Border Trouble
Now, this knight will fight for hapless farmers
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 2
After showing exemplary courage in the battlefield during Indo-Pak wars, Brig N.S. Sandhu (retd) has now decided to fight yet another battle on behalf of the hapless farmers who have been facing a lot of hardships and humiliation for cultivating their own land across the border fencing. A large number of Punjab farmers, living along the 533-km border belt with Pakistan, spread in Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Ferozepore districts, have huge chunks of land across the border fencing. With a major chunk of their fertile land, producing high-quality crops, having come under the restricted area, the once prosperous farmers of the border belt are now looking towards government dole. One of the architects of the “Graveyard of Patton tanks”, Brig Sandhu was decorated with Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), the second highest military decoration, awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry.

Talking to Amritsar Plus, Brig Sandhu said during fierce wars with Pakistan, the farmers of the border belt used to supply ration and food products to the Army men. “I feel ashamed to see the plight of border farmers who had been helping the Army at the most crucial times. The farmers of the border belt have been living on razor’s edge because they have been displaced many times during Indo-Pak wars.

“Their condition is extremely different from the farmers of other states and hence they deserve better treatment from the state and central governments.” He said without the support of border farmers it was practically impossible to win the prestigious battles like “Asal Uttar” against Pakistan.

The battle takes its name from Asal Uttar village, which literally means true answer. The village lies in the western Indian state of Punjab in Khemkarn, an area that saw regular fighting between the two nations. The Pakistan attack was led by the First Armoured Division, dubbed “Pride of Pakistan”. The original plan was to cut off Amritsar, thereby choking Indian supply lines to Kashmir. He said it was disgusting to see BSF jawans treating farmers like “enemies”.

Brig Sandhu said he would take up the matter of farmers at the highest level so that some honourable way out could be found. “The central government must give adequate compensation to farmers who are not allowed to grow sugarcane and tall crops across the border fencing due to security reasons.”

Brig Sandhu was born at Narli village, the ancestral village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, on September 1, 1932, in a distinguished family of freedom fighters. His father, late Hari Singh was a true nationalist having taken part in a number of freedom struggles. A product of Khalsa College, Amritsar, Brig Sandhu got the commission into Armoured Core in December 1953.

He was appointed in the Personal Staff of the United Nations Emergency Force at Gaza, Egypt, in 1961-62. Having a rich experience in team building and crisis management, Brig Sandhu was appointed Director-General, Centre for Training and Employment of Youth, Punjab.

He was given a challenging task of harnessing the youth of Punjab during the militancy period. This was indeed a griping task and he was successful in bringing a mass of the youth back to the mainstream. He established centres for vocational training in the Punjab border areas infested with militancy. 



Advisory panels to make COP smoother
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, October 2
To streamline community oriented policing (COP), the district police has set up a police advisory committee. It has also established two committees for smooth conduct of traffic and tackling drug menace.

The advisory committee would assist the police in key policing areas. District police chief Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh said these committees would comprise persons from different areas of the city and from different walks of life. This would also help the police become friendly towards the common man.

This model is based on active public-private participation to instill a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie in the public and also to workout common strategies to maintain law and order. He said the police had set up complaint boxes at various strategic locations to get a feedback from the public.

The main motive behind this is to bring the community closer to the police without any bias or fear. The initiative will bring in infrastructural reforms in the core policing areas, said the SSP. He said certain grey areas in the police functioning were of serious concern which required to be looked into for the people to develop faith in functioning of the police.

The SSP said these committees would hold meetings at least twice a month to discuss core policing issues. He said the committee would consist of the representatives of the Rotary Club Amritsar, senior professors of Guru Nanak Dev University, principals of schools and colleges, members of district civil defence, representatives of trade and industry, CII (Confederation of Indian Industries), Bar Council and any volunteers for common causes.

The purpose of traffic advisory committee would be to suggest measures to improve the traffic system in the city and to assist in the implementation process of these suggestions.

He said the traffic system in the city was in a total mess and needed urgent steps to check errant vehicles in the no parking zones. He said honorary traffic wardens would be selected to assist the police in the enforcement of traffic rules as well as to create awareness.

The drug awareness committee formed to tackle the drug menace would consist of intellectuals, educationists and professionals who would suggest measures to curb the supply line of drugs and also to create awareness among the masses to reduce the demand line.



