N C R   S T O R I E S


Traffic mess due to PM’s rally
Public outcry pushes politics to backseat
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
Thursday’s traffic chaos because of unprecedented security arrangements for the public meetings of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has earned the party more critics than supporters.

The South Delhi residents and commuters who were travelling towards Chirag Dilli and other places had to spend hours together on the road. A bride’s father said, “My daughter who went to a parlour for the evening’s reception could not return on time, creating major confusion at home.”

The Prime Minister also addressed a gathering at Raja Garden in West Delhi and South, South-West and West districts had a major traffic problem. Mr Vajpayee took the IIT flyover, Africa Avenue Marg and went through Dhaula Kuan to reach Raja Garden.

The commuters’ tales of distress were endless. Several of them missed their flights, some could not reach hospital on time and a large number of hapless commuters had to face a harrowing time by having to wait on the roads till the route was declared open.

“Why should a VVIP travel by road during the peak hours and that too on a working day. Mr Vajpayee’s meetings may have been a morale booster for the local politicians and their supporters but for a common man like me it does not make any sense,” said an irate motorist who was caught up in the jam and had to wait for at least two hours to reach home after a hard day’s work.

Similar sentiments were expressed by the residents of at least half a dozen colonies lying on the sanitised VVIP route who were confined to their homes and not allowed to venture out. The security personnel obviously were not willing to take any chances after several incidents of pedestrians and motor cyclists straying on to the VVIP route earlier this year.

Many wondered why the Prime Minister could not have taken a helicopter as decided earlier. The decision to deploy helicopters for the use of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister was taken after similar incidents of traffic chaos and public distress in the city earlier.

Residents also questioned the decision of the political parties to invite VVIPS for their election related public meetings. “In this age of high technology the organisers could have easily installed giant television screens and the Prime Minister or any other VIP could address the workers from his residence”, suggested another resident.


Parties hitch their wagons to stars, sirens, bahus.. 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
The straight-from-the-heart performance that helps raise votes for the “right candidate and the right party” is a role that requires no retakes. Greasepaint in place, dark glasses, a smile and an occasional handshake, it certainly couldn’t get easier than this. Not to mention the moolah and the brownie points. Canvassing for elections sure comes easy to the countless Bollywood and telly stars who are not just crowd-pullers but depending on their worth (at the box office) also an index of the party’s status and clout.

Yesteryear heroes, current heartthrobs, sirens and villains and now ‘bahus’ of the idiot box have all been signed up to play the same role. And the diktat, “woo to win”. With the glitter of showbiz having established its “wonders” in the political arena, parties have been racing ahead to cajole stars to jump on to their wagons. Joining the film stars this year are cricketers. BJP candidate Poonam Azad, wife of former cricketer Kirti Azad, who is posing a challenge to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, had former cricket player K. Shrikant canvassing for her.

And with the idiot box having managed to make its presence felt thanks to the K serials, stars er… bahus of the small screen too are having a field day. Star bahu Smriti ‘Tulsi’ Irani has been doing more than just canvassing for the BJP. She claims to be the “youngest member of the BJP” and is ready to field questions on her choice of party with aplomb.

The BJP’s pantheon of stars includes Minister of State for External Affairs Vinod Khanna, Shipping Minister Shatrughan Sinha, Hema Malini and Dara Singh. The last two have recently been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Their crowd-pulling abilities apart the stars are also required to mouth eulogising speeches about the party and the candidate. That should be easy considering the practice that comes with delivering dialogues. A few lines delivered a bit convincingly and the crowds are eating out of their hands.

No wonder the BJP is gung-ho about their ‘’swadeshi bahu (Tulsi) who is their bulwark against the ‘videshi bahu’ (Sonia Gandhi). Their swadeshi bahu told mediapersons, “I am not much aware of the BJP’s history but have seen the zeal in party leaders and workers. The party has promised me opportunities to work for the betterment of women and children and free them for despair”. For the Congress it is stars from yesteryears, including Sunil Dutt and Rajesh Khanna, who are expected to work wonders. Sources say Govinda too had promised to campaign for Congress candidate Barkha Singh, wife of sitting MLA Ashok Singh, in the R. K. Puram assembly constituency.

