Issuu on Google+

www.SikhPress.ca

T: 905-670-1522 - editor@SikhPress.ca Tel: 905-670-1522, Fax: 416-661-7273

Vol.8 , No. 1091 Thursday, August 11, 2011

26 Savan , Nanaksahi Calendar 543

Wait is Over

Kabaddi Canada Cup at Powerade Center Kabaddi teams from 6 different countries will compete in powerade center brampton tomorrow for $11000 prize. First Match will be played between India vs Pakistan. The host, Shere Punjab sports club yet to confirm about ticket sale but buz is that tournament is sold out.

Trade at top of agenda as Harper visits Colombia Prime Minister Stephen Harper's tour of Latin America continues in Colombia on Wednesday, where he is due to meet with business leaders and President Juan Maunel Santos. A free-trade agreement between Canada and Colombia comes into effect next week, which could bring new opportunities for the two countries which did nearly $1.4 billion in two-way trade last year. Some of the major goods Canada imports from Colombia include mineral fuels and oils, coffee and sugar. But the move to build closer trade ties with Bogota has drawn criticism in Ottawa because of Colombia's poor human rights record. "Free trade will basically be the agenda here today and I'm sure the prime minister will be asked about the safeguards to make sure that Colombia improves its human rights record," CTV's Roger Smith told CTV News Channel from Bogota. Colombia has faced allegations that its government holds links to violent

paramilitary squads, which have subsequently been linked to the deaths of labour leaders, journalists, indigenous peoples and rebel forces. Armed groups have also caused general security issues in Colombia, exemplified by an attack that occurred only a day before Harper arrived in Bogota. "There was an attack yesterday by the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces, also known as FARC, on a Canadian oilfield near the Venezuela border -that's been a hotbed of guerilla activity," Smith said. "A big oil drum was blown up and some other damage was done by two gunmen dressed as policemen. So that underlines the difficulty of doing business here." Harper left Ottawa last weekend for his six-day working trip to Latin America and the Caribbean. His first stop was Brazil, followed by his current visit to Colombia. The prime minister will also visit Costa Rica and Honduras.

Quiet night in London as riots spread to new cities The British capital saw a night of relative calm, with 16,000 police patrolling the streets. But rioting spread to new areas of the country as the worst unrest England has seen in a generation persisted for a fourth consecutive night. Police in the central city of Nottingham said that a group of between 30 and 40 men firebombed a police station in the city centre Tuesday night. There were no reports of injuries, and several male suspects were attested nearby. Seven people were arrested in the northwestern city of Manchester after hundreds of youths ran amok, setting fire to a clothing store downtown and a library in nearby Salford. About 200 rioters also clashed with police in Liverpool on Tuesday night, The Guardian newspaper reported. And there were minor clashes with police in the central communities of Leicester, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich. Meanwhile an eerie calm settled over London, where police had pledged to nearly triple their presence on the streets in a bid to head off another night of rioting, which has claimed at least one life. While British police generally avoid tear gas, water cannons or other strongarm riot measures, police in London said Tuesday that plastic bullets could be used to stop looting if it persists. Authorities have been scrambling to gain control over the marauding crowds of largely poor, diverse youths. At least 685 people had been arrested and 111 charged as of Tuesday night, Scotland Yard said. The rioting began Saturday night at a vigil held in the gritty London neighbourhood of Tottenham for a darkskinned man shot and killed by police

under suspicious circumstances. By Tuesday night some London residents reportedly took to the streets in order to help defend their neighbourhood, and the leader of a far-right group called the English Defence League said 1,000 of its members would patrol areas that have suffered rioting. The recurring violence prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron to cut short his family vacation and return to London overnight Monday, so that he could deal with what he described as "sickening" riots. After holding an emergency meeting Tuesday, Cameron refrained from calling in the military, but said the British public should be assured that the government will not allow the destructive rioting to continue. "People should be in no doubt that we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain's streets and to make them safe for the law-abiding," Cameron told reporters. Instead, Cameron recalled lawmakers from their summer recess so they can discuss the crisis later this week. The prime minister promised that the perpetrators will "feel the full force of the law" and will be prosecuted accordingly. News of the first riot-related death emerged Tuesday when the BBC reported that a 26-year-old Croydon man

died hours after he was found in his car suffering from gunshot wounds. A murder inquiry is now underway into the victim's death. Since the weekend, the riots have spread to other British cities, including Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol. But it is in London where residents have seen cars and buildings burned, shops looted and young hoodlums running amok with impunity for three straight nights. Police said 111 officers, five police dogs and 14 citizens were hurt over the three days, including a man in his 60s who sustained lifethreatening injuries at the hands of looters after he tried to put out a fire they had set in the west-London neighbourhood of Ealing. In Croydon, Graham Reeves saw his family's 140-year-old department store gutted by a fire started during the riots. "No one's stolen anything. They just burned it down," he said. "It's pointless." Simon Dance, 27, said he and his wife were frightened enough by what they saw in their north London neighbourhood of Camden to prepare for the possibility that they might have to leave their home. "We locked all the doors, and my wife even packed a bag to flee. We had Twitter rolling until midnight just to keep up with the news. We were too afraid to

even look out the window," Dance told The Associated Press. CTV's London Bureau Chief Tom Kennedy said the British public has been shocked by the violence that the rioters have unleashed on the streets. "The dilemma that this country is having is explaining how on Earth are there so many disaffected youths who feel comfortable with going out into the streets and committing these dreadful acts of violence -- thievery, looting and burning people out of their homes, which was also happening," he said. "So I think there's a real bewilderment in this country now, how on Earth it came to this." Andrew Silke, the head of criminology at the University of East London, said the public is also angry about the inability of police to quickly bring the riots to an end. "The public wanted to see tough action. They wanted to see it sooner and there is a degree of frustration," Silke told The Associated Press in an interview. The rioters do not appear to have a single unifying cause that has drawn them to the streets night after night, but some suggested they are acting out in protest of cuts to welfare and the public sector, while others say a distrust of the police is to blame. "This is the uprising of the working class. We're redistributing the wealth," a 28-year-old man and self-described anarchist named Bryn Phillips told The Associated Press. Others are convinced that the people involved with the riots are simply looking for an opportunity to break the law. "It's just an excuse for the young ones to come and rob shops," said Brixton resident Marilyn Moseley.


02

Courageous Journalism

August 11, 2011

Sikh Press Special

Hundreds of Sikh Londoners take to the streets to keep peace in various towns of London

Sikh Londoners took to the streets in their hundreds to defend public against the looting and arson which have consumed the British capital over the last four days. Recent riots that started in Tottenham are now spreading around the UK with reports of Gurdwaras being attacked in London. Groups of Sikhs have started gathering around the East London and Ilford Gurdwaras to provide protection as there have been elements of mob disorder in East Ham, Ilford and Romford. Around 600 Sikhs, gathered outside the their gurdwara, or temple, in Southall, west London, on Tuesday after earlier rumours circulated it was next on the looters’ hitlist. Sikhs of southall are willing to protect all within southall re-

gardless of their backgrounds. The few people around were generally moving in a single direction – to the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara. At this temple, a massing of Southall’s Sikh community acted as sentries to protect against any rioting threat that dared make its presence felt. Assembled largely by word of mouth after a meeting of local religious leaders, the group of both young and old stood at an estimated 300, with an additional 700 expected throughout Tuesday night. Cups of tea and food were handed out to prepare for an inevitable all-nighter. “We haven’t got any real external support from the police as this was organised within the community, but we’d

be surprised if any of the rioters came here”, says Tejpal Singh, an architect and adviser at the gurdwara. “We’re in an iconic location of Southall and we’re here to show that we will not take this.” Coming together on Monday night, the group first responded to reports of an attack on a temple on nearby Uxbridge Road. “Many of the temples, mosques and gurdwaras here house money donations, so they were a target,” says Tejpal. He describes how the community planned to protect Southall using para, a rotation-based system that originated in Indian villages. Jaspal Singh, a retired teacher of 48, believes this community effort exceeds the police’s influence in the area.

“It doesn’t feel like they are doing too much to help. The shops on the Broadway should not have been made to shut down early as it gives the impression that the rioters have won by bringing the country to a standstill.” The group organised motorcycle patrols and monitored the train station for potential troublemakers, according to media persons. Around 200 locals in Enfield, the north London borough at the heart of previous attacks, strode through the area to “protect their streets”, a journalist explained. Amateur video footage released Wednesday showed a group of around 100 men running down an Enfield street chanting “England, England, England”.

