Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baba Ramdev’s ‘Kapaal bhati’ catches ‘Muslim’ clerics’ fancy

BABA RAMDEV ACHIEVES THE IMPOSSIBLE ---UNITE INDIA Deoband, November 3————– In a rare confluence, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev performed ‘pranayam’, while a Hindu priest recited Vedic hymns at the largest congregation of Muslim clerics of the country here today. The 30th General Assembly organised by Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind at the Darul Uloom Islamic seminary was the first occasion when a Hindu religious figure addressed the audience, primarily comprising Muslim clerics. The jam-packed pandal of the seminary, which is the seat of Sunni Muslims in Asia, fell silent as Pandit NK Sharma started reciting sacred Sanskrit texts at the dias. More than two lakh clerics and students first listened attentively to Hindu religious texts which dealt with peace, unity and brotherhood and then watched the yoga performance of Baba Ramdev. Ramdev, in his signature style, started with a brief introduction about unity, health and well being followed by demonstrating ‘anulom-vilom’, ‘pranayam’, ‘kapaal bhati’ and other ‘yogasans’ to the gathering. “I teach people yoga. I spoke of well being, healthy life. Haven’t changed anyone’s religion,” a beaming Baba Ramdev said. Incidentally, the 143-year-old influential seminary had in the past issued a fatwa in favour of yoga after some clerics banned Muslims from practising it. Stressing on the need to promote yoga, Ramdev sought to dispel misconceptions about the activity by saying, “The yoga is like an exercise to keep the body fit and do not violate any tenets of Islam since one is not required to recite any shlokas.” As the Baba, who is the founder of Patanjali Yaogapeeth in Hardwar, exhibited some fine technique about breath control, concentration, meditation, the audience was seen following him in the acts. He emphasised the need for promoting communal harmony saying the unity between Hindus and Muslims was the strength of the nation. —PTI

Saturday, October 31, 2009

LAHORE DI KIRAN BEDI NEELMA NAHEED DURRANI



by RASHMI TALWAR





FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE PUNJABI TRIBUNE ON OCTOBER 31,2009


ENG- ROMAN TRANSLATION OF ABOVE ARTICLE

LAHORE DI KIRAN BEDI NEELMA NAHEED DURRANI
Punjabi Tribune
Amritsar 31.10.2009


Lahore (Pakistan) di pehli aurat SSP Neelma Naheed Durrani nu utho di Kiran Bedi kiha jave ta atikathni nahi hovegi. Aajkal Uh Sanjukt rashtar mission (UN)de daure te Sudan gahi hoe hain.
Durrani vaste Pakistan varge desh vich police jahe kitey (profession) nu apnona, uss dian chunotian nu kabool ke ek safal police adhikari banna, jithe uss85
de vadhi parapti hai ate punjabian lye maan wali gal hai, uthe bharat daurian duran Bharat-Pakistan te vishesh karke dove desha de Punjabian vichanle nige ate sadbhavna wale samband sirjne uhna de sakhshiat da ek vilakhan pehlu ve hai.

Uhde andarli shairaa da hi shayad eh ek hor pehlu hai ke sakhat police afsar hundian ve uh manukhi sabandaa de nave aayam hi nahi sirjadi, sagoo sabandaa de sukhmata nu ve maandi hai.
Uh Amritsar apne purkian da ghar labhaan aye tan us nal mulakat hoi.

Usne kiha ke jadon mein Wagah sardhad paar kiti tah mainu lagia ke lambe chir to athe auan da mera supna aaj pura ho gaya hai. Mere Abba te mera dada aaj Lahore de momenpura de shamshanghat vich kabran vich pai khush ho rahe honge ki uhna di dhee sada apna shehar vekhan gai hai. Us kiha ke mera Abba agahan Ajaz Hussain Durrani 1947 de vand vele Lahore aa vase san. Aaj mein apne purkan da shehar vekhan aye ha taan eh pal mere maan nu tripati den wale hann te usne apne bjurgaan de shehar de mitti nu mathey nal chhuhaya atte Allah da shukar kita.
Uh 11 pustkaa de lekhak hai, Jina vich char pustka Urdu kavita ate do Punjabi kavita dian haan. Us da shairana andaz kewal Pakistani punjabian nu hi nahi bhaunda sago bharati Punjabi ve uss de kavia de murid haan ate usde shairi di khusbu nu maande haan. Uh bhut farakdil hai. Jadoon uh Amritsar dee Sharifpura abadi vich apna pushteni ghar labhan gai ta Udthey stith ik chah de dukan te Satpal Soni nal hi shairi de mehfil jama layi.
Shairana andaz vich gal kardian uss kiha ki shairi dian mehfalan vich jadoon mein shamil hundi haan taan us vele thode ghabraht mehsus kardi haan par jadoon shairi sunadi han tan is taran mehsus hunda hai ki mein andron bahut majboot haan. Mera vishvash nahi dolda.
Us kavita deian satran chuhian:

''tera mulak menu apne mulak jiha keon lagde ne,
` tere lok menu apne jihe keon lagde ne.
Tere mulk de mitti vich mere mulak dee
mitti di khushbu keon aundi hai.
Tu menu apne hi keon lagdi ai,
Ke hain jo sahnu jorda hai
Ki hain jo sanu torda hai
Ladai nal nuksan ek da nahi dovan da hunda hai."


Mein uhna nu puchhia ke police ate shairi da ke mel hai keonki dovan de subha vakho vakhre haan, tah uh muskurandian akhan lagi ''police mera apna chunian kita hai te shahri mera jamandru ''Nuks". Us kiha ki police officer banna mere laye saukha kam nahi se. Jadon 27 vare pehlan mein is kite vich ayi tah har paseon mera virodh hoiya. Sabh kehde san ke mein adihapak bana ja koe hor sokha jiha kita apnavan, par mein apne faisle 'teh drir saan. Aaj Uhee sare mere te maan karde han.

Mein uhna nu ek sawal kita, je uh police afasar na bandi tah hor kise kite nu uss pehal deni si, tah uss turanat keha ''mein patarkar banna si".

Neelma ek kavitri te police afasar he nahi sagon us andar ek paritba da khazana hai. Uhne farsi, patarkari te Punjabi vich post graduation degree kiti hoi hai. Uh Column- nivis ve hai. Uh Pakistan Television vich news caster the Announcer veh rahi. FM-101 radio Lahore te radio jockey ve rahi.
Uhdian pustakan usde zindagi di jaddoo jedhaad da nichor han.