Joining Hero No. 1 in the canvassing game will be Mahima Chaudhary and Sushmita Sen. No points for guessing that the Shehanshah of Bollywood, the Big B himself, will be doing his bit for Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party. The party is also banking on film star-turned-politician Raj Babbar, a sitting member of the party in the Lok Sabha, and Raza Murad. So, if Vinod Khanna helped Vijay Jolly, vice-president of the Delhi BJP, file nomination from Saket by joining his retinue of 180 cars, 30 tempos, 12 horses and a chariot, film stars Satish Kaushik and Deepti Bhatnagar did their bit for Surya Prakash, BJP candidate from Kamla Nagar constituency. Also campaigning for Prakash are Pooja Batra, Asrani and Smriti Irani apart from Aman Verma, the idiot box’s chocolate boy, and Dara Singh (Hanuman). And while the stars shine where the jingle is heard others have to be content with other innovations. Take for example Ajij Dhobi of the All India United Muslim Morcha, who filed nomination from Seemapuri-SC on November 12 by going to the SDM’s office on a donkey. 


Haroon Yusuf‘s nomination challenged again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
Delhi Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf’s nomination from Ballimaran, which was cleared by the Returning Officer, has been challenged before the Election Commission.

The Indian National League (INL) candidate, Mr Naved Yar Khan, who was among those who had raised objections to Mr Yusuf’s nomination during scrutiny, has filed a petition before the commission appealing for revision of the November 17 order of the Returning Officer.

In his petition, Mr Yar Khan alleged the Returning Officer for Ballimaran had committed a breach of privilege by making the impugned order clearing Mr Yusuf’s nomination which was challenged on the ground that he holds an office of profit as Chairman of the Delhi Wakf Board. Citing the Eighth Report of the Standing Committee on Labour and Welfare relating to the Wakf Bill, 1993, the petitioner said the committee held it was only the Delhi Legislative Assembly that could pass or declare a law that the chairman of the Delhi Wakf Board may or may not be chosen as a member of the Assembly.

‘’The Delhi Legislative Assembly has not passed any such resolution till date and therefore the Chairman of the Delhi Wakf Board is not qualified to be chosen a member of the Assembly.

‘’Hence the Returning Officer has no power to allow such a person to be chosen under the law and thus the impugned order of the Returning Officer is patently illegal, uncalled for and violative of the law,’’ the petition said.


Sheila seeks spiritual tips, blessings
Tribune News Service

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday took time off from her hectic schedule to meet Acharya Jowell Gopinath, the famous exponent of Surya Yoga.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday took time off from her hectic schedule to meet Acharya Jowell Gopinath, the famous exponent of Surya Yoga.

New Delhi, November 21
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today took time off from canvassing to meet Acharya Jowell Gopinath, the famous exponent of Surya Yoga.

Surya Yoga is an ancient technique known for benefiting its practitioners through physical well-being and spiritual uplift. The Acharya, popularly known as ‘Surya Swami’, asked the Chief Minister to help spread the message of love and compassion amid humankind. He also explained to her the advantages of the technique known to the Himalayan Masters and his mission of popularising it for the benefit of the people.

Acharya Gopinath, who is based in Mumbai, is currently in the Capital holding a series of Surya Yoga and dynamic workshops all over the city. Some of the workshops are conducted on behalf of the Times Foundation.

During his meeting with Ms Dikshit, the Acharya said India needed great leaders to take their countrymen out of darkness towards light. “It is unfortunate that some leaders are dragging the country into a pit of darkness,’’ he lamented.

He said scientific application of the Surya Yoga technique had the potential to make people stronger and cure them of many chronic ailments like heart disease, blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, asthma and mental depression.

The technique, according to him, involves tapping the boundless energy of the Sun with open eyes for healing and improving an individual’s health status. Ms Dikshit showed keen interest in what the Acharya had to say and sought his blessings for serving the community in a better manner.


Campaign trail
For the people, of the people...
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
‘Janta hoon, janta ke liye’ is Gyanendra Tak’s winning card. An Independent candidate from Shahbad Daulatpur ward 21, Tak claims his “fight” is for equitable education, eradication of unemployment, seeking rights of the poor and against privatisation.

