More cross-border Hindu weddings likely
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 14
The cross-border marriage of Hindu couple, Pawan Kumar Narang, resident of Amritsar, and Anita, resident of Peshawar, in Amritsar yesterday is likely to pave way for more such weddings in future.

It is pertinent to mention here that the cross-border marriages in Muslim community is quite popular, both in India and Pakistan. Though this was for the first time that a Pakistani Hindu girl has been married in Amritsar, yet some Pakistani Hindus had married in other parts of the country, including Mohali, in the past.

Many Peshawri Hindus and Sikhs have come to India in the last one decade to settle here permanently. It is because of persecution of the members of minority community, especially Qadian Muslims, in Pakistan that they prefer to settle in India.

Earlier, it was a hard decision for more than 3,000 odd families of Hindus and Sikhs to leave Peshawar - the land of Pathans - where they did not suffer even a single casualty during the holocaust of Partition. However, they preferred India - the land of their faith - to the ancestral place and started thronging this holy city from Wagah from 1955-56 onwards. Their first destination was Amritsar, from where they moved to Jalandhar, Khanna, Ferozepore, Delhi, Rajasthan and other places of India.

In Amritsar, about 500 Peshawari families live in a locality on the Amritsar-Wagah road. The hospitable Pathans had protected their Hindu and Sikh brethren like their own folk during the holocaust of Partition. This was the reason that no exodus took place during Partition, and Hindus and Sikhs, most of them big landlords, preferred to stay in the picturesque hilly areas of Peshawar.

Many Peshawaris are still nostalgic about their youthful days in Peshawar. Recalling the happy old days, spent on their motherland, they said hospitality reigned in Peshawar - the land of contrast and beauty - and most of them were not prepared to come to India. However, massacre of Hindus and Sikhs in other parts of the newly created Pakistan had inculcated a sense of insecurity and they started approaching the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, for permanently settling in India, so that their religion would not be endangered at any point of time.

The incidents of kidnapping of a Hindu businessmen in Peshawar (Pakistan) by local goons forced more migrations in 1980 and 1999.

Being courageous and hard working, the Peshawaris know how to settle in strange lands. After remaining in camps in Lahore and then its twin city Amritsar, their exchange with Muslims, who wanted to go to their “newly created country Pakistan” was peaceful. Wherever they went, they were able to mingle with the local public and live in most harmonious manner.

In Amritsar, the Peshawaris constructed a beautiful temple and a gurdwara, adjacent to each other, presenting unique communal harmony.

Peshawar derives its name from a Sanskrit word Pushpapura, meaning the city of flowers. Peshawar’s flowers were even mentioned in Mughal emperor Babur’s memoirs. Sher Shah Suri, his successor, turned Peshawar renaissance into a boom when he ran his Dehli-to-Kabul Shahi Road through the Khyber Pass. Thus Mughals turned Peshawar into “city of flower” by planting trees and laying out gardens.

Peshawar was the centre of Buddhist Gandhara civilisation and an important place of pilgrimage. As Buddhism declined globally, Peshawar also fell on hard times.



Dengue Drama
Platelet machine goes kaput
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 14
Even as the health department and municipal corporation have joined hands to fight against the spread of dengue, the number of patients is increasing day by day.

However, the state health department confirms only 25 cases of dengue in the district, while it could be much more than 100, it is learnt. Interestingly, the administration has failed to check the dengue menace.

A large of number of dengue patients were being reported at private and government hospitals. Government-run Guru Nanak Dev Hospital has 35 patients of suspected dengue while four of them have been confirmed with the disease.

Ram Jeevan, a domestic help, was today admitted to the civil hospital after reports confirmed a case of dengue. This has set alarm bells ringing in the posh Civil Lines area where a few cases were reported during the outbreak of dengue.

What is worse is that the blood platelets machine at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, which was under great 
pressure to provide healthy blood cells, has gone out of order, creating problems for thetreatment of patients. Doctors, on condition of anonymity, said the government must install a machine for standby operations to be used in case of emergency.

The government has promised to provide a free medical aid to poor patients who lamented that the health department was not giving any free aid to patients and they were feeling the pinch. However, doctors said a free aid was being given to patients who had tested positive.

