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Vol.8 , No. 1109 Thursday, December 15, 2011 29 Maghar, Nanaksahi Calendar 543

Punjabi Press Club visit Parliament Photo: Saad Ali , BreakfastBuzz

Ontario Gets 15 more Seats in the House of Commons OTTAWA — The House of Commons has passed a bill that would expand the chamber by 30 seats and give fairer representation to the country's fastest growing provinces. The bill passed by a vote of 154-131, with the Conservatives using their majority to overwhelm the opposition parties, all of which voted against the legislation. The government is hoping the bill will be passed by the Senate and given royal assent before Christmas so that Elections Canada can use the new seat formula when it begins the boundary redistribution process early in the new year. The bill would put 30 additional seats up for

grabs in the next election, expanding the Commons to 338 seats. Ontario would get 15 more seats, British Columbia and Alberta six each -- all three fast-growing provinces have been badly under-represented for years. Quebec, which has enjoyed a slight overrepresentation, would also get three more seats, keeping its share of seats precisely equal to its 23.1-per-cent share of the population. The NDP opposed the bill on the grounds that Quebec's share of seats should be maintained at just over 24 per cent. The Liberals argued that the number of

Commons seats should remain unchanged but with each province's share rejigged to better reflect their share of the population.

Charles, Camilla to visit Canada in 2012 for Queen's jubilee Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are planning to visit Canada next year, as part of celebrations to mark 60 years of the Queen's rule. The visits were announced by the Buckingham Palace Wednesday but no dates were revealed. "Further details of the regional and overseas visits will be announced in due course," the Palace said. Charles and his wife, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, will also visit Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in 2012.

The Queen turns 86 in April and the Duke of Edinburgh 91 in June. Both will be travelling within the United Kingdom for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. "The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, supported by other members of the Royal Family, will be travelling as widely as possible across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland," the Palace said. "In addition, members of the Royal Family will travel overseas representing The Queen throughout the

Diamond Jubilee year, visiting every Realm as well as undertaking visits to Commonwealth countries, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories." Prince Harry will tour Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, while Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. Prince Andrew will visit India, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie will visit the Caribbean, Princess Anne will visit Mozambique and Zambia.


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Courageous Journalism

December 15, 2011

Sikh Press Special

Princess Bamba Sutherland

THE Princess Bamba Collection has been acquired by the' Government of Pakistan for preservation as a national asset by the Department of Archaeology. It belonged to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh ruling dynasty of the Punjab and his son Maharaja Dalip Singh. Most of its objects appear to have originally gone out of the Sikh Darbar in Lahore to England, where Maharaja Dalip Singh was exiled after the annexation of the Punjab by the British in 1849. The collection remained in his Suffolk home as a family treasure, which was later on inherited by his daughter, Princess Bamba Jindan, who died issueless in 1957. The collection is, therefore, of immense historical significance as it throws ample light on the life and time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, his son Maharaja Dalip Singh and the Sikh Darbar in Lahore. It also reveals a distinct artistic taste of the Sikh royal princes during the turbulent period of the mid-!9th century Punjab. Although, Sikhism was born as a result of a great wave of spiritual awakening during the 15th century in the areas now called West Pakistan, the growth of Sikh political power in the Punjab and the North Western regions in the beginning of the 19th century, deserves a critical appreciation for understanding the implications of the regional cultures. The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, was born at a village named Talwandi (modern Nankana Sahib) near Lahore. He preached against idolatry, caste distinction and hypocrisy, and gave his followers a comprehensive ethical code. A close study of the events connected with the lives of his religious successors-the Gurus-will reveal how deeply they were associated with Pakistan. The presence of over 130 shrines dedicated to different Gurus, situated in the length and breadth of West Pakistan, bear testimony to their close and continuous con-

Princess Bamba, the Maharajah's eldest daughter, was born on the 29 September 1869 in London, a year after Prince Frederick. She was baptised Bamba Sofia Jindan Duleep Singh, named after her mother and grandmothers’ respectively. Princess Bamba enrolled at Somerville Hall School, Oxford, with her sister Princess Catherine. Whilst Catherine passed all her examinations, Princess Bamba was not so good in her studies, poor in French prose and translation, but she succeeded in grammar. At the end of the term the sisters came back from Oxford to London with Miss Schafer, which they spent by going to the local concerts and Operas In 1915, Princess Bamba at the age of 46, married Lieutenant-Colonel David Waters Sutherland,. an Indian Army doctor, who later became the Principal at King Edwards Medical College, Lahore, from 1909 to 1921. She frequently visited India during the days of the British Raj, but after arriving back in Britain in 1946, the country was partitioned a year later. India became Independent, which resulted in the formation of Pakistan. The Punjab suffered the greatest with the border between the two nations split right down the middle of the Punjab. Princess Bamba’s beloved Punjab and the Kingdom of her forefathers was no more in existence. In the following year Princess Sophia died, leaving Princess Bamba very lonesome. Her health started failing further after the death of her little sister but she kept herself going by keeping busy and moving from one of her homes to another. Hilden Hall was left to Princess Sophia, who in turn had left it to Bamba. But the Princess gave up the grace and favour home at Hampton Court and began to share her time between Penn and Blo Norton. Back in England, Princess Bamba began styling herself as the Queen of Punjab. She had her father’s rebellious side and seemed the more aggrieved one.[ii] On

