Monday, September 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Robber shot, ASI hurt in dera attack
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 28
One person was shot dead and an ASI injured when a gang forcibly entered Dera Gusiyan in Kurali, about 10 km from here, early today. However, the robbers managed to escape with some cash and gold ornaments.

Mr J.P. Virdi, IG, Jalandhar range, and Mr G.S. Bhullar, SSP, Ropar, while addressing a press conference in Kurali in the afternoon said at 2.30 am about 10-12 robbers entered the dera armed with swords. They tied the sadhus present in the dera and looted cash and ornaments. Kamal Gir, a sadhu, managed to escape and reached the railway station where a jagrata was going on. He told some persons about the incident, who informed ASI Kewal Singh. The ASI along with some policemen and local residents immediately rushed to the dera. One of the gang members, who was standing outside the gate of the dera, raised an alarm. The police party was fired upon by the robbers, but no one was injured.

The ASI then challenged the robbers but he along with Head Constable Bimal Kishan and Constable Jarnail Singh were attacked with rods. The ASI returned the fire leading to cross-firing in which one robber was shot dead while others escaped. Rupees 10,000, silver coins and a .12-bore pistol was recovered from the dead robber.

Meanwhile, Baba Dhan Raj Gir, head priest of the dera, while talking to media-persons said the number of looters was about 25 and they had entered the dera by scaling the wall. They also disconnected the telephone line of the dera.

The Kurali police has registered a case under various sections of the IPC and under the Arms Act.


India’s win elates former players, fans
Our Sports Reporters

* There was jubilation all over the city and one could hear loud noise of crackers in many sectors of the city.

* Today being Sunday, people sat glued to their TV sets to watch the team in action. Outside Piccadily cinema in Sector 34 there was a huge rush as TV sets had been installed.

Chandigarh, September 28
Finally, India did it and that too in style. The convincing 4-2 win over arch rivals Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup has once again rejuvenated the hopes that Indian hockey team is ready for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The magnificent win over Pakistan led to celebrations in the city and nearby towns.

Tarlochan Singh Bawa, who played for India in the 1948 London Olympics was a happy man. Bawa, who is now 80, said, “It was heartening to watch India sail past Pakistan. For this coveted cup Bawa said he had a long discussion with chief coach Rajinder Singh in Delhi. It was creditable that the players have played “as per the wishes of their coaches.”

Satinder Kumar Sharma, an international-level hockey umpire said, “It was India’s superb defence and fine game control which paved the way for its glorious win over Pakistan. Satinder who is one of the umpires for the pre-qualifiers for 2004 Olymplics, added that what changed the scenario of the game was the conversion of penalty corners and strong defence in the second half, which tilted the game in India’s favour. He further said both Tirkeys could be termed as the heroes of today’s win.

Rajinder Gandhi, another international-level hockey umpire, was all praise for Dilip Tirkey, whom he described as the main architect of India’s win over Pakistan. He said, the semifinal win over Korea was a tremendous morale booster. He said, “India has qualified for the 2006 World Cup.” He added that the fear psychosis of dying minutes will also be over since India scored two goals in the last two minutes.

Mr P.S. Chhabra secretary-general of the School Games Federation of India, said congratulation on phone from Patiala. He said only few days back before flying to Kuala Lumpur coach Rajinder Singh had told him in Delhi that they must pray to God for, winning the Asia Cup.


PU toppers’ list not finalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
In a case of good intention but poor implementation Panjab University till date has not given the much publicised scholarships to college and the university toppers from the current year onwards from the alumnus fund.

Nearly half way into the session the university has still not even finalised the list of students who would be benefited by the special scheme.

A communication to the examination office asking for toppers of the arts stream came back with a query, sources said. Interestingly, the queries about the toppers of the science, languages and other streams also met the same fate. The university had asked the students to contribute Rs 10 each for the fund. All colleges, except three, have responded. There is money to be given to the students but there are no lists. The students were not to apply separately as the prizes were supposed to be given directly by the university.

The university had decided to start 30 scholarships from the alumni fund — 20 for toppers among colleges and 10 for those on the campus. Students in the colleges were to get Rs 3,000 per annum and those on the campus Rs 3,500. The office of the Controller of Examination was supposed to provide the lists.

On the campus the awards were to be given on rotation basis among students of the streams of arts, science, languages, fine arts and others.

The sources in the Examination Department pointed out the problems in ascertaining the toppers for the want of re-evaluation results as these can sometimes change the result charts. It was also pointed out that the office of the Dean, Alumni, should clearly state the classes and the option for which the results were wanted.

Prof M.L. Sharma, Dean, Alumni Relations, said the department was facing certain difficulties that were being taken up at the highest levels of the administration. 


Security drill for Kalam’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The police today carried out a drill of the security arrangements for President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who will be in the city to participate in functions at Panjab University, the PGI and at SAS Nagar.

The SP, Security, Mr Amitabh Singh Dhillon, said efforts had been made not to stop traffic anywhere.

The police today sent a caravan of vehicles to check chinks in the security arrangements.

The President will land at the airport at around 11 am and pass through the Transport Chowk, Sector 26 roundabout and towards Raj Bhavan to the university and the PGI at around 11.30.