"Jab nehar kinare sham dale, tuhara shehar kesa hai, vapasi da safar, chanan kithe hoya dukh sabaiya jg, "Chand Chandni Chandigarh", "Chadde Suraj de Dharti" (Japan de yatra bare), "Raste mein gulab raken hein", pustaka vich uhne apnian andarlian bhavnava nu bariki te khubsurati nal lafzaa vich paroia hai.
Uh apni pustak Chand Chandni Chandigarh" vich Chandigarh de yatra bare apne parbav pargat kardian likdi hai, "Menu eh vekh ke harani hoi ke bharat vich ladkian bina kese dar toh dine-raat scooteran teh bajian phirdian haan. Ajeha tah mein apne adunik ban chuke Lahore vich ve nahi vekhian. Lahore vich tah din vich vi ajeha karan de koi ladki jurat hi nahi kar sakdi.
Sudan ravana hon toh pehla uhda suneha aya si. Menu, mere parvar nu, mere desh nu eh maan milya hai ki mein pehli Pakistani aurat Uch police adikari haan, jisnu UNO mission teh bhejia ja reha hai. Kiran Bedi ve bharat de eko ik aurat se, jis nu eh maan milya si . Mein ve Kiran Bedi hon vargi mehsus kar rahi haan.
Mein puchia, bharat aun da progamme kadon banega, us jawab dita ''keho jiha dukh bharia sawal kita? Jadon toh halat kharab hoye han, dil khijia-khijia rehnda hai . Pata nahi kehreh zalim han, jihrah iss khete de lokan nu Pyar-Mahobaat nal mildian vekh nahi sukaonde .''
Us akhia bharat mera ghar hai. Menu Amritsar ve Lahore varga lagda hai. Mein tohade toh , Amritsar toh, vichharia mehsus kar rahi haan. Hor dosta de khaat ve mehsus kar rahi ha.
Fer ek din e-mail te udha suneha aya ''Sade mausam ek han, hawa, badal, barash ekho jehi hundi hai. Phir ve eh doorian kio han.
''kasha asi ve Europe vang miljul ke rahiye, gawandi mulkaan nal jadoon dil kare, ek duje nu mil liya kariye, na dehshatgardi, na jang. Bus pyar, mahobbat , aman, sakoon teh dosti hove.'' Shanti de uss dut ne akhia.
Par mein chupp haan, uss dian ehna bhavnavan da ki jawab devan

Rashmi Talwar

Monday, May 18, 2009

Winnability factor of Women Power emerges in Punjab, Haryana

Rashmi Talwar
Patriarchal factors that have held back women in Punjab and Haryana (a part of Greater Punjab ) as a doormat for far too long, are now forced to take a close look at the fairer sex in a commanding role. Women scored a six out of seven in these two states making a clean sweep for the Member Parliamentary positions with the electorate of this Punjabi and Haryanvi belt firmly behind them.
It was a close call for Santosh Chaudhari (Cong) from Hoshiarpur who trounced the BJP’s Som Nath a bureaucrat turned politician with a margin of just 366. But a win it certainly was. In Patiala the might of the Shromani Akali Dal (SAD)was behind Badal Bahu Harsimarat Kaur Badal with her husband the deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal , father –in-law Parkash Singh Badal and the whole of the political kin and clan of Badals camping in Bathinda . She has emerged with a whopping margin of 1,11,556 votes riding on the wave of “Nanhe Chaun” a politically motivated social cause for saving the girl child from femicide and the green cover of trees. She beat Raninder Singh son of former Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. But then it is no secret that the Badal family rules the roost and calls the shots as the ruling government in state , who blatantly used state machinery to bring another Badal to power.
Interestingly, both the lowest and highest margin win is by women candidates in Punjab.
On the other hand Parneet Kaur wife of Capt Amarinder Singh too bagged the coveted seat of Patiala with a rollicking margin of 97,389 defeating Prem Singh Chandumajra a two time MP. This is a hatrick by the erstwhile ‘Maharani’ of Patiala.
Parmjeet Kaur Gulshan (SAD)a lesser known candidate till she won in Faridkot also beat a hand –picked candidate of Rahul Gandhi-- Sukhwinder Singh Danny of congress. She shrugged off the outsider tag that followed her throughout her campaigning and convinced Faridkot that she was for them scoring a margin of 62,042 from her nearest rival.
Similarly in Haryana the petite Kumari Shelja (congress ) defeated Roshan Lal Kataria (BJP) in Ambala 14,570 while the refreshingly smart Shruti Chaudhary (cong) roared with a convincing margin to rub her rival in the dust Ajay Singh Chautala (INLD) son of three times former CM Hayana Om Parkash Chautala. She won by 73,097 from Bhiwani in Haryana.
However Sudha Yadav (BJP)from Gurgaon was the sole loser amongst the top candidates.……

Monday, May 11, 2009

Amritsar Bids tearful adieu to Bimla Dang

by Rashmi Talwar In the industrial township of Chheharta, every eye was moist at the demise of the Mother of this township--Veteran CPI leader and former MLA Bimla Dang. Bimla Wife of Satya Pal Dang, also a veteran CPI leader, died at a private hospital after a brief illness. She was 83.
The Dang couple, after their wedding in 1952, had decided not to have a child as they did not want any diversion from contributing to lead the people’s struggle and their welfare. Not once did Vimla Dang repent, instead, she poured affection on orphans.
Bimla an Alumni of Kinnard College, Lahore was awarded Padma Shri in 1998 for her contribution to the social welfare, Bimla, and Satya pal together fought many relentless battles for the cause of the downtrodden.
The Dang couple stood up to the terrorists as well. Even noted columnist Khushwant Singh paid tribute: “Satya Pal Dang and his wife Vimla Dang, nee Bakaya (sub-caste), lived in Chheharta, a suburban township near Amritsar, in the heat of the terrorism let loose by Bhindranwale supporters and protagonists of Khalistan. Not only did the Dangs refuse to seek sanctuary elsewhere, they made Chheharta an island of peace when most the state was in turmoil.” They took a principled stand against militancy in Punjab. She remained president of the Punjab Istri Sabha and took up the cause of women’s emancipation and 33 per cent reservation for women. She belonged to a Kashmiri Pandit family and graduated from Kinnard College for Women, Lahore, before shifting to Mumbai after Partition. She got married to Satya Pal in 1952 in Mumbai after she returned from Prague, where she represented India in the International Union of Students. After marriage, the couple shifted to Chheharta. They decided not to have a child as they did not want to divert their attention from people’s struggle. Though the couple led “underground” life during the British rule and both were entitled to Freedom Fighters’ Pension, they never claimed the same till date. The couple retired from the National Council of the CPI and decided not to contest the assembly elections with the plea that there must be an age limit for holding a political office. The contribution of Vimla in the social field was rated unparalleled as she had raised huge funds during the Bengal famine in 1945 and visited affected families. Dr Joginder Dyal said she was a woman with great conviction and fought for the downtrodden till the end of her life. In the 1965 war with Pakistan, Chheharta was heavily bombed on last day before the ceasefire. And Vimla Dang, recall old-timers, stood amidst the shambles in Chheharta Bazar to collect funds to cremate the bodies.
Supporters and senior Communist and local leaders reached the house of the Dang couple to pay homage to the departed leader. She was cremated in the Naraingarh crematorium. The pyre was lit by Anil Dang, a nephew of Satya Pal Dang. National general secretary, CPI, AB Bardhan, Dr Joginder Dayal, national executive member, CPI, Bhupinder Sambhar, state secretary, Mangat Ram Pasla, state secretary, CPM, Congress and BJP candidates for the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency Om Parkash Soni and Navjot Singh Sidhu, respectively, and other senior Communist leaders attended the cremation.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Is Gen Parvez Mushraff set for a return to head Pakistan ?


