Space War
Cong, BJP leaders slug it out over venue
Dasehra celebrations: Tussle between Sidhu and Soni groups
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, October 9
Battle lines have been drawn between Congress and BJP leaders - this time on the issue of celebration of Dasehra in the Chheharta grain market.

The BJP leaders, led by Navjot Singh Sidhu, announced to celebrate Dasehra on the grain market ground, while the Congress leaders, led by Om Parkash Soni, MLA, have sharply reacted to the announcement and declared to celebrate the festival at the site “come what may.”

The Soni group has been celebrating Dasehra for the past 16 years on the ground along with Shri Panch Rattan Krishna Temple Committee.

Instigated by the move of the BJP, all factions of the Congress have come together on a single platform to oppose the move.

All local Congress and party supporting leaders, including former deputy speaker Prof Darbari Lal, former mayor Sunil Datti and Jugal Kishore Sharma, have thrown their weight behind Soni while, the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha have come in support of BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Meanwhile, Sidhu has stirred the hornets' nest by performing “bhumi pujan” at the grain market. Prof Darbari Lal, former deputy speaker, termed the act as a conspiracy to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the holy city.

Criticising the cricketer-turned-politician, he said this was being done by the BJP MP for his vested political interests as he was loosing the base among the city voters.

Om Parkash Soni said he would organise the function as he had been doing for the past 16 years. He said he had no objection if the BJP leaders wished to participate in the celebration and every care would be taken to give them full respect. He said if they wanted to celebrate the festival separately they could have selected another site for this so that the peaceful atmosphere in the area was not disturbed. He said it was a religious function and not a political battle ground. He said they should celebrate the festival by rising above the party lines.

Attempts to contact Sidhu proved futile as he was out of station.

However, conflicting reports were emanating from the BJP camp as district president Bakshi Ram Arora said the party had nothing to do with the celebration of Dasehra at the Chheharta grain market.

But on the other hand, Som Dutt, party spokesman, said the Congress should not make it a prestige issue and moreover the grain market was not a personal property of anyone. He said the BJP leaders would celebrate the festival as announced.



This ‘loner’ stands out with his message

Parminder Singh
Parminder Singh

Amritsar, October 9
This Punjabi poet shares the sentiments of John Keats that a thinking mind can find joy even in small dozes of melancholy, something depicted in one of his poems “Jadon jeen toh jee bhar jaawe, odon jeen nu jee kar aae.” Parminder Singh, winner of “Shiromani Punjabi Kavi” award of the Language Department in 2005, says he is happy to be a loner in a crowd.

This serious disposition, he says, stems from the fact that most of his poems are not born out of leisure writing but always have a thought provoking message in them.

He has now been invited to attend the annual function of International Punjabi academy in USA to be held later this month.

Apart from keeping poetry alive in Amritsar, he is also credited with introducing upcoming talent to the people of the city through his monthly magazine “Akhar”, which has been publishing poems in Punjabi since 1975. “In all these years, we have never run short of matter. If at all, we translate poems from other languages. Exclusive issues on Japanese and American poetry have already been printed,” he says.

Famous by his pen name Parminderjit in literary circles, he is presently working on his special issues, which would be a compilation of poems having references to the animal kingdom. “So many poems are written across the world with themes of birds and animals. We want to put them all together to present something unique and unprecedented. Our team is already working on it,” he said.

The office of the magazine is located in a dilapidated building near Bus Stand, which he proudly says has been declared unfit for stay. “But considering the historic value of the 150 old building, I cannot think of a better place to take out the magazine from,” he says. The poet, who also enjoys reading Hindi poems, has had the opportunity to be in touch with legends like Amrita Pritam, Sahir Ludhianvi and Faiz Anwar Faiz. “I even shared the stage at a mushaira with Faiz saab,” he recalls.

“But mushairas are not the same anymore. There was a time, listening to famous poets recite their work was a way of life in Amritsar. The seven pm evening show in cinema halls had to be cancelled on the days of such events. The mushairas in Ram Bagh were a regular affair. But today people would rather watch them on TV in the comfort of their living room,” he says. Paraminderjit also has three books to his credit. Interestingly, there was a gap of 19 years between his first two books. “That is because I’m not into compulsive writing,” he smiles. — TNS



Triumph of the Will(iams)
Astronaut Sunita inspires many
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 9
Students of local DAV Public School and Spring Dale Senior School had a rare opportunity to interact with Indian astronaut Sunita Williams at Gurgaon. The event was organised by Atlantis Max - which holds Aerospace Settlement Design global competitions.