The ‘Janta ka’ candidate went canvassing to Rohini, Rama Vihar, Kachi Colony and adjoining areas where he promised development and welfare programmes for the people of his constituency.

“Kamal par mohar lagao, kismat ka darwaza khulwao” (vote for the lotus to open the doors good luck). People in the Kamla Nagar constituency got a taste of Aman Verma’s canvassing pill. The actor who opens the kismat ka darwaza on the idiot box was there to “support good friend Surya Prakash”.

Prakash, BJP candidate from Kamla Nagar, has been making more news because of the ‘star parivaar’ presence among his retinue. From Smriti ‘Tulsi’ Irani to Aman Verma and even Deepti Bhatnagar, all have been lending support to him.

Garnering support for the Delhi Vikas Morcha candidate from Babarpur constituency, Ms Nasreen Hamid, was Chairperson of the National Panthers Party, Prof Bhim Singh.

Professor Singh attended a public meeting here today and deliberated on why Hamid should be voted… to trounce the BJP candidate.

After being weighed against fruits yesterday, Ram Babu Sharma was weighed against coins today. The show of “support” was organised at Rohtash Nagar.

Sharma’s supporters claimed that the people in the constituency were “extremely happy with his performance and have promised to support and vote” for him. Sharma today visited Kabul Nagar, Nathu Colony Phatak, Ram Nagar Extension, New Modern Shahdara and Ashok Nagar Masjid.

Honouring the BJP candidate form Okhla, Rajpal Singh, with a ‘siropa’ the Sikh organisations have “promised” their support to “the leader” who has promised to work for them.

Rajpal’s coterie also claims that the leader has support from the village panchayats also. “We were told that the people want the BJP to come to power because they realise the Congress regime has failed to provide them with even water and electricity”, they affirmed.


Parvez Hashmi locked in straight contest
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
Former Delhi Transport Minister and AICC secretary Parvez Hashmi is facing a direct contest against the BJP in the Okhla constituency of the Delhi Assembly. Okhla is a Muslim dominated constituency from where he has won the assembly election twice.

Mr Hashmi, the sitting MLA, had won with a heavy margin of 18,000 votes against BJP candidate K. K. Mehta in the last elections.

In the 1993 Assembly elections too, Mr Hashmi had won from this constituency, though as a Janata Dal candidate.

The BJP has this time brought in a new face in Mr Raj Pal Singh. Mr Singh, a former vice president of the Delhi BJP and at present a district president of the party, belongs to the Gujjar community which has a strong presence in the constituency. He can improve the BJP position with the support of Gujjars and high- caste voters. Minority community voters are not happy with Mr Hashmi but they have no alternative to defeating the BJP in their constituency.

There are 10 candidates in the fray but the contest looks to be a straight one between the Congress and the BJP. Though the Samajwadi Party candidate Wasim Ghazi might eat into Mr Hashmi’s minority votes to some extent, his presence seems unlikely to seriously affect the prospects of his rival. A majority of the minority community of his constituency concede he has improved civic amenities in their areas. Ghazi is contesting the assembly election for the first time from the area. He is new for the local residents.

However, there is another factor this time which residents of the constituency feel goes against Mr Hashmi. The Congress candidate had a strong base in the slums in the Nehru Place, Jamia, Okhla Sriniwaspuri etc which were there in the last elections. But this time these settlements have been removed and with them have gone at least 10,000 voters.

But Mr Hashmi dismisses these calculations, saying that he added many more voters in areas like Garhi, Sriniwaspuri and East of Kailash by the development work he has taken up in his constituency.


Tainted money
SDE caught red-handed
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 21
A sub-divisional engineer (SDE) of the Irrigation Department was caught red-handed by the vigilance team while accepting a bribe of Rs 23,000 from a contractor yesterday. The SDE has been taken into police custody and a case has been registered against him.

According to information, contractor Ramesh Kumar lodged a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner that SDE Sube Singh was demanding a bribe of Rs 23,000 for passing his bills for the works done. The pending bills amounted to Rs 16 lakh. The contractor also submitted that the SDE had made a demand for Rs 60,000 and he had already paid Rs 37,000 to the SDE earlier.