Increasing Attacks And Robberies On Sikhs In Southall Over the past few months or so I have observed a worrying increase in the frequency of attacks on Sikhs in areas around Southall and surrounding areas. The frequency of attacks has been becoming more common as of late. Usually afghans (pathans/muslims) robbing Sikhs. Usually fones or money. I was informed of a case just last week where a large group of afghan youths surrounded a sikh who was jus going for a walk in the park in southall after a hard day at work. They brandished a knife and demanded money. When he refused they attacked him by punching and kicking him and continued doing so when he went to the floor. The stole 50quid. The Sikh man later saw 2 of the afghans on their own on a main road and set out about getting his money back by attacking 2 of them. Nearby shop owners (also afghans (muslim/pathans) upon seeing this, rushsed to the assistance of the afghans with bats and weapons. They gave chase to the sikh lad who got away. Later on the same afghan shop owners/workers were roaming around southall with the same afghan youth thieves looking for the sikh lad. This is just 1 example of news of an attack I received today which happened some time last week. Why are the police not doing anything about these thieves roaming the streets in herds preying on sikhs?? Whats the point in sending all these community support officers round on patrols and on bike rounds if they jus ignore these groups while they sell drugs/use drugs/rob people.

If they dont do anything about it, then they have no right to put cases on Sikhs that decide to do something about it when they receiving no help from au-

people at bookies or summin. These vated when it clearly is. gambling places need to be shut down in So, my question is this: southall. And these shop owners also Are the police going to step up need to be held accountable for harbour- and do something about it? Or are the

thorities to tackle this situation. Are these the unsafe streets we want our kids to be walking? where people brandish knives just to rob a mesely 50quid? And what of these shop owners? they are assisting these afghan robbers by roaming around with them and letting them hang out at their shops. I think its time to clear up this mess, its gotton out of hand. When they not robbing people in parks, they robbing

ing and supporting such people who commit these attacks/ robberies on sikhs. I believein equality. But truth be told, Ive never heard of these afghans ever robbing a muslim. So it must be racially motivated, the fact that they only robbing Sikhs or non muslims. We want an end to this. Lets push the police to clamp down on this sorta stuff. robbery charges should carry another charge of it being racially moti-

sikhs gonna have to do something about it? cuz sikhs in southall aint no strangers to taking direct action. All I ask is that police do what the tax payer pays them to do. Maybe Singh Sabha gurdwara southall should use its links to talk to the police about it. Cuz clearly ordinary voices are not getting heard. And sikhs will inevitably move against these preying groups if the police methods are exhausted without avail.


Courageous Journalism

August 11, 2011

THE SIKH WAR CODE, ITS SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION AND IMPACT ON HISTORY GURTEJ SINGH, IAS & IPS (FORMERLY)PROFESSOR OF SIKHISM

(Second Part) He was so pleased with the kindness he received at the hands of the Sardar, that he offered to serve under him as a governor if Charhat Singh were to proclaim himself a king. [Charat Singh informed him] ‘kingship is already bestowed upon us by the Guru.’ [The prisoner was] allowed to return to his country.”[xii] 9. Ideally from the Sikh point of view, warfare is a voluntary activity born of intense personal conviction. It is in this context that the war cry of ‘jo bole so nhal, sat siri akal,’ (‘every felicity is to him who volunteers to join up on hearing the cry of battle being waged for the cause of the Deathless’) becomes meaningful. Nothing illustrates this point better than the history of celebrated martyrs like Bhai Tara Singh Wan, Gurbaksh Singh Nihang and others. According to Rattan Singh Bhangu, before the final battle in which death was assured, Tara Singh told his companions that those who wanted to escape could do so. Several went away. He also wrote to those who had promised to share with him their last moments on earth of which, at least three came, joined him and eventually died along with him the next day. Shah Muhammad, recording the happenings relating to a crucial battle of the Anglo-Sikh war, recalls the resolve of the Khalsa army to the effect, ‘now it is the privilege of the Khalsa to lead a frontal attack. Let not the poor (those who have joined the army for earning livelihood,) be pushed to the front.’ (kalghidhar de khalse hun hon moohre, agge hor garib na dhakkanai jee). In many other situations similar conduct of the Sikh soldiers has been noted. In his last battle with the Indian army, Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa in his characteristically humorous way, told those around him, ‘it appears that at dawn we must make the last sortie. Death is assured. Those who desire to live are welcome to escape. Don’t say afterwards that this saadh propelled us into the jaws of death (pher na akhio es saadh ne sanoo marva ditta).’ Those who wanted to go were allowed to depart amicably. The writer of these lines has met at least four persons who had escaped after this pronouncement. 10. ‘Totally devoted ones boldly face battle but the uninitiated run away from conflict,’ says the Guru Granth. (daage hoe so ran meh joojhai bin dage bhag jaee). This sentiment is echoed in the Rehatnamas, is prominent in the conduct of Sikh soldiers and has been mentioned by historians throughout the ages.[xiii] That the Sikh soldier took his spiritual commitment seriously is also borne out by accounts of the Anglo— Sikh wars.[xiv] 11. Steadfastness in battle became the hallmark of the Sikh soldier. Sikh religious discipline prescribes that when he is fighting for Truth as he knows it, there is not an inch of the field that he can yield. (purja purja kat

marai kabhoon na chhade khet). This was the tradition. Gurbaksh Singh Nihang faced the whole army of Ahmed Shah Abdali with just thirty companions. Of him and his companions, Bhangu says that they all died while advancing towards the enemy. He says the same of the forty martyrs of Muktsar who all fell while advancing in defence of the Guru. After the battle, the Guru assigned them honour after counting the steps that they had advanced from the central point of battle. Karl Marx instinctively knew that in the Khalsa armies, the British people were facing a different kind of a soldier. He thinks the British commander-inchief’s “asinine stupidity” was responsible for the defeat of the British forces at Pherushahar. “Gough imagined he could do anything to the Sikhs, in the same way as to the easily frightened Hindus of the South, by charging them with bayonets.”[xv] J. D. Cunningham who was present on the battlefield during the Anglo-Sikh wars observed about the British cavalry charge, “nor was it until the mass had been three times ridden through that the Sikhs dispersed. The charge was timely and bold; but the ground was more thickly strewn with the bodies of victorious horsemen than of the beaten infantry. The true Sikh was not easily cowed.”[xvi] 12. The earliest time to which the existence of a fully developed Sikh war code is traceable is the time of Guru Gobind Singh. Bhai Santokh Singh, who did a considerable amount of research to write his popularly known Suraj Prakash, is certain that there existed a written code of conduct for the Sikhs participating in war. He refers to it as gurshastra. He specifically refers to one of its provisions, namely, that women were not to be molested under any circumstances. In this context, and as a measure particularly relevant to wartime situation, members of the Order of the Khalsa were forbidden to have intercourse with Muslim women as Muslims were the main enemies they were fighting at that time and their women were most likely to fall into the hands of the Khalsa. A conversation on the question of the ban is reported to have taken place between Guru Gobind Singh and a group of Sikhs. ‘All the Sikhs assembled together to ask the ‘source of all values’. Their question was: ‘the Turks routinely rape women of Hind. Sikhs would be doing well to avenge this. Why does the Guru’s code (gurshastra) prohibit molestation of women? Then, at that time, the True Guru spoke thus; I want thepanth to scale (new moral) heights. I will not condemn it to depths of degradation.’ It appears that these precepts were duly formally codified and strict adherence to them was stipulated as the Guru’s wish – the strongest of all sanctions for a believing Sikh. Bhangu mentions that Banda Bahadur, appointed commander-in-chief

of the Sikh forces by the Guru, used to repeat his general orders on the battlefield by the beat of drums everyday. One order that was repeated daily was, ‘nobody is to touch ornaments on the person of a woman. Similarly, no man is to be divested of the clothes worn by him. More particularly, a person’s turban was not to be removed.’[xvii] Of course, it all started with Guru Nanak’s deep anguish and distress over the rape of the women of Hind by the invading armies of the Mughal Babur as depicted in thebabarvani verses. (paap ki janj lai kabulon dhaiya jori mange daan ve Lalo). 13. There is another reference, which in spite of scepticism, suggests that a compendium of the Sikh war code perhaps existed at the time of Ranjit Singh. “— The Darbar under the guidance of Ranjit Singh framed certain regulations for the army. What these regulations were we cannot surmise; they have not outlived their authors, nor is it probable that they were ever recorded; but judging from the discipline of the Khalsa we may be inclined to think favourably of them.”[xviii] 14. There are several independent observers who have noticed the strict code of warfare followed by the Sikhs throughout the centuries. Qazi Nur Muhammad notes of the Sikhs that ‘they do not rob a woman of her gold and ornaments, may she be a queen or a slavegirl. Adultery also does not exist among—.”[xix] Griffin noted in hisRajas of the Punjab, “There are few stories in Sikh History of outrage to women and torture to men such as stain the pages of South Indian History with cruelty and blood.”[xx] 15. Inspired by the Guru’s injunctions, the Sikh soldiers were always moved by the plight of women and recorded incidents depict them as travelling hundreds of miles, courting danger and fighting bloody battles to rescue women in distress. Baghel Singh once rode to Lohari with his army on such a mission. Lohari was within an arms length of Delhi where the Mughal king still ruled. He rescued the woman, punished her tormentors and had her rehabilitated with the consent of her clan. His entire army donated cash to give her a parting present because she had by the act of being rescued by them, become the ‘daughter of the entire panth.’ 16. The most spectacular example of this chivalrous conduct at the mass level is the rescue of thousands of Maratha women being carried captive by Ahmed Shah Abdali after the Third Battle of Panipat in January 1761. The earliest historians who recorded it include Ram Sukh Rao the official historian of the ruling Ahluwalia family. It is mentioned by James Brown in his History of the Origin and Progress of the Sikhs, published in 1881.[xxi] After their rescue, they were escorted to their homes in Maharashtra and restored to their families in a soul