visiting Jarrolds, the high Street bookstore in Norwich, she demanded her driver George Davey to park outside the store, causing traffic. A Policeman requested ‘Madam, please move the car’ she replied in her stern voice ‘Do you know who you are talking to, I am the Queen of the Punjab’. The grumpy Queen would dress in her finery when visited by her Sikh countrymen at Blo Norton, who had started migrating toat the turn of the century. She would sit and take in all the attention she could get from them.[iv] During this period she was visited by her cousin Karl Wilhelm, grandson of Ludwig Muller, at Hilden Hall, by which time she was already dreaming of going back to India in order to die there.[vi] In his memoirs Karl Wilhelm referred to Bamba as ‘the true heiress of Ranjit Singh’ meaning that she was most conscious of the actually desperate situation of the whole family. ‘She considered the Punjab and Kashmir as the lost possession of her family and was absolutely furious when the border between Pakistan and India was drawn right across the Punjab.’ In Princess Bamba’s eyes, Pakistan or India did not exist, there was just the Punjab and its capital Lahore. A neighbour in Lahore recalled ‘Old Princess Sutherland, the last descendant of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, complained that she could not get a seat on the bus, when all Punjab should have been hers! The old lady spent her days dreaming about her ancestral glory’[vii] On the 10 March 1957 Princess Bamba died of heart failure at the age of 89. She had outlived her entire family and the final chapter of a tragic story was completed and finally laid to rest. Her funeral was conducted in a Christian ceremony in Lahore. Her rites witnessed by a select few Pakistani dignitaries. But due to the sensitive relations between India and Pakistan at the time, who had just fought a war some years earlier, there were sadly no Sikhs present at Princess Bamba’s funeral.

tact with this area during the centuries following the death of their founder. Guru Nanak had emphasised that fundamental truth underlines all religions and the chief features of his system were its 'non-sectarian character and its harmony with secular life.' The early Gurus were religious preachers and did not interfere in politics; but later on, their conflicts started with the Mughal emperors, and after the death of Emperor Aurang-zeb, the Sikhs under the leadership of their religious leaders over-ran the provinces of Sirhind and Delhi. The 18th century was, thus, a period of political upheaval in the Punjab. After Guru Gobind Singh in 1708 had entrusted the secular affairs of the Sikhs to Lachman Das, a Hindu Pandit, who was re-named Banda Bahadur and who returned to the Punjab from Deccan with Guru Gobind Singh's banner, his battle drum and five arrows and spent most of his time in fighting the Mughal forces of Emperors Bahadur Shah and Farukhsiyar. Banda Bahadur tried to introduce certain religious innovations in the Sikh faith, but the orthodox element headed by the wife of Guru Gobind Singh, opposed these changes. His difference with the orthodox group of Sikhs resulted in the desertion of a large number of his followers with

the result that he suffered a defeat at the hands of the Mughal army. With Banda's death in 1716 the political power of the Sikhs came to a steep decline. The religious affairs were entrusted to Bhai Mani Singh with the backing of the faction led by the wife of Guru Gobind Singh. At the same time, the Mughal power had also started showing signs of disintegration. T h e Marathas were consolidating their position and the Jats were in open revolt around the capital itself. The prevailing political anarchy was aggravated by the successive invasions of Nadir Shah in 1738 and Ahmad Shah Abdali from 1748 to 1767. These invasions helped the Sikhs to establish their rule in the Punjab over the area extending from Rawalpindi to the bank of Jamna in the east and up to the Thar desert in the south. But the internal conflicts augmented the different Sikh factions and hostilities of the Afghans, the Dogras, the Gurkhas, the Marathas and the English created great obstacles in the establishment of a stable Sikh Government. Out of this chaos Maharaja Ranjit Singh, by dint of his chivalry and statesmanship, consolidated a powerful kingdom on the northwest of the Sutlej, at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This he did by strengthening both his political and military power. The inhabitants of the Punjab, irrespective of caste or creed, were associated with his Government. His army consisted of the Sikh, Gurkha, Panjabi Musalrnan and Pathan soldiers. European officers, at one time, nearly three dozen, were employed to organise and train the troops. The highly placed foreign officers in his service were French Generals Ventura, Allard and Court; Avitabile, an Italian, and Colonel Gardner an Irishman, who commanded his cavalry, infantry and artillery.