After receiving the complaint, the DC reportedly deputed City Magistrate Anil Sharma and Vigilance Inspector Tara Chand to conduct a surprise raid. Then, according to the plan, Ramesh Kumar handed over Rs 23,000 to the SDE in front of the Mandi branch of the State Bank of India.

No sooner had the SDE accepted the amount than the vigilance team swung into action and recovered the amount from the possession of the SDE. The SDE was taken into the custody by the team.

This is the second incident within eight days when a government officer has been caught red- handed accepting illegal gratification. Earlier, a food and supplies inspector was nabbed by the vigilance team while accepting a bribe of Rs 750 from a commission agent on November 12.


Robbery Fallout
Noida banks to be linked by hotline

Our Correspondent

Noida, November 21
Taking a lesson from the bank robberies in Ghaziabad, the authorities in Noida have taken a decision to beef up bank security here. As an important step in this direction all Noida banks in the industrial town will be linked by a hotline.

“The criminals will find it rather difficult to penetrate this hotline system”, say the police authorities. There are about 100 banks in Noida, including some financial institutions. It has been observed that the security guards deployed outside these banks do not question those going into the bank buildings; nor do they ever frisk the visitors. The bank management has a tendency to put the responsibility of bank security on the police department.

A meeting was recently held between the Noida police and bank managements. The police were shocked to learn that in a number of banks not a single security guard was ever deployed while some were even beyond police reach and presence. Neither had they ever made a request for security arrangements to the police.

According to SSP Anant Dev during the meeting a number of serious lacunae and shortcomings were discovered in bank security. They are being addressed now. Private security guards have been posted at all the bank branches in the city. Also, it is now mandatory to deploy young security guards armed with a rifle or a gun.

It has been made clear to the banks that the police and bank managements are equally accountable for the safety of public money and the public visiting the banks.

Providing security to the banks is one of the important objectives of the police as they have to daily transact business worth crores. Armed police security guards will now be posted at the entrance of all important banks from 10 am to 4 pm. An electronic alarm system is also being installed.


Residential areas
HUDA cracks the whip on commercial establishments
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 21
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has decided to crack down on those who are undertaking commercial activities in residential sectors. Private schools, which are operating out of HUDA’s residential sectors, are particularly under the scanner. The authorities had closed two private schools in Sector 15 recently.

Responding to queries from mediapersons today, the HUDA authorities cautioned those who have not yet taken the cue. As per rules, no commercial activities can be undertaken in the residential sectors. However, a visit to a HUDA residential sector unravels a legion of commercial activities, and booming ones at that. What is disturbing is that mostly these are white-collared businesses, including some private clinics. Such mushroom growth can not take place without the connivance of the HUDA authorities, it is pointed out.

The modus operandi with regard to violation of law is simple. People from the high-heeled section of society own huge plots. As they have enough living space, they set up businesses on the premises. It is possible that some people purchase big plots in these sectors with the sole intention of starting a business.

The mushroom growth, which earlier seemed innocuous, is gradually turning some of the sectors into commercial hubs. The serenity in these sectors is also fast eroding. With residential sectors up for grabs, the land mafia is always on the prowl, ready to make a killing. The shopkeepers brazenly encroach on public land. The most glaring case is that of a well-known fast food joint in Sector 14. The proprietors have usurped the pedestrian track and the vacant space outside the joint, which was intended to enhance the aesthetic beauty of the area.

Dehat Morcha warning on scrapping of project

Greater Noida: The Dehat Morcha has warned the Mulayam Singh Yadav government not to tamper with projects linked with people’s sentiments and welfare.

The Dehat Morcha has lodged a strong protest against cancellation of Gautam Budh University project by the state government. The university was a pet project of BSP leader Ms Mayawati.

