IPL fever hits campaigning
Ludhiana, April 21
The cricket effect is visible even in rallies taken out by leading party candidates during evening as the attendance is not up to the mark.
With Shah Rukh Khan’s Knight Riders taking over Preity Zinta’s Kings XI Punjab today, the footfall at the campaign offices of the SAD and the Congress was negligible.
Vinay Jaggi, a cricket fan, stated: “It is true that elections are vital, but I just can't miss IPL matches, especially when it happens to be between Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab.”
Where on the one side party candidates are taking exhaustive tours of rural areas and slums despite the scorching heat, the youth is oblivious to the frenzied campaigning as a large number of them have not even got their voter cards made.
Hitesh, a student of software engineering, says: “For me, cricket is more important than politics as one gives me pleasure while the other is just a disappointment.”
The impact of the IPL fever is evident as small screens in crammed shops to big screens in elite clubs are broadcasting IPL matches.
Even the most ardent followers of the SAD and the hardcore supporters of the Congress sneak away from the respective venues for campaigning and other political activities, including rallies, to watch the matches scheduled at 4 pm every evening.
After shoes, it’s chairs
Ludhiana, April 21
BJP and SAD workers clashed, threw chairs at one another and also at the stage when Dhanda started addressing the rally, despite protests by BJP workers led by Raj Kumar Khaira.
The rally was organised by BJP workers to garner support for the SAD candidate from Ludhiana, Gurcharan Singh Galib. As Galib was yet to reach the venue, Dhanda reached there with his supporters and went on stage.
The brewing resentment among BJP workers against Dhanda surfaced when Khaira publicly asked Dhanda to go back since he had not been invited to the function. He, however, rushed to the stage along with his supporters.
Despite all this the function went on smoothly until Dhanda and his supporters started honouring independent councillor Kapil Kumar Sonu from the area. Kapil Kumar had defeated BJP candidate Khaira from the area and Dhanda was accused of helping him and defeating the SAD-BJP candidate from the municipal ward. Hence, BJP workers had not invited Dhanda to the function.
The honouring ceremony did not go down well with the BJP workers, who started throwing chairs. Dhanda's supporters objected to it. When the situation seemed to be getting out of control, Dhanda left the venue and the rally came to an abrupt end even before Galib's arrival.
Later, Dhanda said Khaira was holding him responsible for his defeat, but he had nothing to do with it. He said despite the hooliganism, he had not complained to anybody as Khaira was a leader of his party's coalition partner.
Khaira said Dhanda had not been invited to the function. They had only invited Galib, BJP state chief, Rajinder Bhandari and some others. ‘‘Dhanda appeared there like a villain and hijacked our rally. This was not liked by my supporters. Why should he do that?’’ he asked.
Meanwhile, no senior BJP leader was available for comments.
Youth found dead
Ludhiana, April 21
The police found his identity from the purse recovered from the body. The police had received information about the incident in the wee hours of the morning and rushed to the spot.
According to Harpal Singh, SHO of Division No. 7, the neck of the deceased was slit by a sharp-edged weapon.
The body has been taken for postmortem. The police is looking for the place where the victim was residing. A murder case has been registered.
This is the second such incident that has taken place in the last two days. Yesterday, the body of an unidentified youth was found near Gyaspura. The face of the deceased had been crushed beyond recognition by a stone.
ADC submits report on fee hike
Ludhiana, April 21
The ADC is understood to have stated in his report that some schools had violated the guidelines of the CBSE and raised the fee by 30 to 40 per cent and some others had made a reasonable increase in the fee structure.
In his 50-page report, the ADC had stated that so far, no school management had implemented the pay scales as recommended by the pay commission, under whose garb the fee had been enhanced.
The schools that had made hefty increase in fee include MGM Public School, KVM School, Sat Paul Mittal schools and Delhi Public School.
Under the CBSE guidelines, the schools could enhance tuition fee by 10 per cent.
