Promise, I will walk this talk
Varinder Walia & Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

The voters of this city bore the brunt of two Indo-Pak Wars of 1965 and 1971. The vivid memories of traumatic experiences of 1965 war are still fresh in the minds of voters. As the ceasefire announcement was being broadcast, Pakistani Sabre Jets unexpectedly pounded the city, killing nearly 100 civilians in 1965.

The voters had to face numerous problems at the time of the Kargil conflict and many had died due to mine blasts. Politicians of all hues had been mute spectator to the wanton destruction of heritage of Amritsar. However, with the Assembly elections around the corner, the politicians have started making “fresh promises”.

Rajindermohan Singh Chinna

Mr Rajindermohan Singh Chinna, the BJP candidate from Amritsar (West), said: “My first priority would be to revive the sick industry in the Chheharta area in my constituency which was once known as an industrial hub of the holy city. Almost all industrial units had been closed down. My earnest effort would be to revive its pristine glory to ensure employment to the youth of the area.”

He said the industrial units were being dismantled and land mafia was turning these into small colonies by cutting plots on them. He said he would also try to break the police-politician-criminal nexus in his constituency, which has affected the youth of area and ruined many families. He said the BJP had reposed full faith in him and would come to the expectations of his party and voters if voted to power.

Om Parkash Soni

The two-time MLA, Mr Om Parkash Soni, who is now seeking re-election on the Congress ticket from West said the developmental projects initiated during his stint as Mayor, Municipal Corporation (from 1991 to 1996), would be completed.

He said his constituency had suffered a lot during the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 and hence his voters needed special attention on economic front. If voted to power, he would raise his voice to give industrial package to the border belt on the pattern of Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir.

Amarjit Singh Asal

Like any Communist candidate, Mr Amarjit Singh Asal, the CPI candidate from West, said that he would give top priority to the education.

“There are more than 65 per cent voters living in slum-like conditions in my constituency. I am committed to work for their upliftment. There is no government college for boys in the city. If voted to power, I would raise the demand to open the college at Chhehrta.”

Harjinder Singh Thekedar

“Almost all development projects in my constituency are complete,” claims Mr Harjinder Singh Thekedar, sitting Congress MLA, who is seeking re-election from Amritsar (South).

He said he had been successful in solving the problems of residents of the areas, especially the business community as the VAT was affecting the swarnkars. He said the constituency was facing electricity problems and this affected even the blanket and shawl industry in the area.

He promises to revive the cottage industry of gold, silver and artificial jewellery.

He has nothing new to promise to the voters of his area and only harping on the development done during the present government.

Raminder Singh Bularia

Mr Raminder Singh Bularia, SAD-BJP candidate from Amritsar (South),

said: “No development works have been initiated by the Congress in my constituency during the past five years.”

“The area is reeking with foul smell of the nullah passing though the constituency as the Municipal Corporation has been dumping the garbage on its embankments on the Amritsar-Tarn Taran and Chabal road. The residents living on both sides of the nullah have been living hell-like life. Bumpy and dusty roads, full of potholes, need to be repaired, especially in the Sultanwind area.”

He said the main focus would be for the development of the area and revive the closed industry in the constituency, especially the fan industry. He said he would also focus on the development of the slum area, which constitutes about 30 per cent of the area. He said the area had remained totally neglected during the past five years.

Laxmi Kanta Chawla

Ms Lakmi Kanta Chawla, the BJP candidate from Amritsar (Centre), said:

“The main focus would be on the education and health care besides providing essential commodities to the people on cheaper rates.

The firebrand leader said that she would try to revive the multi-specialty hospitals and government college boys established during the SAD-BJP regime. She said if the SAD-BJP government comes to power she would try to provide essential commodities to the people at cheaper rates.

She said the law and order situation was bad, as the police had failed miserably to contain the activities of the anti-social elements. She said the youth in the area was getting addicted to drugs, which also led to spurt in the petty crimes like chain and mobile-snatching incidents.

She said the Congress government in the state had failed miserably to contain the rising prices of the essential commodities during the past five years and there had been no development in the state. She said the government had also failed to revive the industries in the state to provide jobs to the unemployed educated youth.