The leaders of the Dehat Morcha have cautioned the state government that it will have to face serious consequences if it played with sentiments of the people. It may be recalled that former chief minister Mayawati had, after her Ouster, threatened to launch a bloody struggle if Gautam Budh university project was jettisoned. OC


Resident’s demands go up in smoke
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 21
There have been repeated demands in almost every block level janata durbar of the administration for the last three years to make arrangements for drinking water in primary school of village Rathdhana by Khem Chand, a resident of the village, and husband of block samiti member, but the concerned authorities have reportedly failed to make provision of the drinking water in the school for the children attending the school.

According to Khem Chand, who was also present in the janata durbar at Rai on Thursday, third demand has also been made to the Deputy Commissioner, Sub-Divisional Magistrate and even to the Chief Minister on different occasions, but no progress has been made so far. He raised the same issue in yesterday’s durbar also, which was presided over by the Tehsildar Mr S. S. Phaugat, when the SDM did not reach.

The other demands listed by him in the durbar for his village included repair of the village high school building for which grant of over Rs 3 lakh had already been sanctioned, construction of a drain along with the “phirni” of the village, digging of village pond, construction of water supply tanks and removal of encroachments on school and panchayati land.

In the durbar, only three complainants reached to list their demands. Kuldeep of Rasoi village submitted that on the demands of the villagers, government sanction was granted to install an electricity transformer in Harijan locality of the village, but the concerned officials were reluctant to complete the work.

The Tehsildar directed the Bijli Nigam SDE present in the durbar, to take immediate action.

One Rup Dutt Kaushik of village Rai complained that one resident of village Nangal Kalan was serving in government service but has been receiving monthly pension as well. The officers in the durbar reviewed the progress over the complaints received in earlier durbar, which are organised on every third Thursday of the month.


Locations and use of objects are important
in Feng Shui
J. T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
Fifty-three-year-old Girija Krishnan, an expert in Vastu and Feng Shui, never believed in astrology 20 years back. But now, Girija is a consultant in Vastu and Feng-Shui and busy in travelling all over the country and abroad giving her best to bring about harmony wherever she pays a visit.

“Initially, Vastu and Feng Shui interested me after I studied several books and later got trained in Mumbai, under the world-renowned Feng Shui expert Lillian Too. Locations and use of objects are very important in Feng Shui. I always look at the scientific point of view and make lots of calculations to suit ones Feng Shui requirements,” said Girija.

A mother of three children, Girija was born in Chennai and currently living in Cochin in Kerala. She was married to a Captain in Merchant Navy. In Delhi, for some consultation, Vastu according to her is building-oriented, whereas Feng Shui is person-oriented. She often visits the Gulf countries and even received awards there.

By just keeping a laughing Buddha or some objects does not mean one get fortune and acquire wealth. But, one should know how to apply Feng Shui properly through scientific calculations to get the flow of prosperity and harmony.

“Feng Shui varies from person to person to suit according to their profession and nature. When applied properly it removes negativity, jealously and brings positive vibrations to enhance your own prosperity.”

Use of electrical gadgets at home, mobile phones and heavy stress at work considerably affects us body system, Feng Shui can even offer solutions to that. If Feng Shui is followed properly, you get everything from money, fame, career, relationships and so on, adds Girja.

A recipient of National Award for Excellence in the Field of Creative Sciences – 2002, her clients are from corporate houses, politicians, film and media personalities. She can be contacted through e-mail 


Benami purchases by paddy mafia cause huge revenue loss to govt
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 21
The Haryana Government has been suffering a huge loss of revenue on account of benami purchases of paddy by certain traders and owners of rice shellers from various foodgrain markets of the district, particularly at Ganaur and Gohana, where the paddy mafia has been active since the beginning of the procurement season of paddy.

According to a report, the racket has been going on with officials of the procurement agencies being in cahoots with unscrupulous traders and owners of rice shellers. The growers are thus forced to sell their produce at a throwaway price. They have failed to get the minimum support price of paddy fixed by the government. During the current paddy season most of the traders had made direct purchases of paddy from the growers and sold the bulk stock of paddy to the owners of rice shellers without entering it in their stock registers, thereby evading the market fee and the sales tax. Some officials of the procurement agencies are said to be involved in this racket.

It is alleged that the officials of some procurement agencies had reportedly allowed the traders to purchase the paddy marketed by the growers without showing it in their stock registers. Informed sources also say that some unscrupulous arhtiyas also adopted a new strategy to dupe the officials by showing less weight of the paddy marketed by the growers.