The ADC has suggested that the matter should be taken up with the state government and the government should set up a regulatory authority to keep a check on the managements of the schools.
The Tribune has learnt that the DC would convene a meeting of school managements that have hiked fee and ask them to reduce the fee structure.
Meanwhile, Parveen Dang, president of the Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena, said he had not received the copy of the report. He said they would resume their agitation and demonstrate in front of KVM School. “We have received the support of a large number of parents and the district bar association and we will not relent until our demands are met,” he said. The relay fast would be restarted from April 24.
Rakesh Jain, spokesperson for the parents’ association, said they were going to follow the footsteps of the Delhi Parent Teacher Association and urge the directorate of education to intervene in the matter.
Campaign against plastic gains pace
Ludhiana, April 21
The association pointed out that in wake of the non-implementation of the Act, the injudicious use of these bags had carried on in the state, which was one of the major reasons for repeated gastroenteritis outbreaks in slum areas of the city.
Learning little from the past, the authorities concerned have failed to take notice of the problem which has added to the apprehensions of residents of gastro-prone areas, including Giaspura, Fauji Colony and Janta Nagar.
The RMSA Punjab president, Dr Aslam Parvez, stated that Punjab’s poor garbage collection facilities and tonnes of plastic bags were preventing rainwater from seeping into the ground.
“Plastic bags are one of the main reasons for the gastro outbreak in slum areas as these bags clog up gutters and drains, causing water and sewage to overflow, which in turn becomes the breeding ground for germs and bacteria,” he said.
He also stated that people were paying the price for the non-serious approach of recent governments to have a complete ban on the use of plastic bags. Dr Rishi Bhardwaj, RMSA general secretary, asked: “If the polythene bags can be banned in Chandigarh, why can't the government ensure the complete execution of the ban in Punjab?”
The environment ministry has banned the manufacture and use of plastics bags that were less than 8 inchesx12 inches in size and 20 micron in width. The ministry has also asked state governments to register all plastic manufacturing units so that these could be regulated.
Despite the ban by the ministry, the unabated use of plastic bags in all sizes and thickness is continuing.
Plastic is also highly toxic as it is randomly burnt by ragpickers and garbage collectors, subjecting people to cancer-causing gases. Cheap bags contain chemicals like cadmium or lead-based chemicals that are harmful to health.
Ludhiana, April 21
The general secretary of the Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC), Punjab, Dr Shiv Kumar Gupta, said: “Most bank branches would conduct restricted business tomorrow with the staff away for poll duty rehearsals.
“The same is the case with most banks in the state. The banks can’t function on the days of the poll duty rehearsal -- tomorrow, on May 7 and on the actual polling day -- without adequate staff. The banks would be on the verge of closure on these three days, causing inconvenience to the public,” he said.
Even the staff members of the treasury branch of the SBI, where important government transactions were carried out, had not been spared from election duty. This would cause huge losses to the state exchequer, he added.
Sources revealed that out of 47 staff members of the treasury branch of the SBI, 19 staff members, including two women and branch manager, had been deployed on poll duty. “Even the custodian keyholder has not been spared,” an employee of the SBI said on the condition of anonymity.
The president of INBEC, KR Tripathi, criticised the Punjab government for deploying bank staff on election duty. “In several branches of the banks, especially those in the rural areas, 100 per cent staff has been deployed on poll duty. There is no option for such branches but to close on these days,” he said.
On April 17, certain branches of the banks in Ludhiana and Sangrur district had suspended work on the first day of election duty rehearsals without any prior notice to their customers as a majority of their employees had been deployed on election duty. The others were forced to conduct restricted operations due to lack of adequate staff.
Stress on need for hygiene
Ludhiana, April 21
Inaugurating the workshop, the IMA president, Dr Manoj Sobti, called upon the students to maintain hygiene in order to lead a healthy life.
