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ExtractS A collection of articles from newspapers magazines & publications

CONTENTS Kuka movement, Jallianwala get national status CAMPUS BUZZ Majestic start to musical soiree Kuka martyrs’ memorials for Sangrur Memorial for Namdhari martyrs Asia’s first Astro-turf in rural area Tributes paid to Namdhari martyrs Thakur Udhey Singh to be PAU Board member Namdharis back in hockey arena Namdhari samagam ends Nod for memorials to Namdhari martyrs Docs perform simultaneous surgeries on 75-yr-old Saarc Car Rally - Apollo team back with fond memories 150 years of Kuka Movement - 2007 Hip surgery performed on 97-yr woman - 2007 NEW YORK: Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan honoured - 2007 Funds for Bhaini Sahib development soon: CM Badal - 2007 Keyhole surgery rids14-year-old of congenital problem Apollo Hospital gets international certification Review Namdhari status Poets highlight female foeticide menace Punjab’s silent musical revolution Namdharis from the pages of history Satguru’s legacy Tributes paid to Namdhari martyrs Tributes paid to Satguru Ram Singh Ji Relevance of Basant Panchami ‘True’ story of freedom struggle out Namdharis laud drive against graft Namdharis honour Hanspal Hanspal takes over as PPCC chief USA urged to protect Namdharis Tributes were paid to Sant Khazan Singh 25-lakh winner to give part of money to school Grant for Guru Ram Singh Chair Namdharis' role in women empowerment Seminar Inauguration of bus stand Holiday on the birthday of Satguru Ram Singh. Kukas-torch-bearers of India’s freedom struggle Function to mark kuka martyrs Celebrated Health, education need of hour: Advani Super-specialty hospital for city Search for Namdhari guru starts Tributes paid to Satguru Ram Singh Ji Where Satyagraha was born Namdhari Chair announced Quality music is forever Namdhari Guru prays for peace Sikh identity

Kuka movement, Jallianwala get national status Tribune News Service Chandigarh, January 27, 2009 At the instance of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the government of India has decided to treat the Kuka Namdhari movement, 1871, and Jallianwala Bagh massacre,1919, part of the national freedom movement. A spokesman of the state government said today that the Union Home Ministry had notified to include both movements in the list of freedom movements recognised for the purpose of grants and pensions under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme,1980. To get the two movements declared as freedom movements against the British Rule, the Punjab government had been in touch with the Centre for long.

Kuka martyrs’ memorials for Sangrur Sushil Goyal Tribune News Service Malerkotla, January 17 - 2009 The state government will set up memorials of Kuka martyrs who were blown off with cannons by the British on January 17 and 18, 1872, here. The memorials will come up in seven villages of Sangrur district. This was announced by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a function at the Namdhari Shaheedi Samarak here today. Satguru Jagjit Singh, the head of Namdhari sect, and MP from Sangrur Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa were also present on the occasion. Vice-chairman of Kuka Martyrs’ Memorial Trust Surinder Singh Namdhari had asked Badal to set up these memorials at the earliest. The Sangrur deputy commissioner had already identified places in seven villages for the memorials. Namdhari also said the panchayats of these villages were also ready to give 2 acres each for the purpose. The villages were Sakrodi and Dayalgarh in Bhawanigarh; Roorgarh and Pharwahi in Sherpur; Malumajra and Chak Shekhupura in Malerkotla; and Fallera in Sunam. About 18 Kukas from these villages were killed by the British, he added. Badal said the Namdharis had submitted some demands to him that included setting up of memorials of Kuka martyrs in their native villages throughout the state and construction of stadiums and roads. Badal also highlighted the sacrifices made by people of the state in the freedom struggle of the country. He also said freedom movements like the Babbar, Kuka and Kama Gata Maru movements had played a vital role in getting the country freed from the British.

CAMPUS BUZZ Religion should focus on generating goodwill: Experts Tribune News Service Amritsar, September 19 - 2008 All religions should come forward to devise a common minimum programme to rid society of hatred and social menaces. Renowned scholars participating in the national seminar on the Namdhari Movement organised here today by Guru Nanak Dev University were unanimous in their views that all religions need to stress on one singular goal - generating goodwill and peace. More than 20 research papers on the Kuka Lehar, the revolt of 1857, role of the peasants of Punjab during the Kuka Lehar and role of the Namdhari sants and mahants to popularise the Namdhari Mission were presented on the occasion. Delivering the keynote address, Dr Mohinder Singh, director, Bhai Veer Singh Sahitya Sadan, said it was important to differentiate between the academic research and the popular history and raised many pertinent questions to the academic historians. He dwelt at length on the non-cooperation movement started by Namdhari Guru Ram Singh in the late 19th century and the role of Sikhs in the revolt of 1857. The participation of Sikh rulers on the side of the Britishers should not be construed as the participation of Sikhs in general. Speaking on the occasion, Thakur Uday Singh, a close relative of Baba Ram Singh and managing director of the Seed Corporation, Bangalore, said Guru Nanak Dev preached the message of the welfare of humanity and respect to all religions. He said Namdhari Guru Ram Singh also raised his voice against the prevailing social evils which needed to be talked about even today. He said only Namdhari fraternity and Jain religion had been able to create a balance in society by getting rid of female foeticide, dowry, drug de-addiction and other social evils. Vice-Chancellor Dr Jai Rup Singh said no civilisation could survive without the development of its culture and mother tongue. An exhibition of rare photographs on the Kuka Movement was also arranged on this occasion

Majestic start to musical soiree S.D. Sharma Chandigarh, May 17, 2008 The two-day Satguru Partap Singh Commemorative Sangeet Sammelan got off to a melodic start at the Bhargava auditorium of the PGI here today as celebrated maestros in the vocal and instrumental segments cast a serene spell on the devout audience. Father-son duo of Sukhdev Singh and Santa Singh Namdhari commenced the sammelan with an invocatory composition ‘Aad Gur Eh Namah’ set to raga Malkons by their guru Jagjit Singh Maharaj. It was indeed a treat to watch the adroit mastery of Sukhwinder Singh on tabla. Baljit Singh Namdhari gave a captivating recital on taar shehnai playing alaap, vilamabat and drut gat in the oldest raga Shree. The swaal jawab with spontaneous replication on tabla by virtuosi Avirbhav and Fateh Singh enlivened the performance. The divine fervour prevailed in the packed hall as the doyen of Patiala’s Kasur ghrana Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty took the centre stage only to send the audience in a scintillating reverie. He bared the melody of a popular raga Bhopali in ‘Sab such dena Prabhu’. He was at his best while doling out a thumri ‘Tere naina jadu bhare’ in which the influence of his mentor Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was pervasive. Inderbir Bhaduri and Vijay S. Mukerjee accompanied the maestro on tabla and harmonium. Padmabhushan Pandit Debu Choudhury, despite the paucity of time, spelt melody through soulful strains of 17 fret sitar. Ustad Akarm Khan left an indelible mark while accompanying Pandit Debu Choudhry on tabla. Earlier, former Jharkhand speaker Inder Singh Namdhariand city mayor Pardeep Chhabra honoured the artistes. Kathak guru Shobha Koser, C.R. Moudgil, director, Haryana Sahit Akademi and Prof Yash Paul graced the occasion. Legendary sitar maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez, vocalist Sanjeev Abhyankar and tabla maestro Sukhwinder Singh will perform tomorrow.

Memorial for Namdhari martyrs Vimal Sumbly Tribune News Service Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana), September 15, 2007 Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced that the Punjab government would raise memorials in the memory of five Namdhari martyrs of Amritstar in their native villages on the pattern of Kuka martyrs of Malerkotla. Badal was addressing a shaheedi conference organised to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of five Namdhari martyrs, Sant Hakam Singh Patwari, Sant Fateh Singh, Sant Lehna Singh, Sant Jhanda Singh and Sant Beehla Singh, who sacrificed their lives to protect the sanctity of Sri Harmander Sahib by launching an aggressive movement against cow slaughter in 1871, here today. While paying tributes to the martyrs in the presence Satguru Jagjit Singh, Badal said these martyrs sacrificed their lives by presenting themselves before the court admitting that they had killed those who had slaughtered the cows. He elaborated that year-long programmes had also been chalked out for the centenary celebrations at various places in the state. Rajinder Bhandari president, BJP, Punjab, was also present on the occasion

Asia’s first Astro-turf in rural area Anil Datt Our Sports Reporter Ludhiana, October 14 With Asia’s first-ever Astro–turf in a rural area being inaugurated today at Bhaini Sahib, the headquarters of the Namdhari sect, young hockey players will now have international-level training facilities. The synthetic surface, donated by a Holland firm, has been laid down at Bhaini Sahib, situated on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road. Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab inaugurated the Astro-turf. Satguru Jagjit Singh, head of the Namdhari sect, graced the occasion. The cost of laying down this surface was Rs 42 lakh and the Punjab Government gave Rs 12 lakh for this project. To mark the occasion, an exhibition match was played between the teams of Namdhari XI and the Punjab, Police, which ended in a goal-less draw. A large number of people gathered at the stadium to watch their heroes in action. Ace drag-flicker Jugraj Singh, who was seriously injured in a raod accident last year on the outskirts of Jalandhar city, along with dashing Gaganajit Singh and Tejbir Singh played the match. Deep-defender Harpal Singh could not occupy the ground as he was down with fever. Appreciating the contribution of Namdhari Darbar under the farsighted guidance of Satguru Jagjit Singh, the Chief Minister said since 1978, the Namdhari Sports Academy had produced a number of hockey players of international repute and the Namdhari Hockey XI had won many major national hockey events. He said with this Astro-turf in the rural area, Namdhari Darbar had done a great service to Indian hockey. He hoped that this turf would prove to be useful for training young hockey players and for organising national and international hockey matches in the rural area. Referring to the all-round development of games in Punjab, the Chief Minister appealed to associations and sports clubs to concentrate their energies to provide excellent training to the available talent in rural areas and assured that the state government would extend all kind of assistance as suggested by them for the promotion of sports in villages. Responding to the demands, the Chief Minister announced that the indoor stadium being constructed at Bhani Sahib would be completed, the road from the Ludhiana- Chandigarh road to Bhani Sahib would be strengthened and widened, and a parking slot would be developed. Speaking on the occasion, Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, Punjab Pradesh Congress, said Namdhari Darbar at Bhani Sahib had been making concerted efforts for the promotion of hockey and other games so that the energies of rural youth could be channelled for the promotion of different games and to keep them away from intoxicants. He suggested that keeping in view the excellent sports infrastructure at Bhaini Sahib, the area surrounding the Astro-turf should be declared as a complete sports complex. A footfall ground and a swimming pool of interventional standard would be prepared at Bhaini Sahib, Mr Hanspal added. The Chief Minister felicitated a number of former and present hockey players and sports promoters on this occasion which included S.S. Sodhi, D.S. Garcha, Pargat Singh, Hardeep Singh Grewal, Ramandeep Singh Grewal, Baljeet Singh Dhillon, Daljeet Singh Dhillon, Rajinder Singh (PSB), Jugraj Singh, Sawinder Billa, Gaganajit Singh, international umpires Satinder Sharma and Suresh Bhatia; Bhupinder Singh, Tejbir Singh, Harpal Singh and Paul Singh (coach); Sardar Singh and Ajmair Singh, members of the Indian junior hockey team, which is leaving for an Australian tour, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, and S.L. Lotey, District Sports Officer, Ludhiana.