Sidhu hails opening of Wagah truck route
Says Centre has slowly started accepting his ideas
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 2
Hailing the opening of Wagah border for movement of trucks, MP Navjot Sidhu said his efforts have borne fruit and the central government is slowly working on his recommendations to make Amritsar a world class city.

“I am happy that the Centre has also realised the importance of the city and at least started working on my suggestions,” said Sidhu.

Notably, he had visited the Attari border in February last to inspect the facilities at this strategically important gateway to Pakistan and Middle east.

At that time, the MP was appalled to see the lack of physical and non-physical infrastructure at Attari. Subsequently, he took up the matter with the Centre.

“The work is not finished yet and we need a host of other facilities and infrastructure such as separate gates and scanners.

The benefit of increased trade would be reaped by people of both the nations,” he added.

Earlier this week, addressing a press conference, Sidhu said the union government had sanctioned the first installment of Rs 17 crore for slum development, out of the total budget of 100 Rs crore for the district.

A total of 13 slum areas have been targeted and the money would be used for setting up 648 units.

Sidhu said for the first time global tenders would be floated for the roads and the job has been assigned to Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited. He also announced Rs 5 lakh for maintenance and renovation of the municipal corporation library.

Better roads on cards

Mayor Shawet Malik said the state government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 5 crore for re-carpeting of all key roads in the city. “The roads, which are in bad condition, are being identified and the work on them would start soon. Besides ensuring success of the “Go Green Go Clean” campaign, the councillors have also been assigned additional duties like supervising maintenance of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama,” he said.



Walkathon marks World Heart Day
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 2
The Escorts Heart and Super Specialty Institute, organised a walkathon to mark World Heart Day. Mayor Shavet Malik and MLA Malkit Singh released balloons to mark this year’s world slogan “team up for healthy heart”. The participants, including students of nearly 17 schools and colleges and doctors of various hospitals, led by Malik and Malkit Singh took a round of Ram Bagh Gardens. Students in white caps carried banners with slogans “Young heart shining India”, “Stop smoking, live longer”, “Healthy heart, healthy start”, “Stay fit, enjoy life” and “Prevent obesity, live longer” as they matched steps with the city’s top heart and other specialists. Meanwhile, Holy Heart Presidency School and DAV Public School were adjudged winner and runner-up, respectively, in the inter-school quiz competition highlighting the role of healthy diet and exercise.

While Sanjeet Kumar of DAV Senior Secondary School won the first prize and Mahiyal Singh of Springdale School came second in the on-the-spot painting competition on the topic environmental conservation out of 12 participant schools. Health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla gave away prizes. Taking this opportunity to spread awareness, eminent doctors and cardiologist of hospital said only 30 minutes of brisk walk daily could reduce risk of heart disease by 18 per cent, a stroke by 11 per cent and running for an hour could reduce risk by 42 per cent.

They added such physical activities consumed excess body fat, reduced hypertension, improved cholesterol and sugar levels. These factors further increase the risk of heart attack by 15 to 20 times. Decrying smoking, the walk spread the message that quitting smoking could reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 25 to 30 per cent. According to data, an alarming 45 to 50 per cent of those suffering from diabetes in this region were developing heart disease while the world figures were just 25 per cent.

The executive director Lieut-Gen Dr M.L. Chawla (retd) , besides Dr H.P. Singh, medical superintendent of the hospital, said World Heart Day was observed by the world heart federation’s member organisations in almost 100 countries.



Panthers celebrate Raising Day with pomp

Amritsar, October 2
Panther division celebrated its 43rd Raising Day here. Major General Kanwar Maharaj Singh Shergill, general officer commanding of the division greeted all officers, jawans and their families on the occasion.

He paid rich tributes to those who have made supreme sacrifices for the honor of the country. He said the division has taken active part in many operations in the western sector, including Indo-Pak wars of 1965, 1971 and Operation Vijay in 1999. He said the soldiers of the division have been was awarded four Maha Vir Chakras, 9 Vir Chakras and 12 sena medal. The division was raised on October 1, 1964 at Clement Town, Dehradun. The major general said the units of Panther division were actively involved in renovation of schools, providing every assistance to ex-servicemen and helping families and women of border areas through various welfare projects. — OC



Pulkanjari: Heritage that lies neglected
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 2
If there is anything that attracts tourists to the tiny village called Pulkanjari on the Amritsar-Attari road, it is the legend about Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s romance with a local dance girl.

Though it does arouse one’s curiosity, most tourists are disappointed on reaching Pulkanjari. Except for a small pond filled with mucky water located beside a Shiva Temple, there is nothing much to visit.