The associate professor at the department of social and preventive medicine, DMCH, Dr Anurag Chaudhary, gave an account of the importance of hygiene to prevent various diseases. The doctor said hygiene should be inculcated from childhood and parents and teachers could play a big in this regard.
Dr PS Jassal, ENT surgeon, dwelled on various aspects of ENT diseases. He cautioned against the use of ear buds and pricking of nose.
The IMA (Ludhiana) Joint secretary, Dr Narjit Kaur, gave a presentation on personal hygiene habits.
The IMA (Punjab) vice-president, Dr Arun Mitra, said the purpose of such workshops was to train teachers and students so that they could pass the message to others.
Ludhiana, April 21
With the launch of SARA —programme (online compilation of 2000 e-journals) by ICAR through limited servers, students can avail of the Internet facility free of cost.
At present, the online public access catalogue (OPAC) is available and e-journals are distributed on the campus of the agricultural university.
The upcoming plans of the university are automation of the library, dynamic web page on the PAU website, multi-media laboratories to help the students in preparing for examinations like IELTS and TOEFL, video conferencing, on-line CD-ROM database and new computer laboratories with 20 seats.
The librarian, Dr BS Sidhu, said by installing CCTV cameras, it would be possible to keep a check on the activities of the students.
The modified library will cater to the needs of the students, faculty and research workers, Dr Sidhu added.
At present, the library has a collection of about three lakh books, 20,000 theses, 2,000 audio visual documents, as many as 132 foreign and 305 Indian journals and nearly a dozen newspapers.
Research papers are also available for scholars. Portraits of eminent scientists and personalities inspire the readers.
Minimum, max temp above normal
According to Dr GS Bains, head of the agriculture meteorology department of the PAU, the minimum and maximum temperatures is above normal these days. The weather records show that there would be dry weather with storms and dusty winds in the coming days. He said the farmers who were harvesting wheat crop should prepare large bundles of the produce in order to avoid losses.
According to Dr GS Bains, head of the agriculture meteorology department of the PAU, the minimum and maximum temperatures is above normal these days.
The weather records show that there would be dry weather with storms and dusty winds in the coming days.
He said the farmers who were harvesting wheat crop should prepare large bundles of the produce in order to avoid losses.
A training programme for cotton growers conducted by the agricultural university concluded here today. Around 300 scouts completed training to work in different villages to implement the PAU- approved IPM technology. Scouts from various districts were honoured for their excellent performances at the village level. A team award was also given to Dr Vijay Kumar and research fellows working under the cotton-IPM projects for boosting production and providing training to the scouts and farmers. Research fellows Kamaldeep Singh and Tripat Kumar were also honoured. The PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, who was the chief guest, said the production had increased from 299 kg lint/ha in 1964-65 to 616 kg lint in 1991, thereafter, it declined to 151 kg lint in the 1998-99 crop season. The cotton cultivation revived by adopting the IPM after 2002. The introduction of Bt cotton as a component of the IPM played a significant role in increasing the productivity to 752 kg lint/ha in 2006-07, he said. The pest scenario in cotton had changed with the adoption of Bt cotton, he said. The recommended strategy provided better control of the bollworm complex, especially American bollworm, the Vice-Chancellor added.
A training programme for cotton growers conducted by the agricultural university concluded here today.
Around 300 scouts completed training to work in different villages to implement the PAU- approved IPM technology.
Scouts from various districts were honoured for their excellent performances at the village level.
A team award was also given to Dr Vijay Kumar and research fellows working under the cotton-IPM projects for boosting production and providing training to the scouts and farmers.
Research fellows Kamaldeep Singh and Tripat Kumar were also honoured.
The PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, who was the chief guest, said the production had increased from 299 kg lint/ha in 1964-65 to 616 kg lint in 1991, thereafter, it declined to 151 kg lint in the 1998-99 crop season.
The cotton cultivation revived by adopting the IPM after 2002.
