L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Protest against lathi charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The students of the five colleges of Punjab Agricultural University today boycotted their mid-term examinations to protest against the lathi charge on students during the musical night on the campus on Saturday evening.

Students of the colleges, including College of Basic Sciences, College of Agriculture, College of Home Science, College of Veterinary Sciences and College of Agriculture Engineering, held a rally near the Thapar Hall. They also raised slogans against the authorities and police. They demanded that responsibility be fixed for the lathi charge.

They demanded that the student leaders should be allowed to attend the Board of Management, which grants permission to outsiders to organise such programmes on the campus. The PAU had charged Rs 1.5 lakh from the organisers as fee for using the Kisan Mela ground.

Meanwhile, the PAU has ordered an inquiry into the damage done to the university building. Sources said that the damage has been evaluated at Rs 70,000. The students have, however refused to accept the report. They object that the inquiry committee had probed the damage not the circumstances leading to it.

Airing their grievances against the inquiry committee, Mr Khushwant Singh, president Punjab Agriculture Students Association, (PASA), committee members did not even formally inquire about their injuries and started asking questions about the stone pelting only. He denied that the damage to the property was done by the students. However, he alleged that the police could be instrumental in the stoning episode as it wanted to justify the lathi charge.

Darshan Singh, Dean Post Graduate Studies, who has been assigned the inquiry said that the committee would only inquire into the damage done to the university property and not anything else. He added that he would submit the inquiry report till October 21.

Later in the day, the students leaders while addressing a press conference said that they were angry that the university was not bothered about innocent students who were beaten up and it was bothered about its property.

They said that though there were vacant seats in the auditorium, cops did not allow students in. When they staged a dharna, they were lathicharged.



Plans afoot for celebrating Mohan Singh’s centenary
Asha Ahuja

Prof Mohan Singh, Dr Sarup Singh Alag, Sanmukh Azaad, Balkar Sidhu, Tejwant Kittu, Ulfat Bajwa, Ravinder Rangowal, Harjit Singh Dopar, Dr Baldev Singh who will be honoured at Prof Mohan Singh Mela to be held on October 20 at Punjabi Bhavan
(L to R) Prof Mohan Singh, Dr Sarup Singh Alag, Sanmukh Azaad, Balkar Sidhu, Tejwant Kittu, Ulfat Bajwa, Ravinder Rangowal, Harjit Singh Dopar, Dr Baldev Singh who will be honoured at Prof Mohan Singh Mela to be held on October 20 at Punjabi Bhavan. — A Tribune photograph

Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal address a press conference to give details of the Prof Mohan Singh Mela on Monday
(Fourth from left) Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal address a press conference to give details of the Prof Mohan Singh Mela on Monday. — Photo by Sayeed Ahmed 

Ludhiana, October 18
“Plans are afoot to celebrate the centenary of Punjabi literary doyen Prof Mohan Singh in different parts of Punjab,” said Jagdev Singh Jassowal, chairperson of Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, at a press conference held here today at Basant Resorts.

He said members of the foundation passed certain resolutions unanimously, which included a commemorative stamp in his memory. He further said the state government should also pressurise the Central Government in this regard. He urged the government to set up centres at villages and cities to promote Punjabi culture.

They demanded that the old and ailing folklore artistes should be given pensions. The government should make documentaries on old Punjabi singers and record their audio cassettes for preserving the rich heritage for future generations.

Mr Jassowal said the garlanding of the bust of Prof Mohan Singh at Aarti Chowk would take place at 7.30 a.m. on October 20. From there his admirers would proceed to Punjabi Bhavan where artistes invited from different parts of the state would be held. Jugglers, magicians, dhadi singers, poets will participate in the programme.

Nine great personalities of Punjabi performing arts, including Prof Mohan Singh, would be honoured on the occasion.



Beggars chase residents everywhere
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Last couple of years have seen a substantial increase in the number of beggars here. While some of them move from place to place, others stand at the traffic crossings. Hundreds of beggars can be seen at the busy crossings. Some even resort to wiping off the wind shields of vehicles to justify their claim for alms.

Resurgence India, a local NGO has filed a public interest writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the implementation of the Punjab Prevention of Beggary Act, 1971.

According to Mr UK Sharda, Resurgence India has conducted an extensive survey on beggars here.

He said, the number of beggars has been increasing significantly.