Tributes paid to Namdhari martyrs Tribune News Service Ludhiana, December 8, 2002 Rich tributes were paid to Namdhari martyrs Suba Giani Rattan Singh and Sant Rattan Singh, who were hanged in the old jail complex in 1871 during the freedom movement, at a function organised at Namdhari Shaheed Smarak on Jail Road, here today. Namdhari sangat, from all parts of the country and abroad, thronged the smarak of the martyrs to pay tributes. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kewal Krishan, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, said the country was indebted to the martyrs. He said Guru Ram Singh was the founder of the freedom movement and launched noncooperation movement against the British and his followers made sacrifices while displaying exemplary spirit of patriotism. He said Namdhari Darbar had inducted discipline in the community and the sangat was following the preachings of Guru Jagjit Singh. He said the mission of Guru Ram Singh was relevant in today's world also. Following footsteps of Namdhari Darbar, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had launched a crusade to eliminate corruption from the state administration, added Dr Krishan. He also announced a grant of Rs 50,000 for the development of the shaheedi smarak. Mr Kushal Behal, Education Minister, while paying tributes to the martyrs, said Namdharis had remained at the forefront of the freedom movement and the Congress had its origin in the Namdhari movement and its philosophy. He said 25 lakhs Namdharis were still practicing the principles of Guru Ram Singh to eradicate social evils like dowry, female foeticide and use of intoxicants from the society. He said the state government, in its new education policy, had launched a campaign to revamp the education system. In schools and colleges, students would be given quality education so that they could compete in international-level competitions, he added. Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, said the country was indebted to Namdhari Darbar, which had initiated the freedom movement. He exhorted all to remember martyrs and follow their footsteps. Mr Anurag Agarwal, Deputy Commissioner, also paid tributes to the martyrs and assured that the administration would extend all assistance to beautify their smaraks. Guru Jagjit Singh said the sangat should work towards creating awareness against intoxicants and other social evils prevailing in the society.

Thakur Udhey Singh to be PAU Board member Tribune News Service Ludhiana, March 24, 2007 Namdhari Seeds managing director Thakur Udhey Singh will be appointed member of the Board of management of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. This was announced by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his visit to the Namdhari Darbar, Bhaini Sahib, here today. The Chief Minister said to make maximum use of practical experience of Namdhari Thakur Udhey Singh in the field of seed production and export of seeds, he would be inducted as member of the State Agriculture Commission and Member of Board of Directors of PAU Ludhiana. He said a comprehensive policy to divert wheat-paddy crops to vegetables and fruits was being prepared and sufficient funds would be given for this purpose. Appreciating the performance of Namdhari Seed Farm in agriculture, the Chief Minister urged the Namdhari Darbar to set up a training institution at Bhaini Sahib to impart training to unemployed youths in the cultivation of vegetables and fruits and preservation and marketing so that rural youth could be adjusted in gainful self- employment ventures. Namdhari Udhey Singh said he would shortly submit a detailed project report for the setting up of training institute with the Chief Minister at the earliest.

Namdharis back in hockey arena Prabhjot Singh Nov 8, 2003

DISTINGUISHED by their spotless white turbans and playing uniform, Namdhari Vidyak Jatha will be back at Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi this month as a participant in the leading Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial International Hockey Tournament.

Namdharis, known for their unprecedented contribution in the freedom struggle, are also set to be the first private organization in the country to have their own Astro-Turf — synthetic playfield — at Bhaini Sahib, near Ludhiana, the sect’s headquarters. The turf, imported from the Netherlands, will be available for training and holding competitions by the end of the next month. The work on laying the base has started. "The surface has already arrived," says Thakur Ude Singh, who looks after the hockey team of the sect. Namdharis have made headlines since early 80s when they fielded their hockey team for the first time in various national level tournaments. Neat and unique turnout with players supporting white turbans even on the playfield were reasons enough to attract worldwide attention. Besides their turnout, they had been giving an excellent account of themselves on playfield, toppling some of the top teams in major tournaments. Not only that, some of their players made it to the national team. Didar Singh, the team coach donned national colours in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. His namesake, Didar Singh Jr, was a member of the Asia Cup team. And another promising youngster, Harpal Singh, a deep defender, was a member of Indian team in the inaugural Afro-Asian Games at Hyderabad. Other outstanding Namdhari players are Gurnam Singh "Gama", Gurcharan Singh, Ajmer Singh and Gurvinder Singh. Ajmer and Gurvinder represented India in the last Asian Schools Hockey Tournament in Bangladesh while Gurcharan played for the country in the four-nation tournament India won in Egypt early this year. Besides them, India’s former center-half Hardeep Singh Grewal and junior international star Daljit Singh also played for the Namdharis for a number of years. They, in fact, accompanied Namdhari hockey team on tours to Europe in late 80s and early 90s. Going by the sect’s patronage to the game, the Indian Hockey Federation has granted them direct affiliation, enabling it to send its team for participation in the national championships.

Namdhari samagam ends Our Correspondent Machhiwara, October 16 2004

The 100th ‘naan jap paryog samagam at Bhaini Sahib which began in September, concluded today with the marriage ceremony of 45 couples. It was the 100th year of ‘naam simran’ started by Namdhari Satguru Partap Singh. The mass marriage ceremony was started by Namdhari Satguru Ram Singh on June 3, 1863. This smaagam, known as ‘Assu De Mele’ was attended by Namdhari sangat from England, America, Canada, Germany, Thailand. The concluding ceremony today was attended by Mr H.S. Hanspal, President PPCC, Thakur Udhe Singh, Sant Jagtar Singh, Sant Rachhpal Singh, Sant Harpaul Singh and Mr Dalip Singh, chairman, Satguru Partap Singh Academy.

Glowing Tributes

Nod for memorials to Namdhari martyrs Varinder Walia Tribune News Service Amritsar, September 18

After a long wait of 136 years, finally the Punjab government has accepted the demand of raising memorials to five Namdhari martyrs of Amritsar Saka in their native villages on the pattern of Kuka martyrs of Malerkotla. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal made the announcement while addressing a shaheedi conference organised to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of these Namdharis. The function was organised as a part of year-long state-level celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of Baba Ram Singh’s Kuka movement. Interestingly, the Kuka movement is considered as the first effective agitation for India’s independence that adopted non-cooperation as a tool against the British rulers, which was later adopted by Mahatma Gandhi. It was on September 15, 1871, in Amritsar, Kukas assassinated several Muslim butchers involved in cow slaughtering. As a result, the British administration sentenced five Kuka disciples, Sant Hakam Singh Patwari, Sant Fateh Singh, Sant Lehna Singh, Sant Jhanda Singh and Sant Beehla Singh Narli, to death. The then deputy commissioner of Amritsar opened a slaughter house outside the city. The butchers were asked to follow these instructions, “The cows will be slaughtered at a particular place within an enclosure. No butcher would bring beef inside the city for sale. Transgressors of these rules will be punished.” Opening a slaughter house at Amritsar was a signal for opening many more in different towns of Punjab. This led to the development of strained relations between the Hindus and the Muslims because the butchers started selling beef openly in the streets of Amritsar. Peeved at this, Namdharis came forward to punish the butchers and embraced martyrdom during the British era. However, except for old Bohar tree, the other buildings have lost their original contour. The heritage structure, which was once a part of historical Rambagh and later served as jail during British time, has been plastered without consulting conservationists or heritage experts. Even a part of the building is presently being used for round-the-clock “simran.” The old well on the premises has also been plastered from inside and a modern well has been added in the “langar” section. The boundary wall of the memorial has been constructed to separate it from the Summer Palace complex.

Docs perform simultaneous surgeries on 75-yr-old Tribune News Service Ludhiana, May 8 2007 A team of cardiac surgeons and orthopaedicians, led by Dr K.C. Mukherjee and Dr Harpreet Gill, respectively, performed simultaneous cardiac bypass (CABG) and hip surgery on a 75-year old patient at SPS Apollo Hospitals here. No such case had been reported in medical literature from anywhere till date, the doctors claimed. The doctors said here today that the patient had come to emergency with a hip fracture and was prepared for surgery to be performed the next day. However, on the morning, he was posted for hip surgery, the patient developed intense chest pain, and diagnosed to have heart disease and artery blockage. Angiography of the patient revealed critical left main coronary artery disease with triple vessel disease (blockage of three arteries). Since immediate cardiac bypass was necessary as a life-saving measure, after thorough discussion and assessment of various vital parameters, the team of cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, orthopaedicians and anaesthesiologis, with the consent of relatives of the patient, decided to carry out both surgeries at the same time in a single anaesthesia. Dr Mukherjee and his team performed beating heart bypass surgery in this critically balanced patient within three hours and handed him over to the orthopaedic team in a stable condition. Immediately thereafter, and in the same anaesthesia, Dr Harpreet Gill and his team performed surgery for hip fracture. The doctors said the post-operative recovery was excellent. The patient was made non-weight bearing supported mobility on third day after surgery, and discharged from the hospital on 10th post-operative day in a very stable condition. "Now the patient is walking without any support as the fracture has healed and his cardiac condition is stable," added Dr Mukherjee.

150 years of Kuka Movement Namdharis can have whatever they want: CM Tribune News Service Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana), April 15 2007 Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today regretted that the national heroes were gradually being forgotten. He said a fresh movement needed to be started across the country for creating awareness among the masses, particularly the youth, about national heroes like Satguru Ram Singh. Addressing a function organised by the state government in the presence of Satguru Jagjit Singh, head of the Namdhari sect, here today to mark 150 years of the Kuka movement, Badal pointed out that these heroes had made great sacrifices for the whole country. But unfortunately it was being made out as if they belonged to Punjab only. He pointed out functions in memory of other heroes like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Udham Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai and others remain restricted to Punjab. Although Badal made no announcement about any special scheme today, he said whatever orders there would be from the darbar, he would abide by them. Later he told reporters, “I have given them a signed blank paper and they can have whatever they want.� Leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal while appreciating the path set by the Namdharis, said it was high time that the modern and future generations were told about their great sacrifices for the freedom of the country. Vishwa Hindu Parishad general secretary Ashok Singh lauded the contribution of the Namdhari darbar towards social awareness and cow protection, in particular. Prominent among those present included Lok Sabha deputy speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, Punjab Assembly deputy speaker Satpal Gosain, minister Hira Singh Gabria, local Akali leader Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, SAD general secretary Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, state BJP president Avinash Rai Khanna, chief parliamentary secretary Jagdish Sawhney. Interestingly, Satguru Jagjit Singh left the function while Badal was still delivering his presidential address.

Saarc Car Rally Apollo team back with fond memories Tribune News Service Ludhiana, April 6 2007 SPS Apollo Hospital's emergency medical response (EMR) team returned from the Saarc car rally after the conclusion of the Jaipur leg with fond memories as the Saarc flag, signed by the participants from eight countries, was handed over to the team as a gesture of gratitude. The local hospital had provided its state-of-the-art ambulance along with a team which comprised a doctor, a para-medic and two drivers. The team had a life-time experience and all participants of the Saarc car rally appreciated the assistance lent by the Apollo team. From Jaipur, the rally was scheduled to move via Ahmedabad to Mumbai, from where the participants will proceed by air to Colombo (Sri Lanka) while their cars would be taken to Colombo by sea. After a five-night stay in Sri Lanka, the participants will leave for Male. According to Dr S.P. Singh, the ambulance which accompanied the Saarc car rally up to Jaipur, was fully equipped with all life-support equipment like defibrillator, ECG, cardiac monitor, portable ventilator, suction machine, resuscitation kit, pulse oxymeter, oxygen and emergency medicines. He further said that the medical response (EMR) team of Apollo had been recognised for its high level of quality performance, clinical practise, equipment, training and overall emergency preparedness.

Hip surgery performed on 97-yr woman Kuldip Bhatia Ludhiana, April 12 2007 In an unusual surgical feat, a complex hip joint surgery has been performed on a 97-year-old woman at SPS Apollo Hospital here. Tara Devi, a resident of Rahon Road here, had broken her upper femur bone near the hip joint when she slipped in the bathroom. She was brought to the hospital where the treatment options were discussed with her family members. If left as such, she would have been bedridden for the rest of her life which could have further led to many complications like bedsores, and even heart or chest conditions. After thorough evaluation and assessment, the doctors decided to fix the fracture with screws and plate. Dr Harpreet S. Gill, consultant orthopedic surgeon, assisted by Dr Neeraj Bansal and Dr Harmandeep Singh, performed the surgery. The fractured bone was fixed with the help of 'dynamic condylar screw plate', anaesthesia was given in an advanced form by the team of Dr Gaurav Kuthiala and Dr Dilip and sophisticated monitoring was done during the operation. The surgery went off smoothly, recovery was uneventful and the patient was discharged from the hospital after five days. At present, after one and a half months of surgery, the woman is mobile and the fracture is uniting. Dr Gill remarked that old age presented a unique challenge for both the anaesthetist and orthopedic surgeon. At this age, the quality of bones is poor and fracture fixation a challenge. Similarly, giving anaesthesia to a patient of this age, that too when he or she was suffering from diabetes, is another big challenge. According to Dr Gill, nearly 95 per cent of hip fractures resulted from falls. Thus, minimising fall risk was a practical approach to reducing these serious injuries. Important elements included education and skill building to increase knowledge about fall risk factors, exercise to improve strength and balance, and home modifications to reduce fall hazards.

