C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Man jumps to death in Sukhna Lake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
A Sector 20 resident working as peon in a courier company jumped to death into the Sukhna Lake here this evening.

Ajay Anand (33) was extricated alive from the muddy waters within minutes by the Personal Assistant to the Haryana Governor, Mr Bakhwinder Singh and a Head Constable, Mr Jagdev Singh. He, however, died in the Sector 16 General Hospital. The motive of the suicide could not be known as his shocked family members were not in a position to talk.

Eyewitnesses advocates Tara Chand Gupta and Rakesh Sharma reportedly told the police that they saw Anand jumping into the water. They raised the alarm.

Bakhwinder Singh, who was strolling in the area, removed his clothes and entered the water. He saw the hair of Anand. The Head Constable followed Bakhwinder Singh into the water. Both of them tried to pump out water from his lungs. Ajay left behind his wife Reena and a child.

Bakhwinder Singh said when Anand was taken out, he was alive and they pressed his chest to bring the water out. Muddy water and grass beneath the water surface came out of his mouth. He was immediately rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

Bakhwinder’s friend Rajeshwar Sharma told Chandigarh Tribune that they were walking along the lake and he saw the PA to the Haryana Governor rushing towards a crowd which was crying if anybody knew swimming. Bakhwinder immediately ran for providing help. Rajeshwar, a teacher, said he also knew swimming, but took a moment to realise what to do.

Bakhwinder risked his life as water in the Sukhna Lake was muddy. The police swimmers go into the water tying a rope on their waist to be immediately taken out in case they get stuck in the swamp.

Bakhwinder said he was confident of jumping into the water as he had learnt swimming in the Yamuna at Barasat village in the Gharaunda area.

The spate of the suicide attempts recently in the Sukhna has raised alarm about improving security along the lake to scuttle such attempts.

The police has heightened the vigil along the lake to make available the beat constable within two minutes of an SOS.

The staff in the lake police post told Chandigarh Tribune that they had been getting telephone calls from the families of those who went missing.

They also said in a number of cases, they also get telephone calls to look for a person who had threatened to commit suicide in Sukhna Lake after a family dispute.

A policeman said they were busy looking for a person who had held out the suicide threat to his wife. They said such complaints even came from old persons whose life partner had threatened to commit suicide in the lake.


Incidents continue....

Despite efforts by the Chandigarh police to check drowning in the Sukhna Lake area, such incidents continue. Warning boards have been installed at several places at the lake. There is round-the-clock patrolling by the police, but little has been achieved.

At least two suicides were committed at the regulator end of the lake. The police maintains that it is difficult to keep a regular watch around the lake area and the visitors to the lake should also react if they see somebody entering the water. People living around the regulator end opine that at least the area should be fenced. There is no permanent medical help at the lake to provide immediate help in such cases.

Suicides and suicide attempts in the past four months at the lake

March 3 — A 23-year-old tailor from Sector 21, Sandeep, tied his two children, Reema (6) and Deepak (3), to his body and jumped into the lake. The three were saved by the cops patrolling the lake.

February 24 — A Cable Ordinance Factory employee rode his scooter into the water of the lake when hundreds of the people were enjoying the bright sun. He was saved by the cops.

February 22 — The body of 22-year-old Gitanjali, a student of BA final, MCM College, Sector 36, was fished out of the water of the lake.

December 16 — The decomposed body of 23-year-old Amandeep Singh, son of a journalist, was taken out of the lake.


Another man kills self

A 40-year-old gardener of Dadu Majra hanged himself from the ceiling of his house this evening.

Jagdish, who committed suicide, was a resident of house number 1494, Dadu Majra Colony. He was father of three children. The cause of the suicide could not be ascertained immediately.


Satya Pal Jain’s name cleared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The name of Mr Satya Pal Jain has been cleared by the central election committee of the BJP as the local candidate for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Mr Jain was elected MP in 1996 and 1998. Born at Kharar, Mr Jain did his MA in political science at Panjab University. He was elected general secretary of the Panjab University Campus Student Council in 1974.

He had been a member of the Panjab University Senate since 1976. He participated in the Sampurn Kranti movement led by Jai Prakash Narain in 1975. He remained the president of the local unit of the ABVP for 10 years and has been associated with the RSS. He has held a number of positions in the BJP.