At one stage the police had detained hundreds of them. But later they had to be released. And all of them went to begging again.

The survey has revealed that the begging was being controlled by an organised racket in Ludhiana.

Some child beggar at Bhaiwala Chowk and Bharat Nagar Chowk said that they gave their alms to their “parents”. Shyam, a child beggar at Bhaiwala Chowk, had no idea about the money he makes everyday.

He starts at 9 a.m and remains there till 11 a.m. He tries to wipe off wind shields of as many vehicles as he is able to till lights turn green at the crossing.

But many vehicle owners don’t pay.

He does not know the amount of money he makes.

It is only on Saturdays that he gets “enough” money. But for this he has to put in additional efforts by getting a container and the oil.

People do not mind paying on Saturdays as they want to “please”the Shani Dev (Saturn).

Even on Saturdays Shyam, like hundreds others does not get sufficient food as all his collections are taken away by his “parents”.

The NGOs hold that instead of allowing beggars to “operate” from roadside the administration should try to rehabilitate them.

Mr DP Grover, a social worker, who spent several days among the beggars revealed that offerings worth crores of rupees in the shape of flowers and ‘prashad’ are made at various city temples.

He pointed out, everything goes waste. Instead, he suggested, this amount of money could be utilised for rehabilitating the beggars.



PAU student gets award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The M. Tech thesis of Manpreet Singh, a research fellow in the Department of Farm Power and Machinery, PAU, has been adjudged the best by the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE).

The award comes for his work on the design and development of straw push-through assembly for a no-till drill. The design of the machine is based on relative movement of paddy residues with respect to furrow openers of the drill.

The machine can be useful in burning paddy residues.

The Indian National Academy Engineering invites nominations for the M.Tech thesis award from all engineering disciplines in the country.

The award is presented for innovative ideas/projects having commercial potential. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 10,000, a gold medal and a certificate. The award will be presented at the academy’s annual convention being held on December 11 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.



Missing man found dead
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 18
The body of Baljit Singh (49) of Manngarh village 1 km from here, was found hanging from a tree near the village cremation ground today. Mr Karam Singh, member of the panchayat and younger brother of the deceased, asserted that Baljit had been missing since Sunday.

Some labourers noticed a body hanging near the cremation ground, Mr Baldev Singh, sarpanch of the village, said. He along with the family of the deceased went to the site and the latter identified it. Later, the police was also informed. A case has been registered and the body sent to the local Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.



At the Crossroads
Musings on a poet of love

There is a general impression that we do not remember our literary figures after they depart from this world. At most their birth or death anniversaries are observed for some years and then they are consigned to oblivion. It is an exception that the birth anniversary of Prof Mohan Singh has been celebrated during the past 26 years. Soon after the departure of the great Punjabi poet on May 3, 1978, an ardent admirer, Jagdev Singh Jassowal, started holding a cultural melange (mela) every year on October 20, the date of his birth.

At these annual festivals the emphasis has always been as much on the contribution of the poet to Punjabi literature as on the cultural heritage of Punjab. The poet had spent the last phase of his life in Ludhiana, first as Emeritus Professor at PAU and later leading a quiet retired life. His association with Ludhiana is as significant as that of Sahir Ludhianvi as both of them delineated the name of the city on the literary map of India.

Prof Mohan Singh was a progressive poet and wanted to change the world for the betterment of the common man. He started his career as a Lecturer in Persian at Khalsa College, Amritsar way back in the early thirties. He resigned this job and shifted to Lahore in 1939 to launch a Punjabi monthly Punj Darya. That was the time when he soared high in the field of literature and made his journal the mouthpiece of progressive ideas. For a long time to come, he as well as Amrita Pritam reigned supreme in the firmament of Punjabi poetry. They ushered in a new age in the history of modern Punjabi literature.

Essentially, he was a learned poet and demanded close study of his poetic creations. His greatest contribution was to wean the admirers of Punjabi poetry from the poetical symposium to the study table. Converting listeners into readers was, indeed, a big step in the literary field as it ultimately led to research work in all seriousness. He had the universal vision of life, but was steeped at the same time in the soil of his birth. He was born in Mardaan (now in Pakistan) in 1905 but spent the early years of his life at Dhamial (Rawalpindi), his ancestral village. His poem “Kuri Pothohar Di” is reminiscent of his romantic early youth. Later his poem “Ambi da Boota” combined emotional outpourings with rhyme, rhythm and resonance.