stirring gesture depicting rare moral grandeur of monumental magnitude. 17. In the recent (1971) war against Pakistan for the liberation of Bangladesh, the Sikh soldiers came across women kept as sex slaves by Yahya Khan’s army. They were often found without clothes (a measure to deter escape?). It is recorded that the Sikh soldiers of the invading victorious army, took off their turbans in a befitting tribute to human dignity, to cover the naked women. The tradition launched by the gurshastrahas come down to the present day. 18. Sikh conventions appear also to have contained a provision that other non-combatants besides women were to be considered inviolable. “On December 10, 1710, (the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah 1707-12) issued a royal edict to all the faujdars(military commanders) of Shahjahanabad (Delhi) and its neighbourhood to put to the sword the worshippers of Nanak –the Sikhswhere ever found.” (Nanak-prastan ra har ja kih ba-aband, ba-qatl rasanad)[xxii] The Sikh reply to this order of general massacre of Sikhs is recorded by the royal news-writer who informed the Emperor on April 28, 1711, “that Banda Singh – -encamped at Kalanaur – had declared that he was in no way opposed to the Muslims and that they had the fullest liberty to recite their sermons and prayers – khutba-o-namaz. – -The result of this was, the report continued, that as many as five thousand Muslims had joined the Sikh army.”[xxiii] 19. Sikhs appear to have been instructed by the Guru to have a measure of reverence for the places considered holy by any tradition. They meticulously followed the instructions, although the Afghans and the Mughals had often destroyed Sikh shrines during the period of their political ascendancy. The holiest Sikh shrine at Amritsar was pulled down twice and defiled many times more. Yet when the first great Sikh upheaval under Banda Bahadur took place in around 1710 CE the Sikhs destroyed no place of worship. The Sikh armies gathered at Fatehgarh Sahib, the place where the younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh had been bricked alive, for the final assault on Sirhind. They were within a few hundred yards of the mausoleum of Shaikh Ahmed Sirhandi who had been the implacable foe of the Sikhs. Ideology emanating with him was responsible for the execution of two Gurus, the persecution of four and the execution of the Guru’s sons.[xxiv] Shaikh Ahmed called himself the ‘prophet of the second millennium’ and received homage as such. Many princes of Afghanistan lie buried at the graveyard attached to his shrine. The Sikhs never thought of destroying or even despoiling his grave or the graves of their sworn enemies whom they knew to be despoilers of their land. (Continu to next issue)


04

Courageous Journalism

August 11, 2011

Anna Hazare’s agenda by S. Nihal Singh

Rights/ Riots and Wrongs Dr. Solomon Naz ( 416-661-7272+3) Who says that there are righteous in this World today? Every man who the rogue of the earth rightfully projects himself as the righteous of the Earth. Infect rights and wrongs of the Worlds are in itself a relative term. Any wrongs of the eighteen century have become the rights of this World today. Moreover; it is how you look upon it. Today’s freedom Fighters were the terrorists in the eyes of the people who governed that country. Even Christ in the eyes of the Jewish synagogue and judiciary of the the Roman times was the biggest terrorist of that time, and brought on him the law of the prevalent times. People had a misgiving that after the World War Second there will be no wars any more. After the heinous atomic explosion on Hiroshima and Naga Saki there will be no more expansion of Nuclear weapons. Above all with modern relativism, alternatives, collectivism and globalization; there will be a World without any fanaticism and religious bigotry. Unfortunately, we failed on all these fronts. There are more wars, more Nuclear Bombs , more polarization and more divisions and religious wars we ever reckoned with. In all the 53 Islamic countries we do not find a single one who polls to be democratic, more sustainable and durable in peace and stable political system. Three is not a single Islamic country that is not a victim of hunger, Disease and neglect. 67% of the whole budget of the UN is expended in feeding this Islamic hungry World. In this Islamic World these days there is a continuous disturbances and war like situation we are dealing with. In fact in a World of today; Nation want liberation and people want liberation. Liberation from hunger, disease and scarcity,. they want opportunity to further their standard of living and opportunities for education and their compatibility with the advanced World that their rulers failed to provide them. It is the biggest tragedy of this Muslim World. Infect it is the hunger and the neglect that gives birth to the modern violence and fanatics. It is hunger that breeds Taliban’s and extremism. Today; the whole World has fallen prey to this this imbalance and the instability of the governments. All Muslim World is burning under this inferno. Surprisingly, our media and the Western World call it a cry of the people for their rights and democratic system. The tragedy of the whole comedy is that England is burning under the same conflagration. The irony is that it is only called the riots of the vagabonds and looting of the malefactors. This is what the dictators of Egypt, Lydia, Syria, Tunisia, Behring and Saudi Arabia called to its people who wanted to be free from the yokes of its kings and dictators. To my mind, the policy of the whole West including US is lopsided. Even in Middle East when its people in Bahrain were passing through this struggle and neighbor Saudi Arabia Crushed them with Tanks and army; no one cared; as Saudis were an allies of the West. Why is Nat bombing Lydia, and ignoring Syria when the situation is not a bit different? This policy of appeasement to some and selective bombing create a doubtful alignment to policies. To my mind; the whole situation of the World is out of control. All of us are accountable for this deviation from the truth. Hey! I have a question, who supplies these bombs and technical strategy to the extremist to fight against the most sophisticated machinery of the West. Some one is not sincere in uprooting the extremism in the countries. You simply cannot win against evil unless people cooperative with it. The World is burning!!

Farming dying as a way of life THE oldest and largest human enterprise, agriculture in Punjab was once a family affair wherein all members remained involved, employed the local labour and a network of services within and adjoining villages thrived along. In addition every household in the village had creative past times like spinning, weaving and making handicrafts. Young girls, women and even men remained busy, when not tending to the fields. Eighty-five per cent of the population was thus fruitfully engaged. But the rural landscape of Punjab began to change when in the sixties new agricultural production technology, involving input-intensive practices on the pattern of the US were introduced to meet the food grain requirements of the nation. The minimum support price (MSP) and an assured market and other supporting services set in the race for increasing area under food grains. Punjab was happy basking in the glory of being the number one producer, the highest contributor to the national food grain pool and being the food basket of India. However, the glow of prosperity for the small and marginal faded soon. By the end of the seventies the economic gains started declining and this cereal monoculture became unremunerative and environmentally unsustainable. By 1971, seventy-seven per cent small and marginal farmers, who had formed the backbone of the Green Revolution and agrarian society, were hit the hardest. Impact of markets This scenario kept aggravating with accelerated technological developments, the increasing impact of knowl-

edge and opening up of the global markets by the end of the 20th century. Agriculture also became an increasingly knowledge-intensive enterprise as a farm-food-fibre-fuel/energy business chain, where concern for profits dominated. It required supply chain management acumen, which depended on market intelligence, trade policies, tariff barriers. The emphasis increased on quality, nutrition, consumption and health; food safety and issues like bioterrorism, environment and conservation of natural resources had come to dominate. The final onslaught on the agrarian economy of small and marginal farmers was made by the ad-mad world luring them to a consumerist lifestyle and ever-increasing aspirations disturbed the rural households set. Under these complex and compelling conditions, the 80 per cent of educationally ill-equipped farmers (37% are below matriculation, 24% matriculates, 8% have education up to +2), were not able to reinvent agriculture. Their own liberal outlook and lack of financial discretion recoiled on them with mounting debt and many lost their lands, others sold these to clear the debt and thus got pushed out of farming. In a recent critical appraisal of 11 villages, carried out by Punjab Agricultural University in the south-western districts of Punjab, of the 162 small and marginal farmers pushed out of farming, 38% joined the labour market, 9% supplied milk, 9% were doing nothing and others opened grocery or consumer goods shops, sold vegetables and sought petty employment.