by saanjh By Rashmi Talwar Whatever Gen Parvez Musharaff was to Pakistan and whatever cowardly refuge he took by refusing to shed his uniform (small clothes change!) or India Bashing, he did IT to win ‘brownie’ points in his own country. He was most certainly walking a tight rope, as far as politics in his country was concerned. For India, he was the architect of the Kargil Misadventure and a petulant leader at the Agra Summit. His recent comments in the “India Today” organized Conclave saw the rug being pulled from right under his feet, when a muslim leader Mehmud Madani, member of Rajya Sabha and leader of Jamat-e-Ulema-i-Hind, bluntly told him to mind his own business as far as ‘Indian Muslims’ were concerned and take care of his own in Pakistan . Adding, “Indian Muslims are capable of handling their own problems and did not need either him or Pakistan to do so for them. Don’t try to play your politics of Pakistan from here” bullseye ! …it exposed Musharaff’s true intentions to be in India right on… Back home no one really cared how he was run over by the muslim community in India, in the widely televised “India Today Conclave”. For all his drawbacks and loud mouthed claims, what cannot be ignored is the fact that Musharaff as a martial ruler, tried to bring some veneer of balance for minority communities in a ‘highly’ theocratic state of Pakistan. During his regime2-million rupees were sanctioned to beautify the “Katasraj” Hindu Shrines in Chakwal district of Pakistan which suffered more from human anger than the rigors of time besides a long pending demand of cremation ground in Lahore for sikh and hindu community (hindus are almost negligible in Lahore) was accepted in addition to Christian community that got funds . Artists and theatre too flourished more freely. A beginning of the CBMs (Confidence Building Measures) with People to People contact between India and Pakistan started . No major terrorists strikes in Pakistan were seen duirng his regime other than two attempts on his (Musharaff’s)life and assassination of Benazir Bhutto ……that ultimately spelled doom for his political career. After the effects of emotional franchise brought ‘Mr 10 percent’ –Asif Zardari to power, came —-the Talibans! Major terrorist strikes, killings, rape, public floggings took place in Pakistan. Consequently, rallies of outrage against terrorism, high-handedness grew, fear psychosis has gripped Lahore and Punjab– the largest of the 4-provinces of Pakistan that also dominates the Political scene in Pakistan. Following this, perhaps people by and large in Pakistan are in a ‘mood-to-forgive’ Musharaff for his acts of omission and commission. The fact that minorities in Pakistan, though almost negligible in number, had barely started feeling a little comfort during Musharaff’s time while just a few months onto the Zardari regime, has overturned the goodwill and security; Moreso with manifold misery unleashed on them ….is just another factor, albeit, of very little consequence. At no time, has the alienation of minorities in Pakistan been as great as during the reign of the present incumbent. News of Sikh community members’ abduction and demands of “Jazia” a Tax Imposed on Non-Muslims living under Sharia law by Taliban of Orakzai Agency in FATA, has shocked the world. ‘Jazia’ a tax on non-Muslims was re-imposed by Aurangzeb after Akbar had abolished it. The unearthing of ‘Jazia’ from the grave by Taliban not only comes as a retreat into the medieval ages but a sharp slap to world sanity. The Orakzai Agency is one of seven tribal regions in Federally Administered Territory Area of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan which for months has been under control of Tehreek Taliban Pakistan. After this news, More than five hundred thousand Christians in NWFP province of Pakistan are in wave of fear of life and property. More than 5000 Pakistani Hindu families have recently migrated to India illegally after Zardari signed off SWAT to Taliban . The Hindus rather be jailed than return to NWFP and areas near Swat, where Taliban call the writ. The recent incident where Sikhs were targeted happened in areas of Qasim Khel and Feroz Khel in Orakzai Agency. More than 50 Sikh families were living here even before independence of Pakistan. The Sikhs were running small businesses of grocery stores and wholesale outlets in Afghanistan and tribal areas of Pakistan, when thousands of Sikh community members were forced to leave on Islamic Tax on Non-Muslims during Taliban rule in Afghanistan in 1999-2000. Only a few Sikh families remained here loyal to their religion while many others converted. In recent wave of Sharia law in Swat Valley, Malakand, Dir, and Kohistan Areas 200 Sikh families and 1000 Christian families were forced to leave on issue of Taxation “Jazia” to seek protection living in the Islamic state. In Orkzai Agency which is ruled by Taliban commander Hakeemullah Mehsud, homes of Sikhs were occupied by Taliban on failing to pay 50 million Rupees as Jazia. The Taliban kidnapped and tortured Sikh community leader Sardar Kalyan Singhand Sikhs collected and paid 7 million but failed to pay full amount on which they were driven out of Orakzai area of FATA. Later, it was reported that the extremists occupied houses and shops of the Sikhs in Qasim Khel and Feroz Khel areas of the Agency and auctioned their valuables for 0.8 million rupees. Earlier, the Taliban had also demolished houses belonging to the Sikh community in the region. Many of these sikh families have taken refuge in Nankana Sahib, Hasan Abdal , Panja Sahib , Dera Sahib and other Gurdwaras of Pakistan. The Taliban bombed Christian Schools in Swat Valley and forced thousands of Christians to convert to Islam or to pay Tax levied to Non-Muslims on which they migrated to Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan. The Christians from Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan, Sawabi and Charsadda districts of NWFP province have been already migrating to safer places in other areas with their relatives without any UNO or government of Pakistan assistance. On news of Sikhs migration from FATA, the Indian government strongly protested to Pakistan and asked to secure life and property of Sikh and Hindu religious minorities in Pakistan. Agitated Sikhs even burned effigies of Taliban in Amritsar. India took up with Pakistan the matter related to the treatment of minorities in that country in the wake of reports that Taliban had driven out Hindus from their homes and were demanding ‘jaziya’ (taxes) from them. Dr Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC commenting on issue of Sikhs and Hindus migration from FATA and Northern Areas of Pakistan appreciated stand of Indian government but expressed his disappointment on killing of Christians and mass migration of Christian families and silence of India and International forums to formally lodge protest with Pakistan. Be that, Pakistan’s refrain of taking up issue of minorities treatment in Pakistan by India, amounts to interference in the internal matter of the country. But, Chief of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC reminds and clarifies that Pakistani Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and other minorities reserve right to invite India for their moral support according to “Liaquat-Nehru Pact” signed among neighboring states to protect rights of minorities in respective countries. In all this mele, there is not a word of empathy, for the plight of minorities in Pakistan, from anywhere in the country. A Pakistani civil officer aptly puts it “Minorities in Pakistan are of no consequence, they don’t register and their presence or absence means nothing.” No one in Pakistan, has gathered the guts for a mere lip-service on the plight of minorities, fearing upturning their political fortunes. Minority leaders themselves admit that Musharaff was a far better ruler than Zardari. However, this opinion means nothing per se. The major fact is, the vital ground scenario that things have gone ‘Horribly’out of control of the ‘fragile’ Zardari regime. This has indeed instilled morbid fear among those of cushy lifestyles In Pakistan(elite, politicians, army, bureaucrats, landlords and druglords), whose very existence is threatened to be overshadowed by the might of the Taliban. The thread of protests has been joined by various artist organisations, writers forums, NGOs,associations, societies and institutions in Pakistan against Terrorism. It is they, maybe who will bring Musharaff back as a lesser evil. Or has Mushraff —the architect –cleverly laid the plans for his return…….albeit– Op Lal Masjid that had an ominous dastardly spillover in the present day Pakistan and no one to clean the mess !