Courageous Journalism

December 15, 2011

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THE SIKH TURBAN (For comtinuity see previous issue) Conclusion- In sum, the debate regarding whether conspicuous articles of faith are permissible in Western society due to security and/or more pragmatic concerns, such as enabling accurate identification and facilitating effective communication, is primarily a European phenomenon focused on Muslims and Muslim religious clothing. From this analysis it is evident that a number of sophisticated countries are engaged in this debate, and that serious infringements of the ability of Muslims, Sikhs, and others to wear insignias of their faith have occurred in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The United States, as a host for hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Sikhs, is necessarily involved in the enterprise of determining where on the integration-passive multiculturalism spectrum its society lies—and consequently determining the extent to which the Sikh turban will be tolerated or challenged not only as a symbol of terrorism, but as an assault on American identity and solidarity. From the Sikh perspective, the legal framework available to Sikhs is still emerging, though recent developments support the contention that this framework may adequately protect Sikhs if Congress were to pass a ban on conspicuous articles of faith in public schools, as the French did in 2004. IV. Conclusion As noted at the outset, this Article aims to draw attention to the state of

the Sikh turban through an analysis of how the turban has transformed from an article of religious devotion to a cue for violence and object of marginalization. Indeed, in various contexts and settings, Sikh-Americans have been subject to an unfortunate backlash in which their distinct appearance has been used as a proxy for the identity of a terrorist or terrorist-sympathizer. Broader efforts to

and “terrorist”—though the nation’s laws may protect Sikhs from a more drastic and wide-reaching policy of prohibiting Sikhs from wearing turbans in public schools. Sikhs, however, must continue to utilize non-legal methods to ensure that discriminatory activities do not occur in the first place, primarily by educating individuals who are unfamiliar with the Sikh turban or who are likely

achieve integration by eliminating conspicuous articles of faith from the public sphere have also challenged the Sikh identity on indirect grounds. In this Article, we have observed that the American legal system is unlikely to protect Sikhs from the most common form of discrimination—verbal insults such as “bin Laden,” “raghead,”

to associate it with terrorism. Because redress through the courts takes significant time and is not certain to produce desired results, a preventative approach—where Sikhs educate others of their identity and commitment to fundamental American principles—is likely to be the more effective means by which Sikhs are seen as a distinguishable, but

still a welcomed, part of the American race. Through non-legal avenues, such as awareness and outreach efforts,338 the discrimination experienced by this minority community, one that espouses basic American values of equality and civic involvement, will hopefully cease and will not remerge with increased fervor if there is another act of terrorism on American soil. As Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook noted in 2003, “[T]hose who keep heads covered as a sign of respect for (or obedience to) a power higher than the state should not be . . . threatened with penalties.”339 Nor should they be threatened with marginalization, physical injury, or even death because of a superficial resemblance with our real shared enemy. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Sikhs were forced to organize to respond effectively to threats to the Sikh community and in particular to the Sikh appearance. Subsequent efforts led to significant achievements in the ability of Sikhs to maintain their religious identity and to defend their rights when and if that identity is challenged. For example, Sikh civil rights organizations have kept the Sikh community informed of its rights and published guidelines explaining how to respond to racial profiling or harassment in airports or other public space, see, e.g., Sikh Media Watch and Resource Task Force,

Turban in western countries TURBAN derived from the ancient Persian word dulband through the Turkish tarbush, is a long scarf wrapped around the head. It is a common head-dress for men in Middle Eastern and South-Asian countries. As a form of head-dress, it is of semitic origin and was an essential

pagg lahuna, literally to knock off the turban, means to insult; and pag vatauna, literally to exchange turbans, signifies the transformation of friendship into brotherhood vowing fraternal love and loyalty. Until recent times wearing of a head-dress, turban or cap, usually of the

part of the Israeli High Priest’s uniform in Moses’ day, 1300 BC, as stated in the Old Testament (Exodus, 28: 4). In India, it is to be seen as worn by men depicted in the Ajanta caves (200 BC) and on the Sanchi Gateway (150 BC). Traditionally, wearing of turban was a sign of holiness, and frequently, its size, material and style indicated the position and rank of the wearer. The Sanskrit word pak, from which the Punjabi pagg, or turban, is obviously derived, stands for maturity and greyness of hair. Punjabi idiom and usage also testify to the importance of turban as a symbol of respectability. For example, pagg di laj rakkhna, literally to maintain the honour of the turban, means to behave in a socially proper manner;

former, by all men from boyhood onwards was almost universal in the Punjab. Even now customs persist preserving the importance of turban in Punjabi society and culture. A bridegroom, irrespective of the religious tradition he belongs to, would as a rule wear a turban on his wedding day. A turban is ceremonially presented to and worn by the son at the end of the obsequies in honour of a deceased parent. Turban is the coveted prize during wrestling matches. While other communities in the Punjab have gradually discarded the wearing of turban generally under the influence of western culture, for the Sikhs it has a religious significance. In fact, along with untrimmed hair, turban has

become a distinguishing feature of the Sikh male the world over. The Gurus wore turbans, and their disciples naturally followed them. Guru Arjan (15631606) describing a true man of God had mentioned turban being a part of an ideal appearance (GG, 1084). By the time of the Sixth Master, Guru Hargobind (1595-1644), turban wearing Sikhs began to think themselves equals of the be turbaned ruling class, the Mughals. When in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) manifested the Khalsa; he included the kesh or hair, and kangha or comb, among the five K’s or mandatory symbols of the faith to be worn by all Sikhs. Turban, being essential to keep the hair neatly tied up, thus became an obligatory item of dress for the Sikh male. The women continued to keep their hair combed downwards and covered with a flowing scarf, although some of them particularly those joining the fighting Nihang order, also donned turbans like the males. The use of a cap or tarbush below the turban is not permitted the Sikhs. Instead, a shorter and lighter piece of cloth is normally used as an under-turban. The shape or style and colour of the turban allow for individual taste. However, particular styles and colours have come to be adopted by followers of certain sects. The Nihangs, for instance, carry blue or yellow turbans spun around their heads in a conical