Dr Lehmbar Singh, civil surgeon, said to cope up with the growing threat, 16 health assistants had been entrusted with the task of launching a campaign against dengue which would be headed by the district malaria officer.

As many as 28 teams have been set up both by the department of health and the municipal corporation to take the emergency steps to prevent the increasing number of cases. These teams would intensify fogging and spray operations.



Spl neuro clinics from October 20
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 14
The department of neurology, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, would start special neurology clinics from October 20 in which patients would be examined and medicines distributed free of cost. The patients suffering from various neurological problems would be educated about the various brain diseases and rehabilitation and physiotherapy exercises.

Informing this, Dr Rajnish Sharma said the neurology OPD would be conducted from 8 am to 2 pm. Headache, stroke and epilepsy clinics would be held daily.

Migraine clinic, mental retardation cerebral palsy clinic, dementia clinic, neuro-ophthalmology clinic, vertigo clinic and movement disorders clinic would be held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, respectively. Meanwhile, 150 patients were examined during the fourth and last neurology camp organised by the department yesterday. Besides giving free medicines, the patients were also educated about various brain diseases, including epilepsy, stroke, headache, migraine, dementia and vertigo.



Comedy is serious stuff: Rana
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 14
“Comedy is a serious business and very tough job. Not everyone can master it, but for a theatre artiste it is not that difficult,” claims Punjabi comedian Rana Ranbir while talking to The Tribune here at the 28th Mohammad Rafi awards.

He says, “To make people laugh you should have a strong script with lots of punches, timing and a unique style of presentation. A comedian should also be a writer who can create scripts of his own. A true comedian cannot work on borrowed scripts for long.”

Rana who created a niche for himself in Punjabi TV and cinema owing to his unparallelled wit, said, “I belong to theatre and have been nurtured there. I wanted to do different roles and play characters with different shades to showcase my talent. Now I have started getting such roles like I played in the recently released ‘Hashar’ and ‘Mera Pind, My Home’.” About his dream role, he said he wanted to play Ruldu, a character in Gurdial Singh’s novel “Adh Chanani Raat”.

Rana started his career in comedy in 2001 while he has been doing theatre for the past 20 years. Theatre artistse do not die of hunger or face financial crisis nowadays as it was earlier due to the satellite boom, he said.

About his future projects, he said after his recent releases - Harbhajan Mann and Babbu Mann starrer “Mera Pind My Home” and “Hashar” - he is looking forward to Gurdas Mann’s project “Chak Jawana” in which he is playing the role of one of the five gullible youths who master the stage later with the guidance of Gurdas Mann, who is playing the lead role.

Shooting for the project is already on at Chandigarh and Mohali. Another PTC channel project “Tension Nahi Leni” is also in the pipeline, he added. In the programme he would find out the people with different talents.

When in an era where reality shows are ruling the roost, he said he got calls from Laughter Challenge III and IV. But due to prior engagements he could not be part of the programmes, he added. About Bollywood aspirations, he said he had worked in the Bobby Deol-starrer “Aek - the power of one” which was waiting for release.



‘Efforts on to make Pbi language of the judiciary’
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, October 14
Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Punjab education minister, said the state government was committed to introduce Punjabi as medium of instruction in higher education in the state and the efforts were on to make Punjabi an official language in the judiciary.

Addressing the concluding function of Punarjyot to commemorate the 101st birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh and dedicated to the selfless mission of Bhagat Puran Singh, she said the Punjabis have shown their mettle in various spheres around 
the world but the community has failed to protect the Punjabi culture and traditions.

She said the government has initiated various steps to introduce Punjabi language as part of the official working and were planning to introduce law to implement the mother tongue at all levels, including administration and in the education segment.

She said the government is contemplating to bring in necessary rules and regulations for the proper implementation of the Punjabi as official language and would initiate action against officers and departments failing to comply with order of working in Punjabi language.

Expressing dismay over the falling educational standards, the minister said the state government was seriously contemplating to improve the level of education.

She said the government was planning to set up Adarsh schools and recruit more teachers to meet the growing needs of education in the government sector.

She urged the socially conscious people to come forward and join hands with the government to revitalise education so that children could cope up with the challenges posed by the great scientific advancement and globalisation of the world economy.