”Tamashas” mark MP election-2009 in Amritsar

:”Tamashbeeni” Amritsar Ishtyle ! Hey everyone …our Rajiv Sharma the talented newsreporter for Star Plus TV Channel has coined a beautiful Punjabi “tappa” . he pasted the comment in an entirely unrelated article to Election –2009 . However having powers of “extraction” I have posted his little piece . The little genius entertainer was a ’shaan’ of our Tribune office in Amritsar. PUNJABI TAPPA : By Rajiv Sharma AA gayian votan, te lag gaye jhande…. Votan ch kharhe hoge sare gande bande…. Ajj votan lain layi, dinde ne sharab te mithayiyan.. kal ehna to hak len layi, khane pain ge police de dande…. x…………………….x poem by Rashmi Talwar Sansadi chunav ke mahaul mein, Jutton ki bauchar mein, Naresh bhadhoria ne jutte mangvaay, Pehna haar jutton ka, Bola votron ko lootonga, Meine kaha , jutti chor hoga Kia sansad mein bhi, chori kare ga. Fir aye Sham lal, Gandhi topi wale Kettli haath mein, chai, chai pukare Meiney bola, rail garri mein ja Varna, sansad mein chai pila Bal krishan ki ayi bari, Lagane laga chappati karrari, Haath pe pani fer ke, allu bhari Bola security se , bhai pakrao gaddi niyari Us par lagonga kulcha Aur voteron pe makhan sab ka maal khau ga dunga sab ko dhakkan haathi pe aya navjot sidhu kiia capt ko sat sri akal logon ne uthaya bawal haathi pe beth kio kare, sat sri akal meiney kaha ,bhejo issi circus mein ya shaadi ke koi pandal

Is Congress-BJP Wedding answer to Peace in India ????


Instead of wasting Billions of Rupees on fighting each other, the two National Party Presidents should enter into a Matrimonial Relation for Peace in India …..Is it a good idea ?….. Comment …..

HAPPENING-AMRITSAR-LAHORE: Dhol Jageero da…Amritsar girls done it …

HAPPENING-AMRITSAR-LAHORE: Dhol Jageero da…Amritsar girls done it …

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

ALARM BELLS RING IN INDIA OVER ATTACK ON POLICE TRAINING CENTER NEAR LAHORE


Pakistani security forces deployed at the site of a police training center in Lahore on March 30, 2009. Police and security forces arrested a suspect allegedly linked to a group of attackers who besieged a police academy where 25 people died during pitched battles, police said. AFP PHOTO/ Aamir QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistani security officials arrest a suspected militant (R) near the site of a police training center in Lahore on March 30, 2009. Police and security forces arrested a suspect allegedly linked to a group of attackers who besieged a police academy where 20 people died during pitched battles, police said. AFP PHOTO/Sameed QURESHI (Photo credit should read SAMEED QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
TALIBAN ONLY 12KMS FROM INDIA 'S BORDER CITY AMRITSAR
RASHMI TALWAR

The Indo-Pak border was on heightened alert following the chartered terrorist attack on Police Training Center PTC at Manawa just 12Kms from the border .
The attack by suspected foreign elements along with local youth has triggered off alarm bells in Delhi over the proximity of the Taliban alleged to be behind the attack to Indian territory .
Meanwhile, the death toll in the attack has risen to 25 and more than 90 police personnel have been injured so far. As many as 350-400 were held hostage in the PTC following this early morning attack about 7.30 Pakistan time. Till the time of filing of this report the 2211 rescue operation squad was tackling the situation as also other para troops and pak army was called out for reinforcements.
Manawa where the PTC is located is on the East of Lahore and just 12Kms from the village of Wagah on the Pakistan side that is adjoining the Indian township of Attari in Amritsar.
Although BSF DIG Mohammed Aquil said the Indo Pak border has been on high alert ever since 26/11 the Mumbai terrorist attack and more so now following announcement of Parliamentary Elections in India . However the unfolding terrorist attack so close to the border is cause for deep security concerns . Although he denied that the Indian army has taken active war positions along the border he said only the coming days would give concrete answers .
Meanwhile according to ANI Pakistan has pointed towards a probable foreign involvement in the attack on the police training camp in Lahore earlier today.
Pakistan Prime Minister's Advisor on Interior Affairs, Rehman Malik said the attack has been carried out by the jihadi outfits and a foreign hand could not be ruled out.
"Today's incident is part of terror wave exists in the country which begun from NWFP. This is an attack against country's sovereignty," The News quoted Rehman, as saying.
Rehman said that the attack was well planned and organized and it appears that the attackers were during the Afghan jihad.
He confirmed that at least ten militants were still present inside the police training facility.
Images of a suspected militant being nabbed by the security forces also appeared on government television, but there is no official confirmation about the report. According to unconfirmed reports the apprehended terrorist is a Afghan national .
Curfew has been imposed in Manawan in Lahore with the pitched battle between the terrorists and commandos of Pakistan Army, Rangers still going on

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

THE LITTLE MAN HAS WON --PAKISTAN -LAHORE

Lahorites take to the streets for ‘change’ photo courtesy http://www.city42.blogspot.com/ THE LITTLE MAN HAS WON --PAKISTAN -LAHORE
The chaos that gripped Pakistan this week was an important step on the road to democracy
By Farouk Rana, Citizen Special