Rahat Khanna, Saurabh Sood, Jatin Sharma, Deepawal Grover and Siddhant Kapoor were from DAV Public School while Alisha Pathak, Gursarnam Singh Arora, Akhil Bajaj and Rakshak Khanna of Spring Dale Senior School were among the 2500 students, of 500 teams, selected from all over the country who got a chance to meet the second astronaut in person.

Describing the experience, Rahat, who is also one of the team that was selected in the "state level aerospace Olympiad" organised in Chandigarh recently, said it was extraordinary as the astronaut took us on a video tour of the expedition of the space station where she had set a new record of the longest single spaceflight by a woman comprising 195 days.

In the question hour session Sunita told students that she was a helicopter pilot who went on to become an astronaut. Interestingly, Sunita said she carried a Bhagvad Gita, some samosas and a small figurine of Ganesha on her spaceflight. Students were delighted to hear her space exploits and were curious to know how she went about conducting of daily chores such as eating, drinking, and sleeping. She wittingly described her experiences about having morsels of food floating in space and competing to catch them by their mouth and brushing her hair which stood-up due to zero gravity.

She told them that a US and Russian laboratory was being set up in space and also explained them that NASA was also looking at possibilities of more space exploration in the coming days.

On a query from Alisha as to how would Sunita help the Indian Students excel in the field of space technology, the astronaut shared her future plans and welcomed the young Indians to get any sort of information they wanted regarding the space industry. She advised the students aspiring to become engineers to not only understand the subjects - Math and Science - but also develop an interest in them.



Kavita Krishnamurthy, Jasmine get Rafi Award
Tribune News Service

Playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy (extreme left) along with her husband, L Subramanium, Jasmine Bhatty and Sarvjeet
Playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy (extreme left) along with her husband, L Subramanium, Jasmine Bhatty and Sarvjeet. — A Tribune photograph

Amritsar, October 9
She is probably best known for the melodious hits of “1942- A Love Story”, which she sang to the tunes of the legendary R.D.Burman with Kumar Sanu. Kavita Krishnamurthy has been at the centre stage of the Bollywood playback scene for 30 years with more than 15,000 songs to her credit.

So when she came to Amritsar to pay tributes to one of her inspirations, Mohammad Rafi, on his death anniversary and give away awards to upcoming talents, aspiring singers got a chance to pick up a tip or two from her. She was honoured with the Rafi Award for Best Playback Singer by the Mohammad Rafi Memorial Society, which has been giving away awards to singers for the past 27 years.

Kavita Krishnamurthy is one playback singer who has had the privilege to sing with yesteryear singers like Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey to those who rule the roost these days, like Udit Narayan and Sonu Nigam.

An ardent fan

It was in 1982 that the Mohammad Rafi Memorial Society was formed by Rana Jaspal Singh, an ardent fan of the great singer, with active support from his friends. Since then, the society has been giving away awards to established and upcoming singers to acknowledge their talent. Tarlochan Singh, society president, said this was the first and only body which gives Rafi Awards in memory of the great singer and has already awarded 170 prominent artistes from different parts of the country.

The society also organises Rafi Song Competition on the eve of every birth anniversary of Mohammad Rafi.

Not many of her fans know that she has got an Economics honours degree from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. But singing remained her first love and she started singing professionally on stage with singer and music director Hemant Kumar, Mukesh and Manna Dey. She began her recording career in 1971 by recording a Bengali duet with Lata Mangeshkar.

Another awardee on the occasion was Jasmine Bhatty. The crowd went berserk the moment she stepped on to the stage. A one-time ramp model, she has become a household name with programmes like “Sadda campus” on Zee Punjabi, which went on for 250 episodes and the call-in song request song “Dial-e-Punjab” aired on the same channel.

She has anchored many corporate shows, fashion shows, celebrity events, stage shows, award functions and live events for singers like Udit Narayan, Jazzy-B and Sukshinder Shinda. Bhatty was given the Best Anchor Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award (Female) was given to Sarvjeet, who shot to fame with her maiden album “Sarvjeet sings koka”. She also has a LP record, titled “Nee lai de mahi kaaliyan Baaga dee mehandi”, to her credit.