Jugal Kishore Sharma

Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, Chairman, Improvement Trust, who is seeking re-election from the North constituency, said he would accord top priority to create jobs for the youths.

“I shall also endeavour to work on low-cost housing projects for the economically weaker sections of society.”

He said if voted to power, he would definitely create “food streets” on the pattern of Lahore. The impetus to Indo-Pak trade, promotion of tourism and revival of cottage and other industry of the border town would be on his priority list.

Surinder Arjun

For the first time, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded its candidate from Amritsar (Centre), the shortest Assembly segment in the state.

Mr Surinder Arjun, a former president, Durgiana Management Committee, launched his election campaign on bicycle. He promises the voters, especially traders, that he would fight to get their genuine demands accepted.

Accusing the politicians for forgetting their voters after the elections, he says he would serve them throughout his five year term if they would vote him to power.

Prof Darbari Lal

Prof Darbari Lal, president, District Wrestling Federation, who is seeking re-election from Amritsar (Centre) on the Congress ticket, loves to promote wrestling and other sports.

He has been instrumental in arranging Indo-Pak wrestling tournaments in the city. However, he promises his voters to ensure over-all development of his constituency.

He says that the top priority would be to make his constituency “neat and clean” since many heritage lovers visits his area. The night sweeping in the narrow lanes and bazaars was the only answer for proper cleaning without bothering to the common man.



Rotary binds 21 couples in wedlock
P. K. Jaiswar

Tears of happiness streamed down the cheeks of polio-afflicted Amandeep Kaur (20), sitting in her wedding finery, who was married to Sarabjit Singh (22), similarly polio-afflicted, at a mass-marriage function organised by the Rotary Club Amritsar Midtown here.

As many as 21 marriages were solemnised and brides and grooms were mostly daily wagers and belonging to the 'economically backward' segment of society.

The couples belonged to rural areas of Amritsar and Gurdaspur, including Sansara, Chota Haripura, Mallu Nangal, Tung Bala, Dera Baba Nanak, Pandori etc. 'Mr Ramesh Rana, District Governor, presided over the function and blessed the newly weds.

Mr Sunil Kapoor, Project Chairman, who had conceived this project in 1999 and helped marrying 122 couples in as many years, said while in the past only illiterate girls were being married, it was for the first time that 'literate' girl Sunita was married too.

Sofia of Preet nagar was the only Christian bride who was married in the function.

Mr Kapoor said after applications were invited, both sides were carefully scrutinised for their antecedents, criminal records or substance abuse . As many as 19 Sikh, a Hindu and a Christian couple was married in a glittering function.

Dr H.S. Gill, president of club, said each side brought only 20 members that were given a common lunch party complete with all customary traditions and rituals. The club gifted each couple a set of utensils, almirah, beds, cosmetics, bridal wear and a small jewellery set. 



Linguistic diversity impresses Australian
Our Correspondent

A team of renowned linguistic scholars from Sydney (Australia) visited the Postgraduate Department of English, Khalsa College, as a part of extension lecture-cum-student interaction programme.

The team was headed by Dr Christian Matthiesen, Head, Chair of Linguistics, Macquarie University. The other members of the group included Dr Jessica from British Columbia University, Dr Maria Herrick and Dr Abhishek Kumar from SYdney University.

Dr Matthiessen expressed his delight in coming to India because as a linguist, he found India a great multilingual experience. Other countries like Australia and the USA were monolingual societies while Indians had the advantage of communicating in more than one language, he said.

Drawing the attention of the audience to the fact that over a thousand languages were used in India, he said that they were a part of the cultural heritage and proper care should be taken to preserve it.

He said the loss of a language was great and irreparable. The languages of aborigines in Australia were lost with the coming of the English people.Dr Matthiessen also discussed the emerging concept of global language and the possibility of English or even Chinese as a universal language.

According to him, Indian English was also a much-discussed area as it was continuously giving new words and meaning to the language.

He also focused on other areas related to linguistics like forensic linguistics which included study of language and law and phonetic yoga.

In his concluding remarks, he discussed the changing relationship between language and literature and sought the cooperation of all scholars and students in assuring that the gap between language and literature was bridged. The Principal, Dr Daljeet Singh, also addressed the gathering and said interactions with such distinguished scholars would certainly benefit the faculty and students. 