NEW YORK: Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan has been honoured times of india april 11, 2007 NEW YORK: Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan has been honoured with the "Key to the City" award by Tulsa, a city in the Oklahoma state of the United States for his "long-standing contribution" to classical music. Khan, along with his sons Amaan and Ayaan and Sukhvinder Singh Namdhari, a tabla artist, were also conferred honorary citizenship of the city by Mayor Kathy Taylor. Tulsa is the third US city to confer honorary citizenship on the Indian Sarod legend. Houston and Nashville had conferred honorary citizenship to him in 1997. In 1984, Massachusetts had declared April 20 as Amjad Ali Khan Day. Khan received the honour during a concert titled Raga - Melodies of India . He was accompanied by his sons on the sarod and by Sukhvinder on the tabla. Apart from the concert, the Sarod exponent also delivered a lecture in the University of Tulsa. The citation given with the award expressed "sincere appreciation" of his contribution to the promotion of classical music and also recognised his "outstanding performance" in the city of Tulsa, "providing a totally unique experience in Indian classical music and in supporting ongoing efforts to promote cultural ties between the city of Tulsa and India." The concert was organised by the South Asian Performing Arts Foundation (SAPAF), a Tulsabased organisation.

Funds for Bhaini Sahib development soon: CM Vimal Sumbly - Tribune News Service Ludhiana March 24 2007 Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced reconstitution of the Bhaini Sahib Raiyan Development Board to ensure fast integrated development of historic Bhaini Sahib headquarters of Namdhari Darbar. He said adequate funds would be released for all the remaining development projects. Badal was discussing the plan in a meeting after presenting a cheque of Rs 50 lakhs for the completion of Kuka Martyrs Memorial at Malerkotla as announced by him during his last visit to Bhaini Sahib on March 6 to Sat Guru Jagjit Singh Ji head of Namdhari Darbar at Bhaini Sahib 25 kms from here today. The Chief Minister discussed the detailed plans relating to the development projects of Bhaini Sahib with Sat Guru Jagjit Singhji, Namdhari Thakur Udhey Singh, MD, Namdhari Seeds Bangalore, Sumer Singh Gurjar Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana. Bhaini Sahib- Raiyan, the birthplace of Sat Guru Ram Singhji, was a sacred and historic place for the whole country as the most effective Kuka Movement for the freedom of the country was launched from here by Satguru Ram Singhji. On the demand for the construction of roads linking Bhaini Sahib, the chief minister asked the Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, to issue special directions to sanction the plans and start work for construction of peripheries of Bhani Sahib and other link roads connecting to this place at the earliest. On another suggestion from Namdhari Darbar, Badal asked the Vice-Chancellor Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, on telephone to immediately revive Sat Guru Ram Singh Chair in the university and assured the required funds would immediately be released for this purpose by the government. Badal said 150th anniversary of Kuka Movement launched by Sat Guru Ram Singhji in 1857 would be observed in a fitting manner and a high level meeting to chalk out the detailed programme for the anniversary would be held at Chandigarh under his chairmanship. Keeping in view the contribution of Namdharis in the independence struggle, the government was also considering to set up two more memorials, one at Raikot, in Ludhiana district and another in Amritsar district, so that the coming generation would seek inspiration from the sacrifices of the followers of Sat Guru Ram Singhji.

Keyhole surgery rids 14-year-old of congenital problem Tribune News Service Ludhiana, February 20 2007 An innovative laparoscopic surgery was performed on Hardeep Singh of Nawanshahr at SPS Apollo Hospital for treatment of a congenital complication affecting the quality of life by Dr Arindam Ghosh, known for his work in the field of minimal invasive surgery. Hardeep, a 14-year-old boy, was suffering from constipation since birth. His bowel movement was erratic and the boy could not have complete evacuation, even with laxatives. On investigation and biopsy, he was diagnosed to be suffering from Hirschprung's Disease (HD). According to Dr Ghosh, normally the muscles in the intestine push out the faecal matter with the help of special nerve cells in the intestine, called ganglion cells. In persons suffering from HD, these nerve cells in the last part of the large intestine are missing. As a result muscle movement for evacuation is absent or lacking. This is a common problem among newborns in India, with more than 20 to 25 children reporting in hospitals each year with this disease. Conventionally one operation (in two or three stages) was required to remove a part of the bowel and to restore continuity, bypassing the diseased rectum. However, Dr Ghosh, Dr Rajan Dhamathia and their team in Surgical Gastroenterology and Advanced Laparoscopic Digestive Surgery unit, undertook a complete key hole approach in a single stage for Hardeep Singh. "The patient was given only four tiny puncture points in his abdomen. This reduced the pain, hospital stay and ensured no ugly scars, while at the same time reducing the chance of incisional hernia later."

IGMC to have telemedicine linkup with Apollo Hospital Tribune News Service May 29, 2006 Shimla, May 28 Patients under treatment at the Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) and other major hospitals of the state will shortly be able to avail super-specialty services of eminent doctors of Satguru Partap Singh (SPS) Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, due to a telemedicine link up between the two institutions. Addressing a press conference here yesterday, the Director of SPS Apollo Hospital, Mr Jugdiep Singh, said they would shortly be providing the software for the telemedicine link up free of cost to the IGMC.

“This will enable a doctor at IGMC or other district hospitals to seek the opinion of doctors at SPS, Apollo,” he said.

Mr Singh said they would, in a phased manner, have a link up with all the district hospitals in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir so that people sitting in remote areas can seek the opinion of specialist doctors. He added that secondary care hospitals were being identified which could have this link up with them. He said the case for empanelment with the HP government had been initiated so that the patients from Himachal can get treated at their hospital at the lowest possible rates. He claimed that the charges at their hospital were 40 per cent less than the Apollo hospital at Delhi. “We will be the fifth hospital in the country and the first in the region to get a Joint Commission Accreditation as a US team will shortly visit our hospital,” he stated.

Review Namdhari status, says NCM chief New Delhi, March 29 Taking strong exception to denial of ‘freedom fighter status’ to Namdharis by the Home Ministry, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has urged Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani to review the decision. In an affidavit recently submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh, the Union Home Ministry declared that the Kukas, known as Namdharis, who were blown to pieces with canons at Malerkota in Punjab by the Britishers in 1870, and also those Sikhs killed in Kamagatamaru episode in 1914 were not freedom fighters. He requested Mr Advani to direct the Freedom Fighters Cell in his ministry to review both the cases and correct the historical distortion. — UNI

Poets highlight female foeticide menace Tribune News Service Ludhiana, October 15 To create awareness among the people on the menace of female foeticide, a seminar- cum kavi darbar was organised by the Namdhari Darbar on the second day of the 99th annual Jap Tap Samelan at Bhaini Sahib today. Mr. H.S. Hanspal, President, PPCC, was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the participants, Mr Hanspal said Satguru Ram Singh, had launched a crusade against those who killed their daughters at birth. Following his directions, the whole Namdhari Darbar, now under the spiritual guidance and direction of Satguru Jagjit Singh, was making efforts to create awareness among the people regarding the seriousness of this alarming situation. He said though the government has enacted several legislations to give stringent punishments to the guilty, but this social evil was assuming alarming proportions and was causing an irreparable loss to society. In present times, skewed sex ratio would create a serious imbalance in society. Mr Hanspal appealed to the people to be vigilant and report any such by couples to the authorities so that they can be punished suitably. Sant Daleep Singh Namdhari apprised the people about the efforts of Satguru Jagjit Singh and Namdhari Darbar in persuading the people to refrain from the female foeticide as the girls are equally important for society. He said the darbar was also educating the public regarding the growing use of the drugs and other intoxicants among the youth, which could completely ruin our future generations. Prominent speakers and poets who participated included Dr Gurcharan Kaur Kochhar, Mr Surjt Patar, President, Punjabi Sahitya Akademi, Mr Harbir Singh Bhanwar, Mr Inderjit Singh Hassanpuri, Dr Swaranjit Kaur Grewal, Dr Gurminder Sidhu, Dr Kamaljit Singh Kakkar, Dr Harjinder Singh Sandhu, Mr Ajit Singh Lehal, Dr Tarlochan Lochi, Mr Jatinder Pal Singh Jolly and Mr Kulwant Jagraon.

Punjab’s silent musical revolution Reeta Sharma April 6, 2003 Spectrum Section The Tribune - Chandigargh HE is 84 and the religious head of lakhs of Namdharis all over the world, including India. Besides being a spiritual leader, Satguru Jagjit Singh has given birth to a parallel religion — the religion of music. In the history of music, he will always be credited with unmatched passion that sowed the seeds of a silent musical revolution in Punjab, which of late has had little to boast of in the field of classical music. Although age is catching up with him yet his thirst for music remains insatiated. It was as early as 1959 that Satguru Jagjit Singh had foreseen the dearth of talent in the field of classical music in Punjab. He was taken aback to learn that only two ragis, Darshan Singh and Khazan Singh, were using Indian classical vocal forms while reciting Gurbani. What will happen in the future, he asked himself. "People of Punjab had not realised that this fine art was being eroded in the state. I desperately wanted classical music to thrive in the state," reminiscences the Satguru. His resolve soon witnessed the initiation of young talent into the world of music. Satguru Jagjit Singh, who himself excels in Indian classical vocal and instrumental music, started imparting knowledge to boys and girls, aged between 5 and 10 years. Soon the number began to multiply. The untiring, unrelenting and consistent devotion of the ‘guru and his disciples’ over a period of 10 to 15 years began to bear fruit

Balwant Singh Namdhari (extreme right) was decorated with the Punjab State Award this year Beyond the fast-paced lifestyle of the Punjabis and unnoticed by the powers that be, in a remote village called Bhaini Sahib, known as the seat of the Namdhari sect, the foundation of Indian classical vocal/instrumental music was being laid. Though it takes a long time for any such serious forms of music to gain recognition, Bhaini Sahib saw the rise of Mohan Singh Namdhari and Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, who have carved a niche for themselves in the world of music. They have performed not only at Haraballabh, held annually in Jalandhar, but also at various other functions in other parts of the country and even abroad. That Satguru Jagjit Singh did not restrict his teachings to his followers alone but imparted his knowledge of music to others too speaks volumes for his dedication and zeal. Once in Gwalior, when he heard budding Indian classical vocalists Rajan and Sajjan Mishra, he immediately took them under his wing. When he learnt that the two brothers were earning their living as petty clerks, he immediately offered to pay them double the amount they were earning from Namdharis’ offerings. He wanted them to devote themselves totally to riyaz without worrying about their bread and butter. Today, the Mishra brothers are the pride of India and they do not get tired of acknowledging the role played by Satguru Jagjit Singh in promoting their career. Once again, led by his far-sightedness, he consciously decided to revive many dying musical instruments of Punjab. As a result of his efforts, rabab, dilruba, saranda, sarangi, santoor and sitar have been popularised by his disciples, who play them oblivious of any consumerist or materialistic pressures. Hundred of children in the age group of 8 and 15 years are today

learning to play these instruments and are also being trained in classical vocal. A stream of students, including Mohan Singh and Sukhdev Singh, have been making waves at various musical performances in India and abroad.

Vocalists Sukhdev Singh and Mohan Singh Two young boys, Balwant Singh Namdhari and Harjinder Singh Namdhari, are being taken note of music circles in India. Balwant is not only being acknowledged as one of the most promising players of santoor, sitar and tabla but is also a name to be reckoned with as a classical vocalist. On this February 27, he was decorated with the Punjab State Award for Indian Classical Vocal and Santoor Vadan at a state-level function in Kapurthala by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh. Harjinder Singh has won a name for himself as a noteworthy rabab player. The sparkle in the eyes of Satguru Jagjit Singh cannot be missed as he hears his disciple Harjinder Singh, the only other player of rabab besides himself, weaving a raga on this majestic instrument. Harjinder Singh has already adopted two young Namdhari children to train them to play this instrument. Interestingly, Harjinder is also equally comfortable with the bansuri, dilruba and sarod. It may be mentioned here that in 1930, Bhai Taba, the last rababi of that era, was forsaken by his employers. Likewise, Bhai Naseer, the pakhawaj player of the time, found no patrons. It was at this juncture, when both these artists were finding no patronage, that they were adopted by Guru Partap Singh of the Namdharis. The duo thus became the hazoori musicians of the guru.