Russian scholar Yuri Gankovsky believed that there are four nationalities in Pakistan: the Punjabi, Sindhi, Pakhtun, and Baluchi. In a conversation with me in 1989, when I was posted in Moscow, he laughingly dismissed the official point of view that there was one Pakistani nation united by the bonds of Islam and the glue of the national language, Urdu: "You and your four provinces have nothing in common besides a fondness for cricket."
If Gankovsky was alive today, I would have told him that as it turns out, we also share a commitment to an independent judiciary, and by agreeing on the need for this fundamental value, i.e., the rule of law, we are closer to becoming a united nation despite our disparate ethnicities. That is the true significance of the victory of the lawyers' movement for the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
It needs to be recalled that Justice Chaudhry was unconstitutionally dismissed by Gen. Musharraf in 2007 because of:
a) his proactive stance on human rights issues and his insistence that the Interior Ministry produce 60-odd "missing persons" -- persons who were being kept in secret custody without being charged or tried in a court of law;
b) his insistence on transparency regarding the privatization of national assets and his blocking of the sale of Pakistan Steel Mill; and
c) Gen. Musharraf's apprehension that the chief justice would question the legality of his election as president by a parliament whose term was expiring in a few weeks time.
Despite repeated promises, the current Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government led by President Asif Ali Zardari procrastinated on the issue of the reinstatement of the chief justice.
The popular perception is that Zardari feared that if reinstated, Iftikhar Chaudhry will declare unconstitutional the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) promulgated by Gen. Musharraf which resulted in the withdrawal of corruption cases against Zardari. Zardari has also not initiated any steps toward surrendering his presidential powers to dismiss the Parliament and send the elected prime minister packing home.
And it was his hand-picked judges in the Supreme Court who disqualified the Sharif Brothers, Nawaz and Shehbaz, from holding any public office, thus precipitating a political crisis in Punjab which led to the dislodging of Shehbaz Sharif from premiership and imposition of Governor's Rule. The question everyone was asking: How is Zardari any different from Musharraf?
The lawyers had no choice but to announce the "long march" on Islamabad. The march was joined not only by opposition parties, but also by young middle-class professionals belonging to no particular party -- the YouTube Generation of Pakistan who have shaken off their apathy and indifference and risen up in defiance to say "No, you cannot."
The primary motivation for the young and restless to join the march was the fact that if the chief justice of the Supreme Court was not immune from being summarily thrown out of his office, manhandled by the police, put under house arrest and shamelessly maligned in a web of manufactured scandals by the officially inspired image goons, then what protection do the little people have? In fact, what protection does anyone have?
Despite the declaration by the prime minister that the protest march was the democratic right of the opposition and will be allowed to proceed, roads to Islamabad were blocked with thousands of steel containers on the orders of President Zardari and the police force deployed to arrest its leaders and disperse the march. Curbs were also placed on the popular GEO television's reporting of the unfolding events and its bold criticism of Zardari for reneging on his written agreements with opposition leader Nawaz Sharif regarding the Charter of Democracy.
Zardari's heavy-handedness led to vocal criticism from within his ruling party. His Information Minister, Sherry Rehman, resigned in protest.
The situation started to spin out of control when many police officers refused to carry out the "illegal" orders of the governor and higher-ups.
Rumours are afloat that field commanders in the army too had indicated their distaste, if not their unwillingness, for getting embroiled in a situation where they would be pitched against their own countrymen.
And so Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani took matters in his own hands and announced on television not only the restoration of the judiciary but also the government's willingness to sort out the modalities for the implementation of other components of the Charter of Democracy agreed upon and signed by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif in London in 2006. Zardari was nowhere to be seen. The little man has won. And this feeling is priceless.
Of course impediments remain. If Zardari's hand-picked replacement judges -- inducted into the courts over the last few months despite their questionable merits and qualifications -- are allowed to remain, then with Musharraf loyalists they will overwhelm and perhaps even neutralize Justice Chaudhry and his reinstated colleagues. This anomaly needs to be corrected.
The restoration of the 1973 Constitution and getting rid of the distortions introduced by Gen. Zia ul-Haq and Gen. Musharraf to increase the power of the presidency also needs to be realized. Until that happens, the bona-fides of President Zardari will remain suspect and will continue to cloud the political horizon.
FAROUK RANA IS FORMER HIGH COMMISSIONER OF PAKISTAN TO CANADA.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

GURDWARA TOBA BHAI SALO -AMRITSAR -PUNJAB

Friday, March 24, 2009
GURDWARA TOBA BHAI SALO -AMRITSAR -PUNJAB

Bhai Salo was a "Sewak"(in service of the Guru) of Guru Arjan Dev. His duty was to collect wood from the jungle for 'Langar' (Community Kitchen).
Once in the early morning hours while returning from the jungle he falls into the deep well. The news spreads like wildfire and Guru Arjan dev and others reached the well.
A Rope is thrown inside the well to help Bhai Salo to come out. But Bhai Salo first tied the wood which he collected from the jungle and afterwards helped himself to come out of the deep well with the help of the rope.
He was asked why he first tied wood instead of helping himself to come out, Bhai Salo replied -SEVA- or Service towards community –is the most important. On hearing this, he was blessed by Guru Arjan Dev. The Guru declared to devotees that whoever visits his place, has to visit Bhai Salo's Place for fulfillment of his 'pilgrimage'. The Guru also is known to have said that wishes of prosperity in family would be fulfilled of whosoever visits the place of Bhai Salo to offer prayers. It is popularly believed that if a holy dip is taken on 'five' Sundays consecutively in the holy pond at Gurdwara Bhai Salo, the wishes of the person are fulfilled. Sunday is also fixed for 'Langar'. Close to Kesar Dhaba the Gurdwara is a must visit if touring Amritsar. http://lets-tour.blogspot.com/

''DARUU'' KA 'PARSAD' ......BABA RODE SHAH MELA

RASHMI TALWAR
Rode Village (Amritsar) March 2009
In Rome --Bacchus the God of Wine may have countless lovers, bedfellows and followers through the ages, but nothing could quite beat his craziest fans …in a tiny hamlet of India. As spring arrives, 'Bhoma' also Popularly referred to as Baba Rode village, just 20 Kms from Amritsar in Punjab prepares for its annual cocktail. With huge drums some even fitted with indigenous taps and stirring ladles, to be filled with the fiery liquid to be poured in steel glasses for devotees.
Strange as it may sound, liquor finds its way as a holy offering at the 'Samadh' or 'Mazar' (tomb) of Baba Rode Shah in this tiny village. Not only, is it the only offering acceptable at the shrine but is also given as ‘Parsad’ (return offering) to devotees.
It is one of the strangest sights in the world perhaps, to watch women, children, share glasses of spirit with men in their sozzel-ed worst in a 3-day soiree from March 22 , during the Baba Rode Shah Mela (fair), as guzzlers are consumed by the spirited cocktail.
While consuming liquor is considered the ultimate sin in some religions, it hardly finds any respect in societal acceptance due to Health Issues, but flows in merriment at Mehfils, pubs, clubs or fashion parties and Page 3 dos.
However undeterred by its notoriety, the liquor has found an iota of acceptance and even 'reverence' during the 3–days of its unabated flow in "holy -glory".
Lakhs visit the tomb during the fair while hundreds of thousands throng the site even before the start of the 3-day "Binging" on alcohol. Devotees at Mela flock for an ardent Wish or at Wish-fulfillment in a gesture of Thanksgiving …carrying …lo & behold !!…bottles of the finest wines and whiskies or even pouches, polythene bags- shopper bags, buckets, cans filled with even country brewed liquor, that find their way into a mixing drum, as holy offering.
All the liquor offering is then mixed in a container, irrespective of its foreign origin, kind, expense or emergence-- into a heady potion and distributed as ‘Prasad’.
Mind you! No policewalla dare stop or cause any inconvenience during the drinking revelry that follows, for fear of incurring the wrath of the holy ‘Baba’.
People having faith in Baba Rode are seen offering prayers for jobs, resolving legal and court cases, marital happiness, to have a child, wishing to go abroad, find a seat in an institution and many weird wishes to come true.
The scene near the Samadh is seen to be believed with homo sapiens strewn around the place as if a great battle has taken place.
Devotees report that the stink of liquor can be felt from miles. It is the only time when a tiny tot boy or girl will call cheers with their father …although not so blatantly.
This time, amongst liquor revellers and drummers who played the drums at the mela the catchy Punjabi Pop Number by Hard Kaur ..."Ek Galasi, Do Galasi, Teen Galasi CHAR..." found some crazy puppets and rag-doll dancing by devotees swinging limbs in all four directions in wild abandon, while less sozzeled --laughed and laughed holding their stomachs in pain before joining the weird groups .
Along with this mumbo-jumbo dancing, Devotees get to enjoy some of the choicest and mouthwatering roadside delicacies during the ‘pilgrimage’ , with the likes of chicken Tandoori, fish Amritsari and Mutton Tikkas Stalls --.The most delicious and famous cuisines of this entire region crop along roadsides, during the festivities.
Though rationalists pooh-pooh the claims of miracle cures at the shrine, the Mela at the tomb of Baba Rode draws a big crowd.
Interestingly, it is a little kept secret that some leaders from various political hues too are ardent followers of the Bacchus –Baba