WE are now in the second phase of the Anna Hazare show. The first phase evoked much sympathy and public acclaim. Unlike in the case of Baba Ramdev and his almost simultaneous side show, which smacked of extraneous political motives, Anna had struck the heartstrings of a wide variety of people who were offended by the levels of public corruption and were more than willing to lend a hand to the Gandhian leader who pitched his tent in Jantar Mantar and went on a fast to reinforce his plea for a forceful ombudsman in the shape of the Lokpal. Mr Hazare broke his fast over government assurances of bringing a Lokpal Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament and nominated representatives of civil society, including himself, to talk to a government committee of ministers. Differences on the scope of a Lokpal Bill were obvious in the very first meeting. What Mr Hazare and his pick of members of civil society were proposing would make nonsense of the Constitution and make members of Parliament accountable not to their constituents or to the tenets of the Constitution but to an all-powerful Lokpal who would in effect be above the Constitution. The main issues of contention were whether the Prime Minister should come within the ambit of the Lokpal and whether members of Parliament would be answerable for their actions in Parliament to the Lokpal, rather than their constituents or the rules governing a parliamentary democracy. Soon it became apparent that no government could accept such provisions although the Prime Minister’s accountability became a political issue to be exploited by the Opposition parties. The government’s contention that such a provision would weaken the central arch of the parliamentary system was not unreasonable, with the proviso that he (or she) would be held accountable for his actions after leaving office, a provision that applies to the executive French presidency, for instance. But it soon became clear that Mr Hazare was playing political hardball, declaring from the housetops that he would go on fast on August 16, that the government-sponsored Bill was worthless, and when the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha, he and his followers burned copies of it outside Parliament, seeking a nationwide burning bonanza and calling it a new struggle for independence. His agitation then was taking on a distinctly political turn and it was becoming increasingly clear that he had a brains trust guiding him on the steps he should take to embarrass the government. The political motives of Mr Hazare’s agenda become clear from a “referendum” his followers conducted in the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency of Mr Kapil Sibal, who has acted as the government’s chief spokesman, to show how the people were overwhelmingly against the government’s version of the Bill. There was not even pretence of a scientific basis for the polling. The obvious objective was to pile pressure on the government to do Mr Hazare’s bidding. The Opposition parties, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party, were more than willing to go along with him for opportunistic reasons although chief ministers in the states the BJP rules are outside the purview of the Lok Ayuktas, ombudsmen at the state level. The party’s poster boy in Gujarat, Mr Narendra Modi, has not thought it necessary to appoint a Lok Ayukta in his state for seven years. Another poster boy of the BJP, Mr Varun Gandhi, the Lok Sabha MP from Pilibhit, who gained notoriety for his declaration that he would chop off hands raised against Hindus, has now entered the arena by offering his government-given bungalow to Mr Hazare to conduct his fast since he was refused the Jantar Mantar venue by the police authorities. The party spokesman, Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy, tried to square the circle by suggesting that “the BJP does not agree with Mr Hazare’s style of burning Bills, but we are sympathetic to the feelings he is trying to express”. How soon or whether people at large will become disillusioned with Mr Hazare’s politicisation of the Lokpal issue remains to be seen. But he has done himself and his cause little service by giving a distinctly political twist to what is essentially a worthy cause. If Mr Hazare and his key followers wish to contribute to the institution of an effective Lokpal, they cannot discard the key attributes of the parliamentary system of government the country has adopted. Nor can they give the impression of ganging up against the ruling Congress party for the benefit of the Opposition. The Gandhian leader seems to have gone too far to draw back at this stage but he can rescue both his movement and the cause for greater public accountability by the political and bureaucratic establishment by being more sagacious in the proposals he puts forward. Corruption is a cancer that affects every section of society and bites the poorer sections most acutely. It is right to begin with the ruling elite in the government and outside it but Mr Hazare and his followers must show a sense of proportion and must honour a system of governance freely chosen by the people of India that has served the country well. There cannot be a diktat by one man seeking to nullify the basic tenets of the Constitution. In the shrillness of the debate on the Lokpal, political parties are in danger of losing the civility that is the hallmark of a democratic polity. The BJP’s decision to make a multi-pronged attack on the Congress-led ruling United Progressive Alliance, irrespective of the harm it might cause to India’s democratic structure, is a short-term expedient. On its part, the Congress has much to answer for in the manner in which the UPA-II has functioned, but the principal Opposition party must give primacy to the country’s interests, rather than gaining short-term advantage, if it is convince the people that it is worthy of governing the country. Thus far, the BJP has barely surmounted the crisis of party leadership in the Karnataka state it rules. Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa might have triumphed in getting his candidate succeed him as chief minister after he was forced to resign. But the manner in which the party has conducted itself in the mining scam and other misdemeanours in the state is a foil to the anti-corruption flag it is now flying in New Delhi.


05

August 11, 2011

Courageous Journalism

Corruption of India’s Brahmin/Bania caste dominated ruling elite Musings on an article published by the Economist London on the ‘Himalyan scale’ corruption of India’s Brahmin/Bania caste dominated ruling elite by Dr. Amarjeet Singh The Economist London has published an interesting article (headlined, “Dust in your eyes – India’s Politics - Politicians of all stripes buckle under the weight of corruption,”) in its latest issue of August 6-12, 2011, which has givena ‘birds eye view’ of the massive corruption of the morally repugnant ruling elite of the ‘world’s largest demoNcracy’ – INDIA. The publication of the above mentioned article in the Economist seems to have been synchronized with a very sincere, ‘Open Letter to the Prime minister of India’, from one Prakash B. Bajaj, a former Editor of the Times of India, which letter has stubbornly continued to circulate among the educated as a chain email, over the years in India, and keeps popping up from time to time on the internet and Indian print media and refuses to ‘die’ as it’s contents seem to be evergreen which touch the reader! The ‘Open Letter’ shames the shameless Indian ruling elite which has ruled the Indian dystopia, since August 1947, when the British Colonials quit South Asia after passing on the instruments of state power to an evil nexus of the Brahmin and the Bania castes which dominated the Hindu elite led by Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru. The Economist article mentioned above (headlined, “ Dust in your eyes India’s politics - Politicians of all stripes buckle under the weight of corruption,”) which says it all, concludes by saying that, “it is time Dr. Manmohan Singh, (whom the Economist has lately started calling ‘a family retainer’ in numerous articles as a put down) needs to act. His government has already frittered away half of its second term since Mr. Singh won re-election in 2009”.

Appended below in full is the evergreen ‘OPEN LETTER to the Prime Minister of India,’ – mentioned above – written by one Prakash B. Bajaj, Editor of the Times of India, sketching a picture of the state of the Indian state, which simple letter has stubbornly continued to circulate among the educated, in India, as a chain email, over the years, and keeps popping up from time to time on the internet and Indian print media and refuses to ‘die’ as corruption keeps increasing and it’s contents arouse empathy and seem to be evergreen and always sounds up to date:OPEN LETTER TO INDIAN PRIME MINISTER Dear Mr. Prime minister I am a typical mouse from Mumbai. In the local train compartment which has capacity of 100 persons, I travel with 500 more mouse. Mouse at least squeak but we don’t even do that. Today I heard your speech in which you said ‘NO BODY WOULD BE SPARED’. I would like to remind you that fourteen years have passed since serial bomb blasts in Mumbai took place. Dawood was the main conspirator. Till today he is not caught. All our bolywood actors, our builders, our Gutka kings meet him but your Government can not catch him. Reason is simple; all your ministers are hand in glove with him. If any attempt is made to catch him everybody will be exposed. Your statement ‘NOBODY WOULD BE SPARED’ is nothing but a cruel joke on this unfortunate people of India. Enough is enough. As such after seeing terrorist attack carried out by about a dozen young boys I realize that if same thing continue days are not

far away when terrorist will attack by air, destroy our nuclear reactor and there will be one more Hiroshima. We the people are left with only one mantra. Womb to Bomb to Tomb. You promised Mumbaikar Shanghai what you have given us is Jalianwala Baug. Today only your home minister resigned. What took you so long to kick out this joker? Only reason was that he was loyal to Gandhi family. Loyalty to Gandhi family is more important than blood of innocent people, isn’t it? I was born and bought up in Mumbai for last fifty eight years. Believe me corruption in Maharashtra is worse than that in Bihar. Look at all the politicians, Sharad Pawar, Chagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane, Bal Thackray , Gopinath Munde, Raj Thackray, Vilasrao Deshmukh all are rolling in money. Vilasrao Deshmukh is one of the worst Chief minister I have seen. His only business is to increase the FSI every other day, make money and send it to Delhi so Congress can fight the next election. Now the clown has found new ways and will increase FSI for fisherman so they can build concrete houses right on sea shore. Next time terrorist can come and comfortably live in those houses, enjoy the beauty of sea and then attack Mumbai at their will. Recently I had to purchase a house in Mumbai. I met about two dozen builders. Everybody wanted about 30% in black. A common person like me knows this and with all your intelligence agencys & CBI you and your finance minister are not aware of it. Where does all the black money goes? To the underworld isn’t it? Our politicians take help