The introduction of Bt cotton as a component of the IPM played a significant role in increasing the productivity to 752 kg lint/ha in 2006-07, he said.
The pest scenario in cotton had changed with the adoption of Bt cotton, he said.
The recommended strategy provided better control of the bollworm complex, especially American bollworm, the Vice-Chancellor added.
From Schools & Colleges
Ludhiana, April 21
The courses offered by the software company, ORACLE, RED HAT LINUX, JAVA, MCSE, CCNA, web designing, web development,.Net and PHP were also introduced.
Students were informed about SQL Technologies, which is a leading software development company and an authorised training partner for Oracle and Red Hat Linux to offer certification programmes in different fields.
It provides industrial training to engineering and MCA students.
The training and placement team of the company was also present during the seminar.
To inculcate the habit of newspaper reading among students, BCM Senior Secondary School held a newspaper-reading competition for Class VII. The students participated with enthusiasm. Principal DP Guleria congratulated the winners and encouraged the students to participate in co-curricular activities.
To inculcate the habit of newspaper reading among students, BCM Senior Secondary School held a newspaper-reading competition for Class VII.
The students participated with enthusiasm.
Principal DP Guleria congratulated the winners and encouraged the students to participate in co-curricular activities.
MC loses ground
Ludhiana, April 21
This construction could be cited as an example where the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has become a spectator to the wishes of the BJP municipal councillors who are backing the site owner.
Despite media reports and ATP’s written report to the Commissioner that the construction on the site is a violation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions, it seems the officials are pressurised by the councillors and MLA’s of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance.
Above all, the construction on the site was demolished in 2008 in the presence of Chief Vigilance Officer AK Prabhakar, and joint commissioner Ashok Bajaj, but the coming up of construction again has drained all efforts of the MC.
The construction of these 20 shops in Transport nagar is “encroachment” according to the High Court directions for which the Punjab Government is already in dock.
Interestingly, the Municipal Corporation has been adopting a lenient approach towards the construction by requesting the site-owner and the councillors to get them a formal communication from the DC’s office. This is happening despite the fact that it comes within the radius of 100 metre bypass and will be demolished later.
When MTP Hemant Batra was enquired if he had received any formal communication from the DC’s office that the land belonged to Anil, his reply was negative.
The approach of the MC has raised questions that on one hand it is working hard to implement High Court orders on encroachments and on the other it is allowing new constructions against law.
Savings schemes: Postal official accused of fraud
Ludhiana, April 21
However, senior postal officials said the issue was being blown out of proportion and most of the allegations against the officer were only a result of professional rivalry between the saving agents, who resorted to all kinds of tactics to secure more business.
Savings agent Kamal Kumar, in a complaint lodged with the vigilance cell of the department of post, alleged, "Neelam Sharma, sub-postmaster, with an intention to pocket huge commission on the deposits made through the agency, used coercive methods on prospective investors.”
In an investigation initiated by the department, inquiry officer Rekha Sethi found incriminating documentary evidence against the sub-postmaster and learnt that postal deposits worth Rs 40 lakh were made in the post office through the agency during her tenure.
However, senior superintendent of post office VK Raizada said, “Often, in such cases, the department is unable to take any action for want of irrefutable evidence."
Jagraon, April 21
The crops spread over 11 acres in the fields owned by Jagjit Singh, Gurmail Singh, Balbir Singh, Raj Singh, Chand Singh and Hari Singh was also destroyed. Besides this, Harjit Singh and Jaswinder Singh lost the standing crops spread over seven and two acres in the Sidhwan Bet area.
Much to the dismay of the farmers, though Jagraon SDM Muland Singh, tehsildar and the SHO reached the spot in Sidhwan Bet for accessing the loss and monitor the rescue operations; only SHO Gurdial Singh visited the spot in Lamme Jat Pura village. Even the fire brigade reached the spot after the villagers had already controlled the fire. It took two hours for the fire brigade to cover the distance of 12 to 15 km.