Mr Jain started his career as a newspaper hawker in Kharar and at the same time carried on with his education.

In a joint statement to the Press today, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit of the party, Mr Purshotam Mahajan, vice-president, and Mr B.K. Kapoor and Mr Kewal Krishan Adiwal, general secretaries of the party, welcomed the decision. His supporters burst crackers at the party office in support of his candidature.

Earlier there were reports that Mr Dharam Pal Gupta, a former president of the local BJP, might get the ticket.


3 killed in road accidents
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, March 14
A man was killed when his cycle was hit by a scooter in Phase VIII Industrial Area here today. Both were seriously injured and taken to a nursing home where the cyclist died after a few hours.

The cyclist could not be identified but a piece of paper recovered from his pocket had Daya Ram written on it. "We are presuming that his name is Daya Ram but till we have someone coming looking for a missing person we will not be able to identify him," said Mr Bhupinder Singh, SHO, Phase I.

The scooterist, Bahadur Singh, has been hospitalised but his condition is stable. A case has been registered.

PANCHKULA: A seven-year-old girl, Jyoti, was crushed to death by a truck in Old Panchkula on Sunday. Jyoti, daughter of a roadside vendor, was crossing the road when the truck ran over her. The driver of the truck is missing.

Zirakpur: Cheura Mal, (12) was killed when a car knocked him down on the Patiala-Chandigarh highway near Turi Mandi on Sunday.

According to the police, the boy was crossing the road when the car hit him. He fell unconscious and the car occupants reportedly took him to the General Hospital in Sector 16, Chandigarh, where he was declared brought dead.


Sister city status mooted for Chandigarh, French town
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Ms Martire Fontainilles, Deputy Mayor of St Etienne, a town in France, and in charge of architecture, youth and cultural affairs, today called on the Punjab Governor, Justice O. P. Verma, at Raj Bhavan with a suggestion that Chandigarh and St Etienne be declared sister cities.

She said she was in the city to explore the possibility of encouraging an exchange programme between St Etienne and Chandigarh and she wanted to start this exercise from Colleges of Architecture of both the cities.

Welcoming her suggestion, the Administration said once the Colleges of Architecture joined hand, she should send a detailed proposal to the Chandigarh Administraion in this connection. The Deputy Mayor said they were taking care to preserve the work of Le Corbusier in St Etienne. She said the buildings that had been planned and designed by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh should be declared as heritage monuments. She offered to contribute their skills in the preservation task. She said both cities could request UNESCO for financial aid and put up the proposal to it jointly.

She explained the working of the municipal corporation in their city and was interested in studying the working of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. She presented a medal designed by craftsmen of St Etienne to the Governor. The Administrator presented a “phulkari” shawl to her.


NRI doctor wills property to PU
Finances dental institute at alma mater
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Dr Harvansh Singh JudgeIn the early 60s, he was a student travelling in packed compartments of the third class of the Howrah Mail. Today, he is financing the construction of a dental institute at Panjab University, his alma mater.

The Canada-based dental surgeon, Dr Harvansh Singh Judge, is not only contributing Rs 2 crore towards the institute but has also decided to will his entire property, worth nearly Rs 8 crore, to the university. A list of all his assets has already been submitted to the authorities.

“I am just repaying my debts everywhere. The rest is all God’s handiwork,” says this philanthropist while speaking to The Tribune. In the city to give a final shape to his contribution plan for the institute, he earlier provided financial assistance for the construction of a school in the name of his father at his native village, Attowal (Hoshiarpur). A hall in the memory of his mother in the same school was later added.

An alumni of Panjab University, Dr Judge passed out with a BDS degree from the dental college at Amritsar, now affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University, in 1966. He returns to India every year to meet his friends and family and experience the “homeliness” of his motherland.

“My bond with India is a very strong and the love for my country constantly beckons me. I keep in touch with everyday happenings in India by going through newspapers on the Internet. A regular reader of The Tribune in Canada, I was struck by a story highlighting that the Panjab University had been forced to shelve its dental institute project for want of funds. Something in me clicked and, in this, I found the perfect opportunity to serve my university. That is how the ball got rolling and I made up my mind to give away everything,” he recalls.