of these goondas to vacate people by force. I myself was victim of it. If you have time please come to me, I will tell you everything. I am everything Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Schedule caste, OBC, Muslim OBC, Christian Schedule caste, Creamy Schedule caste only what I am not is INDIAN. You politicians have raped every part of mother India by your policy of divide and rule. If this has been land of fools, idiots then I would not have ever cared to write you this letter. Just see the tragedy, on one side we are reaching the moon, people are so intelligent, and on other side you politicians have converted nectar into deadly poison. Take the example of former president Abdul Kalam. Such an intelligent person, such a fine human being. You politician didn’t even spare him. Your party along with opposition joined their hands, because politicians feels they are supreme and there is no place left for good persons. Dear Mr. Prime minister you are one of the most intelligent person, most learned person. Just wake up, be a real SARDAR. First and foremost expose all selfish politicians. Ask the Swiss banks to give the names of all Indian account holders. Give reins of CBI to an independent agency. Let this agency find the wolves among us. There will be political upheaval but that will be better than dance of death which we are witnessing every day. Just give us ambient where we can work honestly and without fear. Let there be rule of law. Everything else will fall in place. (Cont.. to next issue)


06

August 11, 2011

Courageous Journalism

The media’s game of ‘gotcha’ can teach the NDP some lessons Gerald Caplan It never stops and never will. The moment the NDP seems even close to power, the knives come out.The election was May 2. The NDP’s rise began barely two weeks prior. Here’s what it faced in these past three months:“MassageGate.” Suddenly, just before the election, it became necessary for the Sun media to smear Jack Layton over a massage he had 15 years earlier, and for Christie Blatchford to repeat the smear, even agreeing it was a smear.“LasVegasGate.” The NDP makes history in the election. It sweeps Quebec and emerges as Official Opposition. But its new MPs are immediately dismissed as a joke. Like a gang of bullies picking on someone who can’t defend herself, reporters fall all over themselves to mock a candidate who spent part of the election in Las Vegas. She becomes a symbol of the immaturity the of the new NDP MPs, even though few reporters had ever spoken to a single one of them. Having finally met them, these stories abruptly ceased.“Jack’sCancerGate.” Within seconds of Mr. Layton’s announcement that he was temporarily stepping aside because of a new cancer but intended to return in the fall, the burial of the NDP began. The NDP was finished without Mr. Layton, even though he hadn't resigned. He was irreplaceable. Day after day for an entire week, the rhetorical question got asked and re-asked: Can the NDP make it Jackless? The answer was seen to be self-evident.“ComeCleanAboutCancerGate.” Out of nowhere, the cry goes up that Mr.

Layton must divulge everything about his cancer. What was he hiding? The world had a right and a need to know every single detail. Soon the rest of the pack picked it up. Everyone wanted to know something that was none of their business and of no conceivable use if they did know.And now, finally, “TurmelGate” -the scandalous truth that the new acting leader, Nycole Turmel, had been a Bloc Québécois member and that she was therefore a separatist.All other parties have thrown themselves into the ganging-up with great indignant gusto. Underlining once again the Caplan Rule that shamelessness is the secret of a successful leader, Stephen Harper -- the Firewall Kid himself, a man who explicitly wanted Alberta to secede from many of the operations of this country -- has the gall to shed crocodile tears of disappointment about Ms. Turmel.This is very much a teachable moment both for the NDP and for the country.It was a serious mistake for the NDP not to be transparent about Ms. Turmel’s past BQ affiliation when she was chosen interim leader. I’m

sure they know that now, after much damage has been done. But they must know too that every day is a potential gotcha day for the NDP and they shouldn’t be offering easy ammunition.On the conservative/business side, there is a fierce determination to make sure the party is not a serious challenger four years from now. In the case of the media, there’s the perception of an easy victim, not yet ready for p r i m e time, one that will furnish many a juicy story. Unless it’s truly on guard 24/7, instead of being able to pursue its own agenda the party may well find itself permanently on the defensive, warding off blows from every corner.There’s a separate lesson for the country. Quebec is different from the rest of Canada in ways we often ignore. Ms. Turmel is one symbol of this difference. For Ms. Turmel -- Québécoise, Canadian, federalist, trade union leader, New Democrat -- to carry a Bloc card for a few years was no big deal.Some thought that lesson was learned election night. The reason so many Québécois could move en masse from the Bloc to the NDP was not just be-

cause Mr. Layton was a great guy to have a beer with. He also shared and represented their values. Mr. Layton was progressive, a social democrat, committed to social justice. So were many Bloc voters who didn’t want Quebec to separate. Those were the social values that the two parties shared and that allowed the massive voting switch once it was clear that the Bloc was an exhausted force.Maclean's writer Martin Patriquin provides some useful insights. “… it’s amazing how few people have clued into this headsmackingly obvious point, but Turmel willingly ripped up her Bloc Québécois membership card to run for a dyed-in-orange federalist party [emphasis in original]. That alone should be evidence enough that her sovereigntist credentials weren’t quite Parizeau-calibre. If anything, Turmel’s (temporary) ascension to the head of the party, like the NDP’s overwhelming victory in May, is proof positive that detaching the left from the sovereigntist movement isn’t as impossible as it once was. How far we’ve come.”It’s only a matter of time until Quebec realizes the province and its interests are no longer a priority for much of Canada, especially for a right-wing government that Québécois repudiated and where the west and Ontario dominate. For all of us who can’t envision a Canada sans Quebec, there is dangerous potential here. Unexpectedly, the NDP has emerged as the best federalist bridge between Quebec and the rest of Canada. Jack Layton and Nycole Turmel are the embodiment of that bridge

Minister Toews meets with the Canadian Trucking Alliance Toronto — The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, today met with officials from the Canadian Trucking Alliance where he participated in a live broadcast to members, highlighting the Government’s continuing actions to ensure a safe, secure and efficient border.“A healthy and vibrant trucking sector is vital to the Canadian economy and to our con-

tinued recovery from the global economic recession, said Minister Toews. “One key to the overall health of Canada’s trucking industry is a smart and efficient border. The Government of Canada is working hard to improve conditions on the border for our truckers, and we are achieving results.”During the webcast, Minister Toews highlighted a number of initiatives

that the Government has already undertaken to improve the border, including the joint Declaration on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, announced by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama on February 4th, 2011. Both countries are now in the process of developing an ambitious action plan that will keep our borders open to legitimate

traders and travelers, and closed to those who would do us harm.Minister Toews also addressed the issue of cargo truck thefts and indicated the Government of Canada will work with the Canadian Trucking Alliance to examine whether additional legislation is required to address this growing criminal activity. ---------------------


August 11, 2011

Courageous Journalism

07

THE BLACK LAWS: CHARTERS OF SLAVERY (For continuitly see previous issue) EVERYONE GUILTY TILL PROVED INNOCENT Section 20 of the Special Court Act puts everybody in jeopardy and the dreaded sword of Damocles hangs on everybody's head. According to this section, if an accused person is shown to have been at a place declared as disturbed area at a time when firearms or explosives were used at or from that place to attack or resist the members of any armed forces or other state forces, then presumption is there, unless contrary is shown that 'such a person had committed such an offence.' This section is applicable to offences under sections 121, 121A, 122, or 123 Indian Penal Code which relate to the waging of war or attempting to wage war against the Government of India, conspiracy to wage war or overawe the Govenment of India, collecting arms with the intention to wage war, and concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war. Thus any law abiding and innocent person can be roped in with the help of these draconian principles. Such brutal laws have no place in a society which call itself as democratic and civilized. AVOIDING THE PUBLIC: TRIAL IN CAMERA Section 327 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides for open trial to which the public generally may have access, because public trial in open court acts as a check against judicial caprice or vagaries and serves as powerful instrument for creating confidence of public in fairness, objectivity and impartiality of the criminal justice. But the Special Courts Act offends these basic norms of fair trial. Sub-section (1) of Section 12 under the pretext of protection of witnesses provides that all proceedings before Special Court shall be conducted in camera. This provision is serving as a cover for hiding governmental incompetence and inefficiency and police brutality.In order to justify the existence of the special courts, the police have been hauling up large number of innocent persons, mostly in Arms Act. More than 80 per cent cases pending in various special courts in Punjab are under Arms Act because it is easy for the police to plant a knife or pistol on anyone. Due to trial in camera, the public has been deprived of the benefit of seeing with its own eyes as to what kind of terrorists the special courts try. If the trial is done openly, then public can see how the police has been dragging the innocents, the poor and the deprived. Since under the Special Courts Act accused can be detained for one year without charges being brought against him, and it may take another couple of years in detention if the trial begins, most of the accused, in spite of being innocent admit their guilt, on the advice and pressure of the police. The police does so in order to justify the arrest of the 'real guilty' convictions in cases under Arms act generally ranges from 7 to 8 months and the accused therefore after passing 7 or 8 months in jail, deem it better to admit there as the judge of the Special Court sentences them to imprisonment already undergone and release them. If these poor fellows do not admit the guilt then they will have to face trial for 2 to 3 years and remain in jail, which period will be far longer than they are going to get in sentence. Mrs. Narinder Kaur, Advocate at Jalandhar, narrated the following incident, which are usual in the Special Courts:A very poor, thin young man in tatters was brought before the Special Court and the police had advised him to make a confession that he had a knife in his pocket, so that he may be released as he had already undergone 5 months imprisonment. This incident was in December 1984."Did you have a knife?" the judge asked."Sir, I do not have even a shirt to wear" the boy answered in feeble voice."Did you have a knife or not?" the judge asked."Sir, I feel severe cold in the night. Please provide me some warm clothes in the night in the jail", the boy again answered.The judge again asked in a loud angry voice. "Did you have a knife or not?"The boy then said, in a harassed voice. “Okay Sir, if you say I had a knife, then I did have a knife.�So the confession was made, the boy released to be roped in again in future