Earlier, director, Punarjyot, Manveen Sandhu gave detailed account of the activities of the organisation in promoting Punjabi language in the border areas.

She said the organisation makes efforts to keep the Punjabi culture and its rich traditions alive.



SAANJH festival: Building bridges, breeding hope
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 14
Aimed at harmonising strained relations between the people of two neighbouring countries, but with common culture and living, the SAANJH festival has come full circle. The team of Punarjyot - an offshoot of the Spring Dale Educational Society and the Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, Lahore, which started the festival today - felt that the aims and objectives of the festival, as set at its inception, seemed to have been fulfilled now as it contributed to a great extent in building national harmony and acted as an activist in restoring the peace between India and Pakistan.

In four years, about a million people from Amritsar and Lahore have attended the festival.

Termed as cultural renaissance in the history of both east and west Punjab, this humble effort moves on with the fifth Amritsar-Lahore Festival SAANJH-2008, scheduled for October 19. The musical night of the festival, Jashan-e-Junoon, would feature Sufi Ka Sultan Akbar Ali and Mati-Ke Lal Lakhwinder Wadali with Ashraf Khan performing together for the first time in the holy city.

Among others who would perform during the festival are Ustad Hamid Ali Khan of Patiala gharana, Sain Zahoor, renowned folk singer, besides Panjtani, internationally famed drumming act in which best dholis play together to create a mesmerising rhythmic sound.

In addition to the celebration of art and culture, SAANJH also involves meaningful interaction between people at large and intellectuals where stimulating and thought-provoking discussions take place on issues common to both the countries.

Dr Shivinder Singh Sandhu, philanthropist and director, and Manveen Sandhu, co-director, Punarjyot, said SAANJH was a noble effort because it helped people from both the countries to connect with and understand each other better.

SAANJH-2004 was a unique initiative aimed at bringing forth harmony and broadened the horizon of the human mind through the driving force of the performing arts.

SAANJH-2005 was an attempt to share the problems of each other and for this Punarjyot directed all its funds allocated for the festival in the rehabilitation of victims of earthquake that hit India and Pakistan at that time. SAANJH-2006 and 2007 focused on recognition and integration of cultural oneness and joining hands to spread the message of brotherhood to the entire South Asia.



Father’s day out at DPS

Amritsar, October 14
To help parents freely interact and understand their kids’ growth in the school environment, the Delhi Public School today observed Father’s Day which was marked by various fun-filled activities. 

As many as 30 enthusiastic fathers turned up at school to take part in various events and were cheered by their wives and kids. The male brigade showed off their skills in activities like ‘Cooking without Fire’ and prepared simple sandwiches, salads, bhel puri, chat and pasta. The highlight of the day was ‘antakshri’ round where teams were made in such a manner that parents were in an opposite team to their children. Later, souvenirs were gifted to the participants. — OC



Zonal Youth Festival
A-division trophy for BBK College
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 14
The BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar, won the ‘A’ division championship during the three-day zonal youth festival of Guru Nanak Dev University that concluded here on Sunday. The ‘B’ division title went to the Shaheed Darshan Singh Pheruman College for Women, Rayya.

In the ‘A’ division, Khalsa College, Amritsar, was the runners-up and the Khalsa College for Women, Amritsar, bagged the third position. Similarly, in the ‘B’ division, the SN College for Girls, Amritsar was second, while the SSSS College of Commerce for Women, Amritsar, and Trai Shatabdi Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Amritsar, were third.

Noted playwright Jatinder Brar and president of Punjab Naatshala presided over the valedictory function and gave away the prizes.

Dr A.K. Thukral, dean, students' welfare, and Dr Parminder Singh, professor in charge (public relations), were also present on the occasion. Around 800 students from 10 colleges of Amritsar district took part in 37 song, dance and theatre items.

The detailed results are as follow:

Bhangra: Khalsa College, Amritsar 1, DAV College, Amritsar 2; Giddha: Khalsa College for Women, Amritsar 1, SDSPM College for Women, Rayya 2.

Shabad/bhajan: BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar 1, Khalsa College, Amritsar 2; Group shabad/bhajan: Khalsa College 1, BBK DAV College for Women 2; Vaar singing: Khalsa College 1, BBK DAV College for Women & Khalsa College for Women 2.