But the tourism department has now taken the initiative to develop the place into a tourist destination. During the visit of Lt-General S.S. Kumar to Pulkanjari on October 1, Major-Gen K.M.S. Shergill said the state tourism department had already got a survey of the area done and a budget sanction had been made. Consultants have been given the 
job of preparing the final proposal, which is expected to be submitted soon.

“Since the Maharaja was a secular ruler, there is a temple, gurdwara and a mosque in the village. The remains of the baradari, where he used to spend the night, can also be of interest to the tourists,” Shergill said.

It is said the Maharaja used to stop at Pulkanjari for the night on his way to Amritsar from Lahore. His beloved, Moran, who lived in Makhanpur, situated at a distance of 4 km from Pulkanjari, used to cross the small water stream separating the village from the area, now in Pakistan.

One night she got late for her date, leaving Maharaja Ranjit Singh restless and desperate to meet her. When she finally made it to the “baradari”, she told him how the stream was in full tide and one of her sandals fell into it, becoming the reason for her delay. She asked the Maharaja to build a bridge across the water channel. In no time, a “hukumnama” was issued to get her desires fulfilled.

Even though the water channel has dried up, the bridge still exists as a reminder of the Maharaja’s romance.

The Army also remembers Pulkanjari as a post which was occupied by Pakistan during the 1971 war and the Indian Army showed great valour to win it back. A memorial has been raised in memory of those who laid their lives to protect the honour of the country.

Even though Pulkanjari is believed to be one of the most developed places in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Punjab and was the venue for frequent markets and “melas”, no effort has been made to develop the area even though the Attari joint checkpost became a major tourist attraction.

Ranjit Singh, a native of the village, said, “Our ancestors tell us that Pulkanjari’s is a riches-to-rags story. From being one of the most happening places in the region, it now has only a couple of neglected buildings in the name of heritage. Many of the residents of the village had crossed over from Pakistan during the two wars.”



Three women who shaped Gandhi’s life
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 2
To commemorate Gandhi Jayanti, the birth anniversary of father of nation Mahatma Gandhi, students of DAV Public School presented a play, “The Genesis of Non-Violence.”

The play outlined three women in Gandhi’s life - his mother, his governess Rambha and his wife Kasturba - who played a pivotal role in shaping his personality.

“If I don’t hit back my big brother, it will automatically cool him down” - this was the reply of little Moniya (Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi), which he gave to his mother when she got angry with him for not hitting back his elder brother during a quarrel. This was the opening sequence of a beautiful play staged by 16 students of the school to mark Gandhi Jayanti.

The students enacted incidents of Gandhi’s life, including his proficiency in geometry and his average capabilities in learning Sanskrit, because it involved cramming, to help understand the subtle shades of his life that helped groom his towering personality.

The influence of his governess, who taught him to take the name of Ram during any difficulty in life, helped to dispel the fears that Gandhi as a child nurtured over ghosts and snakes and which he retained till the end of his life. Kasturba, his wife, surprised him with her fearlessness in speaking out her mind when she refused to study as Gandhi desired after he married her.

Another incident depicted Gandhi continue playing with his maid servant’s son despite his mother admonishes as he was considered an untouchable.

These incidents in his formative years were later to become the strongest issues that Gandhi opposed, including child marriage, untouchablity and practicing non-violence.

Meanwhile, in commemoration of the birth centenary celebrations of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Neera Sharma, principal of the school, released three magazines - “Mark of the Martyr - Door to History,” “A Crusader - Extraordinaire” and “I Salute Shaheed Bhagat Singh.”

The magazines comprised articles, poems and write-ups by students on the life of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh.



‘Shahadat’ pays tribute to Shaheed-e-Azam
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 2
To commemorate the birth centenary celebrations of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, students of Sri Ram Ashram Senior Secondary School traced the life history of Bhagat Singh, through dance and drama titled “Shahadat - they died to live” on the school premises.

Punjab health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla, along with Bhagat Singh Welfare Club chief Gurinder Singh Rishi, presided over the function.

“Shahadat” unfolded with three mothers crying for their sons arrested for eve-teasing, chain snatching and drug peddling, respectively. Gradually focus of play shifts to Bhagat Singh’s mother Vidyavati and sacrifices made by her. The play presented a contrast between Vidyavati and the three mothers.

The use of flute and violin as background music created an atmosphere of patriotism. The play depicted various instances that helped Bhagat Singh and shaped him as a true patriot.