Delighted that the project has crossed the first hurdle with the university Syndicate giving its nod, Dr Judge is having some anxious moments waiting for March 28, the day the Senate meets to give its verdict though he is hopeful the item will be passed.

“I have done a degree from Toronto University in Canada as well and the university authorities there had approached me for financial support. I started a scholarship for them. However, I was never interested in giving them everything. After all, Indians abroad have their heart back home and I am no exception,” he adds.

This time, Dr Judge says, he took the flight from Canada to India with a house-hunting mission in mind. “I was only supposed to explore the possibility of donating funds, nearly Rs 1 crore, to the university for the dental institute. When I approached the university with my proposal, they readily accepted it. I immediately dropped the idea of buying a house. I thought the money would serve greater purpose in the university. I could stay in a hotel whenever I came visiting just like before. That’s hardly a problem,” he reasons.

Having worked for a couple of months in the PGIMER before leaving for Canada in 1970, Dr Judge swears by the opportunities that exist abroad and the recognition hard work brings with it. “I was the second most qualified dental surgeon in Punjab in the late 60s and joined the PGI. They could not retain me for long. I went to Canada to test the waters without resigning from here. Subsequently, I sent my resignation. The only reply I got was that my dues would not be paid. I didn’t mind that since greater opportunities lay ahead,” he informs.

Content at having partially achieved his mission, 63-year-old Dr Judge, a bachelor, goes back to his days of youth,“As a college student, I only aspired to make both ends meet when a job did come my way. Canada happened unexpectedly for me and from there started my upward climb. The thought of donating my money first crossed my mind some 20 years back. Since then, I have been constantly looking for avenues to donate funds. In the university, I have found a secure guardian for my wealth which will be put to good use. My mission in life has been accomplished and my mind is at rest.”

Still to meet his family spread out in Punjab, at the moment Dr Judge is focussing only on seeing the project through till the end. “I only want the institute to be named after me. It would be a recognition of my contribution to a university close to my heart. There can be no greater honour for me,” he concludes.


Frail frame hides a brilliant mind
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Dr Anish GoelAppearances may be deceptive. But they can rarely be more deceptive than in the case of Dr Anish Goel, a brilliant scientist of Indian origin who has now made it as a regional science and economic officer in the powerful US Department of State, Washington, DC.

His job is to provide inputs to his immediate boss, the Assistant Secretary of State, Ms Christina Rocca, for the formulation and negotiation of foreign policy in the areas of science, technology, health, economic development and trade in India, Pakistan and other South Asian nations.

At first glance, the diminutive 28-year-old Dr Goel can be mistaken for a teenager barely out of college. But his frail frame and unassuming airs hide a brilliant mind and brilliant academic background. Dr Goel’s family hails from Patiala where his father, Dr Vijay Kumar Goel was born and brought up.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Dr Anish Goel has done his Ph.D in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. He has taken part in a NASA-sponsored research project during which he had a ride in a huge US Air Force plane and conducted certain experiments in zero gravity.

He did his bit in the recent SAARC summit held at Islamabad, in the evolution of SAFTA (South Asia Free Trade Agreement) and promoting Indo-Pak dialogue. “The USA is not invited to any SAARC meeting,” he points out. “But we had a role to play in terms of providing advice. We made our position known to all concerned on various issues.”

The result has been gratifying. “There is a positive atmosphere for the first time ever in the subcontinent. The USA will remain supportive of a continuing dialogue between India and Pakistan.”

Before joining the US State Department, Dr Goel served in the office of Senator Jay Rockefeller, Washington DC. where he performed “policy research and wrote briefing memos on science and technology issues and ensured consistency in the Senator’s record by advising him on floor votes, analysing and drafting legislation and preparing him for meetings and hearings.”

Dr Goel joined the US State Department six months ago. “It was a fellowship programme at the end of which they chose me”, said Dr Goel in an interview with TNS here today. He was in town to see members of his family during a brief break in a series of meetings he has been attending at the US Embassy in Delhi. He is due to go to Islamabad shortly. “Most people join the State Department by clearing exams for foreign service. There are political appointees also.