The police today cleared roadside vendors. Traffic signal points and roads were being repainted to present a fresh look to the city.

Between 700 to 1,000 personnel are likely to be deployed for the security.

Two companies of the CRPF, one of the ITBP and one of commandos of the Punjab police will be deployed.

Ten DSPs and 22 Inspectors have been assigned the duty to take care of the President’s security.


All set for Kalam’s Mohali visit
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Last-minute repair of roads leading to NIPER on in SAS Nagar on the eve of President APJ Abdul Kalam’s visit to the township.
Last-minute repair of roads leading to NIPER on in SAS Nagar on the eve of President APJ Abdul Kalam’s visit to the township. 
— A Tribune photograph

SAS Nagar, September 28
It is a big day tomorrow for the township. In fact, the biggest ever since the 1975 session of the Indian National Congress that took place in Matour village, SAS Nagar.

Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will be the first President to visit the township. Although for many, it is a matter of equal pride that the person who laid the foundation stone of the township, was the then Chief Minister’ Giani Zial Singh, who went on to become the President of the country.

President Kalam will be giving away degrees to over 80 students of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), here. The students who were today busy with their rehearsals at the institute, were jubilant over their luck, with Dr President Kalam being the idol of most of them. ‘‘It is a matter of pride and great honour to share the stage with the President of the country, specially for us as he is a scientist himself”, said Aditya Kaushal, a topper who would be receiving a gold medal from Dr Kalam tomorrow. Sharing the position would be Alpesh Kumar, who said he was feeling on the top of the world. ‘‘Given an opportunity, I would like to ask him why there is no research environment in the country.’’

All other students are also ready with their questions, though they are not sure that if the stiffness of the ceremony will allow them an interactive session. ‘‘I wish we could ask him about what he thinks is the future of science and scientists in India.’’ said Bhavika Tambwekar. ‘‘More than that, I would ask him why pharmacy as a profession does not get the status it deserves,” said Kaustubh Tambwekar, Bhavika’s husband. The couple will receive their degrees tomorrow.

The NIPER faculty, along with the Head of the institute, were today at the institute rehearsing ceremonial procession. And it was not just the institute which was undergoing the drill. Over 2000 policemen have combed every inch of the institute for security reasons and another 1000 are manning various entrances to the institute. The policemen on duty have come from as far as Amritsar and Gurdaspur to augment the force stationed here.

The administration is also on its heels, not taking any chances with the protocol. Who will stand where, who will hand over flowers, who will shake hands and who will bow, all has been laid down to the minutest of details. ‘‘It is going to be major test for all of us. Specially when the protocol has to be followed as per the Blue Book,’’ said the SAS Nagar SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma. ‘‘It is a great honour for us and we might not get this opportunity again. We have to ensure that our guest is received perfectly and the whole show is managed well.’’ he added.

Last minute recarpeting and repair of roads leading to NIPER was on till late in the evening with the municipal council ensuring that the roads are cleaned before the President’s cavalcade arrives here at 4 pm tomorrow. ‘‘More than 1000 men from different administrative departments have been involved in the arrangements,’’ said Mr Sharma.


Security beefed up for Kalam’s visit
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, September 28
In view of the arrival of the President of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the police has tightened the security in Zirakpur and areas surrounding the Chandigarh Air Force Station. To ensure safe landing of President’s plane, more than 200 police personnel have been deployed in areas that fall directly below the air funnel. Apart from these areas, security has also been tightened along the highways, main and link roads and other sensitive points falling within the 7 km radius from the Air Force Station.

The Patiala police has assigned a Superintendent of Police (Detective), two Deputy Superintendents of Police and about 800 police personnel for the purpose.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Pritpal Singh Thind, DSP, Rajpura, said policemen have also been deployed at different road-crossings in Zirakpur and nearby areas. Police commandos have been deployed atop high rise buildings in villages surrounding the Air Force Station.

The police has also launched a drive to tighten the noose around anti-social elements and nakas have been put up at almost every entry and exit points on roads leading to the Air Force Station.

The policemen today conducted rehearsal in Zirakpur and were made aware about some strategic points to be used tomorrow. 


RSS for tough measures against Pak, B’desh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The RSS chief, Mr K.S. Sudershan, today asked the Government of India to adopt a “proactive policy” to solve its problems with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Speaking at the concluding session of the seminar on “integrated management of national security” organised by the Forum on Integrated National Security headed by the former DGP of Punjab, Mr P.C. Dogra, the RSS leader said that he had advised the government on more than one occasion that being on the defensive all the time had never solved a problem. “We will have to take some tough measures to deal with the situation. Why can’t we do in Sind what Pakistan is doing in India?” he asked amidst cheers from a large audience at the seminar.

The seminar was attended by some of the top international and external security experts in the country, including former Army generals, police chiefs, diplomats and intelligence sleuths. The concluding session was attended, among others, by the Governors of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Babu Parmanand and Mr V.S. Kokje.

Mr Sudershan noted that north-eastern states of the country were awash with illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and political parties were doing nothing to deal with the problem because of the vote bank politics. He suggested all the immigrants, if they could not be expelled, should be given work permits as was being done in other countries. Under no circumstances should their names be included in the voters’ lists.

