Archive for March, 2009


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)



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 .

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Lahorites take to the streets for ‘change’ photo courtesy

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:

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Friday, March 24, 2009


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 –

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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”.

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Dhol Jageero da…Amritsar girls done it …

Dhol Jageero da…Amritsar girls done it …
Rashmi Talwar




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. Continue reading

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

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


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 Continue reading

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

UN takes Amritsar on world map, Rajasansi under its wing


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 —————

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