“I consider myself fortunate to be able to serve in the US State Department. And I am very excited about my assignment,” he adds.

His father, Dr Vijay Kumar Goel obtained his bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from Thapar Engineering College, Patiala in 1966 where he also won a gold medal for excellence in studies. He did his masters in the same subject from Roorkee where again he was a gold medalist. He taught for a while in Thapar Engineering College before going to Sydney, Australia to do his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. Anish was born in Sydney in 1976. Dr Goel worked for a while in AIIMS and IIT, Delhi, before the family shifted to the USA where Dr Goel is now the chairman of biomedical engineering in the University of Toledo, Ohio.


New UGC system to finance colleges, varsities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has started a new system to finance colleges and universities. The funds provided under the new system would be in addition to the general development assistance provided by the commission, Prof Ved Prakash, Secretary, UGC, said here today.

He said seeing the problems faced by colleges in running vocational courses, career-oriented courses were being offered to colleges. For taking new courses, each college concerned was being offered between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 17 lakh, for every group. Prof Ved Prakash was in the city to attend the convocation of the Guru Gobind Singh College for Women.

He said the UGC had decided to fund universities and colleges located in backward areas. On the basis of list of 2,149 backward blocks as identified by the Planning Commission, the UGC would grant Rs 30 lakh to every university and Rs 10 lakh to every college. The funds would have to be used to create infrastructure.

Under another scheme, the colleges established between 1997 and 2002, would get a grant of Rs 10 lakh for infrastructure.

A scheme to promote excellence has also been introduced, he said. The commission would grant Rs 1 crore to autonomous colleges accredited by the National Accreditation Committee (NAC). The colleges which were not autonomous but were NAC accredited would get Rs 65 lakh. Under this scheme, five universities would get Rs 30 crore each.

The commission has also decided to provide free Internet connectivity for unlimited hours to around 120 universities and 1,440 colleges in the country. It would also provide computers to the needy institutions.

The commission had started an electronic journal (e-journal). Already 250 journals in basic sciences and 400 in social sciences could be accessed through the Internet, free of cost.

He said the commission had also decided to provide 100 per cent funding for construction of hostel for girls.

Earlier, the commission funded 60 per cent of the cost and rest was borne by the respective state government. Earlier, in his address at the convocation function, Prof Ved Prakash congratulated the degree holders.

The annual report of the college was read out by Dr Harinder Jit Kaur, Principal of the college. She gave degrees to the students. Mr G.S. Brar and Col J.S. Bala (retd), members of the Sikh Educational Society, also graced the occasion.

As many as 265 students received BA, BCom, BCA, BBA and MSc (IT) degrees. Gayatri Ahluwalia of BCA-II and Rohini of MSc-II won cash prize of Rs10,000 each for achieving the first position in Panjab University. Amandeep Kaur MSc (IT) received Rs 8000 for securing the second position in Panjab University. The roll of honour in academics was given to Rohini of M.Sc (IT).


Touring Jammu students taste ‘freedom’
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

A group of students from the remote areas of the Jammu region visit Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore, near Chandigarh, on Sunday.
A group of students from the remote areas of the Jammu region visit Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore, near Chandigarh, on Sunday.

Pinjore, March 14
There’s life beyond deafening gunshots and bloody encounters.

Nobody could sense it better than these youngsters from remote areas of Jammu, who are on an educational tour. The itinerary of these group of 40-odd youngsters is specked with historical marvels like the Golden Temple, Taj Mahal, the Durgiana Mandir, Red Fort. As they, on Sunday, went round the Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore, a legacy of the Maharaja of Patiala, the excitement and wonder of it all shone on their faces.

Amrik Singh, a plus two student from Government Higher Secondary School, Rajouri, says, “We are feeling free and I can’t just believe my luck that I shall be actually seeing the Taj Mahal, which I have so far only read about.” Similar feelings were expressed by Munish Singh, who said it was fun walking about in Sector 17 yesterday till late at night. They are used to staying indoors after 7 pm back home. “Fear of militancy haunts us and prevents us from leading a carefree life,” he laments.