Official sources have revealed that as many as 48,692 tonnes of paddy had arrived in the markets of this district by November 19. These include 273 tonnes of common variety, 5,967 tonnes of `A’ grade quality and 23,649 tonnes of basmati variety. The bulk quantity of paddy stock had been purchased by the traders and owners of rice shellers. The official figures about the purchase of paddy by various procurement agencies have not been made public so far. The officials of the procurement agencies are reluctant to purchase the paddy from the growers at the minimum support price and they are forced to sell their produce at throwaway price to the private traders and the owners of rice shellers.

It is alleged that some owners of rice shellers of the district had been reportedly exporting the commodity to other states and abroad without the permission of the authorities concerned. The owners who had been granted licences for the setting up of the rice shellers were required to seek prior permission from the department concerned for exporting the rice to other states and some foreign countries and provide information about the quantity of the rice exported by them to the department concerned.

The department authorities, on the other hand, seem to be silent spectators and they have failed to check the violation of the rules.

Many paddy growers alleged that the officials of the procurement agencies were acting as “instruments” for creating a monopoly of the traders and owners of rice shellers. They also point out that they wait for the auction of their stocks marketed by them throughout the day in the mandis but the auction is always put off after the auction of some `dheris’ by the officials on some pretext or the other. The growers have no alternative but to sell their produce at throwaway price to the unscrupulous traders as well as the owners of rice shellers.

An official of the HSAMB told this correspondent here today the non-cooperative attitude of the traders and owners of rice shellers and undue haste on the part of the paddy growers to sell their produce were mainly responsible for the whole mess.


Special Focus on Jhajjar/Bahadurgarh
Irrigation dept to adjust surplus staff
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, November 21
Due to the right sizing policies of the state government, about 339 clerks and 414 peons have become surplus in the irrigation department. The department has started the process of adjusting these employees to other department or government corporations.

According to the sources, General Manager (projects) of the Irrigation Department has shot off a letter to all the superintending engineers (SEs) of the department to send information of surplus staff of the clerks, peons and other fourth grade employees with their ACRs and other details. The letter issued on October 27 to all the circle offices of the Irrigation Department and asked the detailed information within one week.

The SEs further asked the Executive Engineers, and SDOs to give details about the surplus staff. It may be mentioned that the multi-purpose health workers have been demanding to fill about 1,080 vacant posts in their department and they have re-launched their agitation on this demand on November 16 by holding a state-level workers meeting.

Licences cancelled

The Food and Supplies Department has cancelled the licences of 13 brick-klin owners in the district and forfeited the security amount of Rs 65 thousand allegedly on the charges of not following the prescribed criteria and other irregularities, Mr Mohinder Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, informed here today.

Five-yr term for robbery

The Fast Track Court of Mr D. D. Yadav sentenced two persons accused in a robbery case to five years of imprisonment.

According to information, the district police had arrested about ten persons for looting Rs 11 lakh from LIC office in Bahadurgarh on July 22, 2000.

The police recovered the amount from the two accused, Rajeev and Bholu. On the basis of the recovery of the looted amount, the District Fast Track Court awarded five years jail term to both the accused, while acquitted other accused under Section 412 IPC.


Martyrdom Day on Nov 24
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee today said that Martyrdom Day, anniversary of Sahib Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, will be held on November 24. This is according to Nanak Shahi calendar published by the SGPC Amritsar.

The Government of India declared that the Martyrdom Day would be celebrated on November 28, which is wrong. The function of the Martyrdom Day will be celebrated at Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib or Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib. A grand nagar kirtan will start from Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib and after passing through the main bazaar, it will be terminated at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib late in the evening. On November 25, a huge congregation will be held at Gurdwara Sri Rakab Ganj Sahib from morning till evening. The programme will include shabad kirtan, shabad vichar and lectures by prominent lecturers and Kavi Darbar.



Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?
If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

Mr N Chandrababu Naidu is an astute politician. His narrow escape in the bomb blast was a miracle. It is said that People’s War Group was behind the attack. After the attack, Mr Naidu remarked that it was his new birth and he would dedicate the rest of his life to the service of the people of his State.