Satguru Jagjit Singh has ensured that all students at Bhaini Sahib should learn both vocal as well as instrumental music. So while you have Devinder Singh who not only excels at playing the dilruba but also sings classical numbers, there are others like Satwant Singh, Jagjit Singh and Harpreet Singh who are enthusiastically learning the finer nuances of music under the guru-shishiya parampara. Satguru Jagjit Singh’s name, as a renowned musician, would also be remembered for having evolved new maatras like paune aath (seven and three-fourths), paune pandhran (fourteen and three-fourths), sava chaudhan (fourteen and one-fourth), saade staran (seventeen and a

half) and teran sahi satt bata aath (thirteen and seven-eights). Though lakhs of Namdharis all over the world and within India revere and look up to Satguru Jagjit Singh, this humble religious head, in turn, has a lot of respect for his musicians. The musicians who perform sit on a higher platform than the seat reserved for the guru of Namdharis.

Satguru Jagjit Singh playing the rabab

Namdharis from the pages of history April 6, 2003 Spectrum Section The Tribune - Chandigarh Guru Ram Singh, the founder of the Kuka movement, rose to fame after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1939. He proved to be not only a religious philosopher but also an unparalleled patriot. Aghast at palace conspiracies and intrigues and degeneration of fellow Indians of the time, he vowed to build an army of puritanical Sikhs who would fight for the freedom of the country. A great visionary, he mixed religion with politics of the time in such a manner so as to motivate the Kukas to fight for the freedom of their country. The residents of the tiny village of Bhaini Sahib, where Guru Ram Singh and his followers lived, made the British spend sleepless nights. The desperation of the British was evident from the Malerkotla massacre of 1872. A clash between the Kukas and a Sikh zamindar was used by the then Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, L. Cowan, to not only teach a lesson to the Kukas but also to send signals to all other anti-British forces. He arrested 68 Kukas and without trial and blew up 66 of them by tying them to the mouths of canons. Guru Ram Singh and 11 of his followers were arrested and deported to Burma and all Kuka assemblies were banned. For the next 13 years, Guru Ram Singh led an isolated life and eventually died in Rangoon in 1885. Guru Ram Singh was succeeded by his younger brother, Hari Singh. The British did not allow Guru Hari Singh to leave Bhaini Sahib village, near Ludhiana, which was to be the main base of the Kukas for the next 21 years. On his death in 1906, Guru Hari Singh was succeeded by his son Guru Partap Singh, who in turn was succeeded by the present Satguru Jagjit Singh. The Namdharis and their gurus are credited with many firsts. Besides making several outstanding contributions to society, Guru Ram Singh had issued edicts, both political and social, to his followers: 1. As many as 62 years ahead of Mahatma Gandhi, Guru Ram Singh advocated the practise of non-cooperation with the then ruling British as a way to free India. 2. The Namdharis were asked not to accept any government service offered by the British. 3. They were also told to boycott all educational institutions opened by the British. 4. They were forbidden to use any foreign-made goods. 5. The Namdharis were asked to disobey and resist the laws and orders that their conscience abhorred. 6. They were to boycott the law courts started by the British. 7. They were also not to use the British postal services. Guru Ram Singh’s instructions to Namdharis in the social context were also amazingly progressive for his times. Some of them are as follows: 1. Do not indulge in infanticide or trade in female children. 2. Do not practise child marriages. 3. Do not lie or steal or indulge in adultery. 4. Abstain from intoxicants like alcohol, tobacco or any other drugs. 5. Do not give or take dowry. (He had forbidden his followers from spending more than Rs 13 at a wedding). 6. Do not borrow or lend money on interest. 7. Do not indulge in casteism. All human beings are born alike. In fact, Guru Ram Singh also gets the credit for having set up a system similar to the present Panchayati Raj. He had adopted and evolved this system for his followers. When the Kukas boycotted the British courts, the panchayats settled all their social disputes

Satguru’s legacy April 6, 2003 Spectrum Section The Tribune - Chandigarh Satguru Jagjit Singh’s contribution to the Namdhari sect can be gauged from the following

diktats issued by him: Marriage ceremonies should be kept simple. There should be no indulgence in extravaganza. Both the groom and the bride must dress in plain white. No jewellery must be worn and no dowry must be given. Marriages must not take place in hotels or lavish pandals but only at nearby Namdhari temples. No morsel of food to be wasted, as overwhelming poverty marks the lives of millions. Crackers must not be burst on Divali because the ensuing pollution not only harms the environment but also brings into focus the wide disparity between the haves and have-nots. Lohri must not to be celebrated on the birth of a boy, as that would speak of gender discrimination. Loud speakers should not to be used in Namdhari temples, for they add to noise pollution and disturb the people living around. One should not possess too many clothes, as such belongings generate materialistic desires besides creating disparity. Watching of films on TV or cinema halls are not allowed but children are encouraged to watch news, sports or any other educative programmes.

Tributes paid to Namdhari martyrs Tribune News Service Ludhiana, January 17 2003 Cutting across political, social and religious barriers, people from all walks of life thronged Bhaini Sahib headquarters of Namdhari Darbar to pay tributes to 66 Namdhari martyrs of the freedom movement who were blown up by British rulers at Malerkotla on the occasion of their annual martyrdom day. Paying tributes to the martyrs, Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, PPCC, said that the brave sons of the soil had “voluntarily presented themselves before the cannons of British rulers�. He said the induction of religious spirit in the political movement by Satguru Ram Singh Ji here enthused freedom fighters in the country which ultimately culminated in throwing out the British from India. He said Mahatma Gandhi had followed the principles of Satguru Ram Singh Ji and introduced Ram naam in his anti-British movement. Mr Hanspal called upon all political and religious representatives to rise above political considerations to jointly fight for the interests of Punjab. Appreciating the contribution of the late Beant Singh for giving liberal financial aid to the Namdharis, Mr Hanspal announced on behalf of Capt Amarinder Singh continued financial help for the purpose. Mr Buta Singh, former Union Minister, also spoke. Among others who paid tributes were Mr Gurcharan Singh Glaib, MP, Mr Nahar Singh Gill Mayor, MC, Ludhiana, Mr Darshan Singh Brar, Mr Sukhdev Singh Sehbajpuri, Mr Isher Singh, Mr Upinder Sharma, Mrs Malti Thapar (all exministers), Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor, Sant Swaran Singh, Sant Dalip Singh Namdhari and Sant Harpal Singh.

Tributes paid to Satguru Ram Singh Ji Tribune News Service Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana), February 6 2003 Rich tributes were paid to Satguru Ram Singh Ji, one of the architects of the Freedom Struggle and founder of the Non-Cooperation Movement, at a state-level function organised by the Punjab Government to mark his 188th birth anniversary (parkash utsav) at the headquarter of the Namdhari Sect, about 20 km from here today. While the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, could not make it to the function due to other engagements, others who paid their tributes included Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, Punjab, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Public Health Minister, Dr Harbans Lal, Minister of State, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi and Mr Amrik Singh, all MLAs. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Hanspal said Satguru Ram Singh Ji had launched a wellorganised movement against the British rule. He had waged a Non-Cooperation Movement by boycotting the services of British rulers and setting up schools, postal and judicial systems. “The Namdhari movement launched by Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji was, in reality, a revival of the Sikhism. The Namdhari Sect had spread fast and the number of the followers had gone up to 60,000 within 10 years, thereby posing a serious threat to the British Empire.” The PPCC Chief regretted that the part of the sacrifices by Punjabis, particularly by Sikhs, had been deliberately undermined in the history of the country, which he demanded to be amended accordingly. He said Satguru Ram Singh was a far-sighted leader, who, during his struggle, had created administrative system right from panchayats to state-levels, which had played a frontal role in strengthening the foundation of the freedom struggle. He described the founder of the sect, as an unmatched social reformer, who developed his own social system which had no place for social evils like dowry, casteism, killing of girl child and intoxicants. Mr Tej Parkash Singh, who represented the Chief Minister of Punjab, while paying his tributes to Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji remarked that he was a great social reformers, who struggled throughout his life to eradicate the social evils in the society. “Sat Guru Ram Singh had created a strong force of Namdhari patriots, who made enormous sacrifices while fighting the British.” He announced that the state government would implement concrete programmes and policies to give shape to dreams of Sat Guru Ram Singh of providing equal opportunities to everybody in the state without any discrimination. Sat Guru Jagjit Singh Ji, present head of Namdhari Darbar, in his religious sermon, advised the people to implement the directions of Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji of complete social boycott of the killers of girl childs. Among others who addressed the function were Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, State Minister for Public Health, Dr Harbans Lal, state Minister for Forest, Mr Satinder Singh Noor, Head Sat Guru Ram Singh Chair, Guru Nanak Dev University, Mr Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Vice-President, Punjab Sahitya Academy, Sant Dalip Singh and Mr Gurdip Singh Bhaini.

Relevance of Basant Panchami Mohindar Pal Kohli 6 FEB 2003 THE people of the Punjab are very close to nature. The variegated moods and effects of the climate — the scorching heat of the summer or the chilly and foggy days of the winter — have all been absorbed in their spine. After the rigours of the winter, when the koel (cuckoo) calls in the mango grove, with her notes full of joy, people know that as a messenger of vernal season, she is the harbinger of the pleasant change. They get ready for the spring festivities to be held on the fifth day of the bright half of Magh. It is the season when the decayed hibernation and through the rebirth, there grow; lotuses among the reeds, the flaming smilings pinks, pushed up in the quagmire by the vital spark, which keeps things alive. In fruits, flowers, foliages among the birds, beasts and humans, the same glorious urge prospers. And that is the cycle of creation. The Basant is a popular folk festival of India and it has undergone numerous changes over the years. In Punjab (both in India and Pakistan), it is the festival of joy, non-sectarian in character, impregnated with the spirit of goodwill towards all. The origin of the springtime youthful vernal festivities can be traced from the ancient past. The Rig Veda (10.10.6) mentions only three seasons of summer, winter and the spring (Vasant). In its deified personification as the companion of Kamdeva, the god of love, it was the day on which women used to worship the god residing in the bodies of their husbands. The Kamdeva came to be recognised as the wearer of the five arrows — the soft verdant mango leaves, the white lotus, the jasmine, the Ashoka and the blue lotus — signifying tenderness, purity, fragrance, freedom from grief and beauty. Obviously, during the season, these flowers are in full bloom. Maybe, the fifth day of Magh was fixed for the celebrations in view of the five arrows of the god which have been transcended by our thinkers... Our old festivals adopted various forms with religious overtones. The Basant came out of the palaces to the market place, to the open fields and to the banks of the rivers and the rivulets. Enamoured by yellow sarson fields and the blossoming trees, the whole Punjab gets gay and enjoys the celebrations of the creativity. Clad in the yellow dupatta adorned damsels experience the taste of the changing pattern of nature. The Punjab lives on agriculture. For the brave and the adventurous denizens with their deep association with ecology, the Basant has become the symbols of Punjabi consciousness. In Punjab, Basant is also the festival of challenges, bravery and brotherhood. Basant Panchami became the festival of the brave and the martyrs. Maharaja Ranjit Singh held a special durbar on this particular day when the soldiers attended the parade in yellow uniforms. The founder of the patriotic Namdhari sect Baba Ram Singh was born on this day and he was exiled to Burma (Myanmar) in 1873 on Basant Panchmi. Shahid Bhagat Singh adopted the impelling song of Ram Parshad Bismal in the tradition of Rajput soldiers who left their homes to have tryst with death: Mera Rang de Basanti Chola, Maai mera rang de basanti chola (Give yellow hue to my dress, O Mother mine). Even now the brave nihang singhs, clad in the yellow robes emerge from the gurdwaras to display the warlike sports of Gataka and spear wielding. Along with the traditional melas, the fair is marked by the kite-flying competitions. The kites of the different colours flying as the little stars in the clear sky match the butterflies and bubblebees among the bushes. The Basant is the symbol of creation, of love and bliss; of sweet human relationship, of fraternity and commonness. It is the journey from cold to the warmth, from separation to communion. Verily it is the festival of hope pregnant with expectations.