The group of plus one students who started their tour from Jammu on March 13 will be visiting Delhi, Agra, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Kurukshetra before returning on March 22. The students are camping at the CRPF Group Centre at Pinjore. On reaching Chandigarh, they had a field day visiting Sukhna Lake, the famous Rock Garden and the Rose Garden during their one-day stay here.

Taraiz Akhlaq, a student from Government school, Harni in Poonch district, said in Delhi. “We shall also be meeting the Vice-President of India. I wish to tell him my desire to join the forces and fight for the honour of my country,” he says.

Imitiaz Hussain from Doda district was impressed by the grandeur of Golden Temple. He said it would not have been possible for him to come to Amritsar to see all this but for the efforts of the CRPF men, who conduct such tours under their Civic Action Plan.

These trips not only broaden their horizons but also gives them a better insight into the concepts of national unity and universal brotherhood, says Dalip Singh Ambesh, the officer in charge accompanying them from the 49Bn of CRPF. A pharmacist and another subordinate officer is also accompanying them.

Shakir Hussain of Kishtwar district said his parents were hesitant to send him but were convinced when they were told that eight security personnel would be travelling with them. Mohammed Arif also had no idea of all the magnificent places they would be visiting during the trip before they started their journey. “Chandigarh is so well planned and an architect’s marvel indeed!”, he says.

Earlier, while welcoming the students at the Group Centre, Pinjore, Mr SMZ Rizvi, DIG, CRPF, said such tours and interactions with people from other parts of India helped build better and cordial ties with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.


Governor lays stress on need to educate rural consumers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 14
The Punjab Governor and Administrator, UT Chandigarh, Justice O. P. Verma (retd), today underlined the need for strengthening the consumer awareness campaign.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Consumer Fair at Parade Ground here, Justice Verma said there was a need to educate the rural consumers regarding their rights and duties. He said though urban consumers were much educated about their rights but there was an urgent need to take this movement to the rural areas.

Appreciating the role of consumer forum, Justice Verma said the forum should also focus on young citizens so that they should emerge as educated consumers of future.

He said in the market driven economy, consumer was the king but he should be fully aware of his rights. Justice Verma also presented a cheque of Rs 40,000 to the forum.

Earlier, Col Sarwan Singh, chairman of the forum, welcomed the chief guest. Mr H. S. Ahluwalia, secretary-general, presented the annual report while Mr R. K. Kaplash, Director, Celebrations, gave a brief account of the activities of the forum.

A seminar on medical services was held in which Dr B. H. S. Walia, former Director of the PGI, Dr Krishan Vij and Lieut-Gen R. C. Ahuja and other eminent doctors participated.


‘Market-driven journalism affecting credibility’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Market driven journalism is affecting the credibility of the print media, observed The Times of India’s Resident Editor Dinesh Kumar in his keynote address at a seminar here on ‘Globalisation of media and accountability’.

The two-day seminar was organised jointly by the Chandigarh chapter of the Public Relations Society, the Chandigarh Management Association, the Communications Management Foundation, New Delhi, and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, New Delhi.

“Localisation of news with city-centric editions, having shorter copy and more visuals, is the new trend. It is redefining the craft of journalism and the contents are also more like advertorials aimed at entertaining the people,” he said. He lamented that over the years the disparity between newspapers had grown, including English versus non-English, regional versus national. It was also affecting the credibility of the contents. Developmental journalist from New Delhi Nandani Sahai said the media had to be a custodian of the national interest and social issues, and the global news must be customised to suit the local needs.

Mr Rajeshwar Dyal, Adviser, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, New Delhi, emphasised the need for extensive readership surveys pointing out not what the people were reading, but what they would prefer to read.

Ms Uma Yadav, Director, Communications Management Foundation, pointed out that the media accountability had become a vital factor.

Former Editor of Dainik Tribune Vijay Saigal emphasised the need of value-based journalism with honesty, truth and non-partisan reporting as corner stones. Accountability to one’s profession should be upper most criterion in the mind of a journalist, who, despite having the power of the pen, should also try to exercise self-restraint while reporting on issues of public interests, he added. Mr Subash Bijlani, president, Magnus Consultants, and a consultant on intellectual property rights to UNCTAD, spoke about information piracy and intellectual property rights. He said the Indian Copyrights Act was one of the toughest and the best in the world and was being referred to by other countries, but unfortunately its implementation and enforcement was the weakest point here.