Besides, the play presented different scenes like beating of an illiterate at British Club, forbidding entry of “Indians and dogs”, the intolerance among Bhagat Singh's class-fellows for injustice, hunger strike by Bhagat Singh and his friends. Patriotic songs like “Eh watan, humko teri kasam …” and “Sarfaroshi ki tamanna” brought tears among audience.

The scene of hanging Bhagat Singh and his friends was combined with dreams of singing “ghoris”, wedding songs by Bhagat Singh’s mother and the play ended with a huge round of applause shedding tears.



This Bachan is also a hero
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 2
Fortis Hospital here honoured 98-year-old Bachan Singh, a freedom fighter and old associate of Netaji Subhash Chander Bose in the Indian National Army, to observe International Day for old.

A 10-day-long series of talks was kicked off with senior citizens to generate awareness about the diseases of the aged on World Alzheimer’s day.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive loss of memory in the old age (particularly after 60 years of age) and according to estimates about one million people would be suffering from this disease by 2020.

Dr H.S. Gill, medical director of the hospital, said over 50 senior citizens from different walks of life attended the meeting which was presided over by former deputy commissioner of Amritsar and Padma Shri awardee Sarabjit Singh. Consultant psychiatrist of the hospital Dr Gurpreet Inder Singh, speaking on the occasion, stressed the need for active lifestyle modification for the prevention of the disease. He said early diagnosis and management could also prevent harmful and debilitating effects of the disease.

Sarabjit Singh said management of age-related diseases had become more important because population of old persons with age above 60 years had gone up to 600 millions and the number would be 1100 millions by 2020.



150 examined at medical camp
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 2
The NSS department of DAV College along with the district administration organised a free medical camp at Naushehra village. The event was inaugurated by Brahman Vikas Manch president Narender Kumar Dhammi and former village sarpanch Krishan Baldev Sharma.

The doctors examined around 150 patients at the camp. A lecture on oral hygiene was delivered by Dr Jasmine Nanda from the department of dentistry. NSS volunteers assisted the doctors by taking records, dispensing medicines and escorting physically challenged patients. NSS programme officer Rajneesh Dhawan said another medical camp would be held on October 5 by the orthopaedic and medicine department of Fortis Hospital in the village. 



Robin is new CPAC member

Amritsar, October 2
Ravinder Singh Robin, bureau chief, Asian News International (ANI), has been appointed a member of the Central Press Accreditation Committee (CPAC) by the Government of India. He is the only journalist from Punjab who was elected as the member of the CPAC 
for the present term.

The CPAC is an advisory board of senior journalists appointed by the Government of India to grant accreditation to the representatives of various media organisations at the headquarters. The tenure of the committee is two years from the date of its first meeting. The CPAC consists of a maximum of 20 members, including the principal information officer (PIO), press information bureau, Government of India, as the chairperson. — OC



Tech fest a hit with students
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 2
A two-day technical fest, OREGON-2007, organised by the electronics students forum of Guru Nanak Dev University came to an end, which saw more than 300 students across north India participating in the event. Prof Raghbir Singh, dean, academic affairs, gave away the prizes to the winners.


Ideas - Paper presentation: Pooja Sharma (BBK DAV College for Women)

Concepts - Project competition: Inderjeet Singh (DET, ECE)

Parley - Group discussion: Arshdeep Singh (DET, GNDU)

Promulgate - Extempore: Yamandeep Singh (ACET, Amritsar)

Kshmta ‘n’ spunk: Sulabh Kapoor (CSE, GNDU)

Crossfire - Debate: Arunabh (BBSBEC, Fatehgarh Sahib)

Grayscale - Painting: Manmeet (architecture department, GNDU)

Envision - Collage making: Sonam Sharma (DET, GNDU)

Squeeze - Creative writing: Charanvir Kaur (DET, GNDU)

Savvy - Poetry: Upinder Singh (GNDU, ECE)

Corpostrat - Business plan: Vijay Seth and group

Ad Innova - AD MAD show: Shivani, Preeti, Pradeep (MDU, Rohtak)

Spark - Crossword: Vijay Bharat (DET, GNDU)

Mirage - Puzzles: Vaibhav Garg (CSE, GNDU)

Torque - Sudoku: Hitesh Garg (GNDU, ECE)



Strong spirititual foundation hallmark of Bapu’s ethics
Puneeta Goel

Mahatma Gandhi revives Buddha ethics of “ahimsa” and applies it to social, economic and political problems. Gandhi says, “My contribution to the great problem lies in my presenting for acceptance, truth and ‘ahimsa’ in every walk of life, whether for individuals or for nations.” Gandhi’s ethics are based on spiritual foundation. He regards will to service and self-sacrifice as the goal. He treats good as equivalent to truth and evil as equivalent to falsehood. He is an apostle of peace, service, love, self-sacrifice and self-abnegation. His ethics are based on truth and social service. Instead of saying God is truth, he said truth is God. And when you want to find truth as God the only inevitable mean is love i.e. non-violence. God can be realised through service of all mankind.