‘True’ story of freedom struggle out Tribune Ludhiana, November 1 2002 “The founder of the Namdhari sect was the one to introduce non-cooperation, economic independence and social self-dependence as ways of achieving political freedom,” said Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, at the release of a Punjabi book, ‘Gatha Sutantarta Sangram Di’, written by Sant Dalip Singh Namdhari, secretary of Namdhari Darbar of Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana), headquarters of the Namdharis. Dr Aulakh said this concept had, later, been adopted by Mahatma Gandhi to lead India to independence. “The Namdharis have done a lot of work for the development of agriculture, particularly in the fields of animal breeding and seed production. The sect has fought evils like dowry, drug addiction and display of opulence at weddings — examples that should be emulated,” he said. The VC said, to make India aware of the true history of the freedom movement, this book should be translated into English and Hindi. He also presented the first copies of the book to Mr J.S. Toor, Director Students Welfare of the PAU; Punjabi poet Dr Surjit Pattar, Harbhajan Singh and Mr Jagmohan Singh. Dr Surjit Pattar said the contribution of the Namdharis in the Indian freedom struggle had not received due recognition — something that this book aimed to change. He said Sant Dalip Singh had written an authentic book, based on historical documents and facts. Dr Sarjit Singh Gill, Additional Director Extension Education (Communication Centre) of the PAU, said, by following the teachings of Baba Ram Singh Ji, Punjab could overcome its agricultural crisis. His doctrine of self-dependence could be used for making each village a selfdependent unit with respect to the production of pulses, fruits, vegetables, oilseeds and cattle feed. Punjab had the agro-climatic conditions to produce all this. Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Senior vice-president of the Ludhiana chapter of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, introduced Sant Dalip Singh and said the Namdharis had done a lot to promote education and sport. The others present on the occasion included Prof Niranjan Singh Tasneem, Prof Ravinder Bhattal, Sarup Singh Alag, Nirmal Jaura, Janmeja Singh Johal and Dr Avtar Singh, Associate Director (Publications) of Communication Centre. Prof Mohinder Singh Cheema, proposed the vote of thanks.

Namdharis laud CM’s drive against graft Tribune News Service Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana), October 16 2002 The Namdhari Samaj today lauded the crusade launched by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, against corruption in the state. It also thanked the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for appointing Mr H.S. Hanspal, a Namdhari, as president of the Pradesh Congress Committee after his name was recommended by the Chief Minister for this post. At the conclusion of the month-long annual congregation here today in presence of Satguru Jagjit Singh, the samaj resolution recalled the contribution of the Namdharis in the freedom struggle and their long association with the Congress. Capt Amarinder Singh said he would ensure that his government came up to the expectations of the people. The Chief Minister said he had visualised a prosperous Punjab where everyone would have access to basic amenities like drinking water and proper sanitation. Capt Amarinder Singh said, “By simply rooting out corruption, we cannot fill the stomachs of people. For that, we need development for which we need funds”. He said his government was trying to create an atmosphere which would be friendly to and conducive for industry. Satguru Jagjit Singh presented a siropa to the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister announced that Satguru Ram Singh Chair in Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, would be activated and funds made available to it for research work.

Namdharis honour Hanspal Tribune News Service Ludhiana, September 6 2002 It was a journey down the memory lane for the Namdharis while honouring Mr H.S. Hanspal for being appointed president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC). Mr Hanspal was felicitated by the Namdhari society yesterday at a colourful function attended by several other Congress leaders including Transport Minister Tej Prakash, local MP, Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, District Congress Committee president Gurcharan Singh Ghalib and senior vicepresident of the Pradesh Youth Congress Pawan Dewan. While felicitating Mr Hanspal, the Namdhari leaders observed that his appointment was an honour for the entire brotherhood. The speakers recalled the services and sacrifices rendered by the Namdharis for the freedom movement, particularly, as Namdhari leader Dalip Singh Namdhari pointed out to how the Kukas laid down their lives while fighting against the British. The Namdhari leaders reiterated their commitment towards the national interest and assured Mr Hanspal of full support. They pointed out the Namdharis had always stood by the Congress in its best and worst times and they would continue to do so under the leadership of Mr Hanspal. The other speakers, including Mr Tej Prakash and Mr Ghalib, recalled the sacrifices made by the Namdharis in the freedom movement. Later the local Congress leaders led by former PCC general secretary Ramesh Joshi honoured Mr Hanspal at a separate function at Circuit House.

Hanspal takes over as PPCC chief Promises to implement poll manifesto Tribune News Service Chandigarh, August 18 2002 Mr H.S. Hanspal, who was today formally installed as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President, promised to implement the party’s election manifesto. Addressing a press conference after taking over as PPCC President, Mr Hanspal said: “The party will act as a watchdog of the government, which is to implement the promises held out to the people at the time of the Assembly elections and also ensure that the benefits of government policies percolated to the grassroots”. The party workers would be activated to disseminate government policies. Mr Hanspal said a clean and compact PPCC would be reconstituted shortly and it would supplement the government’s anti-corruption drive. Asked if he would adhere to the principle of ‘’one man, one post’’, Mr Hanspal said he would follow the party constitution. Capt Amarinder Singh, he added, had himself offered to step down as PPCC President on becoming the Chief Minister. About relations between the Congress and the Akali-BJP, he said in the interest of the state and its people the Congress would reciprocate the Opposition’s positive gestures. He feigned ignorance over the war of nerves between Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Parkash Singh Badal. At this Capt Amarinder Singh, who was sitting next to him, remarked with a chuckle, ‘’I love Badal’’, with Mr Hanspal interjecting to say, ‘’His (Badal’s) district-level protests against the government have fizzled out and his defamation suit is a diversionary tactics’’. Time and again Capt Amarinder Singh intervened to rescue Mr Hanspal, whenever some questions with political overtones were asked. Capt Amarinder Singh clarified today that Punjab had suffered due to a scanty rainfall which had adversely affected its agricultural and industrial economy and upset its finances, resulting in the state suffering a loss of Rs 5,014.12 crore which the Centre must compensate. The Chief Minister said since the “Akalis are a part of the NDA government, why doesn’t Mr Badal go to New Delhi and plead Punjab’s cause for compensation, which includes a remunerative minimum support price plus adequate bonus on paddy? He went on to say that Ms Sonia Gandhi had met the Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states and approached the Prime Minister for financial help. But it was apparent that the NDA was ‘’selective and discriminatory’’ in its approach and attitude towards the Congress-ruled states. If that was not so, how come the NDA had not yet responded to Punjab’s request for help? The Chief Minister asked. About the progress on the ‘’charge sheet’’ against the Badal government that the PPCC had released during the elections, Capt Amarinder Singh said it was being pursued and once documentary evidence became available, it would be made public. The Chief Minister said he had decided to meet with all MPs from Punjab once a month in New Delhi to discuss the state’s needs and problems vis-a-vis the Centre and seek their intervention. Besides thousands of Congress workers and supporters Ms Ambika Soni, Mr Moti Lal Vora, Ms Mhsina Kidwai and Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder were present at Mr Hanspal’s installation ceremony. Party leaders urged workers to strengthen the organisational wing and work for the good of the state.

USA urged to protect Namdharis Tribune News Service New Delhi, September 28 Namdhari Darbar has urged the USA to provide security to the Sikhs in America as members of the community have come under attack following the recent terrorist strikes. Namdhari Sikhs are living in many towns of America, a press note said, adding that the attire of Osama bin Laden resembled that of Namdhari Sikhs. Americans mistakenly identify Namdhari Sikhs with Laden’s followers and have attacked them, it said, urging the USA to protect the Sikhs in America. Sikh religious leader Baba Virsa Singh today Namdhari Sikh children appealed to the global participating in a community, especially demonstration in New Delhi the USA, to resolve the on Thursday demanding issue of terrorism security for the Sikhs in the through negotiations. “If USA and denouncing America wages war terrorism. — PTI against Afghanistan, neither the world nor God will forgive it,” he said.

TRIBUTES PAID September 24, 2001 Tributes were paid to “hazoori ragi” Sant Khazan Singh at a congregation held today at Gurdwara Bhaini Sahib, the headquarters of the Namdhari sect, about 25 km from here. Sant Khazan Singh who was associated with the sect for the past more than 70 years died at the age of 84 on September 14. A large number of people, including Sat Guru Jagjit Singh, head of the Namdharis, attended the congregation. Others who spoke on the occasion included Sant Rachhpal Singh, Mr Harpal Singh, Mr Jagdish Singh Waryyam, Principal Ajit Singh Cheema, Mr Joginder Singh and Mr Daleep Singh Namdhari.

25-lakh winner to give part of money to school Tribune News Service Chandigarh, July 23 A primary school teacher from Ellenabad has done Sirsa, the home district of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, and Hayana proud by becoming the first Haryanavi to win Rs 25 lakh in Amitabh Bachchan’s “Kaun Banega Crorepati” . And the proud winner is none other than 30year-old Kulvinder Singh, a follower of the Namdhari sect. For Kulvinder, it was his second attempt at the crore-rupee contest. His first, in the couples category with wife Arvinder Kaur, was not successful as the couple failed to make it to the “hot seat” in the May 2 episode of the TV quiz show. Kulvinder, who comes from a lower middle class family in remote Ellenabad, had made 165 calls before he got the present break. On July 4, the first part of the episode was shot which was telecast on July 18. The shooting of the next episode, telecast tonight, took place on July 19.“It is not money but the public recognition that has made me feel proud. Yesterday, I went to meet the Chief Minister at his farmhouse at Teja Khera. He was so excited and made me feel so important and told me that I had done Haryana proud by winning the Rs 25 lakh prize. I got myself photographed with him. He blessed me also,” says Kulvinder .“A part of my prize money will go to the school at Amritsar Kalan, a remote village, where I teach. The two-room school is in a dilapidated condition. I want to make my contribution to improving the facilities at the school. There are only two teachers in the school,” he said. Kulvinder, who obtained a diploma in primary school teaching after his plus 2, got the present job only a couple of years ago. His four brothers are in business. His wife is doing her BA from a private college at Ellenabad. “I have two sons. I want a small house for my family. Some portion of my award money will also go to Satguru Jagjit Singh, my Guru and torchbearer. It was with his blessings that I had gone to participate in the programme”. Kulvinder presented special “malas” given by Satguru Jagjit Singh to Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan. “Amitabh developed a special liking for me”, he says. “I would also love to accompany my dharamguru to Africa to meditate in solitude. I have special interest in general knowledge. From my childhood, I have been reading newspapers, especially The Tribune and Dainik Tribune, regularly. And this stood me in good stead during the quiz,” says Kulvinder, maintaining that his success in the July 18 episode, at the end of which he won Rs 6.4 lakh and became a rollover contestant for the July 23 episode, made him an instant hero. “People stopped me, greeted me, shook hands with me not only in Mumbai but also at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and on our way from Delhi to Ellenabad in the bus. My brother, Mr Surinder Singh Namdhari, had accompanied me to Mumbai for the contest this time”.

Rs 2.5 lakh grant for Guru Ram Singh Chair of Guru Nanak Dev University Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana), May 10 A galaxy of scholars attending the two-day international seminar on “Namdhari Movement: History, Literature and Contribution� were of the view that the contribution of the Namdharis should be projected at the global level. They also concluded that uniform opportunities should be provided to all for development in the educational, religious and economic fields. The seminar, organised by the Namdhari Guru Ram Singh Chair of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amrtisar under the directorship of Dr Satinder Singh at the Namdhari headquarters, concluded here yesterday. The scholars further opined that simple life, being led by the Namdharis, should be adopted as a role model by the masses. They demanded that the available Namdhari literature be documented so that the true picture of their contribution could reach the people. In all, 37 papers were presented by scholars from all over the world during the seminar, depicting all aspects, including history, literature and contribution of the movement, launched by Satguru Ram Singh. Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, presided over the valedictory function and honoured 12 scholars on this occasion. Capt Kanwaljit Singh observed that the Sikh politics was seeking guidance from the religion and only that government could be termed as national government which was influenced by the principles of religion, including justice, equality, patience, service and brotherhood. He further said the government would take steps to publish the literature relating to the Namdhari movement and sacrifices of the martyrs. He said Satguru Ram Singh Chair, set up at Guru Nanak Dev University to carry out complete research and publish literature on the Namdhari movement launched by Satguru Ram Singh, had been provided with sufficient funds. He announced a grant of Rs 2.5 lakh for the chair to launch a website and acquire internet connectivity. Satguru Jagjit Singh, Head of Namdhari Sect, exhorted the scholors to make efforts to collect and compile all valuable historical literature regarding the Namdhari movement and Satguru Ram Singh, lying in different parts of the world, so that the research work taken up by Satguru Ram Singh Chair could reach a fruitful conclusion. Among others who addressed the concluding function were Sant Surinder Singh Namdhari, vice-president Namdhari Darbar, Mr H.S. Hanspal a former MP and Dr Satinder Singh Noor, Head of Satguru Ram Singh Chair.