Legend has it that Baba Rode, the son of Sham Singh, a farmer, belonged to a Jat Sikh family and was a “teetotaler”.
The ancestral village of Baba Rode was Dhiman (Damodar) in border area of Gurdaspur district.
It is believed that Baba Rode moved to a village near Bhoma in 1896 and lived on the outskirts. His sister was married in this village.
People believe Baba Rode started blessing to help people in distress.
It is believed that once a devotee of Baba Rode offered him liquor in gratitude for a wish fulfilled and the Baba who distributed all offerings to his disciples also distributed the liquor offering among his disciples.
Later, this became a big tradition though Baba Rode died in 1924.
To the delight of villagers here, the tradition is still alive where drinking is considered ‘macho’ among men , after the hardworking Punjabi farmer turned into Landlords, lording over the migratory labor from poor states of Bihar and Orissa, who toiled in the fertile soil of the region to make the Punjabi farmer prosperous.
The once hardworking Punjabi farmer became lazy and fell into “aiyashis” of all kind including consuming liquor in groups in the evening. For these villagers at daily 'Mehfils' .....Baba Rode Shah’s Mela is indeed ‘Godsend’ having holy blessings to match!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dhol Jageero da…Amritsar girls done it …

Dhol Jageero da…Amritsar girls done it …
Rashmi Talwar
AMRITSAR MARCH 2009----
With Punjabi girls taking to playing the traditional "dhol", yet another male bastion seems to have crumbled !
Apart from "dhol", girls in Amritsar are increasingly taking on to other traditional folk instruments of Punjab which were hitherto played exclusively by men.
Balancing a heavy "dhol", beating the "tili and daaga" (playing sticks) in perfect synchronisation with "bhangra" is not an easy task, says 18-year-old Niti Mahajan, one of the girls who has ventured into this field.
The efforts to revive folk music instruments of Punjab are in full swing. BBK DAV College for Women , Amritsar 's Head of Music Department, Ms Ritu Sharma, took up the formidable challenge to train college girls to play the instruments that had remained "taboo" for women. An eight-member band of women performers has emerged from her relentless effort.
These young girls won a string of prizes during the youth festival of the Guru Nanak Dev University three years back. They also won "Surtal 2002", a state-level function organised in Patiala by ministry of cultural affairs. The team also played for various foreign delegations including for Pakistani and British delegations.
Melodious and innovative musical compositions, skillful renditions and numerous practice sessions have successfully honed the skills of these young women artists, says Ritu . Mahajan's strong point is her "rhythm-control". Who adds that "Initially, the 'dhol' felt very heavy and I was unable to balance it on my shoulders. So I rested it on a table to learn the beats. I often forgot the beats, and my teacher, Mr Baljit Singh, would hit the beats with the playing sticks lightly on my head to practically drill them into me," she laughs.
Recalling her maiden performance Mahajan says "In my first performance on the stage, I used a stool. But later, rested the "dhol" on my shoulders like a typical Punjabi professional "Dholi " that added a lot of color and rhythm to the performances ." To a question whether she has become "Jageero" of the "DHOL JAGEERO DA " fame ..she laughs and tapped the dhol shaking a leg and her neck in rhythm mimicking the popular song in a mock demonstration .
Music is in the family of the teenaged sisters Simran Kashap and Satnam Kashap, nieces of famous 'WADALI BROTHERS' -- Puran Chand and Piara Lal. 'The girls' father, a "hazoori raagi", has been encouraging them, while their younger brother Gurinder Singh, a music composer, set many a tune for them, say the sisters.
Another girl Megha Bhasin, apart from being a "dhol" player is an accomplished "been" (instrument played by snake charmers and yogis) player. She also has the skills to play eight other folk instruments, including "nagara" (a war instrument), "chimta", "ghungroo", "sapp" (scissors), "bambi". "It took me at least three months of breathing exercises to play the "been" that is one of the most difficult instruments to play," says student-artist Ritu. Another artist Simran is an expert in playing instruments like "ektara", "tumbi", "daff", "chimta", and "sapp". Ms Satnam shows her promise with "ghara", "sarangi", "manjari", and "nagara". In fact, one of the most breathtaking performances by Ms Satnam had her play a metallic "ghaggar" rhythmically on a dim-lit stage. Although she suffered blisters while striking "ghaggar" with metal rings on which small firecrackers were strategically placed, yet she was in high spirits.
FOLK MUSIC THROUGH DANCE AND WAR
Ghungroos, sapp and kato are used in bhangra, while ghaggar, dholki, ghara, bambiha are used by giddha dancers. Bambiha is also used for singing "jagao". Dhaad and sarangi are used for singing of "vaars" (events from lives of Gurus). Nagara and shankh both are war instruments. Ghungroo or bells, vanjali or flute and been are musical instruments with a hypnotic effect. Shankh or conch and been are the most difficult instruments to learn. Both need breathing exercises and synchronisation. Surprisingly, conch-blowing does not need much effort, though it needs a specialised technique.
KHALSA COLLEGE ALL SET FOR FOLK MUSIC
Khalsa College, Amritsar, here has its own plans for the revival for folk culture. It is all set for establishing Rs 2.75 crore project of "Guru Hargobind Singh Auditorium". It would also be setting up a "folk museum" to house folk items, including folk instruments. These musical instruments would include both rustic and refined folk instruments.
VARSITY'S "HERITAGE VILLAGE" TO SHOWCASE CULTURE
The "Heritage Village" concept of the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, may turn out as the biggest project for the revival of traditional folk culture and heritage. Conceived by Dr S.P. Singh, then Vice Chancellor of the varsity, it had Dr Gurmeet Singh as its Director. The blueprint of the project was been prepared by Dr Manjit Singh of the Town Planning Department here. The foundation stone of the village was inaugurated on the day of Baisakhi 2004.
If all goes well ……The village would have "chappar" (pond), "khuh" (well) and dhabha. Many traditional folk music instruments would be displayed there. Other projects in the offing are the displays of folk art and craft, costumes, domestic items and utensils, architecture and landscaping, folk games, folk medicines. ………………eom

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Four Hindu families from Pak seek refuge in India

Four Hindu families from Pak seek refuge in India
Amritsar, March 7 (PTI)
Stating that they do not wish to return to Pakistan due to Taliban's tyranny in the tribal areas, a group of 35 Hindus, nearly half of them women, from the neighbouring country have crossed over to India and asked the government to allow them to settle in the country. "We were living in Pakistan under extreme fear due to the domination of a strong group of Taliban who are running a parallel government," Jagdish Sharma, a resident of tribal area near Peshawar in Pakistan, said. I Recounting their ordeal, he said "Hindus and Sikh families are not safe, especially our women. We preferred to migrate in India, at least here in India we know that our families will be safe." The four families comprising 16 men, 16 women and three children crossed over to India during the last few days through the Attari check post and later went to Delhi where they got a one-year visa and permission to stay in Amritsar. "We strongly urge the Government of India to allow us to stay here in India permanently, since we don't want to move back in that hell where there is no life security," said Sharma. Hardwari Lal, resident of Orkzai nearly 180 km from Peshawar, said, "I was running my grocery shop there which was forcibly taken over by the fundamentalists who also took possession of our entire property". PTI

