L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Effigies of evil go up in flames
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 22
The city today echoed with sound of explosions, marking the triumph of good over evil. As the effigies burnt, it brought cheers to the faces of residents.
Huge effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Khumbhkaran, stuffed with firecrackers, burnt with loud explosions, which could be heard from a distance. At some places, the effigy of Ravana was set afire through a remote.

Dasehra was celebrated at over 100 different venues all over the city with religious fervour.

The festival is celebrated on “Vijay Dashmi” signifying triumph of good over evil. The day began with people worshipping Lord Rama in temples and at homes.

Some temples played devotional music throughout the night. Temples were tastefully decorated and Durga Mata Temple saw a floral gate erected to welcome the devotees.

The Metro road in Focal Point presented a panoramic view of roadside mela shops selling watches, toys, ringlets, bead strings etc. Shops selling “jalebis” and “pakoras” did a brisk business.

As the day progressed, more and more people came out on to the streets and by the evening the roads were full to their brim.

Policemen on duty had a tough time controlling the milling crowds.

Both Sukhdev Nagar and HIG/MIG houses, on either side of the Metro road, were abuzz with mela activity.

The Shri Ram Lila Committee celebrated Dasehra at Daresi Grounds, the oldest Dasehra venue of the city.

The function was presided over by Lala Lajpat Rai, MP. State Minister of Science and Technology Rakesh Pandey was the chief guest, while DC Anurag Verma performed the flag hoisting ceremony.

At Upkar Nagar, Dasehra was celebrated with a function held by the Dasehra Committee of the locality.

Charanjit Singh Atwal and Gurcharan Singh Ghalib were the chief guests, while Rakesh Pandey was the guest of honour. The flag hoisting ceremony was done by Ashok Sareen.

The Urban State Ram Leela Dasehra Committee also organised a function at the grounds adjoining the temple, near Dugri water tank.

People from Dugri, Model Town, Jawaddi and other villages thronged the mela.

The function was presided over by MC Mayor Nahar Singh Gill. Malkiat Singh Birmi, MLA, was the chief guest on the occasion. The effigy was set afire by Sharanjit S Dhillon.

The Shree Dasehra Committee, Kitchlu Nagar, organised a cultural programme and later burnt the effigy.

Dasehra was also celebrated at Sarabha Nagar and Randhir Singh Nagar and people from the PAU, Rajguru Nagar, Housing Board Colony, Barewal came out to see the burning of effigies.



Dasehra celebrated
Tribune Reporters

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 22
People from all walks of life celebrated Dasehra with enthusiasm and religious fervour here and the surrounding areas.

While the effigies of Ravana were burnt towards the close of the celebrations, the idols of gods and goddesses were displayed during the day at various places.

The Ramlila Committee of the local town celebrated the festival at MGMN Senior Secondary School, where people had started gathering since morning. Idols of Lord Rama, Laxman, Hanuman and Sita were displayed in the ground as artistes enacted their characters.

Committee director Happy Verma and Hind Hospital and Diagnostics Laboratories Pvt Ltd director Sunit Hind lit the effigy of Ravana at the end of the celebrations.

SAD secretary general and former Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa presided over the function at the nearby Raikot town.

The function was organised by the Dasehra Committee of the town.

In his message, Mr Dhindsa called upon leaders of various political parties to stop exploiting religious sentiments of people. He claimed that all religions of the world taught the ways of an ideal society.

Raikot MC president Sudarshan Joshi said: “We must learn from the life of Ravana and avoid deeds that brought his end.”

The Baba Lakhvir Dass Galiani Committee celebrated the festival at Dasehra Ground on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road at Dehlon village.

Speakers Om Parkash Kaushal, Ajmer Singh, Kuldip Sharma and Snatokh Singh narrated the stories from Ramayana. Committee president Amarjit Singh, SHO Dehlon Amarjit Singh Khaira lit the effigy of Ravana.

Amloh: Dasehra was celebrated with religious fervour at Amloh, Bhadson and Mandi Gobindgarh by their respective Ram Leela committees. A large number of people participated in the celebrations. 



Counterpoint SMS
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
While millions of people across the country celebrated Dasehra, signifying the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, today, some caste pundits circulated text messages through mobiles urging people not to celebrate the festival as “Ravana was a great scholar and should not have been punished the way he was for one single mistake”.

Enquiries revealed that the text messages were being circulated by a section of people who wanted to glorify Ravana.

The issue dates back to the regime of Lord Rama when after killing Ravana, he returned to Ayodhaya. When Bharat wanted him to take back the throne, none of the native pundits of Ayodhaya and around agreed to perform the coronation ceremony.

They held that since Lord Rama had killed Ravana, a Brahmin, he had committed the sin of killing a Brahmin or committed “Brahm Hatya”, considered to be one of the worst sins.

According to Pundit Mahabir Prasad Sharma, a Sanskrit scholar, Lord Rama’s coronation was performed by Brahmins from across the Saryu river.