Namdharis' role in women empowerment stressed Tribune News Service Ludhiana, May 8 The Namdhari Movement has played a significant role in empowering Sikh women by promoting education, widow remarriage and their upward mobility in society. It has provided them with an opportunity to participate in the decision-making body of the sect. The movement had raised its voice against atrocities against women during the British period, when no one was ready to think about them. These were the views of Dr Gurnam Kaur Bedi, Punjabi Department, Sarup Rani College for Women, Amritsar, in her paper on Namdhari Movement: Feminist Perspective and Social Awareness, presented at the international seminar on Namdhari Movement: History, Literature and Contribution at Bhaini Sahib, about 30 km from here today. Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, inaugurated the two-day seminar. Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, welcomed the guests. In the first session, Dr Joginder Singh, Department of History, GND varsity, in his paper, pointed out that the Namdhari Movement, despite its differences with the mainstream Sikh religion, had worked as a reform movement in society. It had propagated simple way of living, struggle against superstition and colonialism, communal harmony and equal rights for women. A section of the Namdharis had entered trade and industry. There was clash in their professional ethics and religious values. There was a need to collect data on the demographic, social and other changes taking place in the community. Dr Kudeep Singh, Department of History, SGAD College, Khadoor Sahib, said,‘‘According to Namdharis’ belief, struggle for freedom did not end with the transfer of power. The outer wounds or political slavery had been healed, leaving behind the ugly scars of communal hatred. The inner cancer throwing up poisonous virus and retarding the production of balanced healthy growth of economic , social, religious and political was still there.’’ In the second session, Dr Surjit Kaur Jolly, Principal, S.P.M. College, Delhi University, said,‘‘Today we talk about the rights of the child and the UN’s charter on rights of children, but the Namdhari Gurus not only loved children, but used to educate the parents about their behaviour with children. They do not subscribe to caste system or discrimination. Baba Ram Singh, the founder of the sect, offered all the castes social mobility.” Dr Sarna Arora made a presentation about the contribution of Namdhari Darbar in the field of music. It had organised a number of music samelans in the different parts of the society. Other speakers included Dr R.S. Jaggi, Dr Jodh Singh, Dr Jasbir Singh Sabar, Dr Devinder Singh, Dr S.C. Sacdeva and Dr Baljit Kaur.

Seminar SEMINAR: A two-day first international seminar on “Namdhari Movement: History, Literature and Contribution” is being organised by Guru Nanak Dev University in collaboration with Namdhari Darbar at Bhaini Sahib, 20 km from Ludhiana, on May 8 and 9. Inauguration of bus stand-lalton, kalan LUDHIANA 2 march 2001 BUS STAND: The bus stand constructed in the memory of eminent social worker, Mr Kapur Singh Grewal, at Lalton Kalan village, 10 km from here, was inaugurated by Namdhari chief Satguru Jagjit Singh, on Wednesday. The sect chief said that in the memory of the sect founder, Satguru Ram Singh, a stadium would also be constructed in the village. Large number of Namdharis and others, including former MLAs and writers, were present on the occasion.

Badal announces holiday on Jan 29 MALERKOTLA, Jan 17 — Namdhari Sikhs, known as Kukas, are rightly called the “torch bearers of India’s freedom struggle”, Mr Parkash Singh Badal said this while addressing a gathering on Namdhari Kukas Martyrs Day celebration here today in the memory of 66 Kukas who were blown off with cannons in Malerkotla on January 17, 18, 1872, by the British Government. The Chief Minister said Satguru Ram Singh founder of the Namdhari sect, was the pioneer and first in the world history who used the Non-Cooperating Movement as a weapon to free his country from the of British rule. He announced a permanent holiday on January 29 on the birth day of Satguru Ram Singh. He said a national-level monument should be build to remember our martyrs and this monument should be build in Punjab

Nov 26 2000 FUNCTION in Ludhiana Tribune News Service The Namdhari Darbar will organise a function at Namdhari Smarak, near Jail Road here on November 26 to mark the martyrdom day of Giani Ratan Singh and Sant Ratan Singh, who were hanged by the then British government, outside the Central Jail in the city in 1871. Giving details, Mr. Dalip Singh Namdhari, secretary, Namdhari Darbar informed that the Punjab Finance Minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh, Punjab Assembly Speaker Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Congress MP Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, among others, will attend the function and pay tributes to the martyrs.

Nov 14 2000 celebrated Tribune News Service The 81st birthday of the Namdhari chief, Baba Jagjit Singh, was observed with enthusiasm by his followers. In the morning, a religious congregation was organised at Namdhari Smarak in the city with kirtan recital by ragi jathas of Mr Iqbal Singh. Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Sukhwinder Singh and the hazoori raagi jatha of Sant Harbans Singh. Speaking at the occasion, the Congress legislator, Mr Rakesh Pandey, recalled close association of his father, Mr Joginder Pal Pandey, a Punjab minister, with the Namdhari chief. Prominent among those present were Mr Surinder Singh Namdhari, Director, Satguru Partap Singh, Apollo Hospital, Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Jasbir Singh, Mr Dalip Singh Namdhari, Mr Ajit Singh Namdhari, Mr Jagmohan Singh and Mrs Sukhjit Kaur

Kukas, torch-bearers of freedom struggle From Vikrant Jindal Jan 16 2001 NAMDHARI Sikhs known as Kukas in the annals of Indian history are rightly called “torchbearers of India’s freedom struggle”. Sri Satguru Ram Singh ji, founded the Namdhari sect on April 12, 1857, at Sri Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana district of Punjab. At that time India was under the yoke of the British Empire. Simultaneously, its people were being repressed under evil customs Shri Satguru Ram Singh ji mobilised the people for the freedom of their country and against the evil customs of society. He inculcated religious awareness among the people which served to evoke the feeling selfrespect and sacrifice for the sake of the country. In a short period lakhs flocked to him and they became aware of their serfdom and bondage. In the 19th century, killing girls in infancy and their sale-purchase was a daily occurrence in India. The main cause behind these pernicious customs was the enormous burden of marriage expenses and illiteracy. Sri Satguru Ram Singh ji laid emphasis on the education of both boys and girls. He introduced a system of mass marriages. Dowry, marriage procession and various other formalities associated with marriage were stopped. The first-ever inter-caste marriage was performed on June 3, 1863, in Khote village of Ferozepore in Punjab. Sri Satguru Ram Singh ji made every effort to accord respect and equal status to women in society. He was the first in world history to have used non-cooperation as a weapon to free his country from the yoke of the British Empire. Mahatma Gandhi talked of it later Sat Guru Ram Singh’s non-cooperation movement entailed boycott of government services, of educational institutions opened by the British of law courts started by the British and foreign goods. He believed political freedom was a part of religion. Sat Guru Ram Singh ji set up his own postal system. Diplomatic relations were established with native states and neighboring countries such as Nepal, Afghanistan and Russia. In 186970, a separate regiment “Kooka platoon” was created in the Kashmir State. Namdharis revolted against the British rule. They raided a slaughter house at Amritsar on June 15, 1871, and then Raikot on July 15, 1871. The British Government reacted quickly. But could not arrest the persons who had raided the slaughter houses. Three Namdharis were hanged on Three Namdharis were hanged on August 5, 1871 at Raikot, four at Amritsar on September 15, 1871, and two at Ludhiana on November 26, 1871. Under the leadership of Hira Singh and Lehna Singh, Namdhari Sikhs attacked Malerkotla on January 15, 1872. There was a fierce fight. The Kukas fought bravely. Persons from both sides were killed. Hira Singh lost his left arm. All of them resolved to surrender before the authorities. At that time the ruler of Malerkotla was a minor. Mr Cowen was working as a Superintendent of the Council of Administration. He immediately sent the force to bring all arrested Namdharis to the Malerkotla Parade Ground where he had stationed cannons from a neighbouring state. Mr Cowen conducted the trial. Even the names of persons were not recorded. He immediately ordered the rebels be tied to the cannon’s mouth. But the daring Namdharis said they would come to the cannon’s mouth by themselves. Once again Mr. Cowen asked them to stand with their backs to the cannons. Again the Kukas replied that only the cowards died by receiving shots in the back. They would die a brave death with shots in their chests. Before the order to shoot, Mr Cowen questioned group leader Hira Singh, “Why did you attacked Malerkotla?”. Hira Singh replied firmly and boldly: “We want the rule of our own brother”. Seven times the seven cannons were ignited and all the time seven Namdharis, 49 in all gave up lives for the independence of India. A young boy of 12, Bishan Singh, was asked by Mr and Mrs Cowen to renunciate Namdharism to save his life. As soon as Bishan Singh heard these words, his eyes became balls of fire. Like a lion he pounced on Mr Cowen and caught hold of his beard. Mr Cowen was saved by native officers who cut the hands and head of Bishan Singh with their swords. The following day on January 18, 16 more Namdharis were blown off with the cannons. On this day Waryam Singh was short. He was asked to go back as he was too short.

Waryam Singh ran and brought some pebbels and sods of earth from nearby fields and prepared a small platform. Standing upon it, he challenged the gunman to open fire. The Malerkotla incident gave an opportunity to the government for crushing the Namdharis. Satguru Ram Singh ji and prominent subas were arrested and exiled. Namdharis were ordered not to hold meetings or leave their residences without informing the police or the village head. More than five Namdhari Sikhs were not allowed to assemble at a place. In the meantime, the Indian National Congress had been wooing the Namdhari Sikhs. It organised a number of conferences at various places in Punjab to insite the people against the British tyranny. Now, Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh ji is working for the unity and integrity of the country, love and affection towards the down-trodden, peace and prosperity of mankind is his message. In the memory of the great warriors of our freedom struggle, a beautiful building has been constructed. A monument in the shape of a ‘khanda’ with three wings has been built. On each wing 22 holes have been made which represent the number of martyrs. Mr Surinder Singh Namdhari, president of the memorial said their plan was to cover the khanda with Japanese steel to enhance its beauty.