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Liquor baron wins over Gandhi

PHOTO: Items owned by Mahatma Gandhi on display before being auctioned in New York on Thursday. — Reuters
Liquor baron wins over Gandhi BY Ashish Kumar Sen/Vibha Sharma
Washington/New Delhi, March 6 Footprints
Sandals were given to a British army officer in Aden in 1931  The dinner bowl and pocket watch believed to have been given to niece and personal secretary Abha  The rimmed spectacles were probably given to the Nawab of Junagadh Surprise Bidder
 Former Test cricketer Dilip Rasiklal Doshi  Based in UK, Doshi’s company Entrack trades in international brands like Mont Blanc Successful Bidder
 Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, also the owner of Kingfisher Airlines  Mallya’s United Breweries is believed to have lost 79 pc of its market value since Sept 2007

IN an ironical twist, it was left to liquor baron Vijay Mallya to bid over Rs. 10 crore ( $2 million), which includes the commission to be paid to the auction house in New York, to buy the lot of personal belongings of Mahatma Gandhi that were put on auction by Los Angeles-based filmmaker and pacifist, James Otis. Mallya, who had at an earlier auction in London paid Rs. 4 crore for the sword of Tipu Sultan, yesterday paid two and a half times that amount to take home a pair of sandals, a Zenith pocket watch, a plate, bowl and the spectacles that Mahatma Gandhi is claimed to have used. The irony was not lost on people because the Mahatma considered consumption of alcohol to be a major social evil and had consistently urged for a ban on drinking. In deference to the Mahatma, the Indian Constitution carries the goal of Prohibition as a directive principle of state policy. Mallya, who was in France and kept in constant touch with his representative in the US, Tony Bedi, contradicted union minister Ambika Soni and claimed that his bid was not prompted by the Government of India or Indian officials. Speaking to a TV channel, Mallya held that he was emotionally satisfied at successfully retrieving the personal belongings of the Mahatma. “ We have been able to procure them through Vijay Mallya, who was in touch with us,” said an elated Soni, minister of culture in Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government. India could not have directly taken part in the auction as there was a restraining order of the Delhi High Court, she explained. While Bedi told The Tribune that the personal items could be sold to the Government of India, if it wanted to pay for them, Mallya indicated his plan to gift them to the government. He wanted the items to be displayed in a museum in either Bangaluru or Mysore. In a will prepared apparently in February, 1940, the Mahatma had declared Ahmedabad-based Navjivan Trust, founded by him in 1929, to be his heirs. “ While I do think I have any property, anything which by social convention or law is considered mine, I endow to the Navjivan Institution,” reads part of the will, claimed Managing Trustee Jitendra Desai. He had no clue as to the authenticity of the items or how they found their way into the possession of Otis. The spectacles and the watch, however, bore striking resemblance to the ones used by the Mahatma, he said in Ahmedabad. Bedi told The Tribune, “ My instructions were clear. I was not to lose this auction to a foreign bidder under any circumstances.” Initially Mallya had put a cap on what Bedi could bid. But later, recalled Bedi, Mallya pulled out all stops. New York hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal had earlier expressed an interest in bidding for the collection. But Bedi apparently told him that it would then be Chatwal’s responsibility to win the auction and pay for the items to be shipped to India. Watch director and auctioneer Julien Schaerer, told The Tribune that he had detected a more than usual interest in the auction from the Indian American community. This was possibly due to the fact that Gandhi was a man of few worldly possessions. CREDIT TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

Café to 'desi lassi' of Rajasansi , AMRITSAR

A small township Rajasansi -, a residence of the erstwhile Sandhanwalia family situated at the Ajnala Pargana, 1 km northwest of Amritsar, on the Amritsar Ajnala Road. It was founded in the year 1570 A.D. by a Jat Raja of Sansi tribe, and hence named Rajasansi . The Sandhawalias - the rulers of Rajasansi - had built a palace --a majestic building of historical significance — known as Sandhanwalia Haveli now is proposed to be renovated as a tourist site . the township has three mosques, a temple, a tehsil building, a civil hospital and a sarai. The population of the village, as per the 2001 Census, is 12,200. The village has been the hub of handicrafts. Many artisans still weave carpets on handlooms in their houses. PHOTO BY RAJIV SHARMA CAFE TO "DESI LASSI" OF RAJASANSI UN takes Amritsar on world map, Rajasansi under its wing RASHMI TALWAR AMRITSAR (RAJASANSI) MARCH 2009------
Plush cushioned seating, ambience of ancient palaces are likely to convert into ultra-modern cafes intact with the old world charm of the Maharajas, if the central government 's ambitious plan of United Nations Development New Country Programme (UNDNCP) transforms into reality . The idea is to Combine Rajasansi's traditional with the modern for a complete experience of "Punjab" in true blue-blood royal luxury with cultural and historical snippets thrown in for an unforgettable experience by tourists from all corners of the world. If it be thus ---gossamer lights would highlight the kaleidoscope of multi-colored rich Phulkari tapestry , glistening unsheathed swords would share space with tiny dices that saw many a king wager his kingdom, delicate jingle of colored bangles combine with this the tall brass glasses of famous Punjabi yogurt or "desi lassi" to guests – and it is sure shot hit with tourists from world over . The state government selected the historical village of Rajasansi, about 11 km from the holy city of Amritsar, for the Central Government UNDNC Programme at an estimated cost of Rs 28 crore that is aimed for renovation of the old palace of Rajasansi, setting up of tourist information centres, kala Kendras for artisans, beautification of surroundings which include glow-illumination of historical buildings besides improving civic infrastructure . the proximity of the Rajasansi International Airport is an added advantage as it offers the weary passenger a breather that not only promises to relax but is feast for the eyes . Adapted from an article from The Tribune

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

INDIAN PEACENIKS AIMS TO REFRESH BROTHERHOOD SPIRIT WITH PAKISTANIS

Indian peaceniks aim to refresh brotherhood spirit with Pakistanis Feb 23rd, 2009 | By Sindh Today | Category: India Wagah border (Amritsar), Feb.27 (ANI): While diplomatic circles in India and Pakistan are engaged in formally getting the suspended composite dialogue back on track, peaceniks of both countries are doing their bit to remind one and all that peace and brotherhood are key to an improved future. Noted peacenik and journalist Kuldip Nayyar has once again attempted to break the logjam on confidence building measures. Nayyar is leading a 14-member Indian delegation that included artistes, activists, academicians and journalists. The delegation will aim to send a brotherly message and seek in earnest to apply balm to wounds that have surfaced post 26/11. The other members of the delegation are film director Mahesh Bhatt, social activist Swami Agnivesh and historian Salman Haider. Highlighting why peace is most important for this region for the happiness and prosperity of people in this region, the delegation would urge Pakistan authorities not to allow use of their soil for terror activities. ‘The main aim of the delegation is to make the civil society strong. And we will ask the Pakistani authorities, whom we meet to not to allow their soil be used for violence and also urge that the perpetrators should be punished,’ said Kuldeep Nayyar. Bhatt said that India and Pakistan peace dialogue should not reach a point of no-return. ‘We should not reach to a point of status quo. We will have to find a new way out. It was really bad to what had happened for us in Mumbai and Pakistan should move ten steps ahead and take action on the people who are responsible. And they should win hearts of the Indians,’ said Mahesh Bhatt. Asma Jahangir, the United Nations Special Representative on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, received the peace delegation, which is to return to India on February 26. Asma said that the two countries could not move ahead until they understand each other. ‘We know that the relations between the two countries are not and have not been good. There have been tensions between them. The message is that we cannot move forward until we understand conditions and problems of each other,’ said Asma Jahangir. (ANI)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