shape, whereas the Namdharis invariably wear white in a flat, coif-like style. The newly-emerged community of American Sikhs has also taken to white headgear for men as well as for women. The Nirmalas wear ochre and members of the political party, the Akali Dal, generally deep blue or black. A style becoming popular with the youth is the turban wrapped a bit bulkily, but sprucely, to a sharp, high frontal point, imparting to it a regal look. This came from the court of the Sikh Maharaja of Patiala. Another distinctive mode is marked by the Sikh army soldier’s turban with its neatly arranged emphatic folds. Geography demarcates turban styles too, more among the common people. For Sikhs, the use of turban excludes the wearing of a cap. In India, Sikh riders of motorcycles are exempt from wearing crash helmets. Similarly, a Sikh soldier would not wear a steel helmet even under shelling or firing. However, in some foreign countries the compulsion of wearing a turban, like the wearing of long, untrimmed hair, has sometimes led to the Sikhs being placed in a position of conflict with employers or even governments whose rules or laws require the wearing of a cap or helmet. The turban being religiously obligatory for the Sikhs, a more tolerant view has begun to be taken recently. For example, the Motor Cycle Crash Helmets (Religious Exemption) Act passed in British Parliament in 1976 exempts “any follower of the Sikh religion while he is wearing a turban” from having to wear a crash helmet. Similarly, the highest court of the country in the United Kingdom, the House of Lords, has ruled that Sikh drivers and conductors of public vehicles are not to be compelled to wear caps. Similarly in Canada in 1986 Sikhs in Metro Toronto Police were permitted to wear turbans while on duty, and since 1990 turbaned Sikhs may join The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).


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Courageous Journalism

December 15, 2011

The pill that failed Nonica Dutta

A Historic visit to the Parliament Hill by the Punjabi Press Club Dr. Solomon Naz ( 416-661-7272+3) A Historic visit to the Parliament Hill by the Punjabi Press Club The visit of the Punjabi Press Club of Canada was of immense value to a great extent. One of the reason that dispels the allusion in main stream media was the non significance of all the ethnic media. It has portrayed; primarily Punjabi media, no more than a scandalous story teller group of Punjabis both in print, TV and radio. On the contrary, the reception given to this group of 25-30 members by the Conservative and Opposition accept our existence and its impact Canada wide. This meeting impressed Canadian population both from Punjabi and European origin. The most significant effect is the growth of Punjabi media from its infancy to the youthful existence. It negates the truth that Punjabi Canadian Press Club media is not a fairy tale teller but a serious leader of ethnic Punjabis all over Canada.The group was lodged in Radisson hotel just ten minutes walk from the Parliament Hill. The early morning breakfast meeting with Ms. Sheila Cop, Ex Deputy Prime Minister of Canada stared 9 AM. Monday in the same Hotel with her short message of welcome and her further vision to strengthen the Liberal Party to its old time glory. She revealed her intention to run for the President of the Liberal Party of Canada in future.It was first time in the history of Punjabi Media that such an event took place with a glorious reception from all Political Parties. From all these Parties, at different times, the arrangement for break fast, lunch and Dinner was highly appreciated on both, Monday and Tuesday.Although the main object was a “meet and greet” outing. It always turned out to be a period of briefing from the political perspective on subjects like Super visas, Immigration, acceptance of credentials, kidnappings and murders of women,employement , hyped insurence premiums, on human rights and its violation in India and Kashmir and backlog of family unification and its implications. It is the first precedent of ethnic media and its reception at the Hill. The MPs. Asked to make it a yearly event in future.The Punjabi Media all fom Print, Radio and TV is thrilled to thank MP. francoise Boiwin, MP. Jasbir Sandhu, MP. Jinny Sims, MP. Don Davies, MP. Andrew Cash, MP. Peter Julian, MP. Ted Hsu, Minister of Spors Hon. Ball Gosal, MP. Bob Dechert, MP. Dr. Kirsty Duncan and MP. Frank Valeriote. And many other MPs greeted the Club members in a cordial way. Above all you cannot go without mentioning the name of Bob Ray the leader of Liberal Party designated to greet and participate in our breakfast meeting on Tuesday . MP Justin trudeau gave a sound speech for ten minutes; accepting the failure of the party to integrate the youth of Canada in the fiber of Canadian society.It is woth mentioning the staff and coodinating officialls Dilbag Puar and Rupinder Kaur were excellent hosts to welcome us all. There was a historic opportunity to visit the parliament Hall at question and answer period and see how the proceedings of the Parliament are conducted.Frankly speaking, this was a chapter in the history of the Punjabi media never mentioned before on such larger than life screen. We do believe that the progress of a comminity is definitely determined by such creative steps and we do hope in future such programs will effect and impress stream society. It leaves never ending effect that how creative we are and how we participate in our Canadian life. This is all that multiculturalism stands for called integration with all our hues and colors. The political parties do under stand how much contribution Punjabi Community has made in polling in Punjabi MPs and MPPs. in all parties. We do understand the creative effect we can render with our culture, language and media. I do hope we send a strong message of our Punjabi Media and its effect in our political life. Above all let me thank the man behind all this historic visit. Our new Coordinator elect of the Punjabi Press Club of Canada; Mr. Sukhminder Hansra who worked tirelessly to make it a success story.