Mr Piyush Gupta, an IT consultant, spoke on the threats from the globalisation process initiated by the worldwide web and the Internet. He said cyber crimes were on the rise and globally it was increasing at the rate of 4.1 per cent per week.

He said though the Indian IT Act 2000 had been passed, it required to be more dynamic in view of the fast growth in the field of information technology. Mr Jatinder Vijh, public relations manager, HMT Limited, said the Internet had become a digital press where anyone could publish any thing at any time within a few minutes. Growing accessibility to the Internet was posing a challenge to media professionals.


With 3 disabled children, he has nowhere to go
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Strange are the ways of the world. Light follows darkness but it is hard to explain away the perpetual darkness in the life of Mr Muzahir Hussain, father of three children, all of who are disabled.

His eldest son Surfraz 18 has been declared 100 per cent disabled by the Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children (Sector 32). He is in the habit of beating children and once even jumped from a first floor. He utters obscenities at home, much to the embarrassment of the children of Mr Hussain’s brothers. Surfraz has to be chained.

The house where Mr Hussain stays is in the name of his father and also houses the families of his two brothers. His daughters, Rubina and Nagma, are deaf and dumb. Nagma is also acutely mentally disabled like her brother. Mr Hussain has asked to look for an alternative accommodation.

A barber in Sector 47, Mr Hussain does not want to be a subject of pity. He only wants the Administration to provide him with an accommodation. He is willing to make the payment to the flat that he seeks in the category of the physically disabled applicants. “ My children who are the rightful claimants cannot apply so I should be allowed a small house on their behalf for their care”, he says.

He has met officers concerned in the Housing Board, besides councillors, but to no avail. “ I am a subject of pity but there is no action on ground to support my demand”, he says, adding that he had written to the President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Governor, other than the Chairman of the Housing Board. “ I was personally escorted by a councillor to the officials concerned, however, nothing has happened,” he says.

He will be able to pay the instalments if he is allotted a house. “I will be indebted if the Administration gives me a roof with minimal facilities for my family”, he says.


Spring Fest draws crowds
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 14
The two-day Spring Fest, organised by Haryana Urban Development Authority(HUDA), drew crowds on the last day here today.

The Town Park in Sector 5, which wore a deserted look on account of the Indo-Pak one-day tie yesterday, bustled with activity today, with the Sunday crowd adding colour to the festival.

Even as folk dancers and rope-trick artistes entertained the visitors inside the park, the stall selling household items outside the park did brisk business. The two artist galleries and the prize-winning entries also attracted crowds.

HUDA Chief Administrator N.C. Wadhawa gave away prizes to the winners of various events, including best flower-arrangements.

The following are the results of today’s events: healthy baby show: (6 months to 18 months): girls: Disha Katia (I); Ustatt Anand (II); boys: Aryan (I); Alamjot Singh Virk (II); 18 months to 3 years: girls: Sejal Oberai (I); Palak Gupta and Naina Vij (II); boys: Saksham Kumar (I); Shivam Mittal(II); 3 years to 4 years: girls: Ananya (I); Shubkarman (II); boys: Akshat Dangi (I); Ashray Bhardwaj (II); solo dance: below 11 years: Kavya (I); Govind Arora, Dolly and Shubham Vij (II); above 11 years : Sakshi (I); Manish Gandhi and Ashutosh (II); mono-acting: Dhanajay Saini (I); Shubham Vij and Vikramaditya (II).


Mohali residents go without power
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 14
The residents of Phase II, Phase 3A and Phase 3B1 here today remained without electricity for more than 13 hours following a snag that had developed after certain maintenance work was carried out.

The officials of the Punjab State Electricity Board said they had undertaken the laying of new electricity wires from Phase 3B1 to Phase II for which they had already informed the public about the scheduled power shut down from 9 am to 5 pm.

“However, when the work ended at about 5 pm some new wires got entangled and as a result, the power supply got snapped. The work had to be restarted,’’ said Mr K.S. Sidhu of the PSEB.