YOGA AND KATHAK CLASSES IN LAHORE PAKISTAN

UNCERTAINTY BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN HARDLY EFFECT YOGA-KATHAK CLASSES IN LAHORE ....DEFY DICTATES OF MULLAHS AND TALIBANS
RASHMI TALWAR
AMRITSAR FEB 17, 2009

Even as clouds of uncertainty over desired action on top terrorists and outfits operating from Pakistan continue between India and neighboring Pakistan, in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, the city of Lahore, Pakistan remains unmindful of the current sling match and defies even the dictates of mullahs or Talibans for shunning Hindu lifestyles or customs, to declare to hold workshops on ‘Yoga’ and Kathak Dance .
‘Fatwas’ have been passed by various Muslim organizations banning ‘Yoga’ practice among Muslims in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world on the grounds that it contain “Hindu elements”. Similar bans have also been imposed on "Flying Kites" in Lahore on the occasion of Basant -a Hindu-Sikh festival , but nevertheless the local populace is known to have defied bans time and again in its chequered history. Throwing caution to the winds over fundamentalist dictates people of Lahore color the skyline for days with kite flying soirees that last uptil midnight , women still don sarees, wear bindis , glass bangles or apply mehandi on weddings or special occasions with aplomb despite its Hindu antecedents . The 'surprise' invitation for the month long workshop on "Yoga and Kathak" by “Nahid Siddiqui” starting from Wednesday February 18 to conclude on March 19, was sent to select few in India by “Lahore Chitrkar”—a studio - gallery and a registered non-profit, non-commercial organization founded at Gulberg locality in Lahore in 2001, by a group of painters, architects, writers, dancers and musicians where artistic skills are learned, shared and exhibited. Music classes held by the organization also include classical vocals besides Flute, Tabla, Sarangi, Sitar recitals and teaching , reminiscent of the glorious period of composite culture prevalent in pre-partition India especially during the glorious reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh when Amritsar was considered his “Spiritual Capital” and Lahore his “Cultural capital” .
The agenda of forthcoming programmes is set by Shahid Mirza and Rabia Nadir who while talking to The Pioneer from Lahore say “the organization attaches great value to awareness of our cultural heritage as a necessary part of art training valued not as convention and formula but as an artistic response .” However "Yoga" has only found space in its programmes recently with internationally renowned Kathak dancer of Lahore “Nahid ” ready to conduct “Kathak dance and yoga classes” for beginners. Nahid Siddiqui is considered in Pakistan as one of the finest Kathak dancers and choreographers and her work has been recognized and acclaimed internationally during stage presentations on touring productions, in Europe, America and Asia. Shahid says about Nahid that “It's no wonder that for this ardent Kathak exponent of several years, Yoga has been a key element of her practice, allowing her to extend the boundaries not only of her own physique, but of her art, and hence her spirit. Although known primarily for being a leading promoter of Kathak Nahid has been a practitioner and researcher of Yoga for many years, and has taught Yoga in many countries of the world receiving accolades for her work especially in Britain besides being a recipient of Pakistan's highest artistic merit". Interestingly the organization got active supported from Punjab Government (Pakistan) Department of Culture only in 2005-06 when relations with India in all spheres were at an all time high in past 60-years, besides which The Lahore School of Economics, The Hienrich Boll Foundation, Germany apart from various Foundations of Pakistan extend support to it.
The timing of the classes has come as a surprise when public opinion in Pakistan is anti-India and Pak government is hardly a willing partner in joint investigations for Mumbai and relations are set to sour between the two neighbors that are naturally reflected first and foremost in angst against perusal of arts and skills that are predominantly viewed from Hinduism in ………….eom

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Amritsar:Food Court Plan For Amritsar

Food Court Plan For Amritsar
Posted by preetasr in City News,
Amritsar:
THE LOCAL administration has drawn up a plan to bring together the traditional Amritsari Kitchen for tourists visiting the city. The food court will serve local cuisine and more, without the circuitous hunt down the city’s narrow by lanes.
Apart from the Harmandar Sahib, ‘Amritsari Fish’, ‘Aloo Kulcha’, ‘Jalebis’, ‘Panner Bhurji’ and ‘Kesar Lassi’ are the draw for those on a visit. The Rs 5-crore proposal has been forwarded for approval of the Union Ministry for Culture and Tourism.
Deputy Commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu said that the food court would serve both local flavors, those from other states and gourmet food in a hygienic ambience.
A site has been marked out, he informed.
The aim is to save tourists valuable time and money scouting corner Dhabas, he said.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

AMRITSAR di 'Lohri'

KITE strings readied for "Lohri" Festival
BY RASHMI TALWAR

Ahead of the INDIAN LOHRI Festival an Indian worker rolls colored kite strings in a ball, at a roadside in AMRITSAR . LOHRI —a festival celebrated especially in North India announces the arrival of SPRING season and the end of WINTER which falls on January 13 every year, and is marked by KITE FLYING festival using the string or 'DOR' . The string is given extraordinary bite using eggs , crushed glass, starch to painstakingly prepare it prior to the festival on massive orders placed by keen kite flyers in this border city neighboring PAKISTAN . Many of the keen kite flyers use rubber gloves or rubber finger covers to avoid cuts using this string during kite flying , although some are known to flaunt their bleeding fingers to show off their finesse and keenness in flying kites using this "CUT-ICE STRING" during fierce kite battles that is joined by rejoicers and teams from rival camps in keenly contested matches. A "REPLICA" of the kite flying CRAZE can be seen about 60 Kms from the city of Amritsar in the neighbouring city of LAHORE in Pakistan. Although Mullahs and hardliners in Pakistan influence the governments of the Theocratic state to ban kite flying as it is synonymous with HINDU festivities, people of Lahore hardly pay any attention to the bans and kite flying has emerged as the most celebrated festivities in whole of Lahore during the Basant Festival which also has its origin amongst HINDUS and SIKHS of India

RAHUL GANDHI IN AMRITSAR


HUM SOCHEY GE, HUM SOCH RAHEY HAIN, HUM KAREGEY, HUM SOCH KE KARENGE ......

INDIA KI HALAT WAISE BHI SOCHNEY WALI HAI ...AUR HAR DUM SOCHTEY HI RAHENGE....
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