Similarly, three acre of crop of Jasvir Singh was gutted in fire at Raikot yesterday. On April 17, standing crops on 5 acre owned by Jang Bahadur, 4 acre owned by Manohar Singh and 3 acre owned by Davinder Singh were also gutted in the fire.
Similarly on April 18, standing crop on 8 acre of Avtar Singh and 3 acre of Surjit Singh was also gutted in the fire at Raqba village, besides this, straw owned by Balwant Singh on 5 acre was destroyed in the fire.
Jagraon SDM Mukand Singh said he had requested the Deputy Commissioner and PSEB officials to not to supply electricity during the daytime as most of the sparking took place during this time.
Moreover, he said the farmers did not require electricity during the daytime for agriculture purpose. He has also sought an undertaking from the PSEB that the maintenance of the electricity lines passing through fields had been completed.
In most of the fire cases, the villagers had already complained in their respective PSEB offices about the loose wiring leading to the short circuit. The sarpanches of the villages said the officials never paid heed to their complaints.
Ludhiana, April 21
Talking to The Tribune on phone from Australia, the victim Kanwal Preet Singh Pahwa, an IT professional said, “The incident took place on May 8, 2008, when I went to a bar along with my colleagues. I was allowed to enter the bar and later some bouncers and manager approached me and told me to leave the place as headgear was not allowed in the club.
“I told them that I was a Sikh by religion and wear turban at all times, but they were adamant that I had to leave the place. I felt humiliated in front of my colleagues and went through a period of low self-esteem. Besides, it was like a trauma for me as I was victimised for my religious beliefs and culture,” he said.
Pahwa decided to approach the Human Rights Commission and the anti-discrimination tribunal and complained about the treatment metted out to him in the club.
Giving its verdict on April 7, 2009, the tribunal asked the club to publish an apology in a national newspaper of Australia within the next three weeks.
“The best part is that the club too has changed its dress code and has decided to allow headgear associated with beliefs and culture,” said an elated Pahwa.
He said the incident was a violation of human rights and it was tough to overcome the agony he had gone through.
He added that the club had also been ordered to give him a financial compensation and an invitation to visit the place again along with his friends.
Ludhiana, April 21
It needs 14,500 employees for 2,093 polling stations in the district. Due to the preoccupation of as many as 3,700 employees of procurement agencies, the election department is facing difficulty in arranging for the employees.
Earlier, it had announced that women employees would be exempted from duties, but at the last minute, 1,800 women were also put on duty.
“We had no option. Since the number of employees fell short, we had to find a solution to hold the elections efficiently,” a senior official of the election department said.
On the eve of the rehearsal for poll duty here today, officialss found a queue of employees who wanted themselves exempted. “We have not exempted many people unless the employee had a very genuine reason. We told them that the country needed them for the democratic process and they should not evade it,” the official said.
He said the problem had also been created by the banks that had “concealed” the number of employees. As a result, the entire staff of several branches was put on the job due to shortage. Later, it came to light that the branches were to be closed during the rehearsals on April 22 and May 7.
Later, the banks were issued notices and threatened action. They got back with the list of more employees. The staff had to prepare the lists afresh to keep the branches of those banks open.
Cong road show to woo voters
Ludhiana, April 21 Rana said the road show evoked a good response and Tewari was welcomed with flowers, garlands and currency notes at several places. Tewari claimed that there was resentment among people against the SAD-BJP coalition in Punjab, which had failed to live up to the expectations of the masses. “The government has failed to fulfill its promises and the voters have been waiting for an opportunity to give their mandate against the combine,” he added. He urged the voters to extend their support to his party in order to install a secular Congress government.
Ludhiana, April 21
Rana said the road show evoked a good response and Tewari was welcomed with flowers, garlands and currency notes at several places.
