points for work experiences gained lawfully in NZ. Yes, your spouse may also help to gain up to 2 points, one point if your spouse is a graduate and two if postgraduate but an assessment of the degree may be required.

Sponsorship can further help you to add three points if your sponsor is your real brother or sister living lawfully in NZ for at least three years. You may gain up to 8 points for a relevant job offer from a NZ employer but for this purpose you have to comply with the relevant employment law in force in New Zealand and full satisfaction of New Zealand immigration services is must.

Now you can add all the points according to your own assessment under different factors. If you score less than 29 points but more than 24 points, you may be eligible for work permit in NZ and you may be eligible to lodge your application for residence if your scoring is 29 points.


Waiting for pension

Apropos of the editorial A symbolic protest (Feb 1), apparently, when Tara Singh Brar of Moga plunged into the freedom movement little did he know that after his death his widow, Mrs Gurnam Kaur, would have to struggle unsuccessfully for 25 years to get pension.

An ocean of money had been distributed in the “sangat darshan darbars” and thousands of undeserving people, apparently enjoying political support, allegedly got old age pensions, but Mrs Gurnam Kaur was not granted any financial aid. Alas! “Doosron key dard ka ehsaas hota hai kisey/Hans diya kartey hain gul shabnam ko rota dekh kar” (who shows concern for the sufferings of others? Flowers smile when dew weeps).

She is in her late 80s now and finds it hard to manage two square meals a day. Being too old and exhausted, she has deposited the Tamra Patra in The Tribune’s office with the request to return it to the appropriate authorities.

One hopes that the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who honoured a poet by presenting her a cheque for Rs 15 lakh a few months ago, will bestow his personal attention on Mrs Gurnam Kaur’s case also and succour her in her distress.


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