He expressed concern over the nexus between the Maoists in Nepal, who had virtually set up a parallel government in that country, and the Naxalites operating in several states of India. He was of the view that this movement could be finished in no time if the government decided to take strong measures against it.

He also said that Pakistan was born out of hatred for India and, therefore, could not afford friendship with this country. “They know that the day they normalised relations with India, Pakistan will cease to exist”. Mr Sudershan said that India had made a historic blunder by accepting Chinese occupation of Tibet. China’s relations with Taiwan were troubled. There was unrest in the Muslim population in Sinkiang province. It, therefore, could not afford any unrest in Tibet. India should take an initiative with regard to Tibet. He also supported the government’s refusal to send Indian troops to Iraq as requested by the USA. India should not get involved in a problem created by the USA.

Earlier, Mr Namgyal Wangdu, member of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile and former military commander of the Tibetan government, in his presentation urged the Government of India to adopt a more proactive policy with regard to Tibet. He wanted India to shoulder more responsibility in bringing about a meaningful dialogue between China and Tibet.

He said the Dalai Lama had opened the doors of negotiations with China for resolving the issue of Tibet. Successive delegations went to China earlier and talks were held, yet China failed to respond favourably to the overtures. Instead, China had been saying that negotiations could take place only if the Dalai Lama relinquished the idea of Tibetan independence and publicly announced that Tibet was a part of China and that Taiwan was a renegade province of China. These two conditions were not acceptable to the Dalai Lama as well as the Tibetan people.


Expose Pak at all levels, says Parthasarthy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Internally, Pakistan is in a mess and there is a large and growing section of the population within Pakistan which feels that the Army is taking the country for a ride. Stating this here today, a former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr G. Parthasarthy, said that India must cultivate this situation and the Pakistani population should learn that the propaganda being dished out by their Army was all nonsense. He was here to deliver a talk on the national security challenges posed by Pakistan at the ongoing seminar on Integrated Management of National Security.

He said that while “we should keep our diplomatic channels of communication with Pakistan open, no efforts should be spared to expose Pakistan at all levels and isolate it at the international forum.”

Stressing that dealing with Pakistan could not be done in a compartmentalised manner, Mr Parthasarthy said that the Army, paramilitary forces, the intelligence establishment, Home and External Affairs Ministries as well as the political leadership had a role to play. “Dealing with Pakistan has to be a national effort and a multi-facet approach is required,” he said. “It is a battle not only of the Army and para-military forces but of every Indian and can be successful only if the values enshrined in the Constitution are adhered to,” he said.

He said that after the humiliating defeat in 1971 and the rise of militant Islam in Pakistan, the aim of that country was not to take over Kashmir but to destroy the unity of India. He quoted a former ISI chief saying that Pakistan’s aim was to break India from within and that they could do it. “Unless we understand this, we cannot meet challenges to national security effectively,” the diplomat said.

He said that Gen Pervez Musharraf as well as the Pakistani Army believed militant Islam to be a useful tool of foreign policy. “Musharraf is expressing support to the USA in its war against terror, but, on the other hand, he has given enough room to the ISI to arm and train terrorists,” he said. He added that the Pakistani Army itself had become not only Islamist, but also highly commercial.

Stating that the nuclear threat from Pakistan was highly exaggerated, the former High Commissioner rued that the Indian armed forces were structured to fight “yesterday’s war”. “Today we need real-time intelligence capability and assets that can act on real-time intelligence and also air power to strike deep within enemy territory,” he said.

Mr Parthasarthy said that after Osama bin Laden set up the International Islamic Front in 1998 to fight the USA and Israel, five Pakistani-based groups joined the outfit. “This was in Musharraf’s knowledge,” he said. “It is also reported that the Pakistani Air Chief, who was killed in an aircrash recently, had advance knowledge of the terrorist attack on World Trade Center in 2001,” he added.

Delving on higher defence management, Air Vice-Marshal Kapil Kak (retd), said that the country was suffering from lack of a national security vision and it would be desirable for the government to prepare a national security document.

“The immediate requirement is the integration of service headquarters with the Ministry of Defence, which is vital for effective management of defence at the top level. We seem to have fallen for the dangle of the Chief of Defence Staff, which has not come through,” he added.

Stating that the notion of warfare had undergone a tremendous metamorphosis over the past few years, he said that it was an era of sub-conventional and limited wars. “An emerging form of warfare is the use of coercive diplomacy combined with coercive deployment of troops,” he said.

Taking up the issue of the nuclear threat from Pakistan, he said that vast spaces were available to India below Pakistan’s nuclear threshold, which could be used to punish it. “It is only a question of political will,” he said.

Stating that the geopolitical centre of gravity was shifting from Europe to Asia and Asia-Pacific region, former Commandant of the Infantry School, Lieut-Gen D.B. Shekatkar, said, we should be politically, economically and militarily prepared for this change.”

He said that since 1980, the Indian security scenario had changed greatly with internal, ethnic, religious and social conflicts gaining strength and prominence. Saying that the nation must also guard against religious and psychological invasion, he stressed that the problem of human security also be redressed along with ensuring security of borders, infrastructure and assets. Mr G. Parthasarthy contradicted Defence Minister George Fernandes’ statement yesterday that the Line of Control was not clearly demarcated on ground and that it was difficult to ascertain which territory belonged to whom.