Mr Sidhu, who was at the site where the wires were being connected, said all those who had come to enquire about the status of the repairs had been assured that the power supply would be revived by 11 pm.

The worst-affected have been the students who have to appear for their in examinations tomorrow. Many residents made a beeline for the PSEB's office in the industrial area also. ‘‘People are upset as there has been no electricity since morning, said Ms Manmohan Kaur, a municipal councillor residing in Phase II.


150 attend yoga camp

Chandigarh, March 14
At least 150 persons, including sportsmen and coaches, along with civil and military officers and members of their families, attended the ‘Yoga to arogya’ camp at the CLTA Tennis Stadium, Sector 10, here on the opening day today.

The camp began at 6 a.m. and lasted one hour and 25 minutes. Swami Adhyatmananda demonstrated various ‘asanas’ and said he would stress on the basic ‘asanas’ of yoga. The camp will conclude on March 20. Swami Adhyatmananda explained the yogic system as a programme for a healthy mind in a healthy body. He said as per an ancient Indian philosophy, yoga was a way of life. OC


Seminar on corruption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
There is a need to focus on ways to root out corruption. This was stated by former Haryana Chief Secretary B.S. Ojha here today. He was addressing a seminar on ‘Corruption and quality of governance’ at the ICSSR Complex in Panjab University here to mark the golden jubilee of the Indian Institute of Public Administration. Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, inaugurated the seminar. Prof B.S. Ghuman, seminar director, introduced the theme of the seminar.


Search Within
Can man live without God?

Can man live without God? Can he live without God in a reasonable way? The answer is in the negative according to Ravi Zacharias, a writer on apologetics, who has written a book titled: Can man live without God?

He holds that without a point of reference, such as God, a person is compelled to deny a moral law, to abandon hope and to forfeit meaning. Man is then left to design his own meaning and moral law. The result then is chaos.

There have been thinkers who opined that the quest after morality was an ill-fated pursuit imposed by religions, dwarfing man and imprisoning him with fear. Man was nothing but the product of environment and heredity. They held out a theory of evolution whereby man is only half way through his journey from being a beast to becoming the Superman.

Dr Zacharias points out that Immanuel Kant was perhaps the godfather of goodness procurable apart from God. Kant asserted that the rules of morality were rational and hence compelling for all rational beings. His foundational premise was that human beings could arrive at a normative dictum for right and wrong by “reason”.

Kant believed that this dictum was not a theoretical “ought” that was unreachable. He believed that mankind had within itself the capacity to perform that “ought”. So by reason one can know what is right and by one’s will one can do what is right.

This belief that a normative ethics can be arrived at apart from a divine revelation has philosophical, social and historical contradictions. He points out that the categories of right and wrong emerging from a secular viewpoint find no common ground with cultures whose ethics and political theories are born out of religious commitment.

Summarising how different cultures arrive at concepts of right and wrong, Dr Zacharias postulates that for Islam, truth has been “revealed”; for Hinduism and Buddhism, truth is “intuitive”; for the Western world, truth is “reasoned”; and for the secularised Western man, his own happiness is paramount.

Philosopher Kant has indeed failed in his efforts to provide an unassailable, rational basis for ethics apart from God. The postulation of ethics apart from God becomes difficult because without God, the purpose and destiny of human life falls into gray areas. Dostoveski has said if God is dead everything is justifiable. And in man’s search for morality and happiness outside God, he has effectively lost all three — God, morality and happiness — says the author.

Nietzche’s concept of Superman attracted persons like Hitler and Mussolini. The impetus for the Holocaust did not come from a military strategy as much as it did from the educated elite’s belief in its philosophies and materialistic assumptions.

The sense of wonder in childhood, the pursuit of truth in adolescence, the longing for love in adulthood and life experiences tend to strengthen the search for God. One of the common refrains we hear from those who reached the pinnacles of success is its emptiness that still stacks their lives, all their successes notwithstanding. This inevitable slide to emptiness makes H.L. Mencken to conclude that “the problem with life is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is bore.” Reason has no answer to pain and suffering as well.

The problem of death in the Christian faith was solved with Jesus Christ rising triumphantly from the grave and proclaiming the resurrection of the dead. Of course, immortality of the soul is an accepted truth with all major religions.

