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Ahluwalia: A heroic figure

Brimming with patriotic fervour and having political talent and an excellent knowledge of military tactics, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was, no doubt, a heroic figure.

He was tall, sturdy and good-looking. He was just 12 when he became the leader of Ahluwalia misl and showed prodigious bravery by taking away a number of spankers from Murtaza Khan, a trader in Central Asian steeds.

Nawab Kapur Singh made him the chief of Dal Khalsa and gave him the steel mace of Guru Gobind Singh before his death. He fearlessly rushed upon the rear of Nadir Shah’s army and relieved him of much of his booty. On rescuing 2,000 Hindu women from Ahmed Shah Abdali, he was called Bandi Chhor. He enjoyed the title of “Sultan-ul-qaum” (community king).

After capturing Lahore under him, the Sikhs struck at the royal mint the first Sikh rupee with the inscription: Sikka zardar jahaan ba fazl-e-akaal/Mulk-e Ahmed grift Jassa Kallal (Jassa Kalaal seized the country of Ahmad and struck coin in the world by the Grace of God). Due to his saintly disposition, many Sikh chiefs considered it an honour to take pahul from him.



An important point regarding Jassa Singh Ahluwalia (“Sultan of Courage”, Spectrum, May 3) has gone unreported in the article. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, along with Baba Baghet Singh and Jass Singh Ramgarhia captured Delhi in 1783. And he hoisted the Sikh flag on the Red Fort in Delhi on March 11, 1893.

K. J. S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar

Short change

The credit card companies (“Ignore small fractions”, Spectrum, May 17) issue bills to the card holders on the basis of purchase of items and also account fractions of the amount in paise. They generally provide 30 to 40 days for repayment of the amount. If the entire amount or the fractional paise is not paid in time then they charge 20 to 30 per cent interest on the entire amount.

This is against the RBI’s instructions It says that all transactions with fraction of rupees below 50 paise are to be ignored .The railways, transport department, banks and others follow these instructions. Mobile phone and credit card companies send their fraction bills.

Earlier, the print rate of any Bata Shoe Company products was ending with 95 paise and the customers had to lose five to 10 paise on every purchase but now it has done away with this practice. The credit card companies, too, should follow RBI guidelines and present a more customer-friendly face.

M. L. GARG, Chandigarh

Manoj Kumar leaves a mark in film history

M L. Dhawan, in his article, “Bharat’s Pride” (Spectrum, May 3), has outlined the journey of the actor-producer through various films. Manoj Kumar came into his own in the very authentic version of Bhagat Singh’s life in Shaheed (1965), The film was made after a lot of research and created great impact not only because of the subject but also the acting, music, dialogue and direction.

After Upkar and Purab aur Paschim, Manoj Kumar came to be known as Bharat because of the patriotic flavour of these movies. He had a hand in switching the image of Pran from that of a villain to a character artist when he gave him the role of ‘Malang Baba’ in Upkar which was a landmark in the film. He also transformed another actor, Prem Nath with very impressive roles in Roti Kapda aur Makaan as well as Short which dealt with the problem of workers.

Woh Kaun Thi basically revolved around the heroine Sadhana and it became a hit because of the story and music.

Manoj Kumar also gave memorable performances as a supporting start in Do Badan as well as Adami where he rubbed shoulders with thespian Dilip Kumar. His other successful movies were Sanyasi with Hema Malini and Dus Numbari. Although the actor has left a mark in film history, he could do justice only to serious roles. Comedy and lighter roles were not his forte so much so that it was rare to watch him smiling in the movies.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula



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