CONTRACEPTION is the ‘in thing’ in today’s young India. Young women in small and big towns freely carry contraceptives in their kits, goes the prevailing modern perception. National surveys by leading magazines suggest an increasing use of contraceptives among the ‘rich’ and ‘poor’, ‘educated’ and ‘uneducated’, ‘rural’ and ‘urban’. With the globalisation of Indian economy, sex too is all easy to get, according to the modern media representation. A feel good factor, good coffee and good, safe sex. Hard-bitten brokers of power and money claim to think of a rich India monopolised by economic and social freedom. Their optimism uplifts the middle class sensibility. ‘We are modern gals’, spoke a group of middle class girls in unison in a prestigious woman’s college in Delhi University. ‘We enjoy sex, we party and we have fun’. Their hopes and dreams set me thinking. As I set out to probe the rhetoric of the so-called sexual freedom in the context of a snarling neo-nationalist and neo-liberal India that is emerging at such rapid speed, I decided to step back a little amid this chorus of jubilation and pipe dream of the urban young in the country. I tried to recall the history of contraception, and what it has come to mean in our country where sex was till late almost a taboo. It’s worthwhile to go back to the fragmentary narratives of sex and contraception and understand the different ways contraceptive practices have or have not affected women’s lives in India. They did it in Rome Well, they did it in Rome, too. In one of the seminal articles, the distinguished Oxford historian Keith Thomas revealed that upper class Romans in their desire for small families were concerned with contraception. Not only was contraception not a modern invention of the 19th century, Thomas demonstrated that contraception theory was part of a vibrant medical tradition which can be traced back to Aristotle and the Hippocratic Corpus. The ancient Egyptians too engaged with the practice of contraception. In the 9th century discussions were frequent in Arab literature on intra-vaginal female methods of contraception; these ideas travelled to the West. Thereafter, a complex history of contraception unfolds, as sexuality came to be policed from different quarters, including the church, religion, dominant institutions, and the guardians. The language of contraception transformed in the 19th century. It came to be ensconced in the ideas of freethinkers and political radicals in the West. They used the concept to ‘demystify nature and to promote social justice for the working classes’. In 1822, Francis Place, an English workingman, endorsed contraception, explaining to the working class population in industrial cities that sex should be separated from procreation. After much ado, a spring-loaded rubber vaginal diaphragm, thanks to the efforts of Wilhelm P.J. Mensinga, a German physician and professor of anatomy, became the symbol of modern contraception. Finally, came the marketing of the ‘antiovulant birth-control pill’ in 1960. A lively feminist discussion set the tone for ‘reproductive autonomy’ for women and made contraception synonymous with sexual freedom and choice. Annie Besant, the socialist-feminist and later an advocate of India’s independence, pioneered a campaign for contraception and women’s rights in the late 19th century England. The term ‘birth control’ was coined in a 1914 issue of The Woman Rebel, a military feminist journal published in New York by Margaret Sanger. Her campaign, like her British counterpart Mary Stopes, was for social justice, and made way for the opening of the birth-control clinic. Sanger’s ideas travelled to India when she met the Mahatma for a historic conversation. For Sanger, birth-control meant contraception, for Gandhi birth-control meant self-control. Emphasizing sexual abstinence, Gandhi regarded birth-control measures as dangerous. (Cont.. to page no 6)