“Ahimsa” is supreme kindness and supreme self-sacrifice. It is not merely a negative virtue of non-killing or non-injury but a positive virtue of doing well to others. It is non-violence in thought, words and deed. “Ahimsa” implies conquest of anger and pride. The fearless pursuit of truth is called “satyagraha”. A “satyagrahi” will always try to overcome evil by good, anger by love, untruth by truth, “himsa” by “ahimsa”. “Non-violence is the weapon of the strongest and the bravest.” Gandhi said, “My creed of non-violence is an extremely active force. It has no room for cowardice or even weakness.” Thus, non-violence implies truthfulness, selflessness, harmlessness, freedom from anger, pride and hatred, love for all men and creatures, fearlessness and courage, humility, forgiveness and absolute self-surrender to God.

He advocated non-violent non-cooperation with evil. “Hate the sin not the sinner.” We should not try to crush the wrong-doer but try to resist evil by dissociating ourselves from it in every possible way. It is an evolutionary and bloodless revolution. He believes in non-thieving or non-possession. He believes in change of heart and voluntary surrender of superfluous possession for the benefit of the poor. One must not possess any thing, which one does not really need. Gandhi believes in trusteeship of wealth. When an individual has more than his proportional portion, he becomes a trustee for that portion for God’s people.

He emphasised labour is capital and that living capital is inexhaustible. If capital is power, so is work. He did not wish for the supremacy of one ever the other. He believes that socialism should be based on non-violence and harmonious cooperation of labour and capital.

Gandhi is of the view that economics is untrue which ignores or disregards moral values. The extension of the laws of non-violence in the domain of economics means nothing less than the introduction of moral values as a factor to be considered in regulating international commerce.

Gandhi was convinced that much of the violence in society in our personal lives stems from the passive violence that we commit against each other. He described these acts of passive violence “Seven Blunders”. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Gandhi, has put them as wealth without work: over estimating one’s worth like some heads of corporations drawing exorbitant salaries, which are not always commensurate with the work, they do.

Pleasure without conscience: Gandhi believed pleasure must come from within the soul. Unfortunately, we ignore the spiritual pleasure of life and indulge in the physical pleasure which is pleasure without conscience.

Knowledge without character: Our educational centres emphasise career-building and not character building. Gandhi believed if one is not able to understand one’s self, how can one understand the philosophy of life.

Commerce without morality: Price gouging, palming off inferior products, cheating and making false claims are a few of the obvious ways in which we indulge in commerce without morality. When profit-making becomes the most important aspect of business, morals and ethics usually go overboard.

Science without humanity: Science is used to discover increasingly more gruesome weapons of destruction that threatens eventually to wipe out humanity. Materialism has made us possessive. The more we possess the more we need to protect and so the more ruthless we become.

Worship without sacrifice: We may be very devout believers and make a tremendous public show of our worship, but if that belief, understanding, compassion, love and appreciation is not translated into our lives, prayers will have no meaning.

Politics without principles: When politicians indulge in power games, they act without principles. To remain in power at all cost is unethical. Partisan politics, lobbying, bribing and other forms of malpractice that are so rampant in politics are also unprincipled.

Not many have learned how to resist temptation, so who is to blame for the mess we find ourselves in?



Young physicist presents paper at US symposium
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 2
Prof Anterpreet Singh, vice-principal of Baba Kuma Singhji Engineering College, Amritsar, participated in an international symposium on “Dielectric materials: design, preparation and application” organised by MS and T-07 materials science and technology conference and exhibition at COBO Center, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

The young scientist presented his papers on thermo-electric, power dielectric and magnetic properties “Sr-La M-type hexagonal ferrites”. The second paper was presented on “Ferroic materials synthesis and properties” at a joint session with electronics and divisions general 

The presentation was acknowledged and appreciated with great applause by a gathering of about 2,500 listeners. He was awarded a certificate of distinction.



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