because now he had become a confirmed convict, a confirmed terrorist.Following is another instance:State Vs. Sunder Singh, s/o Kaseru Singh, r/o BatalaDist. Gurdaspur, clean shavenU/S 25/54/59 Arms ActFIR No. 241 dated 26.10.84 P.S. Div. No 6 JalandharSunder Singh's niece was married in Ludhiana. He was going to Ludhiana on 23.10.84 to give some gifts and a new wrist watch to his niece. He also had Rs. 300 with him. While on his way at Jalandhar, ISI Iqbal Singh asked him to get down from the bus and brought him to Police Post at Model Town and snatched Rs. 300/- and the watch from him, and kept him in illegal detention from 20.10.84 to 26.10.84 and gave him severe beating. He also made Sunder Singh to write a letter for his family to bring money and his family members came and gave Rs. 400 to the ASI. A small knife was planted on him and case was registered. As the offence fell under the Special Courts Act, no bail was granted to him. During his detention his father died and wife became mental. As more than six months passed, he decided to make confession in order to be released. But he could not even make a confession because the police had not put up challan yet. Therefore, he requested the Court of Shri Arzinder Singh, Executive Magistrate, directing the police to put up the challan. The Magistrate directed the police to put up the challan but the police did not do so. Shri Sunder Singh again made an application on 18.2.85 for putting up challan and the magistrate passed an order on it on 19.2.85 directing the police to put up challan on 4.3.85 and also wrote a D.O. letter to SSP Jalandhar. But on 4.3.85 also the challan was no put up. Then Magistrate again ordered for production of the challan in the Court and also sent his Naib to the police station. However, the police informed that the said challan was not trace-

able and the next date was fixed on 16.5.85 Mrs. Narinder Kaur Varick, Advocate in the case told that there are several cases like this where the accused wants to falsely confess his guilt in order to get out of the jail, but this cannot be done because the police has been avoiding to put up the challan in the Court on one pretext or the other. WHO IS A TERRORIST? The people of Punjab, especially the Sikhs, have been smarting under the weight of the terrible onslaught of the definition of 'terrorist' flung over them under this Act. At the time of the promulgation of the said Act, the people of India were led to believe that the object of the Act was to deal with the terrorists only. But the Act is framed in such a manner that even petty crimes, family disputes, individual offences, which have no element of terrorism in them, are being tried under the Special Courts Act.One example illustrative case is of Toti alias Jaspal Singh Vs. State of Punjab, which is pending in the Supreme Court. The facts of the case are that on 15.7.84 at about 12.30 p.m. some accused, namely Toti alias Jaspal Singh, Bhajan Singh alias Harbhajan Singh, Harbans Singh and Harjeet Singh had a quarrel with Harvinder Pal Singh (since deceased) over the distribution of 'langar' at the Gurdwara of Ramgarhias, Jallandhar. After about 2 hours, the said accused waylaid Harvinder Pal Singh and one Randhir Singh near their houses. While Harbans Singh allegedly gave a fatal spade blow to Harvinder Pal Singh, Toti and Bhajan Singh allegedly gave two blows with sticks each on the person of Randhir Singh and injured him. After being arrested, all the aforesaid four accused filed bail applications in the court of Shri Jai Singh Sekhon, Sessions Judge, Jalandhar. The Judge accepted the bail of

Toti and Bhajan Singh but refused bail to other accused. The Judge observed that the case of Toti and Bhajan Singh stood on a different footing as they were alleged to have given only simple injuries on the person of Randhir Singh. The learned Sessions Judge also held that the act of these two accused did not fall within the definition of 'terrorist' as defined in section 2(h) of the said Act and that it was a stray incident.Aggrieved by the above order of the Section Judge releasing Toti and Bhajan Singh on bail, the brother of the deceased filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for quashing the order of the Sessions Judge and cancellation of the bail, on the ground that the acts of Toti and Bhajan Singh fell within the definition of 'terrorist' as defined in the Special Courts Act and therefore the Sessions Judge had no jurisdiction to hear the matter and only Special Court had jurisdiction over the same. This petition was heard along with similar other petition CRP No. 1292 of 1984 in the case of State of Punjab Vs. Piara Singh and the High Court disposed of both the petitions with the common judgment on 21.9.1984. Justice M. M. Punchhi, the learned judge of the High Court quashed the order of the district and Sessions Judge holding that the said Sessions Judge had no jurisdiction to hear the said bail applications because the offences were covered under the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act 1984. The judge further declared that the purpose of the Special Courts is not only to try the 'terrorists' but also other accused who have committed the scheduled offences. The judge said, "...It is a fallacy to say that the special courts are set up to try special offenders. They have been set up rather to try scheduled offences committed by offenders, whether terrorist or nonterrorist.


08

August 11, 2011

Courageous Journalism

Provincial Nominee Program is Another Fast Track Immigration Option Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are accepting more immigrants than ever. CIC plans to admit approximately 40,000 immigrants under the PNP in 2011 The PNP allow provinces to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province. Provincial Nomination is an important fast-track option to Canadian Permanent Residency. Each Canadian province and one territory have their own unique PNP. Requirements for each PNP differ as the programs are tailored to meet the province’s/territory’s specific needs. Provinces select nominees based on current labour needs and select applicants who will be able to effectively contribute to the community. Applicants who apply through the PNP must first receive a Provincial Nomination Certificate from the province or territory. Once a nomination is successful, an application must be made to CIC for a Permanent Residence Visa. Many applicants who do not qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program may be surprised to learn that they may qualify for a Provincial Nominee Program. Although the Federal Skilled Worker

Program only accepts applicants who have eligible skilled work experience or a skilled job offer from a Canadian employer, many of the PNPs accept applicants who have work experience considered as semi-skilled. For example, Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program BC Immigrant Nominee Program, Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, etc have their semi-skilled Categories.. New rules were introduced in April 2011 to the Temporary foreign Worker Program and requirements for both potential employees and Canadian employers have become stricter. Foreign workers who need to apply for a Canadian Temporary Work Permit and Canadian employers who need to hire foreign workers are encouraged to use an experienced Immigration consultant/lawyer to avoid making costly mistakes. As the Federal Skilled Worker Program is accepting fewer applications this year, many applicants will have to find new programs in which to qualify for Canadian Permanent Residency and the Provincial Nominee Programs can provide a great opportunity for those applicants. Advance Immigration Solutions Inc. Simarjit Kaur

One of three fired Health Canada scientists to have his job reinstated Union labels it a ‘sad day’ for public servants looking out for public safety After a seven-year legal battle, only one of three Heath Canada scientists fired by the government department will be getting his job back, the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB) has ruled. Shiv Chopra, Margaret Haydon and Gérard Lambert were critics of departmental practices when they were fired for insubordination in 2004. The three scientists filed five grievances related to disciplinary action and three related to abusive termination of employment to the board. All but one of the grievances were dismissed. The PSLRB ruled that Health Canada was too quick to fire Lambert. His position had been terminated

while he was on sick leave. The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

(PIPSC) is labeling the ruling a “sad day” for public servants who are raising awareness on public safety. “Devoted to protecting the health of Canada’s citizens, the three scientists acted morally to defend the public from products that they had reason to believe could have harmed the food chain and ultimately the lives of Canadians,” said president of PIPSC Gary Corbett. “Cases of dismissal like these do nothing

good to help public service whistleblowers to come forward and denounce wrongdoing within their departments.” The scientists opposed the use of a bovine growth hormone that was used to enhance milk production in cows in the late 1990s. Their public criticism let to a Senate inquiry and an eventual decision not to approve the drug. Later in their careers, they also cautioned that a drug used to promote growth in pigs could produce carcinogenic toxins and that a drug being used to promote growth in chickens and cows could produce antibiotic resistance in humans. PIPSC say that they will likely appeal the decision. The PSLRB has granted an adjudicator 90 days to determine the appropriate compensation of back wages and benefits for Lambert.