Health, education need of hour: Advani From Our Correspondent LUDHIANA, Oct 28, 2000 It was VIPs galore in the city as the Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishan Advani, was on a brief visit to lay the foundation stone of a state of the art Satguru Partap Singh Apollo Hospital here today. Besides the Union Sports Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, the Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, his Cabinet colleagues Mr Balram ji Das Tandon, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Mr Manoranjan Kalia, Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Mr Sat Pal Gosain and Punjab BJP president, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, were present to accord welcome to Mr Advani. Mr Advani observed that education and healthcare were the two main pre-requisites for development of the country and setting up educational and health institutions was the need of the hour. He said internationally acclaimed Indian economist and nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen had also emphasised that reasonably good education and health care facilities had to be provided to the people to sustain economic growth. "India is a country with great potential and rich in human resources. Our IT professionals and computer software engineers are being welcomed with open arms all over the world," the Home Minister maintained. He said healthcare facilities needed to be expanded to bring them within the reach of masses and super specialty centers, like the one coming up in the city, could play a vital role in this regard by making available latest medical facilities at affordable cost to the suffering humanity. Welcoming Mr Advani, Mr Badal pointed out that ever since the NDA government led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee took over at Center, Punjab, which had been persistently being discriminated against by successive Congress governments, was given a fair deal. "The Centre had allotted many big projects like the oil refinery, international airport in Amrtitsar, science city in Jalandhar and Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link to Punjab." The latest goodwill gesture of the Union Government towards Punjab was the Rs 350 crore package for paddy growers, he added. Stressing the need for providing good quality treatment at a reasonable cost to people, especially in the remote and rural areas, he said, the health cover, even to the poorest of the poor, should be assured. The super speciality hospitals should not only cater to the health needs of the affluent, but should also be open to the economically weaker sections and some percentage of beds, as also other facilities, be reserved for the poor. Mr Badal paid rich compliments to the Namdhari sect, which he said, had taken the initiative to bring the premier health institution to the city. "The Namdhari sect or ‘kukas’ as they are popularly known, had made enormous sacrifices for the sake of the country, right from the time of Baba Ram Singh, the founder of the sect, who had resorted to complete boycott of the British Government and had, in a way, laid the foundation for the freedom movement in the country." He wanted the Centre to assist in erecting a suitable memorial for veteran freedom fighters and martyrs from Punjab so that the younger generations could draw inspiration and the sense of patriotism from those who had made unique sacrifices for the sake of their motherland. The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, expressed his happiness that latest medical facilities would be made available by the Apollo Hospital to the people of Punjab. He, however, added that the government and the civic body would have to make extra efforts to develop the kind of infrastructure facilities, that were needed to cope with the increase in population and the influx of people to this city, which was known as industrial capital of the state. He also invited the Apollo group to set up a similar institution in the state of J&K and assured all assistance from the state government for this purpose. The Union Sports Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, expressed his concern over the alarming levels of pollution and unchecked population growth. Both of these had to be kept under control, he remarked. While pollution was playing havoc with the health of the urban people, the rising population made it difficult that the fruits of development percolated right down to the under privileged and the weaker sections. Referring to the sacrifices made by a large number of followers of Namdhari Darbar, led by its founder Baba Ram Singh, he made a fervent plea that all such events should be properly recorded in the history books for the

posterity. In his speech, the chief executive of the Apollo Hospital group, Dr Partap C. Reddy, informed that the proposed hospital in the city, estimated to cost around Rs 75 crore would be ready in about two years time. It would provide totality of healthcare and facilities, available anywhere in the world. The hospital, he added, would be a perfect combination of best of medical talent and state of the art diagnostic and treatment technology. According to Dr Reddy, himself an eminent cardiologist, the core areas of specialisation in the hospital would be cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, nephrology, urology, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, obstetrics, gynaecology, ophthalmology, ENT, dentistry, general medicine and general surgery. The chief of the Namdhari sect Baba Jagjit Singh remarked that the hospital, being set up jointly by the Namdhari Darbar and the Apollo group, was another step towards service of the mankind. "Through the proposed state of the art hospital, the Namdhari Darbar was striving to realise the dreams of Baba Partap Singh (the father of the present chief)," the Baba said. Others, who addressed the function were the Punjab BJP president Brij Lal Rinwa, Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal and S.S. Ahluwalia, member of Rajya Sabha while ruling SAD (B) general secretary Balwinder Singh Bhundar, Lala Lajpat Rai, MP and Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP were present. Later, the Union Home Minister unveiled the foundation stone of the hospital, before air dashing to Lucknow to take part in the swearing in ceremony of the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Raj Nath Singh, Mr Badal, Dr Farooq Abdullah and the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal also accompanied Mr Advani.

Super-speciality hospital for city From A.S. Prashar Tribune News Service LUDHIANA, Oct 18, 2000 The Apollo group of hospitals will soon set up a 300-bedded multi-disciplinary super speciality hospital in the city at a cost of about Rs 75 crore. The hospital, to be named after the head of the Namdhari sect, Satguru Partap Singh, will be established at a five-acre plot near Sherpur Chowk, donated by the Namdharis. The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, will be the chief guest at a function for laying the foundation stone of the hospital by the present Namdhari sect chief, Satguru Jagjit Singh, here on October 28. The Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, will also attend the function. Incidentally, the hospital was originally proposed to be set up near Chandigarh. But the final choice of site has fallen on Ludhiana. According to information available here, the hospital is expected to be completed within 24 months of the commencement of the construction work on the building. A company called SJS Holdings Ltd. (SJS) has been incorporated with the objective of setting up the hospital in Ludhiana. The Indian Hospitals Corporation Ltd., the parent company of Apollo Hospitals group has been commissioned by the SJS to carry out a feasibility study to assess the healthcare scenario in the region and to suggest a suitable healthcare facility to be set up by the SJS. In this connection, an MoU was signed in June last year. Accordingly, the IHC conducted a comprehensive market survey in Ludhiana and Jalandhar in June, 1999. Almost every member of the medical community of the region and general public felt that wide-ranging diagnostic, critical care and therapeutic facilities under one roof offering tertiary care have been a long overdue need of the region. The hospital will employ 853 personnel, including contract labour but excluding consultants which includes medical, paramedical and other nonmedical staff. It is expected to generate an annual income of Rs 48.28 crore at 100 per cent utilisation. It is expected to reach the breakeven level of operation at 58 per cent capacity. However, the cash break-even level stands at 47 per cent. The Apollo Hospitals group was founded by Dr Prathap C. Reddy in 1983. Dr Reddy, a practising cardiologist in the USA, returned to India with a vision of bringing international standard medical care to India. At that time, medical care in India consisted mainly of government and charitable trust hospitals. Apollo Hospital, Chennai, set up in 1983, was the first corporate hospital in India offering a complete range of sophisticated facilities for private paying patients. Since the group has been continuously expanding in related areas as well as setting up hospitals in different parts of India and neighbouring countries, it has consistently collaborated with other world-class institutions to ensure that it keeps well abreast of global developments and trends in technology and practices. The IHC, the consultancy wing of Apollo Hospitals group, is the pioneer in bringing the concept of world-class healthcare to India. It has commissioned over 12 projects, including all of the Apollo Hospital state-of-the-art super speciality facilities. The IHC currently has about 20 hospital projects in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal under active development. The IHC has an active pool of distinguished medical professionals drawn from the USA, the UK, Australia and the Middle East. In addition, the IHC has access to leading hospitals and academic institutions around the world with exchange programmes and reciprocal services.

Myanmar forms panel to study guru's life Tribune News Service LUDHIANA, July 8, 2000 The Myanmar Government has set up a three-member committee to study the life and disappearance of Namdhari Guru Satguru Ram Singhji who was imprisoned in that country for initiating the famous Kuka movement against the British rule in India in the 1870s. Efforts were also on to raise a memorial in the form of a public utility service like a hospital or a school in Myanmar in memory of the Namdhari guru. Announcing this at a press conference here today, Mr Surinder Singh Namdhari, Vice-President of the Trust, said a five-member delegation of the Kuka Martyrs Memorial Trust which included Namdharis, research scholars and historians visited Myanmar from June 11 to 24 to study the life of their guru in different jails of the country and to find out the truth behind different versions of his death as claimed by the Britons. He said the team had found some vital clues and documents about the life spend by their guru in the jails. However, the mystery surrounding the Namdhari gurus disappearance (the sect claims that their guru was destined to live life up to the age of 250) is yet to be solved. The team found evidence that their guru had not died because of dysentery in 1885 as claimed by the Britons since no prisoner was reported to have died of the ailment in the entire jail record of the country. The team, according to him, had found clues that their guru had somehow gone to Malaysia from Myanmar and the Namdhari Trust would now send a team of researchers to that country. Mr Surinder Singh said the visit would be scheduled after permission from the Centre. However, he said the research would continue in Myanmar and the sect had offered research scholarship to interested scholars there to study the life spent by their guru in the country. The research would be taken up in association with Rangoon University. Giving details about the delegations success, Mr Surinder Singh said the team brought a number of files pertaining to their guru along with maps of old jails and pictures of the places where there guru was kept.

June 5,2000 Search for Namdhari guru starts From Jupinderjit Singh Tribune News Service Excerpts from The Tribune Daily Newspaper of Chandigarh, India LUDHIANA, June 5,2000 One hundred and fifteen years after the mysterious disappearance of Satguru Ram Singhji, founder of the Namdhari sect and an acknowledged leader of the historical Kuka Movement of the Indian freedom struggle, the External Affairs Ministry of the country has finally given a nod to the long-cherished project of the Namdharis to research about what happened to their revered Guru, last seen in a British Jail in Burma, now known as Myanmar. A five-member delegation comprising Namdharis, research scholars and historians will leave the city for Myanmar tomorrow to research into the life spent by their guru in British confinement in a foreign land. It would also try to establish for once and all whether the Britishers claim that the guru died of a water-borne disease in a jail in 1885 or not as later documents procured from some Englishmen by the sect activists assert that the death news of the guru was false and a year later he was sent to some remote areas of Myanmar. The research will also endeavor to rewrite the history as the Namdharis believe that their guru , who launched a non-cooperation movement in 1860’s some 60 years before Mahatma Gandhi did so, had also established links with the Russian and Afghani forces long before Netaji Subhash Chander Bose did so along with the Japanese to throw the British out of India. The delegation expects to lay their hands on some documents that will force the historians to give more credit to the Namdharis for being one of the first to raise a banner against the British rule as today the sect is popular for the KUKA movement only. Delegation secretary Ajit Singh told The Tribune in an exclusive interview here today that apart from the freedom struggle the main motive of the delegation would be to discover some real photos of their guru as the portraits available today were based on old paintings only. Other members of the delegation include senior Namdhari leader Surinder Singh, research scholar Surjit Singh and historians Jaswinder Singh and Tara Singh Anjaan of New Delhi. The delegation will also try to give King Thibu of the erstwhile Burma his due for having cooperated with their guru in spite of the hostile British. Another objective of the expedition will be to research on the life spent by three other Namdharis — Lakha Singh , Brahma Singh and Jawahar Singh in British confinement in Myanmar and give them a high place among the Indian freedom movement martyrs as their contribution is relatively unknown. According to the Namdhari records while the former two breathed their last in the jail after spending 20 years, the third one was released by the British at a very old age. According to the External Affairs Ministry documents, the delegation’s 20-day visit has been cleared after a hectic correspondence with the military government in Myanmar. It said the delegation had been allowed to visit a number of; jails where the British claimed to have kept the Satguru. The main places to be covered included Yangoon (formerly known as Rangoon), Myeik and Moulmein cities. Namdhari Ajit Singh was optimistic of finding some documents about their guru. Showing documents he said according to the announcement made by the British the guru died of dehydration in November, 1885, in a jail in Myanmar. However the sect activists managed to make a chance discovery some years ago about another document signed by Mr Bernard, British Chief Commissioner in Burma, in August, 1886, that the Satguru had been sent to a remote place in the country where no one had access to because in spite of being kept in strict imprisonment he had managed to keep contacts with the freedom fighters in India. An initial research of the Myanmar Jail records by the sect revealed that no prisoner had died of such disease in the said year nor even four years later. More investigation done by the sect revealed that even the census done by the British had also not recorded any such death. Namdhari Ajit Singh stressed the expedition was not being undertaken to make some kind of religious claims but to establish the sacrifice made by the Namdharis in the country’s freedom struggle.

Sikh Identity H.S. CHEEMA SAS Nagar This refers to the controversy about the issues at the centre of the debate regarding Sikh identity. (a) As far as the composition of the Dasam Guru Granth Sahib, normally referred to as the Dasam Granth, is concerned, there are a few points to be noted. This is not the tenth Granth of the Sikhs after Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib the very name Dasam Granth suggests that this Granth is named after Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Even if it is believed by some that entire Dasam Granth is not the composition of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the fact that he has compiled it, has his approval. It has to be revered as his gurbani, the status given to Bhagtan Di Bani in Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The controversy regarding Namdharis has been brought into the limelight by certain individuals regarding the book, Purkh Guru, written by Mehar Singh and published by the Namdhari Durbar, Sri Bhaini Sahib. The demand varies from the book being banned to Namdharis being declared as non-Sikhs. According to the book the Guru has to be a Dehdhari; it challenges the concept of Panj piaras having right to give directions to the Guru and Guruship having been bestowed on Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The author has quoted extensively from Sri Guru Granth Sahib in support of his argument in favour of Purkh Guru. It is not good enough for these individuals to only express their feelings against the book. They should be able to give their arguments against the points made by the author. Namdharis' faith in Purkh Guru notwithstanding, they revere the Guru Granth Sahib , no less if not more ,than any Sikh with faith in Granth Sahib as Guru. They follow gurbani not only in letter but also in spirit and are engaged in promotion of Sikhism all over the world in true spirit. Any Sikh in the know of their activities should only feel proud of them as Sikhs and not seek their exclusion from Sikh Religion. Before making a demand for declaring Namdharis as non-Sikhs, the Sikhs must know as to what will be left of them as Sikhs less the Namdharis?