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December 15, 2011

Courageous Journalism

Machiavellian policies of India’s Thanks to the Machiavellian policies of India’s crafty rulers the ‘Path Forward is Backward’ for India’s poor, many of them Muslim by Dr. Amarjeet Singh A well-researched report from India, headlined, “For India’s Lowest Castes, Path Forward Is Backward,” published last weekend, Friday, in the New Yorkbased Wall Street Journal, has focused on how despite India’s so-called ‘expanding economy’, the fruits of rising wealth and opportunities for economic and social mobility, have largely bypassed India’s unwashed poor. This negative phenomenon has NOT only touched the poor 170 million Dalits (formerly called ‘untouchables’ who have been doing a ‘standing march’, except for a few exceptions: > http:// ngm.nationalgeographic. com/ngm/0306/feature1/ <; since independence in 1947) but, has also pushed a majority of India’s over 140 million oppressed MUSLIM minority downwards, socially and economically. With Muslims recruitment being also nearly banned from the lucrative jobs in the fighting arms of the huge Indian Defence forces – Muslims used to make up over 25% of the Indian Army before 1947 – this huge egalitarian, monotheistic minority community of 140 million is rapidly joining India’s six hundred million ‘underclass’ and becoming the NEW unwashed ‘Dalits’ in the worlds largest, dynastic, dystopian demoNcracy – India. Are the monotheistic Sikh and Christians minorities next in line? See WSJ report at: > http://online.wsj.com/article/ S B 1 0 0 0 1 4 2 4 0 5 2 970204903804577080700006684514.ht ml? KEYWORDS=+Geeta+anand <For centuries in ‘Hindu’ India, caste, in which one was born, determined not only peoples’ social status but their marriages and occupations as well. The hierarchy is based on four broad caste groups (topped by the priestly Brahmins), each divided into thousands of subgroups. An Agarwal from the Bania caste married within that group and grew up to become a businessman; a Yadav would herd cattle, a Kashatrya would bear arms. Members of the Paraiyar group— from which the word ‘pariah’ is derived - performed menial labor, and because they were considered unclean, were forced to live outside the villages. India’s morally repugnant caste-ridden rulers, (an evil nexus of the Brahmin and the Bania upper castes) claim they are trying to engineer advancement for India’s hundred of millions unwashed underclass through a vast and growing affirmativeaction program. To decide who should benefit, the Wall Street Journal report correctly says, that, “officials are adapting a means of categorization, long viewed by many as one of the great evils of Indian society: the Hindu caste system. Since 1993, India has almost doubled, to 2,251, the number of groups on its offi-

cial list of ‘backward classes’ that may be entitled to 27% of central-government jobs and university admissions, and a varying proportion of state jobs. Officials are in the process of classifying roughly 200 more groups as officially ‘backward’ in the hope that they benefit as well”. For the first time in 80 years – since 1930 when the British colonials abandoned the concept - India is now conducting a ‘caste census,’ tallying India’s thousands of sub-castes. A caste census has long been taboo, for fear it would reinforce discrimination. But this year, lower-caste groups are reported to have forced the government’s hand, so it is being said. Their hope: The tally will show low-caste numbers are much higher than thought previously, justifying more government benefits and perhaps even job quotas in the private sector. India’s lowest classes once tried to hide their backgrounds. Now these classes, along with many a ‘hungry’ Muslim, whose religion is egalitarian, are applying for official status as a ‘backward class’ so they can qualify for a government affirmative action program. Among the Hindu groups now petitioning the government to be considered ‘backward’ are the Devangas in the state of West Bengal, traditional weavers whose name means ‘those who make clothes for God.’ Across India’s estimated 6,400 subcastes, the system came to define a person’s socioeconomic status. It continues to serve fundamental economic needs: Absent strong market forces or public institutions, people use caste networks to obtain jobs, loans and housing. But caste can be fiercely discriminatory. Communities developed incentives to maintain their rung on the caste ladder, lest those below pass them. Even though the lowest social group, the Dalits - once known as ‘untouchables’ - has produced some successful businesspeople, it still lags well behind higher classes who have twice the median household income, a recent survey shows. Around the time India opened its economy 20 years ago, ending decades of Soviet-style central planning, it also set out to create a society of equal opportunity. It did so by more than doubling the quota of jobs and seats in government colleges reserved for disadvantaged castes. India’s lower castes - a huge voting bloc - have used their newfound influence to express frustration at their lack of economic mobility as the economy races ahead. India is unique in the whole world for having such a complex social system to identify people in need. Yet observers say the affirmative-action program promotes inter-caste resentment

when India’s 1.2 billion people compete for far too few jobs. India’s Constitution guarantees equality to all. But it also enshrines caste-based affirmative action for Dalits, known in legal terms as ‘scheduled castes,’ and for indigenous forestdwellers, known as ‘scheduled tribes.’ In time, the government created a third group, the ‘Other Backward Classes.’ The danger in using caste as a development tool, critics say, is that the government is perpetuating ancient divisions that still run deep. Just this April, the Indian Supreme Court in a wide-ranging ruling blasted the caste system as ‘a curse on the nation,’ saying ‘the sooner it is destroyed, the better.’ That ruling outlawed India’s unofficial courts that sanction ‘honor killings,’ in which families kill young lovers who are from different castes rather than suffer the stigma of a marriage across caste lines. China, which has successfully lifted a vast majority of its rural poor, has taken a different approach, investing more heavily in public health, education and infrastructure. China as a result outranks India in measures including poverty and maternal mortality. Being categorized ‘backward’ in India is no guarantee of benefits says the Wall Street Journal report and asserts that, “Despite the job quotas, many people still can’t meet minimum requirements to get hired. Even most of the lowest paid jobs in most state offices in India require an eighth-grade education, which many people lack”. Reporting from Hasnabad, in West Bengal near the Bangladesh border, Pracheta Sharma of the Wall Street Journal, reports, the sad story of one, Siraj Gazi, a Muslim college graduate. She writes that, “Decades ago, Siraj Gazi’s grandfather changed his last name of Chowduli to the higher-caste Gazi. He hoped it would erase the social stigma of his low-caste roots. Today, 23-year-old Mr. Siraj Gazi, a college graduate, is trying to prove that he is, in fact, a Chowduli - a surname so low, it is akin to a racial epithet here. “My grandfather wanted to stop people from looking down on us as ignorant and backward,” says Mr. Gazi. “But to get a better job, I’m willing to go back.” Siraj Gazi, the young man who wants to change his name back to Chowduli, is the first member of the community whom anyone in the area can remember getting a college degree. He paid full tuition - all told, about $200 for a three-year degree at a state school. Not even his degree has helped him land a decent job. He works part-time in a plant that filters arsenic out of drinking water. Thus, he has been trying for two years to