Just a thought
Losing friends in power race
R. Jaikrishan

When the ruling party leaders keen on managing party tickets beat the achievement drum ,the announcement of polling date is inevitable follows. They mobilize Press, public and senior leaders to project themselves as friends of the haves and not enemies of the have-nots.

As Capt Amarinder Singh’s juggernaut of Vikas Yatra rolled on in the Doaba region it became certain that the elections are approaching. There were reports that not many people turned out to greet the blue-blooded Chief Minister in the Jalandhar Cantt constituency represented by Gurkanwal Kaur in his ministry.

My interaction with politicians is by default than by design. It was one such occasion, sometime before the last Punjab elections, I escorted a poet-cum -lecturer friend to the party hosted by Gurkanwal and her late husband in a Chandigarh

hotel. I accepted the offer because here was a chance to be face-to -face with Gurkanwal’s nephew Harkirt who had , according to police reports,raped a foreign national Katia.I didn’t let go of the chance to see the grandson of martyr Beant Singh whose name was being linked to a rape case.

In attendance was a qawali party from Pakistan. Among the attentive listners of the Sufi kalam were Gurkanwal’s mother Jaswant Kaur and few others ,including my friend and me. On a couple of occasions a few youngsters got up and pranced about when they were not helping themselves to drinks and snacks and showering inam on the Pakistani singers. Due to dim light and my poor eyesight I was not able to spot Gurkirat in the party..

Later ,I met Gurkanwal again at the poet friend’s family function party. On couple of occasions,I heard her sing in public functions. She was friendly to Dolly Guleria , chairperson, Sangeet Natak Akademi ,Punjab,and daughter of the nightingale of Punjab Surinder Kaur. She would oft and on visit her house for a song. She didn’t visit her when her mother passed away. Then she had become a minister and changed her look with a new hairdo.

My poet friend was transferred to a remote area.Being single she wanted to avoid it. She approached Gurkanwal who was at her officious best. She waited for her help,none came.

Many Lohris and Diwalis were celebrated,but my friend didn’t talk good about Gurkanwal. At that time ,I hadn’t ever imagined that I would be posted in her constituency where voters would talk ill about her and impute motives about actions. Early during the poll run-up members of her party were emphatic that she would not get the ticket. She however, outsmarted everyone and managed the ticket .

This has surprised voters, but has won her good weather friends. They have nicknamed her Gurkamali . Is it love or hate will be known on the day of result? Pollsters say if she loses it would not be a vote in favour of the SAD nominee but a vote against her .

Her candidature has come as a delight to the Akali candidate Jagbir Singh Brar. A law graduate from Punjabi University, Jagbir is the twin brother of Major (retd) Sukhbir Singh Brar. I congratulated Sukhbir while Jagbir listened to his advisers a few steps away. The twin factor has helped him to develop support in the constituency. Moreover, the twin factor has doubled his personal contact with panches and other opinion makers.This has spelled double trouble for the seemingly infatiguable Gurkanwal. It remains to be seen wether she would come out trumps or not.



Preserve linguistic heritage: experts
Our Correspondent

A two-day international seminar on 'Contemporary Trends in Language, Discourse and Culture Studies' was organised at the Guru Nanak Dev University here. The seminar was organised by the Department of English of the university in collaboration with the Systemic Functional Linguistic Association, Hyderabad.

Dr Joginder Singh Puar, an eminent linguist and a former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, while presiding over the inaugural session, said no progress could be made by ignoring the local languages.

He emphasised the need to develop practical relevance of linguistics in India. Around one hundred delegates from Russia, Australia, Canada, Bhutan, various states of India and Punjab are participating in this seminar. Thirty three papers were selected out of 57 papers submitted for presentation.

Dr Puar also expressed his anguish at the decline of the popularity of the discipline of linguistics in the Indian Universities and pleaded for making this subject utility oriented.

He also stressed on hard, motivated and planned work from the linguists to popularise the subject. "Such a seminar is a fit academic initiative in the context of general deterioration of standards of linguistics departments in the region", he said.

In his keynote address, Prof Christian Matthiessen, Chairman of Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, highlighted the contemporary trends in the study of language, discourse and culture studies.