Group song (Indian): Khalsa College for Women 1, BBK DAV College for Women 2 ; Western (vocal): Khalsa College for Women 1, BBK DAVC for Women 2; Western group song: BBK DAVC for Women 1, Khalsa College for Women 2.

Classical instrumental (percussion): Shaheed Darshan Singh Pheruman College for Women 1, DAV College 2; Non-percussion: DAV College 1, BBK DAV College for Women 2.

Classical vocal (solo): BBK DAVC for Women 1, Hindu College 2; semi-classical vocal (solo): BBK DAVC for Women 1, Khalsa College 2.

Folk orchestra: BBK DAV College for Women 1, Khalsa College 2; Skit: Khalsa College for Women 1, BBK DAV College for Women 2.

Fancy dress: BBK DAV College for Women 1, DAV College 2.

Mime: BBK DAV College for Women 1, DAV College 2; BBK DAV College for Women 1, Khalsa College 2.

Histronics: Khalsa College for Women 1, BBK DAV College for Women 2.

One-act play: BBK DAV College for Women 1, Khalsa College & DAV College 2; Poetical symposium: Khalsa College 1, SDSPM College for 
Women 2.

Elocution: DAV College 1, Khalsa College 2; Debate: BBK DAV College for Women 1, Khalsa College 2.

Quiz: BBK DAV College for Women 1, DAV College & Khalsa College 2.

Classical dance: BBK DAV College for Women 1, Khalsa College for Women 2; Creative dance: BBK DAV College for Women 1, Khalsa College for Women 2.

Geet/ghazal: Khalsa College 1, BBK DAV College for Women 2; Folk song: Khalsa College 1, DAV College 2.

Painting (landscape): Hindu College 1, Khalsa College 2; painting (still life): Hindu College 1, Khalsa College 2; Sketching: BBK DAV College for Women 1, Hindu College 2; Cartooning: BBK DAV College for Women 1, Hindu College 2.

Collage: Hindu College 1, Khalsa College 2; Poster making: BBK DAV College for Women 1, Khalsa College 2; Clay modelling: Hindu College 1, DAV College 2; Rangoli: Khalsa College for Women 1, BBK DAV College for Women and Hindu College 2.

Flower arrangement (fresh): BBK DAV College for Women 1, Khalsa College for Women 2; flower arrangement (dry): Khalsa College for Women 1, BBK DAV College for Women & Hindu College 2.

Phulkari: Shaheed Darshan Singh Pheruman Memorial College for Women 1, Hindu College 2; Installation: BBK DAV College for Women 1, Khalsa College for Women 2.



‘Pratibha’ brings the best out of students
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 14
The postgraduate department of management studies and computer applications of the Amritsar College of Engineering and Technology here has created a club, “Pratibha”, to encourage gifted people and demonstrate their talent.

The inaugural ceremony of “Pratibha”, along with its first annual event Pratibha-2008, was held here recently. The club will organise various events in the future where students would get a chance to exhibit their talent.

The club will also invite talented people from diverse fields to interact with students of the department and inspire them to recognise their hidden potential and improve it for personal and social benefits.

Rajiv Sharma, head of the PG department, launched Pratibha-2008 with a welcome note. He announced the opening of the function with the start of technical and academic events such as web designing, flash animations, extempore and certain creative events such as junkyard, mehndi and rangoli.

The first half of Pratibha-2008 was marked with modelling.

The club was inaugurated by director of the college Dr H.N. Chandrawat who was accompanied by managing director Amit Sharma and college principal Dr Rajneesh Arora. Students gave wonderful performances in 22 event categories, of which winners were chosen and given prizes. The special attraction was performance by Vishwajit Rana, a young singer and music director, Jassi from 94.3 MY FM Dil Se. Vishwajit Rana, who has given music in a dozen Bollywood movies and performed in Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan, cast a spell on the audience through his melodious voice.

Jassi enthralled the audience by humour. Meenakshi Handa of MCA (first semester) won in programming while Harpreet and Deepika of the same class were declared winners in the 
junkyard competition. Anupam, MCA (third semester), Munish MCA (first semester), Rachna and Hina, MBA (first semester) and Annie Juneja, MBA (third semester), were announced winners in flash animation, website development, rangoli and sketching, respectively.



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