She has lent her voice in about 40 Punjabi films, including “Mirza Jatt”, “Khalsa” and “Jung da maidan.” Sarvjeet began her singing career in 1972 and has sung in border areas for the defence services at Amritsar, Ferozpur and Srinagar. She has done several shows in India and abroad.

K.Deep, who is a well-known Punjabi stage artiste, film producer, comedy artiste and singer was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award (Male).

He had teemed up with Jagmohan Kaur to make the famous comedy characters of Posti and Mai Mono, earning him accolades from personalities like former Prime Minister of UK, Margaret Thacther.

With the song “bande wi desi te peende wi desi” selling like hot cakes, the jury could not ignore Interjit Nikku, who was awarded the Best Punjabi Singer trophy.

The ‘Best Promoter of Culture’ award went to Harmanpreet Singh.



Spl function to help martyrs’ kin air their grievances
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 9
Advisor to Public Problems and Shaheed Parivar Welfare Association will hold a special function to give a platform to families of martyrs to air their grievances on October 15. The function is being held to mark the birth centenary of Bhagat Singh.

Gurmeet Kaur Sandhu, wife of Harbhajan Singh Sandhu, former minister SAD, Satwinder Kaur, wife of late Sant Singh Liddar, former MLA Beas, Upinderjit Kaur, wife of late Ajit Singh Sandhu, former SSP Tarn Taran will also be honoured at the function.

Rana Gurjit Singh member parliament from Jalandhar would be the chief guest on the occasion, informed Jaswant Singh Azad, patron. The MP will hear grievances of families of martyrs and of those killed by militants.

Azad, rued that if no family members of martyrs are invited to the numerous functions held to mark birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, the very purpose of such events was defeated.



AIDS control: ‘Govt not adopting right approach’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 9
He is strongly against the government-sponsored campaign to promote use of birth control measures as the means to control AIDS. Instead, Krishna Murari Tripathi, national general secretary of the All India Sri Chaitanya Jan Kalyan Parishad, advocates loyalty to one’s spouse and self-restraint as the only way to control the spread of the deadly virus.

“For the last 12 years, condoms are being distributed virtually free of cost but the number of AIDS patients has not come down. Leading a life of self-discipline is the only way out and the AIDS control campaigns should also focus on this aspect,” he says.

“The holy books of almost every religion also advise people to work on building a good character so that they don’t pick up wrong influences and stay away from temptations like drugs,” he says.

Even in the events organised by our spiritual and welfare organisation, we try to focus on picking up valuable tips from the “upnishads”, which can be put to practice in daily life to achieve mental and physical health. “We have held seminars in almost all schools in the city and plan to organise a seminar for the municipal councilors on AIDS and drugs,” he adds. “During my interactions with heads of different political and religious organisations, I also emphasise on the fact that spirituality is the fifth pillar of democracy and we all devote some time to take a look at our own selves and conscience,” says Tripathi. He is also the national general secretary of the Bhartiya Charitable Party, which would be observing “Ramzan” in collaboration with Muslim organisations from Amritsar to put across the message of communal harmony.



Witty performances regale audience
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 9
The students of Delhi Public Schools in northern region including DPS Panipat, DPS Ludhiana, DPS Jammu, DPS Manali, DPS Chandigarh and DPS Bhatinda regaled the audience through their unusual wit during a Hasiya kavi samelan. The event was organised recently by the local Delhi Public School on the inauguration of Sunshine Nursery Block of their school.

Students recited poems on the topics like “Neta aur abhineta,” “Swarg mein mobile,” “Shiksha pranali,” “Kalyug mein krishna,” “Vigyapan ki duniya,” bringing guffaws among audiences.

Deftly manipulating the traditional 'wheel' and 'sticks' the school students displayed a beautiful performance of 'gatka.' The foot-thumping giddha and bhangra added Punjabi flavor to the occasion.

Earlier, DPS Society chairman Ashok Chandra and guest of honor Lt Gen (retd) J.S. Bawa jointly undertook the stone unveiling ceremony of the new nursery wing.

Besides, around 130 students were awarded prizes too for their excellence in different fields. Yajur Sharma and Nimrata Majithia won the Late Amarjit Singh Virk trophy, while Sunanda Katiyar, Vikas Choudhary, Zorawar Singh, Kushal Aggarwal and Suraj Bajwa were declared 'wiz kids' for their excellence in general knowledge.