This resulted in a long-drawn discord between the Brahmins on the two sides of the river. The rivalry continues even today and the native Brahmins do not marry among the “Saryu par Brahmins” (Brahmins living across the river).

Pundit Sharma pointed out that it was an acknowledged fact that Ravana was a great scholar of the Vedas.

Besides, the “Shiv Satot” written by him in the honour of Lord Shiva was recited daily by millions of Shiva followers across the country.

He said it was a paradox that on the one hand Ravana’s effigies were being burnt, and on the other people did not mind reciting his “Shiv Satot”.

It is not for the first time that reservations have been expressed over the celebration of Dasehra.

Subtle protests have always been there, Pundit Sharma said while pointing out that these started right from the days of Lord Rama when the native Brahmins protested against his killing a Brahmin.

The Brahmins at that time had even questioned the logic of making it the victory of the good over evil.

Because, according to Pundit Sharma, they maintained that Ravana had not acted out of any instinct but only wanted to seek revenge for cutting of nose of his sister by Lord Rama’s younger brother, Laxman.

The only sin, he maintained, he committed was abducting Sita.

More than that he did nothing and treated her in most respectful manner, he added.



Mann’s party to boycott Bibi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
SAD (A) chief Simranjit Singh Mann today said that his party would urge the Sikhs to "socially boycott SGPC chief Jagir Kaur as she has been accused of killing her daughter."

He was in the city to preside over the political affairs committee of his party . The issue of the "hooliganism" by SAD (B) workers at the Patiala district courts was debated. The party programme of showing black flags to Badal and the Bibi was also appreciated by all.

The appointment of Bibi Jagir Kaur as the SGPC chief and Mr Baldev Singh, a senior vice president of the committee, accused of molesting the wife of a ragi, are a pointer of the level of degradation in the SGPC, he added.

Talking to TNS, Mr Mann said his party has always strived for upholding the values and traditions of the Panth which cannot be said about the Dal headed by Badal. "They have denigrated some of the highest institutions of the Sikhs by patronising anti-Panthic activities. The latest was appointing a dera head again as the SGPC chief," he added.

Citing an instance, he said the moral standards of the members of the SGPC, which has been in the control of the Badal for the past few years, has reached an all time low. The members, who are supposed to preach the Sikh way of life among the masses and project the true spirit of Sikhism, are themselves largely apostate.

He also charged Mr Badal with adopting double standards at the state and the Centre. "While he says that the Bibi is innocent till proven otherwise, his MPs are boycotting Parliament on the issue of tainted ministers in the UPA government," Mr Mann added. 



Police move on servants falls flat 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
The move by the Ludhiana police to get the servants and tenants registered with the police stations concerned so as to check their antecedents and prevent crime has proved to be a non-starter with many city residents shying away from the police

In crime cases during the past few weeks, the police has discovered that the residents are reluctant to interact with the police.

Senior police officer who are concerned over the poor image of the lower-level staff feel helpless and are now thinking of giving a public-friendly look to the police.

A senior police official on the condition of anonymity said, "the directive of the administration asking people to intimate the police about their servants has more or less failed as not many people are willing to come out with the information out
of fear of the image of
the polic."

"A serious move is afoot to send beat constables to every house to get the particulars about servants after seeing the reluctance on part of the landlords to come up with information voluntarily," he added.

Most of the landlords are reluctant in disclosing in formation regarding servants working with their tenants as this would not only bring them under the preview of house tax, but in case of a dispute with the tenant, the tenant can use the police records to their advantage in court.

Several incidents, the police official said could have been prevented if the information about he servants is available with the police. "Out of fear of being caught, a person will refrain from indulging in any criminal activity," the officer said.

There have been several incidents, including two in Model Town, recently where the servant drugged the families for whom he was working and fled with valuables. After the incidents, the landlords did not report the incidents as they feared action from the police on them.

The police has tried arm-twisting measures and booked several persons for not registering their servants with the police, but still the people are reluctant to approach the police.

The residents feel that even if they go to the police, they can share that information only which the servant had given.

The police do not have the resources to verify the antecedents of each and every servant working in the city.

Mr Sunil Kumar, a city resident, says that giving a picture and information about a servant may help the police to catch the servant in case he did something wrong, but most people ask servants to furnish guarantees from relatives or people known to them before employing them.

He feels that interacting with the police is too much of a hassle as servants invariably do not work for over a year.

Another resident, Mrs. Asha Kumari says that the police by booking landlords for not registering their servants is just shirking its responsibility of maintaining law and order and blaming residents for the crime.

She points out that recently when there was a spurt in the incidents of purse and chain snatching, the police, instead of taking preventive measures, advised women not to wear too much jewellery or carry too much cash with them.



Dowry devil puts another life at stake
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
Unable to repay the amount borrowed to arrange dowry for her daughter's wedding, a 50-year-old poor woman attempted suicide by setting herself ablaze here late last night.

Usha Rani, a resident of local Subhash Nagar, has been admitted to a local hospital with 70 per cent burn injuries. Doctors attending to her said that her chances of survival were minimal.