Dalton McGuinty Has To Stop Thumbing His Nose At Ontario Families QUEENS PARK — Today, Ontario PC Candidate Rocco Rossi called on Dalton McGuinty to stop thumbing his nose at Ontario families and instead give them the choice they deserve between his expensive energy experiments and sweetheart Samsung deal or relief for families with Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party. Earlier this year Brad Duguid misled voters and said it would cost too much to get out of Dalton’s sweetheart Samsung deal, but when the Liberals finally released the deal this week we learned we could have got out of the deal for nothing. However, last week Dalton McGuinty thumbed his nose at Ontario families and changed all that when he secretly changed the

contracts to make it more expensive for families to cancel the Samsung deal and secretly pushed through 1,800 other projects. Dalton McGuinty is trying to cement his legacy: making life unaffordable for Ontario families. This latest move is an insult to Ontario families who are already paying skyrocketing hydro bills. Under Dalton McGuinty hydro rates have skyrocketed by 84% - a whopping 150% if you have one of Dalton McGuinty’s mandatory smart meter tax machines. On October 6th Ontario families face a clear choice between more skyrocketing hydro bills with Dalton McGuinty, or relief on their hydro bills from Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party.

Ocean of Pearls “ ----- Finally Released on DVD

Troy, Mi. Lightpost Pictures is pleased to announce the release of “ Ocean of Pearls” on DVD. The movie can be ordered online www. Oceanofpearls.com or is now availableat the following locations in GTA: Sacha Sauda- Gurmat Parchar Society 2575 Steeles Ave. East Unit # 18, Brampton, Ont (905) 459-8351 Gurfateh Sewa Centre 99 Glidden Road, Brampton, Ont (647) 801-6806 Yudh Gatka Akhara Unit # 2- 1332 Khalsa Drive, Mississauga, Ont. (905) 459-7000 Kuldip Singh – Near Miss. Sq. One. (905) 277-8858 “ There have been many films, Serious and Comic about the culture clashesSarab Singh Neelam’s intense and distinctive “ Ocean of Pearls” is one of the Best---That Neelam was a medical doctor be-

fore becoming a filmmaker gives his picture its exceptional impact and complexity.” Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times. The movie is groundbreaking in many ways, noteworthy for being the fist film out of Hollywood by a Sikh director and also star a Sikh lead character. The story of Amrit Singh is one of an intense journey and his struggle to find peace as a young Sikh surgeon grappling to fit in. In his quest and ambitious persuit of career success, he soon Learns that he must define his singular identitybefore he achieves peace. It speaks to the universal challenges fased by many people (not just by sikhs)to balance romance, family, ethics and spirituality in today’s complex world. Dr. Neelam hopes it will be inspirational to all.


August 11, 2011

Courageous Journalism

Auto Section

09

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Review

Gliding along the rutted gravel road, the 2012 MercedesBenz ML350 demonstrates a grace totally at odds with the environment. Later, streaking along the highway at speed, it’s as if the ML polishes the road before it passes over it, so smooth and quiet is our progress. In this, the third generation of Mercedes’ first mainstream SUV, they’ve gotten the formula absolutely correct. Yes, the first

technological advances in both telematics and chassis control. Additionally, reworking the interior has improved ergonomics, making the ML more user friendly and more pleasant to operate. Anyone who’s ever tried to signal for a right turn in a Mercedes and inadvertently got the cruise control, will immediately appreciate the rearranging of the control stalks on the left side of the

two were also nice, however this one takes all the lessons learned from the previous two, throws out everything that could have worked better and builds upon everything that works well to create a better honed tool for transportation and recreation. Introduced in 1997, as a 1998 model, that first ML was quite an impressive (if somewhat unreliable) piece. In 2005, its sequel was introduced and improved upon it on a number of fronts. By moving away from the body on frame design to embrace unit body construction, the GEN2 ML became more spacious, more luxurious and a better handling automobile.This new one advances the state of that case even farther by combining the utilitarian aspects of its predecessors with the luxury and comfort expected of them as well. Then infusing it all with distinct

from inadvertently changing lanes when a car is in your blind spot. After the system both visually and audibly warns you of steering wheel. The cruise con- the presence of the neighboring trol stalk is now placed beneath vehicle, the ML will nudge you the turn signal. Our friends at back into your lane of travel. MBZ tell us this change will proliferate across the entire product line. That’s minor compared to the ML’s lane keeping capabilities though. The new ML, when sensing an inadvertent departure from your prescribed lane of travel, will nudge itself back across the line—unless you activate the turn signal to let it know you really intend to change lanes. Additionally, its blind spot monitoring system works in conjunction with the lane This, in conjunction with the ackeeping system to prevent you tive cruise control feature brings

By: Lyndon Conrad Bell

us one step closer to autonomous automobiles. Particularly when you consider the ML is also capable of applying full braking if it senses an imminent collision. Plus, the new electrically assisted power steering system fit-

ted to the ML also gives it the ability to park itself.

ing up 182 ft-lbs of torque to the oil burner. Regardless of the engine you choose, output is funneled to all four wheels via an all-new seven-speed automatic transmission. (Two-wheel drive versions of the ML will be available as well.) Ride and handling are improved by the adoption of active sway bars. Working in conjunction with the AIRMATIC suspension system, the new bars keep the ML absolutely flat when cornering, while also automatically decoupling to improve ride over rough surfaces. The new interior design takes the excellence expected of a Mercedes-Benz to a new plane. The fit, finish and juxtaposition of the componentry would signal luxury, even if the steering wheel were not graced with a three-pointed star. Naturally, wood and aluminum trim abound. The monitor of the COMAND system has

Two engines are available at launch for the new ML—a 302horsepower, 3.5-liter gasolinefired V6 producing 273 ft-lbs of torque; and a 240-horsepower, 3.0-liter diesel V6 making 455 ft-lbs of torque. Both engines are remarkably smooth in operation. The new direct injection gasoline engine, while delivering more power than the one it replaces, runs so efficiently it doesn’t need balance shafts. It also delivers a nicely sporty sound under full throttle while pulling vigorously. The extremely quiet diesel engine is just as smooth and defies classification when in operation. Still, while the 455 ft-lb figure sounds really impressive, the gasoline engine was livelier from a standing start despite giv-

been moved higher so it can be referred to with minimal eye movement away from the road. Bluetooth audio streaming and phone pairing are standard, as is a 10-gig music storage hard drive and an SD card slot, as well as the other more traditional methods of aural entertainment. Longer, lower and wider than the model it replaces, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML also offers more space, better performance and improved fuel economy. Plus, despite being more luxurious and providing significant technological advancements over its predecessor, this new one is offered at the same $49,685 starting price with the gasoline engine as the outgoing model. The diesel model starts at $51,365.


10

Courageous Journalism

August 11, 2011

S. Simranjit Singh Mann to contest election from Bassi Pathana informed that Mann would file nomination from Bassi Pathana general while Dharam Singh Nandpur Kalaur from Bassi Pathana(reserve). He said both these candidates will file their nomination in office of Returning Officer, Bassi Pathana on August 8. He said on the same day the party's candidate Randev Singh Debi will file nomination papers from Fatehgarh Sahib seat while FATEHGARH SAHIB : For- Shingara Singh Badla from mer IPS and Shiromani Amloh. Ruling SAD had alAkali Dal(Amritsar) presi- ready fielded Avtar Singh dent Simranjit Singh Mann Riya from Bassi Pathana will contest SGPC election reserve seat. from Bassi Pathana gen- It may be mentioned here eral seat. Mann, a former that there are four seats in MP will file his nomination district Fatehgarh Sahibpapers on August 8. It may Bassi Pathana , Bassi be mentioned here that rul- Pathana(reserve), Amloh ing SAD had fielded former and Fatehgarh Sahib. As minister Randhir Singh per Fatehgarh Sahib Cheema from Bassi Deputy Commissioner Pathana general and Pan- Yashvir Mahajan total thic Morcha is likely to field 1,28,691 voters may exerBhai Harpal Singh cise their right of voting in Cheema from this seat. the election on September Nomination process have 18 . He said 55,314 men already started. A meeting and 73,377 women are eliof SAD(Amritsar) activists gible voters. He said was held at Qila Harnam 41,897 voters will poll their Singh near Bassi Pathana. votes on Fatehgarh Sahib While giving details of the seat, 41,619 on Bassi meeting the party's political Pathana seat and 45,175 advisor Iqbal Singh Tiwana on Amloh seat.