He emphasised the need of building bridges between the language, discourse and culture studies. He also dwelt upon the urgency to find out the ways to overcome the dichotomy between language and other disciplines and to connect and integrate these by building scientific and reliable theories.

He expressed his concern for preserving the languages which are on the verge of extinction.

He pointed out the need to identify, catalogue, classify and describe the world's currently spoken 6900 languages, a rich linguistic database, but one that is rapidly shrinking.

He pointed out that a small number of languages had been described adequately and still smaller number described comprehensively, while there was a need to describe and maintain collective linguistic world heritage. Earlier, Dr Sukhev Singh, Director, Seminar and Head of the Department, said language, discourse and culture were the key issues in recent academic research on linguistic and literary communication. Linguistic, literary and communication studies have transcended their conventional boundaries that have long divided semiotics from pragmatism, he added.



Let’s enjoy, the spring is here
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

The spring has finally arrived in all its sensuous splendour, with colourful kites zestfully welcoming the season of love and joy. The traditional festival of ‘Basant Panchmi’ invigorated the chill-battered city and left the young and the old craving for more. And kites were just symbolic of soaring passions and hope.

For many, preparations for the ‘Basant’ day had started much in advance which culminated in an unmatched revelry and sheer fun. Youngsters, afflicted by winter-induced laziness, surprisingly left the bed as early as 5.00 am and headed straight to the rooftops clutching a bunch of kites and string-balls. Their enthusiasm rubbed off on the elderly too, who rushed out of their quilts to enjoy the early sunshine amidst music ‘too-loud-for-our-ears’.

Gorgeous women donned yellow attires after performing religious customs and distributed yellow-hued sweets to all and sundry. They too remained glued to rooftops and showed no less skills than their male companions in flying kites. Even married women were eager to showcase their deftness in ‘patangbaazi’ and prodded their reluctant husbands to buy them kites and razor-sharp strings.

Ms Babli Sharma, one such homemaker, said: “Before marriage, Basant used to be a fun, but somewhere down the years I lost all interest in it. But now with my kids going gung ho over the festival and kites flying all around, I could not stop myself from retrying a hand at kite-flying.”

Merry making was so rampant that most of the city schools witnessed thin attendance with children preferring a fling with kites more than the ‘drab lectures’.

The fun angle apart, the day witnessed a roaring business too. Considered to be an auspicious day for shopping, weddings et al, the city plazas were teeming with people who lost no time in loosening their purse strings.Especially elated were the kite sellers, who, by rough estimates,did a business of whopping Rs 10 crore in the past few days only.

Mr Deepak, a kite seller, the happiest community of traders this season, said: “The season saw a huge demand for chinese kites as they are durable and don’t get torn easily. The only hitch is that these kites are quite costly as compared to the Indian ones, priced at Rs 75 to Rs 250 a piece. As usual, Indian kites too were in great demand.”

The other happiest people around were our modest ‘by-the-roadside halwais’, who raked in moolah with their sumptuous ‘jalebi’, ‘ladoo’ and ‘burfi’ selling like never before. In fact, orders were pouring in much before the ‘Panchmi’ and some areas even witnessed shortage of milk and related products.

And before summing up, here is an interesting bit of information. Though the ‘Basant’ day is associated with kite-flying since ages, there is a law, enacted by the British and still not repealed, which prohibits the ‘act of kite-flying’ and even imposes penalty in case of violation! And mercifully, even law enforcers are not aware of any such law.



Gynae camp
Our Correspondent

As many as 288 persons participated in the free rural check-up camp in the field of gynaecology and infertility in addition to medical and surgical problems organised by the Fortis Hospital in collaboration with Mrs Balwinder Kaur, Director and Principal of Prim Roses English School here.

The camp offered patients consultation, free ultrasound, blood sugar checking, ECG and Echo tests. In addition to this, the hospital also offered free OPD to senior citizens above 60 years of age in medicine, surgery, ENT, orthopedics and cardiology apart from distributing free medicines. Patients attended the camp from areas of Kot Atma Ram, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar, and semi-rural areas of Tej Nagar, Partap Nagar , Azad colony , Gobind Nagar and surrounding areas .



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |