Residents block traffic over 
10-yr-old’s death 
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
Traffic on the GT Road at Rama Mandi Chowk was disrupted for more than three hours after a 10-year-old boy was crushed to death by a truck this afternoon. Irate over the death, residents blocked the national highway and smashed windowpanes of the truck and some private buses.

According to information, the deceased, Kamalpreet, was a student of class IV at Kendriya Vidyalaya-II in Jalandhar cantonment. At around 2 pm Kamalpreet was on his way back home on his cycle after attending the school when a truck on Army duty ran over him.

Up in arms against the accident, residents of the area assembled on the spot and raised slogans against the local administration and the police.

They alleged that the cops on duty at the chowk often took nap at nearby shops and petrol stations instead of performing their duty. Besides, the police had not made any arrangements for helping school students cross the busy road.

The police nabbed the truck driver and registered a case of rash and negligent driving against him on the complaint of the deceased’s father Mohinder Singh.

Meanwhile, hundreds of commuters had to wait restlessly for more three hours inside their vehicles in the sweltering heat of July due to traffic blockade. Passengers were seen trudging to a long distance holding their luggage.



Ex-minister tells SAD MPs to support N-deal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
All Akali MPs in the Lok Sabha should rise above petty politics and bail out the UPA government by supporting the motion of confidence on July 22.

Former minister Santokh Singh Chaudhary said the deal should be taken into consideration as an independent achievement of the country and not of one party or an individual.

“Not only the Sikhs but also our diaspora is proud that Dr Manmohan Singh has risen to be the Prime Minister and has successfully and honestly steered the government placing India amongst the emerging powerhouses of the world. All this has been due to his untiring and diligent hard work,” he pointed out.

The Akalis, who always trumpet about being the custodians of the Sikhs, should rise to the occasion and prove that they meant what they said, especially when the country was on the verge of a historic landmark, he added.

Chaudhary said that it  was a matter of concern that the PM had risked his post, his office for a deal which was in the interest of the country, particularly power-starved Punjab.

Rejecting the deal outrightly without judging its merit was unfair, he pointed out.

The deal should be seen in a broader perspective and as an economic issue in the interests of securing the future of India. It was the stepping stone for a prosperous future for the country, he said.

The former minister said Parkash Singh Badal should not forget that the SAD had a bold face by siding with the Congress on the river waters issue. Then too the Congress had chosen to risk their government in the larger interests of the people of the state, he added.

Badal had taken innumerable favours from the Prime Minister like securing an airport at Mohali, getting the eastern and western freight corridors scheme extended to Punjab and an IIT at Ropar, he said. The CM should not forget that if the deal  went through it would  help meet the unlimited demand of power, help industrial and agricultural growth of the state.

He also appealed to all members of the Lok Sabha in general and from Punjab in particular to support the Prime Minister’s motion of confidence.



The gramophone brigade 
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
Ustad Abdul Karim Khan had a dog which intently used to listen to him as he carried on with his daily riyaaz. It is said the loyalty did not die down even after the death of the classical maestro as the dog then took to listening to his voice from the gramophone in a melancholy state of mind, with tears rolling down its eyes. This tale of the loyal dog of the great artiste, we hear, gave birth to the logo of the famous music company HMV or “His Master’s Voice”.

The gramophone has always fascinated people since time immemorial. It is synonymous with style, art, antiquity, loyalty and passion.

With the face of music changing and the noise taking over the melody (as put by conservatives), such sensitive tales have died down somewhere in the dog-eared pages of history. But even with the digital taking over the sufi, the DJ replacing the mehfil and the rap taking over the thumri, there are some who still uphold the old school of melody with ultimate passion. With them, through them, the gramophone still lives on.

Somewhere in the streets of JTS Market, near DAV College, we hit upon this league of extraordinary gentlemen.

A casual observer might never make out that beneath the maze of cassettes and CDs, the shop, which might just be written off as yet another music outlet of the city, so intently preserves the old world charm wrapped up in layers of vinyl.

Jagdish Puri, owner of Music Point, says, “I established my shop in 1984 and own about 3,000 LP and EP records. ‘Jahaan Ara’, ‘Patanga’, ‘Azaad’, ‘Sehra’, ‘Saanjh Aur Savera’, ‘Mamta’ are some of the old movies that we have.”

Talking about returns on the records, he says, “Though there’s not much to earn from these records, sometimes we get profit from them when representatives of music companies come looking for the master copies of some old albums. Some NRIs also ask for the albums of old Punjabi movies and get remixes cut out from them. Rest of the customers who come looking for the records are collectors.

“At a time when even buying CDs is getting uncommon, who would want to buy records? I am in the music business but sometimes even I feel that it’s too costly a hobby for even me to handle,” Puri says.

Talking about the maintenance of the record player that lies on a shelf in the shop, he says, “Since record players are an elusive entity these days, not many people know how to fix them when there’s a problem. We don’t get dry belts for the players so we have to use belts from car tubes to make the player work.”

Rahul Sharma of Song and Sound, Puri’s neighbour, owns about 2,000 LP and EP records. About 23 years old, Sharma has been retaining the collection since the demise of his father who originally collected the records.

Right in front of the shop of Sharma and Puri stand the shops of the Malhotra brothers, the other two curators of the spell of yesteryear’ melodies.

Surinder Malhotra of Mini Malhotra Music House, who owns about 2,000 LP and EP records, says he has been in the business for the past 10 years.

A majority of the customers that he gets are NRIs who come looking for old songs which are not available in CDs or cassettes.

Suraj Malhotra of Malhotra Music Centre owns about 10,000 LP and about 2,500 EP records. Clearly the best among the lot as far as collection suggests, Malhotra has the most and the rarest of records available with him.

Owner of rare tracks like the collection of Jalandhar’s teen prodigy, Master Madan, Malhotra says he doesn’t collect the records to reap any financial benefits. “Once I sold 100 records for Rs 50,000 to an NRI who, in turn, sold them through the net for 85 pounds (each). But I earn almost as much from the records as I spend on them. The returns are just through CDs and cassettes, records are just a hobby that I am passionate about,” he says.

Talking about the maintenance of records, he says, “The parts of record players are only available from Delhi and it takes Rs 700 to buy a single needle for the player.”

Talking about the customers for the records, Malhotra says, “Though I don’t sell records unless there is a strong lure, I do know that Jalandhar has a sizeable amount of takers for the records.

It wouldn’t be an overstatement if I say there are still at least 100 people who would prefer records over cassettes or CDs.”

Moving on from the men who sell the records to those who just keep them because they like them, it becomes evident that what Malhotra says is not an overstatement indeed. The love for the gramophone and records is not just a hobby, it’s a passion among some of the gentlemen who nurture their collection with utmost care and guard it with extreme loyalty.

Lekh Raj (81), a resident of Janata Colony saw and heard the gramophone for the first time as a kid at his village Nehra, then a part of Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, at a neighbours house.

Chided by elders for touching what was at that time a royalty, Lekh Raj was never able to forget the player, the passion for which, in him, was dismissed by elders as plain curiosity. “I finally managed to buy the gramophone when I started earning in 1947-48 at the age of 21.”

He still has a 102 model player which he bought in 1950 for Rs 200. He bought the relatively contemporary record changer about 10 years ago. He presently owns about 120 records.

Inderjit Singh (52), a resident of Basti Sheikh, is a great fan of Mohammad Rafi. He has been collecting not only gramophone records but everything to do with Bollywood trivia since he was a kid.

Inderjit has 200 records. He has made friends from Jalandhar to Delhi and Calcutta in his search for records. He has rare collections like Mohammad Rafi’s private collection of Punjabi, Gujrati, Sindhi, Konkani, Bengali, English, Marathi and Telugu songs, Rafi’s collection of songs by lyricist Kazi Nasrool, Rafi’s and Lata’s Heer, Rafi’s collection of shloks sung on the occasion of the tricentury of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom and the song collection of K.C. Dey (the uncle of Manna Dey) and Khurshid which contains songs from “Dhoop and Chaanv”, the movie which had the country’s first playback track. He also has the collection of Malayali music director K.J. Jesodas.

He has written number of letters to the HMV asking for the records of some movies which were not available in the market and has received 100 replies from the company agreeing to the demands put forward by him.

Balwant Singh (70), residing in the Nijatam Nagar area has been listening to records for the past many years and owns about 150 records. He has the collection of songs by almost every Punjabi folk singer and has a lot of religious song collection too along with songs from Hindi movie tracks.

Babloo (35) residing in the Nijatam Nagar area, is washerman. He has almost 200 records with him and loves collecting tracks by K.L. Saigal. “I got addicted to records through my father who loved them as well,” he says. However, after my marriage it has become difficult to retain the hobby due to the high expenses.



Auto thieves’ gang busted, 4 held
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
With the arrest of four persons, the CIA staff of the local police claimed to have busted a gang of auto thieves. The accused have been identified as Manmdeep Singh, alias Kala, Rakesh Kumar, Munish Kumar and Balbir Singh.

The police recovered an Indica car, a motorcycle and a scooter from them and said the accused used to sell the stolen vehicles with fake registration numbers.

The CIA staff in charge said the police had laid a trap at Kapurthala Chowk where they stopped an Indica car (PB-08AX-6699). After searching the documents of the vehicle, they found that its occupants Mandeep Singh and Balbir Singh were planning to sell the vehicle. Similarly, Munish Kumar and Rakesh Kumar were also nabbed at the same place. A case has been registered.



Things finally look up for Burlton Park youth hostel
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
Deputy secretary, youth affairs and sports, D.P. Bharadwaj along with youth hostel warden from Dalhousie, Samuel, came for the inspection of the under-construction youth hostel at Burlton Park here.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune, Bharadwaj said, “We are committed to complete this pending project as soon as possible.”

Many other projects are lined up in the state but we are looking forward to get the pending projects completed first and only then move on with the new proposals. This time our focus is to review the under-construction youth hostel and make a new draft for the same. For the time being, we have kept the new proposals of other places like Tarn Taran and Anandpur Sahib at bay.”

He said at a recently held conference at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on July 10, the union minister for sports M.S. Gill took this project on priority and asked about the various loopholes in it.

“In today’s meeting we finally decided that a list of all the formalities would be forwarded to the central government. The time bound project of the hostel would now be completed within the next financial year. Apart from this we have demanded a grant to the tune of Rs 1.25 crore for the construction of the youth hostel,” said assistant director, youth welfare, D.P. Bharadwaj.

It is pertinent to mention here that the hostel has been hanging fire for the past almost 19 years now. While it took 17 years for the project to begin, owing to political and bureaucratic reasons, the construction work of the hostel once again came to a halt due to an objection raised by the Auditor General of India (AGI).

Being constructed in an acre of land on the left side of the entrance gate, the construction of the ground floor of the hostel has been completed while the work on the second floor is still pending. The hostel can accommodate sixty youth and has been designed with six dormitories, five bedrooms, a drawing room, a recreation hall, library and a table tennis court. The facility would help the players and youth coming under different programmes.



e-payment mandatory for units with Rs 40-lakh turnover
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
The mandatory legal framework and procedures involving e-payment of income tax were laid threadbare before professionals and representatives of corporates, and firms at a workshop on “e-payment of taxes”, organised by the State Bank of Patiala here today. The e-payment of taxes, according to the commissioner of income tax, who was the chief guest, has been made mandatory for the corporate assessees and others who came under the preview of section 44 AB ie firms and individuals having annual sales turnover of Rs 40 lakh in any previous year. The limit for the professionals was Rs 10 lakh per annum.

The CEOs and representatives of a number of city based firms, industries, business houses and professionals interacted with income tax and State Bank of Patiala officials and got their doubts clarified in the workshop.

State Bank of Patiala director Ashwani Gupta informed the participants that the bank had been undertaking such initiatives about changes in industrial and business environment in the country for the benefit of the corporates and professionals.



Youth learn a lot, besides trekking, at this camp
Kusum Arora/TNS

Jalandhar, July 17
For 25-year-old Sunil Kumar, a resident of Khurla Kingra village, life is yet another name for adventure and thrill. This student of Janta College, Kartarpur, recently came back after attending a 10-day national hiking and trekking camp at Manali. The state department of youth welfare has been conducting these trekking camps every year.

“This was my 40th adventure camp. After attending so many camps, now I am planning to start a youth club in my village through which 
I can start some welfare activities for my villagers,” he said.

Every year, the department of youth welfare organise these camps, which begin in May. With a motto of taking the students away from social evils, like drug abuse, awareness of AIDS and helping them learn discipline and time management, the students benefit a lot through these camps.

During the recently concluded camp the students were first taken to the base camp at Manali where they stayed at the Manalsu Nala jungle. The students visited various places, including Solang, Kothi, Samchi, Jagatsukh Nagar, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Doongri, Nausaga and many other places. Every day the students used to trek 30 to 40 km approximately.

Says assistant director of the department, Capt I. S. Dhami, “The first national hiking and trekking camp was conducted in 1991. Every year we invite 130 students from various colleges of Punjab to participate in the trekking activities. And as the camp is conducted free of cost in association with the state government, therefore the response is also good.”