Like Waris Shah, Prof Mohan Singh is primarily a poet of love. He presupposes that his beloved also craves for him like he does for her. Indeed, the changing conditions of life sometimes leave him bitter and frustrated. But he is at his best when there is an emotional stimulus and sensual response from the person who is dear to him. During such moments, his gratitude to his beloved for her warm response is obvious :

The nectar of love

A shower of the nectar of love

Flooded my courtyard

Luxuriating my whole being.

In his love poems, Mohan Singh is always concerned with his psychological life. In “the calm of mind” that ensues he has composed some of his best love poems. His poem “Main hunda jaan kujh hor hor” (I have lost control over my real self) stands apart.

I long for plunges into the rivers

I want to climb up the hilly mounds

My heart is desirous of flying in the sky

To embrace the moon and the stars

The strings of my heart are vibrating

(O Prudence! stand aside)

Let me dance in full abandon

Why throw a veil over the reality of life?

I am now in the grip of a strange whim

Indeed I have lost control over my real self.

N.S. Tasneem



Class IV employees to hold protest on October 26
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 18
A meeting of the class IV Employees Union of the tehsil was held in the ground of Canal Rest House today. Employees from various departments participated in the meeting.

It was addressed by Mr Hari Chand, district chief of the union, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Mr Ram Pal, Mr Kuldeep Singh and others.

In a press note the employees alleged that the SDO, Canal, with the help of his henchmen had indulged in the harassment of union workers, who were got beaten from the policemen. They said representatives of the union were invited for a meeting on October 8, but the meeting was cancelled by the SDO.

The union has decided to organise a protest march on October 26 against the “dictatorial” attitude of the officer.

When contacted on the phone, Mr Devinder Singh, SDO, Canal, admitted that a meeting was fixed with the district unit of the union but the union did not respond to the letter of his office before the meeting.

On the alleged beating of an employee, he said it was a private matter and Mr H.S. Walia, Junior Engineer, was entrusted with an enquiry.



BSNL executives’ protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Protesting the alleged unrelenting attitude of the circle management, members of the All-India Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Executives Association, Punjab telecom circle, today sent protest grams to the CMD, BSNL, CGMT, Punjab, Director (HRD) and various other officials in this regard.

The association members alleged that the circle management had adopted a non-responsive attitude towards the career of executives. It had also failed to pay arrears, abolished posts and creating an atmosphere of aversion among SDEs.

Mr Ashok K. Khanna, circle secretary, said in a press note today that all attempts made by the association to resolve these issues had not been paid any heed to by the management.



Completion of bridge delayed
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, October 18
Work on the bridge over Sirhind Canal at village Garhi Tarkhanan near here has been delayed due to rise in the canal level.

The foundation stone was laid by the PWD Minister, Partap Singh Bajwa, on February 14, 2002. At that time Mr Bajwa had promised that the 80.90 metre-long bridge would be built at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore in three months. Twenty six months have passed, work is still on at the bridge.



Doctor booked in fraud case

Sahnewal, October 18
A doctor of Bhaini Sahib village has been booked by the Sahnewal police for allegedly duping a Mohali resident of Rs. 54,000. According to Paramjit Singh, Dr Sukhdev Singh took Rs 72,000 from him for sending him to Malaysia. He said instead of sending him to Malaysia the doctor sent him to Thailand and tried to pacify him by returning Rs 18,000.

Paramjit Singh complained to the Sahnewal police that the doctor had refused to pay back the remaining amount.

A case of fraud has been registered against the doctor.

Crackers seized: The Sahnewal police recovered 201 boxes of crackers on Sunday from Subegh Singh, who took some shops on rent from Jagjit Singh Baba and sold crackers without licence at Tibba village. The complaint was made by the owner of the shops on the basis of which Subegh Singh was arrested.

Life term: The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr D.R. Arora, has sentenced Varinder Singh of Hardev Nagar, Khanna, to rigorous life imprisonment for murdering Dilbagh Singh in 2002. A fine of Rs 10,000 has also been imposed upon him.

He was booked under Sections 302 and 25 of the Arms Act, at the Sadar police station on October 13, 2002, following the statement of Gurmeet Singh of Nawan Pind. According to the prosecution, Dilbagh Singh was killed over a dispute over a girl.


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