Former 'anti-Khalistan' cop threatens hunger strike AMRITSAR: Former head constable Jaswant Singh Azad, who had resigned from police in protest against paying homage to self-styled president of Khalistan - a separate Sikh state demanded by Sikh radical organization- by the state assembly, has threatened to go on hunger strike against BJP for continuing its support to Akalis."After my resignation in 2007, the government tried to implicate me in different cases and even dismissed me from service, but I continued to speak against Khalistan and separatists. I even met BJP leaders, questioning their support

to Akalis. But they have their own political interests. So, I have decided to sit on hunger strike in front of BJP leaders' houses, beginning from BJP MP from Amritsar, Navjot Sidhu's house." Jaswant toldDenying that he was trying to tarnish the image of a political party, to the advantage of others, ahead of assembly elections, Jaswant Singh said, "People should know what these politicians are doing. Their double speak and hidden faces should be exposed before public so that they (general public) could make judgment before voting for a candidate," he said.

The so called "Baba" rapes teeanged girl in Delhi NEW DELHI: A 26-year-old 'baba' was arrested here for allegedly raping a teenaged girl who had approached him for counselling as she was repeatedly sexually abused by her previous employer, police said on Wednesday. Baba Wam Dev Ram alias Bam Dev, who also goes by the name Ramji Maharaj, was apprehended from Punjabi Bagh on Tuesday, ACP (West) V Renganathan said. "Ramji, who hails from Heala Ranchi in Jharkhand, is wanted in a gang rape case lodged in Rani Bagh police station. He was also arrested in a kidnapping case in 2006 in Simdega of Jharkhand," he said.

Surrey - 15000 people attended Manpreet Badal`s Rally The political Rally by Manpreet Badal in Surrey on Sunday was attended by over 15000 people, making it a record. It was addressed by Gurpreet Singh B h a t t i , Kushaldeep Singh, Jagbir Singh Brar and Bhagwant Mann, before Manpreet's emotionally charged and balanced speech. Laced with quotes from poetry and stories like Bhagat Puran, Manpreet mostly appealed people to come back to Punjab like Kamagatamaru's travellers and fight for the ‘freedom' of Punjab. He promised to coninue his fight until his last breath and assured that if any one from his family or friends or party commited

Mohe Ehai.. Shubh Karman Tey Kab'hoon Na Daron.."

any act that is against the principals set by him and the party, he himself will take that person to a round-about and hang the person upside down. While mostly mentioning Sha-

heed Bhagat Singh and his associates as his idols throughout the speech, Manpreet did mention Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji while wrapping up with the lines "Deh Shiva Var

to personally meet people. Later, while the other speaker's gave their The Rally was speech, Mapreet covered by sat in the middle most of the of audience, in Local SOuth the back stands. Asian Media as With dozens of well as the volunteers in yelm a i n s t r e a m low PPP t-shirts media. helping at the As he came into venue as well as the venue, while for the parking people were still and distribution of coming in and the water bottles, it stage was held by was mainly a well Dhadi Jatha, organised event Manpreet walked with coordination through the from Surrey stands and seats RCMP.


August 11, 2011

Courageous Journalism

Bebo's Not getting

Married Actor Kareena Kapoor is getting engaged in the last week of February next year, which will be followed by a wedding in October, sources close to her reveal. The venue for both the engagement and the wedding will be the princely palace in Bhopal. "Bebo (fondly called by her friends) and Saif are getting married by the end of 2012. The engagement date has also been chalked outaround Valentine's Day. Bebo is looking forward to the engagement," says a source close to the actor. Kareena is keen that the three Khans — Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman — attend her marriage and has apparently already informe them about her plans. The couple have been talking about getting married for quite sometime now, but haven't really made a formal announcement. "The engagement is also going to be a big celebration. The family members are already talking to

their friends to block their dates for the occasion. She wants all her friends to be there at the wedding," the source adds. The invitation cards for the engagement ceremony will be distributed in December, but they are still deciding about making a mention of the wedding date in it. "Kareena is rushing against time to complete all her film committments. By the middle of next year, they will both be comfortable in their work space as Saif's own production (also starring Kareena) Agent Vinod will also get released by that time. Saif and Bebo will take fifteen days off both for marriage, and about 10 days for the engagement," the source adds. The honeymoon destination is Bebo's favourite spot

After filmmaker Prakash Jha, it's time for actor Saif Ali Khan to pick up cudgels against the Mayawati government of Uttar Pradesh (UP), after the team was refused an entry into the state to promote their upcoming film based on caste reservation. "It pains me to hear that I am not welcome in a state of my country. It's such a shame that political parties are

11

minister hasn't responded to it. There are reports that U t t a r Pradesh government might ban the film from getting released in

'It's shocking!' allowed to dictate such terms. Whatever is happening to us at the moment is certainly not desirable," says Saif. Jha has been denied permission by the UP government to hold a seminar on job reservation at the Lucknow University. Later when they hired the Indira Gandhi auditorium, permission was denied yet again by the Lucknow Development Authority. Jha apparently has even left a message with a close associate of CM Mayawati saying that he is willing to arrange a special screening of the film for her but the chief

the state. On the other hand, Bihar's former chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav has asked for a special screening for him before the film releases in Bihar. According to Chhote Nawab, when the Censor Board has passed the film without any cuts, the political parties should respect the decision. "It is being unnecessarily made into an issue when it is not such an issue. How can you decide what is there in the film even before you have seen the film? We knew that we were working on a controversial subject, but we didn't know that we would get this kind of treatment from a certain section of people," adds Saif. The actor still hopes that better judgment will prevail. "I just hope that the political parties respect the sentiments and not scuttle an art form in this manner. This is not a political controversy, it's just a film. Whatever is happening is shocking for me," says Saif.

Neil fractures finger The actor's finger snapped while attempting to lift co-star Sonam Kapoor during a stunt sequence

Actor Neil Nitin Mukesh has fractured the small finger of his left hand while trying to lift co-star Sonam Kapoor. The mishap occurred when he was attempting a stunt for his forthcoming film. Neil, who had injured the same finger earlier, was advised by his doctor not to attempt such stunts. Now, Neil's left hand is in cast for 20 days, though he can continue shooting and his daily activities. According to doctors, the small finger has a fracture and a 'traumatic dislocation' of the

finger joint. The unit members heard the finger bone snap when Sonam was still in the air. "Neil was in excruciating pain as we heard his finger snap while doing the stunt. He was supposed to lift Sonam with a hand that had not entirely recovered from earlier injury. He was told not to exert pressure but Neil thought he could risk it," says a unit member. The finger snapped while Sonam was still in the air. Neil immediately hit the floor clutching his finger. Fortunately, the shot

was complete. "While the scene came out superb and the filmmakers are in praise of him, Neil is trying his level best to fix the injury soon as he has a hectic schedule ahead. X-rays have been done and doctors have told him he could continue shooting but has to keep his action junkie side at bay," the unit member adds. Apparently Sonam was concerned when Neil's finger snapped and she immediately freed herself from the harness (a precaution-

ary measure used during action sequences) and rushed to his help. "She bonded with Neil big time on the film sets and rushed to his help. Sonam also texted Neil continuously to check on his condition," the unit member added.

My father’s been my biggest influence: Amitabh Bachchan In spite of all the fame that is conferred upon him, the first thing that strikes you about actor Amitabh Bachchan is his no-airs-whatsoever attitude. The very presence of the actor is sure to silence everybody. The actor, who was in the city recently to promote his upcoming film, Aarakshan, has fond memories of the city. “I’ve been to Bangalore several times before... however, this trip seems to be quite relaxing. I remember the times spent in the city during Sholay days. There used to be only one hotel — Ashoka, where we stayed. It used to be a quite place then. But now I can’t even recognise the streets and was taking my co-star Deepika Padukone’s aid in helping me identify the localities.

There has been a fantastic progress,” he begins. Aarakshan, directed by Prakash Jha, is a high voltage socio-political drama based on one of the most controversial policies of caste-based reservations in education and jobs. Of his role, he says, “I play a man with idealistic goals who heads an institution. He has feelings for human beings and loathes the caste system. He is a compassionate person and is concerned about problems that underprivileged students face.” Incidentally, one of the scenes he shares with a journalist in the film seems to be his favourite. “I have a scene with a journalist who plays a crucial role in solving the mystery in Aarakshan. It is one of my favourite scenes,”


12

August 11, 2011

Courageous Journalism


11-08-11, issue