Granth can't be guru, says book JALANDHAR, May 10, 2000 (PTI) Close on the heels of the controversy regarding the perceived RSS designs on the ideological roots of Sikhism, the community's think-tanks have now trained their guns at the Namdhari sect for allegedly using sacrilegious language in a book and claiming that the Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib cannot be a Guru of the Sikhs. Akhand Kirtani Jatha International and Social and Panthic Watchdog Group, in separate statements issued here, said the book Purakh Guru published by Sarb Hind Namdhari Darbar, Bhaini Sahib contains claims that the Guru Granth Sahib and the panj pyaras (five beloved ones) of 10th Guru Gobind Singh were never accorded the status of a Guru. Both organizations demanded that the Punjab Government immediately impose a ban on the book and ask the Namdhari sect to withdraw it from the market. "Not only has the book's contents hurt the Sikh sentiments but a sacrilege has been committed through use of objectionable language," Prof. Gurmukh Singh, one of the five members of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha's top decision making panel said. The Social and Panthic Watchdog Group's statement was accompanied by a copy of the book which says "Guru can only be an individual, not a granth or panth," adding that those believed the scriptures were Guru were flush with money and other resources, which they employed to propagate falsehood. The group took particular objection to a statement in the book that it is not difficult to sway people into celebrating the Guru Granth Sahib gaddi diwas or believe in the guruship of the scriptures as Sikh shrines are centred around the idea of Guru Granth Sahib as the Guru. Interestingly, the current incumbent leader of the Namdhari sect is considered close to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. PATIALA PETROL STATION May 2000: The state's first multi-facility modern petrol station was opened near Shambu on National Highway Number 1 by Satguru Jagatjit Singh of Namdhari Darbar Bhaini Sahib. Chief Manager Charanjit Singh said in a press note here on Wednesday that the station of Bharat Petroleum has been built at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore. Housed in 4.5 acres, it has parking space and servicing facility for 150 trucks and 400 cars. It also has a shopping complex, fast food centre, dormitory and dhaba

Tributes paid to Satguru Ram Singh Ji From Our Correspondent RAYIAN (Ludhiana), Feb 10 The research-based study project undertaken by Guru Nanak Dev University on the life and contribution of Sat Guru Ram Singh, founder of the Namdhari sect, would be given further impetus. The Baba Ram Singh Chair has already been set up for this purpose. This was stated by the Information and Public Relations Minister, Mr Natha Singh Dalam, while presiding over a state-level function organized by the state government on the parkash utsav of Sat Guru Ram Singh here today. He said Sat Guru Ram Singh launched a crusade against the British rule and the noncooperation concept given by him had shaken the British raj. He continued the struggle for IndiaÂ’s independence peacefully and through non-violence. Lauding the contribution of Sat Guru Ram Singh for eradication of social evils and bringing awakening among the people Mr Dalam said it had contributed in a big way for social transformation. The real tribute to Baba Ram Singh would be to follow his ideals and make this universe an abode of peace, progress and prosperity, he said. Mr Dalam said that 80 per cent of the warriors who made supreme sacrifices for the noble cause belonged to Punjab. He said movements like Kuka movement had their origin in Punjab and Punjabis fought bravely against the British raj. Mr Dalam said the Punjab Government had taken various steps for perpetuating the memory of Sat Guru Ram Singh and other Kuka warriors by setting up memorials. The state government had already approached the Central Government for installing a life size portrait of Sat Guru Ram Singh in the Central Hall of Parliament. The Minister said the village middle school would be upgraded to the high school level and the birth place of Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji would be developed. Mr Dalam presented a draft for Rs 5.59 lakh to the Namdhari trust on behalf of the Punjab Government for setting up Rs 10 lakh night soil based bio-gas plant by the Punjab Energy Development Agency under national bio-gas development programme of the Ministry of NonConventional Energy Sources. The Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, also paid rich tributes to Sat Guru Ram Singh. Sat Guru Jagjit Singh Ji, head of the Namdhari sect, and various leaders of different political parties and social groups participated in the function and paid their rich tributes to Sat Guru Ram Singh.

Where Satyagraha was born From Ruchika Mohindra - Tribune News Service RAYIAN/BHAINI SAHIB (LUDHIANA): With the turn of the new millennium, the two historic villages of Rayian and Bhaini Sahib, too, have undergone a sea change and boast of all modern amenities of living. But what makes them different is the fact that the residents of these villages have managed to maintain and uphold their importance by maintaining the relics of the past. For a casual visitor, the rustic surroundings of the two villages, located next to each other, makes these look like any other village located in the heartland of Punjab. Go a bit deeper into the two villages and one realizes that this is one place where modernity and history go hand in hand. While on one hand, these villages boast of concrete roads, underground sewerage, clean drinking water supply, computers at the Satguru Partap Singh Academy (a school up to the plus two level) and other civic amenities quite unheard of in villages, places of historical importance like Parkash asthan of Satguru Ram Singh, founder of the Namdhari sect, the dera at Bhaini Sahib, Akal Banga, and the ancient sarovar, believed to be from the time of the treta yuga exist side by side. It was from these two non-descript villages, around 25 km from Ludhiana, that the noncooperation movement against foreign rule was launched for the first time in history by Satguru Ram Singh in the later half of the 19th century. Much before Mahatma Gandhi had started this movement to rock the very foundation of British rule, Satguru Ram Singh was the first one to ask his followers to boycott government service, British educational institutions and courts and their goods. Considered as one of the pioneers of the country's freedom struggle, he had managed to setup an independent parallel government from here by setting up his own postal system and establishing diplomatic ties with the neighbouring states of Nepal, Afghanistan and Russia. In fact, he also created a separate regiment, Kooka Platoon, in the state of Kashmir in 1869-70 and the sacrifices made by the followers of the Satguru during the country's freedom struggle are also praiseworthy. At Bhaini Sahib, the management of the dera has made all-out efforts and succeeded in maintaining the sarovar, Akal Banga; where Satguru Ram Singh had meditated and Parkash sthan of the Satguru in Rayian village. The sadavart langar, which has been carried on since 1871, still goes on regardless of the number of people there and everyone gets parsade. Interestingly, a continuous recital of prayer has also been going on here for the past 66 years, with one granthi doing a two-hour shift at a stretch. While maintaining these places of historical and religious importance, the dera management with substantial help from the state government, is now building a state of-the-art indoor stadium of international standard and a college for residents of the area is on the anvil.

Namdhari Chair announced From Tribune Reporters AMRITSAR, Nov 22 1999. Despite the state government's failure to release money for its four existing chairs at Guru Nanak Dev University, Chief Minister Punjab Mr Parkash Singh Badal today announced the creation of yet another (Namdhari Guru Ram Singh chair) at a special function organised at Dashmesh auditorium of Guru Nanak Dev University here today. Baba Jagjit Singh, chief of the Namdhari sect presided over the function. To the Chief Minister's chagrin Dr Harish Puri, head Dr Ambedkar Chair, speaking on the occasion actually pointed out that chairs established in the university had not received any grant for a long time. He expressed the hope that the newly established chair in the name of the Namdhari Guru would not meet the same fate. At this, Mr Badal promptly announced that all the chairs established in the names of religious personalities and Dr Ambedkar won't face financial problems in future. "We will release sufficient grants so that research work on these revered personalities is not hit for want of funds", he said. On Baba (Guru) Ram Singh, Mr Badal said he was a great revolutionary who launched a massive movement against British imperialism and started the non-co-operation movement against the British. They formed a parallel organisation. To defy the British Empire and Namdharis laid down their lives for the Independence struggle. The Chief Minister lamented that no government so far had recognised the sacrifices of Punjabis adding that martyrs were not associated with any sect or region. Namdhari chief Baba (Guru) Jagjit Singh, who presided over the function, said while there was turmoil everywhere peace could be achieved through nam and simran. He thanked Dr Soch for his sincere efforts for the establishment of this chair.

Quality music is forever Tribune News Service LUDHIANA, Nov 3, 1999 — Well-known playback singer Arvinder Singh believes that only quality music can survive the test of the times. "Whether classic, film or pop, only quality music will survive in the end", he says. Arvinder has been in the world of music for the last 15 years. Born and brought up in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, he had an ear for music. He disclosed that he started learning music, from Pandit Ram Narayan a well know sarangi player, at the age of 7, with the blessings of Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji Maharaj, head of the Namdhari sect. He went to Bombay 15 years ago. Since then he has never looked back, with many music albums, films and live stage performances across the world to his credit. The noted playback singer and music director, along with his brother Surinder Singh, has composed the music for films like Dada and Sita aur Gita. His forthcoming films include Ma Tujhe Salam which stars among, others, Sunny Deol. Besides, he has done a number of popular Hindi television serials like Sanjha Choola, Hindustani and Jai Mata Di with Hema Malini in the lead role. His latest music album Tip Tip Tara Tara was released recently which has been received well by people. His tryst with pop music started with the Zee music album Bulaylay. He followed it with the album on cricket stars which was named Rest Day. His other popular numbers include Walah re wallah. He has also brought out an album in Pahari, his mother tongue. Arvinder agreed, that with a large number of people jumping into pop, the quality of music had been compromised and had come down. He regretted that with technological advances "everybody and anybody who wants to sing brings out an album giving a go bye to the quality". He pointed out that as the reason for a number of pop numbers not being accepted or been forgotten within a short span. "Rhythm and melody are the pre-requisites of good music", he said, while adding, "I am afraid most of today’s pop music lacks both". He said, the Hindi film music was still far better in comparative terms. It had kept alive tradition. A good number of songs are still full of rhythm and melody that is why people still liked them, he remarked. Although he claimed to have achieved great success in a short span, he said, he had a long way to go.. He pointed out, "in any art satisfaction is death and I do not want to die so soon...I have miles to go before I sleep". Arvinder, who has performed in a number of foreign countries like America, Britain, Canada, Australia and many others, is all praise for the Namdhari sect and its leader Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji Maharaj, who he said, were doing everything to keep the classical traditions of music alive.

Namdhari Guru prays for peace From Vimal Sumbly Tribune News Service JEEVAN NAGAR (Sirsa), March 6, 1999. The leader of the Namdhari sect Guru Jagjit Singh, has exhorted the youth to preserve their cultural roots and not get swayed by westernization. Talking to TNS during the Hola Mohalla function organised here between March 2 and 5, Guru Jagjit Singh cautioned against the evil influence of western culture on the youth of the country. It was the fortieth Hola Mohalla function organised during the lifetime of Guru Jagjit Singh and for the fourth time it was held in this small village. At least 50,000 devotees from all over the country and abroad took part in the function. Guru Jagjit Singh delivered the concluding address today. He prayed for peace, amity and brotherhood. He pointed out that the very purpose of organizing the Hola Mohalla function was to strengthen brotherhood and amity among the people. Guru Jagjit Singh said the Namdharis would also be celebrating tercentenary of the birth of the Khalsa. Special functions will be organised to mark the occasion. He disclosed that a Namdhari yatra would be organised from Bheni Sahib, near Ludhiana, to Anandpur Sahib on March 28. Guru Jagjit Singh himself would lead the 125-km yatra. The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and his Cabinet colleagues at Anandpur Sahib would receive it. The Guru refused to comment on the ongoing tussle within the Akali Dal. He said he only prayed and hoped that peace and goodwill would prevail among all sections. He hoped the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa would pass off peacefully and with traditional gaiety. The Namdhari sect has been instrumental in setting up a chain of educational institutions in the northern region. At present, five colleges are being run by the sect, one each at mandi, Jeevan Nagar, Delhi, Bheni Sahib and Chandigarh. The sect also plans to start a school at Amritsar, which will impart religious education. The sect is also running a college in Thailand, where students from 30 countries are admitted. The sect has also been hooked on the Internet for the past six months. According to Mr Dayal Singh, the mela in-charge, all information about the Namdhari sect is provided on the Internet. This has also helped in spreading the message of peace, love and brotherhood across the globe, he pointed out. Former Rajya Sabha member H.S. Hanspal was also present on the occasion. People from the USA, Canada, the UK and Gulf countries also attended the five-day-long celebrations. As many as 40 religious jathas from across the country presented kirtan. Several marriages were also solemnized on the occasion. These marriages were organised according to traditional Hindu rites, but without other formalities. Mr Dayal Singh said these marriages were organized to inspire other youth in going in for simple and dowries marriages.


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