“Every peak and valley is clearly demarcated on ground and it is to the credit of Lieut-Gen Bhagat Singh that such a task was accomplished,” he said. “A set of 72 maps was prepared and also given to foreign governments. It was on the basis of these maps that Pakistan was forced to withdraw from territory it had occupied in Kargil,” he added.


‘Resourceful’ councillors get the best
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
When it comes to releasing funds for development projects of the corporation, there seems to be discrimination against some councillors on part of the powers to be in releasing funds from the sanctioned amount.

The data on the estimated cost of roads in progress and completed, which forms a part of a document on development projects in the last one year, reveals that while some councillors have been "resourceful" enough to get the funds released, others have fared badly .

For a change it is not the councillors of the opposition who have not been released the funds due to political rivalry, rather it is the councillors of the ruling group or those who owe allegiance to the ruling Congress group who have not been able to secure funds from their sanctioned amount.

Inquiries reveal that Mr Jatinder Bhatia, a councillor from Ward No. 17 was able to get Rs 21.8 lakh against a sanctioned amount of Rs 45.05 lakh — which means 46.79 per cent utilisation of funds. Another Congress councillor, Mr Chander Mukhi, got Rs 32.48 lakh against a sanctioned amount of Rs 84.43 lakh — just 38.46 per cent utilisation.

On the other hand, in the ward of the BJP councillor Mr Gyan Chand Gupta, Rs 7.50 has been spent against an initial sanctioned amount of Rs 7.21 lakh. Another BJP councillor , Mr Rajesh Gupta, was to secure Rs 9.01 lakh against sanctioned estimate amount of Rs 11.51 lakh. Similarly, Rs 37.41 lakh was spent against the sanctioned amount of Rs 45.85 lakh in the ward of Mrs Kamla Sharma.

The statistics reflect on the plans of the Congress to scuttle the offensive of the BJP on the issue of development in light of the general elections next year. But it also points to subtle friction between certain councillors of the ruling group. A councillor of the ruling group, Mr Chander Mukhi, has already alleged that politics was involved in releasing funds for development on priority.


Chandigarh Calling
Protest rallies

Protest rallies by employees coming from all over the state staged in Chandigarh can be amusing. Once the usual protest by raising slogans deriding the government are over, majority of the male protestors head for the liquor vend. The purchase is usually three or four bottles packed in bags brought specially from home for this purpose. Liquor in Chandigarh is cheaper than in Punjab and Haryana.

And the recent discounts being offered by liquor shops only helped the employees who just loved it and actually queued up. Some of the enterprising ones even got more discounts by purchasing full cases of liquor. Other could even be seen bargaining asking the vend owner things like if they collectively purchased 20 cases what additional discount he would give. Naturally such prospects also made the vend owners give additional discounts.

Welcome facility

Something which the Chandigarh Police had done needs to be replicated everywhere. In the police headquarters in Sector 9, the police has set up a fully computerised online passport enquiry system. This means when a person applies for passport his or her police verification status is available online at the headquarters. Friendly-seeming cops man the counter. Just tell your file number (given by the Passport office at the time of the submission of passport application) and the operator will open the system on the computer and tell you if the verification has been forwarded to the passport office and on what date.

In case you do not have the file number the date of submission will do and even the name will work. However, cops prefer the file number due to secrecy of such reports. The operator can even give a police file number which is helpful in tracing the file back in the Passport office.

Now nobody in the Passport office can tell you that “aap ki police verification nahin aiyee”. (Your Police verification has not arrived).

Since this facility is for Chandigarh residents only it has its use only within the limits of the Union Territory. A person who met a colleague near the special counter of the police said one wishes such facilities were standardised across the country and implemented at the tehsil level. Only then will the effect of computerisation be known.

Daring to dare

Streets of Chandigarh were suddenly abuzz with activity last week when AXN, the prime action channel of the country came to the city with its band of celebrities to shoot for the AXN Xtreme Dhamaka. Xtreme Dhamaka was being shot in Sectors 17, 11 and 34 on the lines of the famous show, “Who Dares Wins”. As the AXN team went about hunting for adventurous people, the city youngsters gave them a tough time at selection.

The trick was simple — to draw the attention of former Australian cricket star Mike Whitney and the Australian supermodel Tania Zaetta, who were authorised to choose five people to come forward and take up each set of dares that ranged from doing 10 pushups with a girl seated on the back to doing a karate chop through the pile of roof tiles.

Because only five youngsters could be chosen for each challenge, many others waiting in line to be spotted indulged in various acts to be noticed. Some boys were so hell bent upon drawing the host Tania’s attention that they started calling her Kentri — the character she played in the smashing worldwide hit Baywatch. Some others bought bouquets for the beauty but were not able to pass them on.

As for girls, the deal was really tough. Impressing Mike Whitney was no easy task. While some of the girls used their strong vocal chords and musical abilities to catch the attention of the cricketer who loves India and Indian music, some others simply walked upto him, shook hands and introduced themselves — in a truly American style. They thought being uninhibited would help and to their surprise, it did often!