get an official government certificate identifying him as a Chowduli to gain the advantages of ‘backward’ designation. He graduated this year with a bachelor of science, majoring in geography. “We’re illiterate,” says Siraj’s stepmother, Murjina Bibi, “so we don’t really know what things he can do with an education. But the family is ‘very proud’ of his degree. We hope he can find a good job”. Siraj’s part-time work in the arsenic-filtering plant pays him about $3.20 a day. His goal is to move up to ‘any kind of permanent job he can get that has job security, he says. When asked what job that would be, he pauses to think. The only employers he knows of in the area are a kiln and an ice factory, he says. At length, Siraj says, “The best thing I can hope for is a government job of the type I might get more easily with the ‘backward’ status that the Chowduli surname will confer. Beggars can’t be choosers.” In the Hasnabad area, where 750 Chowduli Muslim families live on the edge of ponds and canals, 40% of students don’t show up to elementary school for half the year, teachers say, when their parents travel to work in brick kilns several miles away. The Chowdulis are Muslim, and therefore outside of the traditional Hindu caste system. But the word ‘caste’ is routinely used by government experts to refer to social strata in underprivileged Muslim communities. West Bengal state, where the Chowdulis live, has nearly doubled its number of backward classes to 108 the past two years, largely by the inclusion of Muslim groups. INDIA SOME DYSTOPIA! India’s unhappy Sikh minority, numbering twenty five million who have been captive in Indian occupied Punjab since 1947, and have faced state-sponsored bloody pogroms in 1984, are fortunate that, they may never face a hopeless situation like the Muslim minority of India described above. The 25 million Sikh minority currently captive in the Indian map are proud of their influential compatriots, the over three million strong prosperous Sikh diaspora, living allover the world, who believe (like the Jewish diaspora before 1948 believed in a state of Israel) in an independent Sikh buffer state of Khalistan on the South Asian subcontinent, stretching from the Jumna river on the East to the Pakistan border in the West. Despite the distance, the Diaspora Sikhs continue to repeat the Sikh prayer, Raj Karayga Khalsa’ (‘Sikhs will Rule’) every day in every Gurdwara abroad, and in India, which keeps the flame of freedom burning in every Sikh’s heart. Khalistan Zindabad

Maharashtra DF Govt.’s farmer’s Package is Eyewash Maharashtra DF Govt. to today most waited announcement of giving Rs.2000 crore relief package for 40 lakhs hector crop loss compensation is another eyewash as earlier vidarbha farmer packages of year 2005 and 2006 has dashed hopes of more than 5 million farmers who are facing severe economical crisis due to massive crop failure who are demanding the bailout package and hike in MSP of cotton ,soybean and paddy as this will trigger another spiral of farmer suicides having failed to address the basic issue of price and future sustainability of dying agrarian community ,Kishor Tiwari, president of Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS), activist group working for cotton farmer rights in a Press release today. ‘It was most expected that after CM indicated earlier that bankrupt

financial condition of Maharashtra can’t even give Rs.1000/- per hector to 5 millions farmers against the demand of Rs.10,000/- and the cotton farmers of western vidarbha will get nothing as administration has shown minimum crop failure in this region and now out 70 lakh hector area under cultivation of cotton, soya and paddy whop will get what that god know?. Farmers and all parties including congress NCP that MRP hike in cotton ,soya and paddy and cash compensation in line with sugarcane growers of western Maharashtra but once again Govt. has mad mockery of agrarian crisis and announced such penny relief which is nothing but hoax’Tiwari added. ‘we are demanding long term solution to agrarian crisis not any package which are mostly

contractor driven and designed to rehabilitation of the ill managed politician runs cooperative banks. our farmers are working for handful MNCs who are manufacturing Gm seed, fertilizer and pesticides and revival of own agriculture is must which is not being done ’ Tiwari said. The vidarbha agrarian is result of wrong policies promoted by state and situation of cotton growers in west Vidarbha has worsened when ban of cotton export imposed last year and massive crop failure this year . "There is a need for state government's intervention in this regard. The government should provide at least Rs 6,000 per quintal. The chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had promised that he would talk with the union government for better support price for the raw cotton.

However, nothing has been done in this regard," Tiwari alleged. Tiwari continued, "The government did not concede our demand of providing food security to desperate, distressed and marginal farmers even. The government needs to behave sensibly and responsibly to address farmers' woes and prevent the prevailing spate of suicide in the killing fields of Vidarbha." If the cotton growers do not get better price this season, the situation will assume drastic proportions, he cautioned. VJAS has urged Govt. of India to send team of expert to assess the Bt. Cotton crop damage in Maharashtra and west vidarbha in particular where cotton farmers are killing themselves .VJAS has been demanding hike in cotton MSP Rs.6000/per quintal and relief package to dying cotton farmers of region, Tiwari added.