The incident elicited sympathy for him from all over the country. Not only the people of his State but the President, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers of various States paid glowing tributes to his self-confidence.

Riding on the wave of sympathy he got the State assembly Dissolved and recommended an early election to it. But his plan seems to have gone awry with the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr J M Lyngdoh, declaring: “A quick election is not my priority, a proper election is.” Mr Lyngdoh did not find the argument, that students have their examination in March, tenable.

It is a good sign for democracy that a Constitutional machinery like the Election Commission does not yield to pulls and pressures. Free and fair elections are its sterling feature just as unhealthy threats and use of intemperate language are its bane.

Indian democracy will come of age when the leaders at the helm show their maturity and understand the spirit of democracy; when they shun the idea of continuing as caretaker chief ministers during elections. As a tribute to Indian democracy, they must resign themselves or abdicate important positions and let the Chief Election Commissioner hold the elections under President’s rule.


NIT, Faridabad

Teach politics right from childhood

Politics, which is all about taking precise decisions at the right time, could be considered as a subject in schools in order to promote national leadership. If politics is taught right from childhood, then children would be able to develop the right attitude from the very outset. In today’s world, corruption is synonymous with politics, but this term could be expunged from our vocabulary by creating awareness in the younger generation, so that they develop a wider and enthusiastic attitude towards leadership and politics.

Ruling the country on behalf of people promotes a sense of responsibility, confidence and leadership. Politics should not be restricted to adults only, but each one of us should get involved in the functioning of our government. God has given us this exquisite world and every soul has something to contribute. So, let us hope politics would someday be considered as a subject in schools. That will help develop the right kind of government comprising of leaders who will dedicate their lives to humanity!

Akanksha Chaudhary,


Bookworms needed

This is with reference to the news item captioned, “Play to promote habit of book reading” (NCR Tribune, November 01), wherein, it is stated, that Theatre in Education — branch of National School of Drama — is staging a play in public school of Faridabad for promoting book reading among school children.

I strongly feel that such plays should be staged regularly in government and private/public schools in order to inculcate the habit of books reading among school going children. Owing to 24-hour exposure to TV channels, the children are glued to TV in their leisure time.

They are no longer interested in reading books, except text books prescribed for their classes.

Keeping in view the craze for TV, someone has written in a lighter vein: “A modern child is one, who when informed that there will be eclipse of the moon that night, asks on which channel it will be on! It has also been noticed that most children are no longer interested in reading books of even school libraries.

In the given context, it is suggested that apart from staging educational plays the schools should also urge students to regularly read books/periodicals drawn from their school libraries.

Books add to our knowledge. They are our best friends. Our friends may change, but books are always patiently waiting to talk to us. They are never cross, peevish or unwilling to converse, as our friends sometimes are!



Clarification on RTVs

We would like to draw your attention to an article, “Four killed in RTV, container collision” in NCR Tribune dated Thursday, November 20, 2003. The correspondent wrongly states that the minibus, which was hit by a speeding truck near Sangam Vihar, was an RTV. When Hindustan Motors Limited sent an inquiry team to the location, it was discovered that the minibus involved in the accident (registration number DL-1V–2569) was not an RTV but a Mahindra FJ. The name RTV is increasingly being used as a generic term to encompass the entire minibus segment. We want to clarify that the RTV is a Hindustan Motors’ brand and therefore cannot be used while referring to other minibuses.

We will appreciate if you could publish a clarification in your publication on the same.


CK Birla Group

Women at fault

This is with reference to the views expressed by Richa Bedi of New Delhi in “Pray depict women fairly” (November 8). I

do agree with her that film producers and directors make money at the cost of women’s dignity by depicting them as sex symbols. But in this regard I would like to say that women are also at fault. No one can compel them to exhibit themselves as a sex symbol or dance in a vulgar way or wear skimpy dresses.

These days they enjoy exhibiting their midriff. Where is the compulsion to do so? They should not bow to unreasonable demands of directors/producers.

Money is not everything and women must keep it in mind that they are killing the culture. Family members cannot sit together and watch vulgar dances/songs.