Naseeruddin’s requests

Naseeruddin Shah’s introduction of his first Hindustani language production, “Ismat Apa Ke Naam”, was impressive beyond doubt. Even before the presentation of the play began in Tagore Theatre on September 25, the audience was already clapping. Lacing his talk with humour and sense, the legendary actor made a mention of writer Ismat Chugtai and her amazing body of literature written in the 1940s.

When all was done and it was time to begin the presentation, the actor paused once more and said: “I have three very important requests to make. The first one is please switch off your mobile phones. The second one is please, please switch off your mobile phones. And the third one is — please, please, please switch them off.”

Imploring of that level also could not, however, goad the incorrigible ones into switching off their sets. Sporadic disturbances came to visit the performance as religiously as ever.

“Corridor” cricket!

Despite the fact that playing cricket in corridors or adjoining the residential areas is a little too dicey, hordes of crazy cricket kids can be seen playing their favourite game anywhere, anytime they like, caring little for the safety of the passersby. A passerby is caught unaware when the spinning cricket ball hits his or her head. Examples are many. Recently a postman with the Sector 30 postoffice, Ram Krishan Dev, sustained a grievous injury when he was hit by a cricket ball in Sector 29-B. A good Samaritan from among the curious bystanders rushed him to a private clinic with a profusely bleeding nose, his clothes soaked in blood, for dressing and medication. Besides undergoing severe bodily pain, he had to pocket all medical expenses. Dev is not the only person who fell prey to corridor cricket. Many victims of this fatal game shudder as they relive their harrowing experience.

Laugh riot

The members hip of the laughter club in the Sector 36’s Fragrance Garden is increasing day by day. In the beginning it had five members. Now there are 250. Women outnumber men. But of late more men have been joining.

They hold a laughing session every Wednesday and Saturday from 6 pm to 6.30 pm (see photo on top of the page). We are aware that more than 70 per cent ailments are stressed-related. Laughter helps remove the negative effects of stress and boosts our immune system, says one member. Clapping and rhythmic chanting of “Ho, Ho; Ha, Ha, Ha” is followed by shoulder, neck and stretching exercises for five minutes. After that there are a variety of laughters like greeting laughter, hearty laughter, one-meter laughter, lion laughter, milkshake laughter, Japani laughter, appreciation laughter and so on.

Alfa Punjabi television telecast the laughing session recently.

Fragrance Laughter Club has now started compiling the date of birth, telephone numbers and addresses of its members to help bring them close to each other.

— Sentinel


Media’s responsibility in covering communal issues stressed
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 28
“While the process of globalisation may have brought media nearer to the global market and provided greater as well as wider access to information, the media has yet to come to terms in resisting the temptation of building brand images, which blur the other aspects of reality,’’ said Sarbjit Pandher, Principal Correspondent, The Hindu, here today.

Sarbjit Pandher was speaking on the concluding day of the ‘Regional seminar on media and communal harmony in multicultural society’ organised by the Institute of Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh, in association with the Press Institute of India, New Delhi, Communication Management Foundation, New Delhi and Friedich Ebert Stiftung, New Delhi.

Stating that ‘‘journalism has been inflicted by a ‘frog in a well, equipped with a telescope’ syndrome, Mr Pramod Kumar, Director, IDC, said while in the era of globalisation media has been able to question the creation of stereotypes, it also has a responsibility of reporting issues related to communalism, keeping in view the impact it can have on the sensibilities and reactions of the Indian diaspora.

Mr D.S. Jaspal, Principal Secretary, Public Relations, Punjab, said stress should be on reporting within the framework of ensuring rights to the citizens, based on factor analysis, instead of limiting to presenting facts constructed around individuals or incidents.

Prof S.L. Sharma of Panjab University and Mr Syed Nooruzzman, Assistant Editor, The Tribune, while describing media as the most powerful agency of socialisation, especially for the younger generation, said its impact was far more discernable than ever before. Professor Sharma linked the igniting of localised sensibilities, especially communalism, which appears to be a reaction to the hegemonic control over the political and cultural economy that globalisation brings along. L.H. Naqvi, Associate Editor, The Tribune said the biases and prejudices influence reporting a crisis situation which in turn colour the perception of the readers.

Resident Editor of the Times of India, Dinesh Kumar, drew out that major issues were borne out of the fact that media had not been institutionalised as the “Fourth Estate” of democracy as the other pillars of democracy were. He pointed out that while the state of market had taken over the church of news, which also explained the imbibing of a western phenomenon of “casualisation of work”, there was no compromise on hard news in section of the media. He also dwelled in detail regarding the manner in which reporting had undergone a change following the incidents of September 11 and the second Gulf War.

Prof Harish Puri of Guru Nanak Dev University, while arguing that there was a need to bridge the gap between the perception of a situation by the “elite” and the “ordinary” sections of society, suggested that the media would have to decide for itself regarding what it stood for.

He said despite pressures from the growing market forces, media needs to develop a mechanism to generate greater trust among the people, when economy was being globalised.

Dr Ronki Ram of Panjab University was of the view that media should identify parties to the conflict.