The camp is held not only for college students, but also for other youth from surrounding villages. “Our ultimate aim is to help youth by making them confident and teach them different skills. They may not join armed forces but even if they manage to learn the value of time in their life, I think they have actually learnt something substantial,” said Capt Dhami.

“Education has two spheres. The students learn a lot from books, but it is equally important for them to stay in touch with their immediate environment and surroundings. The virtually get a chance to improve their personality and inculcate habits like dedication, discipline and duty,” he said.

The students are made to do mess work, duty of night gaurds, maintaining cleanliness and much more. Another student who participated in the trekking camp said, “Everyday in the camp was a new learning experience for us. Exercises, yoga, trekking, confidence-building measures and social activities were part of our camp.”



Funds for memorial to father
NRI feels cheated 
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
The sincerity with which the Punjab government treats its citizens can be gauged from the fact that a stadium constructed with private funds has been shown in official records as a government project.

The case came to light at Khanowal village in Kapurthala district when NRI Jaswant Singh, who donated Rs 10 lakh to the village panchayat for the construction of a stadium in the memory of his father Mathura Singh (in 2001), found that the stadium was shown as a government project when he returned to his village a couple of months ago.

Talking to The Tribune, Jaswant Singh alleged that his repeated representations in this context to the Kapurthala deputy commissioner and the SSP failed to yield results. Jaswant Singh claimed that his brother Kuldeep Singh and he himself made donations to the panchayat, provided the stadium was named after his father.

The panchayat initially agreed but later renamed it as Guru Gobind Singh Stadium and even plastered a foundation stone containing the names of certain political leaders and unscrupulous persons of the area, he alleged.

The agony of this disheartened NRI was doubled when he found the infrastructure in a gym of the stadium missing.

He alleged that the panchayat members made an attempt for misappropriating funds by showing the stadium constructed under government project.

“My dreams to construct a stadium in the memory of my late father and divert the mind of the youth from drug abuse towards games has been dashed to the ground. The act of the panchayat has not only hurt my sentiments but also exposed the state government’s policy,” he added.

He also flayed the Punjab government for cheating NRIs by luring them to invest in Punjab and then harassing them on one pretext or the other.

Jaswant Singh has also complained to the NRI Sabha Punjab alleging that former village president Jagir Singh and his sons Naginder Singh and Harjinder Singh were the main persons behind 
this. The complainant has sought a high-level enquiry into the case.

Naginder Singh, however, denied the allegations saying that Jaswant Singh had earlier given his consent in writing that the name of his father be written only on the main gate of the stadium. “He has been raising the issue unnecessarily,” he said.



Young World
KMV students grab most of merit pie
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
As many as 60 students from Kanya Maha Vidyalaya have secured merit positions in various examinations conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University. The top rankers are Sanjogita in MSc (IT), Rinkie in BA-I (English hons), Aastha Saini in BA-III (hons), Amandeep Kaur in BCA-II and Jyoti Saini in BSc-III (biotech), Neeti Gulati in BSc-I (non-medical), Gurjinder Kaur in BA-I (English hons), Natasha Singh in BA-III (English hons), Balwinder Kaur in MSc (IT)-III and Isha in BA-I (English hons).

Seminar held

Police DAV Public School organised a seminar on “Who is a professional” for its teachers on July 15 where resource person V. Puri discussed qualities of a teacher and emphasised on the need to create conducive environment in classes.

Varsity toppers

St Soldier students Swati Munjal, Neha Khurana and Geetika Bajaj of postgraduate diploma in computer science (PGDCA) have won top positions in the examination conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University.Similarly, Rajbir Kaur, Sunaina and Amrit Kaur of the Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara, have won the top positions in the PGDCA examination conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University.


Class X students of Manav Sehyog School celebrated Vanamahotsav. The teachers stressed on need to plant more trees for clean environment.



Tributes paid to Justice Chandrachud
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 17
Rich tributes were paid to former Chief Justice of India Y.V. Chandrachud by members of the All-India Central Government Pensioners Association who recalled his landmark judgement that brought relief to lakhs of pensioners in the country.

Association vice-chairman V.S. Jolly said the deceased presided over a Constitution Bench that ruled in the 1983 D.S. Nakra versus Union of India case that pension was neither a bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employer. It was not an ex gratia payment. Pension was their inalienable, legally enforceable right that had been earned by the sweat of their brow so that the pensioner was able to live freely, with decency, independence and self-respect.

Following this, pensioners had always held the justice in high esteem.



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