Tewari claimed that there was resentment among people against the SAD-BJP coalition in Punjab, which had failed to live up to the expectations of the masses. “The government has failed to fulfill its promises and the voters have been waiting for an opportunity to give their mandate against the combine,” he added.
He urged the voters to extend their support to his party in order to install a secular Congress government.
Ludhiana, April 21
The fountain pen priced at Rs 28,850 has a rhodium plated 14-K gold nib with an iridium tip.
The ball pen priced at Rs 22,150 with the twist mechanism balances the pressure on the tip to ensure a precise, longer-lasting typeface.
The roller ball/fine liner is priced at Rs 22,150.
New Range: Shakti Bhog is all set to introduce new range of Basmati rice in the market. The new range is rich in aroma, fragrance and flavor.
Every grain in the new range is machine-picked. It comes in consumer-friendly packaging, which is handy and re-sealable.
At the crossroads
In Shakespeare’s 36 plays, he is present everywhere but not visible anywhere. We can have a glimpse of his love life in his sonnets. As is generally known, he fell in love with a dark lady, but later she deserted him. Some of the sonnets, perhaps, are in praise of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, while the others are considered to be addressed to the unknown dark lady.
Sir Philip Sydney addressed his 108 love sonnets to Stella (Lady Penelope Rich), while Edmund Spenser composed 88 sonnets, wherein, he expressed his love for Elizabeth Boyle. However, it was left to Shakespeare to write around 154 sonnets for someone close to his heart.
During my visit to the Book Fair held in Ludhiana in the first week of March, I came across a book containing Shakespeare’s sonnets and love poems. This was not something new, but the Appendix attracted my attention.
It was entitled- ‘The Portrait of WH’ by Oscar Wilde. Shakespeare had dedicated his sonnets to WH, whose identity has been deciphered in 61 pages by Oscar Wilde. He opines that WH is a male actor, Willie Hughes.
It has been argued that in one of his sonnets, Shakespeare invites Hughes to go on the stage in order to put his physical beauty to the service of Art.
He later consents to be a player in Shakespeare’s company, and soon becomes the centre and keynote of his inspiration. He is quick-witted and eloquent, and the passionate cry of Juliet comes from his curved lips.
Besides this, bright laughter of Beatrice, Perdita’s flower-like words and Ophelia’s wandering songs are conveyed by him. So, Hughes was one of the marvellous lads who had appeared on the Elizabethan stage in female apparels. Shakespeare is enamoured of him and is upset when he leaves him to play Gaveston in Christopher Marlowe’s tragedy, Edward II. The last act (Sonnets 100-126) tells us of the return of Hughes to Shakespeare.
But Shakespeare’s love still endures and is perfect.
Suddenly, a dark woman with beautiful eyes comes to the Globe Theatre. Like a shadow or thing of evil omen, she comes across Shakespeare’s romance. Who is this black-browed, olive-skinned woman?
Two things are certain, she is much older than the poet, and the influence that she exercises over him is purely intellectual. He pens his greatest sonnet (in the words of Theodore Watts) upon Lust- “The expense of spirit in a waste of shame.”
In this sonnet, he offers to mortgage his life and intelligence to her if she will restore to him that “sweetest friend” of whom she had robbed him. In fact, she falls passionately in love with Willie Hughes and ignores Shakespeare.
He feels jealous and tries to fascinate the woman who has come between him and his friend. Later, Shakespeare left London for Stratford. On his return he finds Willie fed up with the lady though her name is never mentioned in the sonnets. She has passed out of their lives.
The mystery still remains about the identity of the ‘dark lady’. She is a curious woman, “more wavering than the moon”. The books that she loves to read are Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, besides songs of love and sonnets exquisite.
Out of the sonnets (127-152) attributed to the dark lady, sonnet 151 reads- ‘Love is too young to know what conscience is;
Yet who knows not conscience is born of love? — NS Tasneem