East meets West through wedding bells
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Wedding International

* Most baratis remembered the way Rishi Kapoor showered roses on Sridevi in Chandni. They were happy their groom was also Rishi, what if a Choudhry.
* Earlier the aircraft was supposed to shower flowers. But the final shower comprised buntings and cut papers. Many kept waiting to see for flowers in the air.
* Some rural baratis were busy fagging in the Jannat Garden. Every time a waiter came with a bisleri, they ordered for plain water or juice.
* Marriage ritual was performed by Acharya Devavrata, a celebrated Sanskrit scholar, currently head of Gurukul school in Kurukshetra, which is famous for children who can recite shlokas and English poetry with equal ease.

Chandigarh, September 28
From the union of two souls to the celebration — the institution of marriage has come a long way. And it is all set to go still further with marriage service providers redefining the very concept of wedding and the manner of its celebration.

After arranging the high-profile marriage of Indian cricket star Dinesh Mongia some months ago, the three-star Bristol Resorts, 12 km from here, was up to something truly exclusive today. Assigned the challenge of pleasing the bride of an indulgent Indian groom based in California, the Resort authorities drew up novelty after novelty today. Some of the preparations on the wedding planners’ list were — an aircraft to shower buntings, flowers and cut papers on the couple when it takes the traditional “jaimala” round; imported gerberas and tea black roses, besides a range of Indian flowers to decorate the “vedi” for the high-flying couple that has engagements in Hollywood; and two elephants, elaborately decked up with silk and flowers, to welcome the baratis during the reception in the evening.

An aircraft showers colourful buntings on the wedding dais.
An aircraft showers colourful buntings on the wedding dais. 

Behind the arrangements was Sunny Virk, resort owner, who said, “They wanted a blend of the Indian and the Western. While we had an Indian welcome, we decided on a Western service. Each barati was asked to send individual menu preferences. We will not have stalls. Everyone will be served dinner at the table.”

As the indulgence began just before noon, some elite guests at the ceremony wondered what a sea of villagers was doing among the baratis. It, however, became known later that they all formed part of the baraat and hailed from the native village of the groom, Rishi Choudhry, whose London-based father, Dr R.C. Choudhry, originally belongs to Bhanokheri village near Ambala. While the wedding arrangements were most upmarket, the baraat was purely rural, with no urbanite worth the name in the resort’s vicinity.

As the villagers watched in amazement, an aircraft raging in the sky suddenly showered buntings and cut papers of vibrant hues upon the couple busy with the ‘jaimala’ ceremony. That was when Maria Gretel Pulera, the overwhelmed Italian bride of Rishi Choudhry, who’s making a film titled, “Welcome to America” in Hollywood, exclaimed", That’s heavenly. I never knew Indians would go to such lengths to make their dear ones feel so special.”

While Maria, along with relatives — father Eugene Leonard and brother Dominic — laboured hard to hide tears of joy, hundreds of villagers among the baratis rejoiced, assured that the marriage would last forever. Shankar Lal and Pritam Singh, octogenarians from a Kurukshetra village, said, “Mem badi gori hai”. Now that we have even showered flowers on her, we know the couple will never separate.”

As the melodrama caught up, contrasting scenes marked the ambience. On the one side was the alien bride with her foreign relatives, raving about Indian culture and richness, on the other were the village folk, who made themselves comfortable on the lush green lawns of Bristol Resorts, while the decked-up chairs waited for them in vain. Smoking bidis and insisting on plain water instead of Bisleri, the baratis kept the scene alive.

Meanwhile, Dr Choudhry explained why he wanted a traditional wedding for his son. “Rishi studied at Los Angeles Film School, from where he went to work in Hollywood. He met Maria in California. We came here because we wanted the bride to know the traditions that define our weddings.” While the couple enjoyed attention, the bride’s father and brother, dressed as Indians, commented, “We thought Italians were the most bonded. But Indians beat us at that. It’s a memorable wedding, to be passed on as a story to posterity.”


Youth falls into coal tar drum
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 28
A mentally challenged youth, Kishen, accidentally fell into a drum of coal tar in Raipur Rani yesterday. It took the local police, assisted by some residents, four hours to get the youth out of the drum. Kishen had tried to sit on the drum, mistaking it to be a surface. Being mentally challenged, he was unable to make out that the drum was filled to the brim with coal tar and fell in it. As he tried to struggle out of it, the sticky tar pulled him in. By the time the people came to help him, he was struck in the tar up to his chin. After this, the police was informed and ASI Rajinder Parsad and head constables Suresh and Ramesh rushed to the spot.

They engagaed some labourers to cut the drum and managed to pull Kishen out. However, even after that, the tar remained stuck to the youth. It was then that somebody came up with the idea that coal tar could be removed with the help of diesel. The police brought over 30 litres of diesel from a nearby petrol pump and rubbed Kishen clean. The entire operation took more than four hours. Later, Kishen told the police that he hailed from Gaya in Bihar. A team of police today took him to Ambala and sent him to Gaya on a train.


Rally to seek extension of ‘lal dora’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Pind Bachao Committee, a body of villagers of Chandigarh, will hold a rally on October 1 to demand the extension of “lal dora” in villages and to seek resettlement of people who were evicted from 11 villages to make way for the southern sectors of Chandigarh.

The committee has the support of the Property Owners Welfare Association (POWA). The rally will pass through various sectors and culminate at the Matka Chowk from where the delegation will hand over a memorandum to the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd).