The victim had, in the midnight, poured kerosene on herself and set herself afire. Her family members rescued her and rushed her to the hospital. They said the woman was quite upset as she was not able to pay the money back.

Moreover the moneylenders used to visit their house everyday asking for the money. But she was not able to arrange it. She has not given any statement to the police so far. No suicide note was recovered from her house.

Mr Subhash, her husband works as a tea vendor. The couple have four children. Her eldest daughter was married six months ago and the family had to borrow money for her dowry. 



Taking stock of challenges
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 22
The Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre( VRTC), Ludhiana, has organised an interactive session for the physically challenged who have been rehabilitated and trained by the centre with the assistance and guidance from a Swiss organisation.

One such physically challenged person Chunilal worked with the Women and Child Development Centre while his wife was a trained stenographer, now managing her home and their two daughters. They were rehabilated by the efforts made by the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre. They both manage the daily chores of life by themselves which include raising of their two daughters without any fears.

Many rehabilated physically challenged persons, working as telephone operators, teachers, tailors etc from outside Ludhiana, were present at the VRTC, yesterday, to interact with Mr Joseph Aerthoot, Director of the Swiss Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

He was visiting the centre to evaluate the two programmes they were running in collaboration with the VRTC.

Mr Joseph said their venture was based on a micro-credit programme.

Under this programme , the physically challenged were given a sum of Rs 10,000 to rehabilitate themselves. The loan was repayable without any interest, he added.

Many persons had started their own business by buying buffaloes, setting up tailoring shops or telephone booths, he said.

He said that most of them had been able to augment their income, but some were not able to return the loans.

Stressing on the need of generation social consciousness regarding the rehabilitation, he said the physically challenged were not aware of their rights. They should be empowered with the knowledge of their privileges.

Mr Joseph said that at least physically challenged persons, who were employed, should be given a insurance cover and pension.

The second programme was aimed at imparting of secretarial skills to the physically challenged, Mr Joseph revealed.

He said that so far they had helped 17,000 persons to resettle.

Dr E.M. Johnson, Director of the VRTC said the students from foreign countries like the USA, Australia were coming for short -term training to the VRTC.

He disclosed that some of their students had found jobs abroad also, adding that every year the institute trained 140 students for various jobs like telephone operators, office work, stenographers, etc. 



Kala Jatha spreads scientific temper
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 22
Under the countrywide campaign launched on October 2 to celebrate 2004 as Science Awareness Year, three teams constituted by the Kala Jatha Punjab successfully completed its first round at Sounti village, 1 km from here, according to Mr Ram Kumar Garg, coordinator, in a press note here today.

After a joint effort of the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti and the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab (VHAP), three groups named after the Satluj, the Beas and the Ravi were formed.

While the first group covered Nawashahr, Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Sangrur and Patiala; the second group covered Ferozepore, Moga, Faridkot, Mukatsar, Bathinda and Mansa and the third group covered Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts.

The Satluj group presented its programme at Rupal Heri, Kalaur, Ghmandgarh, Abdulapur, Lohar Majra Khurd, Haryana, Bhari, Raipur Majri, Sounda, Naraingarh and Sounti villages. Besides students, villagers also participated in the programmes.

Mr Iqbal Gajjan’s team of 16 members enthralled the audience with their performance of plays like “Jiwan Rakhya Ghaul”, “Nadi Hanjuan Bhari”, “Meri Zaat”, “Atam Hatya”, “Yakas Prashan” and ”Paani”. Songs and lectures were also presented by members of the team.

Mr Amarjit Singh, district organiser, said the aim of the programme was to develop scientific approach among people against superstitions and to highlight evils of female foeticide, pollution and other social evils.

Mr Baljit Singh Khamano, Mr Nirbhai Singh, former sarpanch, Mr Som Parkash and Mukesh Kumar Sood also addressed the function.

A book exhibition was also organised.



Biz Clips

The Government Pensioners’ Association has urged the state government to disburse pay/pension for October on October 29 in view of gazetted holidays on October 30, 31 and November 1. According to Mr Yash Paul Ghai, additional general secretary of the association, the Punjab Finance Department, vide its letter dated October 19, 2004, had released the DA/DR instalments due from July 1, 2004, raising the quantum from 11 per cent to 14 per cent. Mr Ghai said arrears from July to September would be deposited in their GPF accounts. TNS

Service centre: Pidilite Industries has opened a Dr Fixit Centre here in Industrial Area A. According to a press note, the centres provide solutions and services related to waterproofing and repairs under one roof. It was for the first time that such centres had been opened in North India. TNS

Excise Department: In a recent interaction with industrialists, Mr P.S. Pruthi, Chief Excise Commissioner, Ludhiana, assured full cooperation to industrialists and those who were covered under service tax and excise duty. According to a press note, Mr Pruthi said simplified procedures and a tax-payer friendly environment would be implemented so that voluntary compliance systems were improved. TNS


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