If they keep a check, their dignity would be restored automatically.


MDU, Rohtak

Doomed to fail

It appears that the government wants to shatter the fabric of the administration. Otherwise, how could it conceive such a brilliant scheme?

Passport is a sensitive document, a coveted prize for all those on the wrong side of law, terrorists and their associates. The government takes utmost care in issuing passports and yet startling frauds and forgeries take place. Imagine the chaos when the proposed `Suraksha Sathis’ are assigned a role in the matter.

And no less important are other documents like birth and death certificates. Today this job is handled by the district administration which is responsible and well-equipped; even then forgeries and interpolations take place.

If this work is entrusted to the proposed Sathis, it will become a free for all. Needless to say a wrong birth or death entry can spell doom. It may deprive a person of inheritance or land him in some other serious trouble.

So, say good bye to this scheme, unless you want to say goodbye to Suraksha and Shanti.




Two gangsters nabbed near SBI branch
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
Two members of the dreaded Anoop gang were nabbed by the Crime Branch last evening near the State Bank of India branch in Badli area in North-West district.

Based on secret information that the duo were roaming in the area, the sleuths last evening spotted two persons near the State Bank of India and when questioned about their presence they tried to flee from the spot. But the duo Surender Khatri (28), resident of Narela, and Jaibir Singh (28), resident of Badli, were overpowered. The police seized one 9mm automatic pistol along with four live cartridges and a spring-actuated knife from their possession.

During interrogation one of the accused Surender told the sleuths that he was an active member of the Anoop gang of Najafgarh and had at least seven cases, including five murder cases in Najafgarh and Narela, registered against him. He had come out on bail seven months ago and had been hiding in Haryana.

He said as he was in dire need of money he was checking out the area for a potential victim. Since the assembly elections are round the corner, he had also offered his henchman services to the area candidates. Another accused, Jaibir, told the sleuth that he too was involved in many cases, including an attack on policemen in the Sabzi Mandi area in 2002.

Robbery case solved

With the arrest of two persons, Shamim (26), resident of Maujpur, and Amir (19), resident of Sultanpur, the North-East district police on Friday claimed to have solved a robbery that took place in November 18 in the house of one Sanjay Kapoor. The police also seized two country made pistols alongwith two live cartridges from their possession.

A robber who tried to rob the house of businessman Vimal Malik, who runs a garment factory business in Gandhi Nagar, was apprehended by an East district policeman. The youth, Zareef, resident of New Seelampur, was apprehended and a countrymade weapon was seized from his possession. The youth entered the house of Malik and threatened his wife Veena Malik and tried to loot the house.

Women drug peddlers held

The North district police claim to have busted a gang of women involved in smuggling drugs from Bihar. The police also claimed to have recovered 9.2 kg of fine quality charas worth lakhs of rupees.

The police, based on information that some women were smuggling drugs, nabbed Anita (35) and Shanti (50), residents of Bihar, and Prabhavati (32), resident of Uttar Pradesh, when they were travelling in a TSR near Pilli Kothi. The women used to smuggle drugs by wrapping the bags containing drugs around their waists.

Farmer shot dead for
resisting robbers

Ghaziabad: A farmer of Dasna village under the Mussori police station was shot dead by robbers who were trying to steal a motor from his farm. Rajaram, 65, a farmer from Sadarpur village, had gone along with his nephew Udesh to irrigate his farm in Dasna village last night where he had sunk a tubewell also.

As Raja Ram saw some miscreants trying to remove his tubewell motor he raised the alarm. At this, thieves shot at Raja Ram and fled from the scene. When Raja Ram was hit by the bullet Udesh was reportedly on the other side of the field.

He rushed to his uncle and found him lying in a pool of blood. Some other farmers had also rushed to the spot. Raja Ram, who was rushed to Hira Lal Hospital in Shastri Nagar, succumbed to his injuries during treatment. Police Circle Officer Uday Shanker said the robbers had come with the intention to commit theft. But as Raja Ram raised the alarm they feared they might be trapped. So they fired at him to escape. Udesh was cleared of any suspicion of the killing being his handiwork after questioning.

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