Better to consult Chief Justice before appointing HC judges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Editor of Bangladesh Law Times S.N. Goswami yesterday asserted that it was essential to consult the Chief Justice of the High Court Division before making the appointment of Judges.

He was in the city in connection with the international legal conference being organised at Chandigarh by the Bar Association of Punjab and Haryana on Monday.

Mr Goswami is among the first one to arrive in the city for the conference expected to be attended by about 250 delegates from seven different countries.

In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Goswami, also practising in the Bangladesh Supreme Court, said, “Consultation with the Chief Justice is essential for the upgradation of the legal system all over the world”.

“Till 1975, the government in Bangladesh used to appoint judges after the President had consulted the Chief Justice of the High Court Division. But things changed in 1975. An amendment was made following which consultation with the Chief Justice was not mandatory”.

This, he asserted, led to the politicisation of the system. Mr Goswami added that the amendment was challenged by him in the court of competent jurisdiction, but the same was dismissed.

He asserted that the problems faced by the judiciary in both the countries was almost the same. Even the pace of deciding the cases was not different. 


Mahajan to strengthen BJP base in city
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, who recently took over as the President of the Chandigarh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party for yet another term, says that he has only one major political objective: to win the Chandigarh seat for the party in the coming parliamentary elections.

Mr Mahajan was appointed as ad hoc president of the UT BJP on October 1, 2001, by the party high command in a bid to restore some semblance of cohesion and unity in the faction-ridden unit. Intense infighting in the local BJP during the past few years has seen the local parliamentary seat as well as the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation slipping out of the control of the BJP and falling into the lap of the Congress party. As a matter of fact, things were so bad that even Central party leaders avoided visiting Chandigarh.

It was in these circumstances that Mr Mahajan was brought in as the party chief two years ago. He was nominated as the party chief for another year last year. And it is a measure of his success and growing stature that he has been now unanimously elected as president of the BJP for a full three-year term.

In an interview with TNS today, Mr Mahajan said he had taken a series of measures to strengthen the party by involving all sections. Party affairs had been conducted in a transparent, coordinated manner by evolving a consensus on all major issues with the result that no group now nursed any major grievances. Simultaneously, a vigorous enrolment drive had been launched which had seen membership of the party rising from 12, 000 to 30, 000. Since there would be 417 polling booths in the UT for the parliamentary elections, the number of samitis had been increased from 100 to 400. Each samiti had been entrusted with the task of looking after one polling booth which in turn catered to up to 350 houses with about 1500 votes. Eighteen mandals (wards) panels had also been constituted.

With the revival of the BJP unit, Central leaders have also started making a beeline for Chandigarh. During the past couple of years, some of the top leaders, including Mr L.K. Advani, Mr Rajnath Singh, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, Mr Arun Jaitley, Mr Shanta Kumar, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Mr Ram Naik, Mr Sahib Singh and Mr Pramod Mahajan to name only a few, have visited the city.

The party has missed no opportunity to agitate on major issues for the city like hike in water rates, parking fee, property tax and opening of Delhi Public School here under controversial circumstances. “We are now ready to accomplish Mission 2004 set by the party high command to win at least 300 seats in the next parliamentary elections”, said Mr Mahajan. “In the coming days, we plan to hold 60 public meetings in 20 wards, 22 colonies and 18 villages. Thousands of leaflets highlighting the achievements of the party will be distributed. 


Lord Rama’s marriage procession taken out
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 28
Lord Rama’s “baraat” today went through city roads and streets as enthusiastic devotees danced till beads of perspiration appeared on their foreheads. As per mythology, Lord Rama had successfully broken a bow to win Devi Sita’s hand. The barat is a part of the Ramlila celebrations.

Clad in their festive best, residents took to the streets in the evening for celebrating the occasion.

According to the organisers, the “barat” on such a large scale was taken out in the city perhaps for the first time. It started from Sector 22 Shastri Market and culminated in Sector 7. The barat was taken out by the Kendriya Ramlila Maha Sabha.


Elders Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Senior Citizens Welfare Association, Mani Majra, organised a function to observe the International Elders Day here today. The Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Bansal, the Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Mr Subhash Chawla, and a councillor, Mr Balraj Singh, inaugurated the function.

Mr Amrit Dhingra, President of the association, demanded a mini park for children, provision of sodium lights on road leading from Thakur Dawara to railway level crossing, proper sanitation and shortage of drinking water.


Sanitation in some sectors to be privatised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The stopgap arrangement of sanitation on contractual basis in southern sectors and Mani Majra will once again come in private hands. After a month-long deliberation, the committee constituted for awarding sanitation contractors have finalised the minimum rates quoted by contractors. The recommendations will be tabled in the general house meeting on September 29.

The sanitation work has been divided into three zones. As per the terms and conditions finalised by the corporation, the contractors will have to deploy a minimum strength of safai karamcharis. Payments made to workers will be made through accounts payee cheque at rates approved by the Administration. The contractor will have to pay employees provident fund and employees state insurance. The contractor will deploy tractor-trailers and wheel barrows and cycle carts for house to house collection of garbage.