M.P.K. Kutty


Mob attacks policemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
A mob in Dadu Majra Colony reportedly attacked police personnel and thrashed a shopkeeper inside a PCR vehicle here this evening.

Eye witnesses said a few persons from the crowd jostled around the policemen who came in a PCR vehicle and held a shopkeeper, called Prince, by the hair in the presence of the police staff.

The police, however, dismissed the incident saying there was no attack on the police personnel.

The mob gathered when Hamid Tailor slapped a son of Paramjit Singh. Prince came to intervene in the fight and entered into an argument with Paramjit.

Paramjit called a group of persons known to him. Members of Paramjit Singh’s group attacked Prince at his shop. The police was called in and saved Prince to take him to hospital. The crowd still tried to beat Prince after the police took him into custody. Prince was injured.

Eyewitnesses said the mob frenzy forced the police to beat a hasty retreat. The policemen on duty had to return.

The mob then danced on the streets after forcing the police to go back from the scene.


Goods worth 20 lakh gutted
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 14
Goods worth Rs 20 lakh were gutted in a fire that broke out in a cloth shop last night. The fire started at SCF 28, Phase V, at around 10.30 pm and by the time the watchman saw the smoke emanating from the shop, and raise the alarm, most of the cloth stored in the shop had burnt.

The shop owner, Harinder Pal Singh, said he was still calculating the loss but estimated it was close to Rs 20

It took over two hours to control the fire. “Fire officials visited the shop today and said the fire had been caused due to a short-circuit,’’ Harinder Pal Singh said.


ATM card, 2 mobile phones stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 14
Thieves took away two mobile phones and a wallet containing an ATM card and some documents from the Maruti Wagon - R car (CH-03M-9600) of Sector 22 resident Yashpal from the parking lot opposite Shanti Kunj in Sector 16 here this morning. Mr Yashpal left behind the mobile phones and wallet in the car before going for a walk in the Rose Garden.

After about 40 minutes, he returned and found a glass of the front door of the car broken and his belongings stolen. He told the police that a youth, earlier sitting along with anther person in a Maruti Zen car in the parking, had followed him in the garden, but had later disappeared. In an almost similar theft, on the morning of March 11, a briefcase of a Jalandhar resident was stolen. Besides some documents, the briefcase contained Rs 4,000.


Evening trading
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
For the convenience of commodity players and in line with the trading hour of international markets, now Chandigarh will also observe evening trading hours from 7 pm to 11.30 pm. Sterling Finman Private Limited, region’s first online stockbrokers and leading financial services group, will, besides trading in gold and silver, also trade in soyabean, soya oil, mustard seed, mustard oil and cotton.

This information was given by Mr Virender Mansukhani, director of Mansukh Commodity Futures Private Limited. He was speaking at a seminar here. He said NSE, ICICI Bank, LIC of India and NABARD were the promoters of the exchange.


Businessmen urged to renew licences for 2004-05
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The Director Health Services, who is also the Local Health Authority, has called upon the local business community to get its licences renewed for the year 2004-2005.

Licence is required by those dealing in the sale, manufacture, storage, distribution or exhibition of food items. The licences issued under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, will expire on March 31.

Licences are not required for meat products, which are covered under the Meat Food Products Order.

People requiring new licences can apply at the Community Health Centre, Sector 22, on any working day on the prescribed forms, which are available free of cost from April 1 to April 30.


Sarpanches warn industrial units on pollution
Our Correspondent

Lalru, March 14
Taking a serious view of air pollution, members of the local sarpanch union have warned certain industrial units running from this part of the state to stop emitting pollution or face the music.

In a press note issued by Mr Nirmal Singh, president of the union and sarpanch of Lalru village, complained the certain industrial units in the area had been causing air and water pollution for the last many years.

They complained that the worst affected villages were Lalru, Magra, Jalalpur, Bassi, Hasanpur, Lehli, Dappar and Chaundheri. Residents of these villages had been falling prey to water-borne diseases.

Mr Harvinder Singh, general secretary of the union, alleged that though a representation in this regard had been given to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, nothing has been done in this regard.

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