Science Fair
Ashoka Sr Sec wins trophy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 9
Ashoka Senior Secondary School won the overall trophy in the two-day science fair organised at it on its premises. The school won seven first positions, one second and two third positions in the various competitions held during the fair.

Sri Guru Ram Das Khalsa Senior Secondary School secured second position in the event. District Education Officer Davinder pal Singh Dhillon presided over the fair and distributed prizes to the winners. Around 27 schools from all over the district participated in the event. Final results:

Senior secondary group

Theme 1 (water management): Ashoka Senior Secondary School and DAV Public School - first; theme 2 (agriculture and food): Ashoka Senior Secondary School and Ram Asharm School - first; theme 3 (solar system): Ashoka Senior Secondary School - first; theme 4 (save from troubles): Guru Ram Das School - first; theme 5 (mathematics modal): Guru Ram Das School - first; theme 6 (educational technique): Government Girls Mahna Singh Road - first.

Secondary group

Theme 1 (water management): Ashoka Senior Secondary School and Guru Ram Das School - first; theme 2 (agriculture and food): Ashoka Senior Secondary School - first; theme 3 (solar system): Ashoka Senior Secondary School and Guru Ram Das School - first; theme 4 (save from troubles): Guru Ram Das School - first; theme 5 (mathematics model): Ashoka Senior Secondary School and Dasmesh Ranike Memorial School - first; theme 6 (educational technique): Ram Ashram school and Dasmesh Ranike Memorial School - first.



DAVIS bags overall trophy at zonal youth festival
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 9
DAV International School (DAVIS) won the overall trophy at the Mahatma Hans Raj Aryan Youth Festival 2007-08 concluded at DAV Centenary School in Batala recently.

The school was able to clinch the title for the second consecutive year.

The school got first prize in ved mantra recitation, vocal solo, on the spot painting competition, quiz, skit, greeting card making, Hindi debate, solo classic dance and folk dance (bhangra). The school secured second prizes in patriotic group songs, rangoli, shabad, qawaali and quiz competitions. Around 16 schools participated in the event.



Seminar on mushrooming of deras today
P K Jaiswar

Amritsar, October 9
Naad Pargaas, an organisation of teachers and research scholars in collaboration with Sikh Samaj Sudhar Committee will hold a seminar on ‘Panthic sarokar ate dera mansikta’, at Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary School, on October 10. This is an attempt to unravel the psyche behind the dera phenomenon, said Satnam Singh, secretary of the oganisation.

He said scholars would present papers in respective sessions followed by open discussions. In addition to these, 22 research papers by students covering all aspects of this issue have also been compiled in a book form.

Singh said students and teachers of Naad Pargaas spent the past few months researching over the issue. He said the students had come up with new insights. He said the organisation had tried to delve deep into the dimensions of minds of all the factions involved in this matter rather than brushing this issue off as a mere social or religious aberration.

Eminent scholars, including Dr Harminder Singh Bedi, Prof Anurag Singh, Prof Harpal Singh, Prof Davinder Singh, Dr Surjit Singh Narang, Onkar Singh were likely to take part in the seminar. He said Prof Suba Singh would be given a special award in the recognition of this contribution towards promoting scholarship among Sikh students.



Lok adalat for speedy justice
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 9
A special Lok Adalat would be held at local court here on October 20 to resolve the matrimonial disputes, road mishap disputes, 138 NI act cases and pre-litigation Bank loan, telecom and Electricity board cases with mutual compromise. This was informed by K C Puri, district and session judge while presiding over a meeting here.

Puri said Lok Adalats were playing a pivotal role in disposing of long pending cases in various courts. He said establishing of mobile court recently had proved that Punjab and Haryana High Court was serious to provide quick and inexpensive justice to to the aggrieved people.

The district and sessions judge said the Lok Adalat would be held at S R Government Girls College for Women while Vijender Jain, Chief Justice, High Court would preside over.

He said seminars on female foeticide and drug menace would also be organised on the occasion. M S Gill, judge, High Court and officiating chairman of Punjab legal services, Chandigarh along with various judges of High Court would also grace the occasion.

He said if any citizen wanted the early disposal of his case through this Lok Adalat, they could give their application to Sunita Kumari, Civil Judge (senior division) here.



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 |