Zone 1 comprises Indira Colony, Modern Housing Complex, Duplex Houses, Mani Majra, Shivalik Enclave, Motor Market, Mauli Jagran Colony and Vikas Nagar.

Zone II — Sectors 45, 46, 48, 49, 52, 61, Electricity Colony and Burail village; and Zone III —Sectors 41, 42, Attawa, Badehri, Baterla, Maloya Colony, Dadu Majra Colony, Dhanas Colony and Sector 38 West.


Newly born found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
A newly born baby girl was found near a milk booth in Sector 23-B here yesterday morning.

The child was noticed when Mr Kulwant Singh, who runs the milk booth, saw the child lying unattended.

He informed the police and the child was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital.


3 held for snatching money
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 28
The Sector 3 police today claimed to have arrested three youths who had allegedly snatched Rs 61,000 from a cashier of M\s Modern Food Company in Sector 2 last night. A large part of the loot has also been recovered from them.

Rajesh Kumar, alias Khanna, one of the alleged snatchers had been a former employee of the company and was said to be aware that the cashier, Mr Jagdish, used to carry money collected from dealers. The company supply milk in Himachal Pradesh with office in Sector 2 here.

The police said Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Naya Gaon, was arrested along with residents of Maloya Colony, Dilip and Mangu Ram, from near Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12, this evening. The trio were said to be going to Maloya to distribute the loot among themselves. The police has recovered Rs 56,500 from them and the scooter allegedly involved in the crime.

Last night, while Mr Jagdish was going towards the company's office with a bag containing the money, Dilip hit him on head with a stick and Mangu snatched the bag. The two later fled away riding pillion to the scooter being driven by Rajesh Kumar, said the police.

Rajesh Kumar had borrowed the scooter from his friend. 


Silver ornaments stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Thieves last night broke into the Sector 32 Prachin Hanuman Temple and got away with around Rs 35,000 and one kilogram of silver ornaments of deities.

“Locks of all seven donation boxes were broken and silver belongings of Hanumanji and Khatu Shyamji were stolen,” temple management committee president Rajiv Sharma told Chandigarh Tribune here today. He got a complaint registered at the Sector 34 police station.

Mr Sharma said the priest of the temple, Arvinder Kumar, informed him at 4.30 am that cash and belongings of the deities had been stolen. The priest noticed the theft when he woke up to begin his day. It seemed locks had been broken using iron rods, Mr Sharma said. A couple of years ago, the temple had seen a similar attempt when around Rs 7,000 were stolen from two cash boxes.

No arrest has been made. 


Mobile phone lost
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 28
Ms Manpreet Kaur, a resident of Chandimandir, today reported to the police that she has lost her mobile phone (Nokia 8250) while she was on her way to Homeopathy College in Sector 26 from Sector 7.

The police has registered a DDR with Sector 26 police station.


Software for legal fraternity launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
SoftJudge International, a software development company, has launched SoftSearch — a software for the legal fraternity. The company has already launched SoftJudge, a software for advocates.

In a press statement issued today, the company has claimed that one can freely download the software from its website — A user-friendly software, having Windows-based graphical user interface (GUI), is compatible with PCs using Windows-98 and its higher versions. It would enable the users to retrieve all concerned cases that appear in various cause lists of all courts. Application of SoftSearch is capable of assisting advocates, law firms and others connected with the Supreme Court, 20 High Courts, nine Benches and Tribunals to prepare their individual cause lists.

With database search function, the software can automatically detect and search all cases that would be listed for any date. The company claims that it would provide nationwide solution for reducing unnecessary expenditure in printed cause lists.

Available in different packages, SoftSearch is available at Rs 700 for three months, Rs 1,350 for six months, Rs 2,600 for one year and Rs 4,600 for two years. The company is also offering money-back guarantee and free demonstration. One can contact through e-mails at


Contests mark Hindi fortnight
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Several competitions were organised by the Northern Zone Divisional Office of the Life Insurance Corporation of India to observe Hindi fortnight, which concluded here yesterday.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Chander Trikha, Director, Haryana Sahitya Academy, who was the chief guest at the closing function, emphasised on the growing importance of Hindi. Encouraging the use of Hindi in regular office work, he said the language had attained tremendous importance.

Ms Debashree Varma, Senior Divisional Manager, LIC, stressed upon its usage in letter and spirit. The winners, in the order of merit, of various competitions are:

Essay writing: Nisha Malhotra, Savinderjit Kaur and Seema Kanwar; Handwriting competition : Neelam Singal, Ravinderjit Bhatia and Neelam Rani; and Slogan writing : Rekha Garg, Baljit Kaur Batra and Jai Chand.


Scar removal gel launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Win-Medicare today launched a scar removal treatment called Contractubex. A patented formulation from Merz Germany, Contratubex is available in more than 50 countries worldwide. The treatment was launched at a press conference held at Hotel Mountview here on Friday.

For more than 20 years, it has achieved outstanding success in treating different types of scars appearing due to various causes, documented in numerous international studies. It has been found to be effective in treating cosmetically unacceptable and movement restricting scars usually occurring in joints.

The gel can be used to treat both old and recent scars, resulting from burns, injury, accident, operation, vaccination or acne. A 20-gram tube of the anti-allergic medicine is available for Rs 460.

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