06

December 15, 2011

Courageous Journalism

The pill that failed He abhorred the idea of sexual satisfaction on the part of women, and endeavoured to teach them to say ‘no’. An advocate of sexual joy via contraception, Mary Stopes considered Gandhi’s resistance to contraception as ‘ill-considered arrogance’. Gandhi’s ideas on sex have come a long way. Gandhian morality informs our middle class visceral reaction to contraception and sexual freedom. An orthodox narrative incorporated Brahminical and Victorian perceptions of women’s sexuality as dangerous. Gandhi’s view of contraception as ‘immoral’ further scooped pleasure out of sex and left women at the altar of selfsacrifice. A messy story In post-colonial India contraception has come to be entwined with family planning and the demographic imperative. It functions within marriage as a preventive measure to control fertility. The story is a messy one. The contraceptive has become a ruse to control female sexuality; it mainly lies entrenched in a reproductive and familial context. Crucially, contraception has been used as a statist technique of control and domination. Since the 1950s the Indian state promoted state propelled modern contraception, in the form of vasectomy through sterilization camps. During Indira Gandhi’s Emergency (1975-77), as a ‘national commitment’ to control population Sanjay Gandhi launched the nasbandi campaigns and established vasectomy camps throughout the country. What this meant for helpless people (men and women) subjected to coercion, abuse and sterilization sends shivers down the spine. In the last six months of 1976, 6.5 million people in India were sterilized. If the Nazi regime through its ‘racial hygiene’ program forbade ‘Aryan women’ to use contraception, our government forced contraception through bodily violence. Coercive governmental policies in India have continued to view contraception as

an effective mechanism of population control. In a rapidly globalised India, hazardous ‘hormone’ and ‘emergency’ contraceptives, with fatal consequences for women’s health, have been increasingly used. Women’s bodies have become the testing ground for multinational companies who dump life threatening contraceptive pills developed by the rich nations, to be tested on the women of the third world countries like India. Medical science, like contraception, tends to work towards the stereotyping of vulnerable women. Sex and Contraception According to the 2005-2006 National Family Health Survey, 49 per cent of Indian women use modern contraceptives, and of these, only 3 per cent are on the pill. According to a recent survey, 72 per cent people in India don’t use contraceptive with a new partner. This causes unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions. Without accompanying advances in women’s education, health care, and incomes, will contraception work? In a

deeply patriarchal context, what does it mean to be a woman with sexual rights? Is modern contraception irrelevant in the light of women’s subordinate status and submerged location? Can one think of contraception in a society riddled with poverty, structural inequalities and discrimination? When women don’t have legal rights, when they don’t have marriage rights, when they can’t choose their partners freely, when they can’t choose their residence and make everyday choices both as married or single, what will a pill or condom do? For some clarity, I listened to the stories of some of my colleagues and students at Delhi University. For many women of my generation, sexual freedom is a deeply complex issue on campus; married and single women discussed their uneasy relationship with sex and contraception. ‘Contraception’, quipped a highly articulate Associate Professor in her forties, ‘you must be joking. I’ve no sex life.’ ‘What stops you from having sex?’, I asked. She said, ‘Where can one find sex? I would be

Road accidents on the rise in Punjab With an increase in the number of vehicles, the number of fatal accidents has also witnessed an increase in the state. In 1980, about 472 persons were killed in road accidents. The figures of killed persons in fatal road accidents have gone up by about eight times at 3668 in 2009. Ludhiana district has been on the top for witnessing maximum number of accidents. The major reasons cited for the drastic increase in road accidents include an increase in the number of vehicles on roads, usage of mobile phones while driving, rash driving and drunken driving. According to the latest figure on road accidents available with the state government, in 1980, 472 persons were killed and 836 were injured. While the latest figures in 2009 show that

3,668 persons killed in Punjab while 4,486 got injured in various accidents. Ludhiana district witnessed maximum number of road accidents followed by Patiala, Jalandhar Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Sangrur, Mohali and Fatehgarh Sahib. Being the border district of Punjab, Amritsar witnessed minimum number of road accidents. Ishwar Singh, IG, Jalandhar zone, said the major reason for the rise in accidents was a drastic increase in the number of vehicles. “The high-speed or luxury vehicles have added to the rise in fatal road accidents in the recent times. Secondly, many of the over-loaded buses have also met with fatal accidents in which a number of persons have lost lives. Speed needs to be controlled at any cost,” the IG said.

seen as asking for it.’ I was struck by her answer. It’s almost the inverse of saying ‘no’ that Gandhi advocated for women. As multitude of denials plague women in our university, the issue of contraception pales into insignificance. Another colleague said, ‘All we find is aggression, competition and violence in the university. Where is the inclination for romance and joy of sex? There’s no equality. Contraception may work in a marriage for birth control, but not among single women who are seen as ‘available’.’ She added, ‘Our labour power matters in the university at the expense of our sexual identities and preferences.’ And then one academic said unambiguously, ‘How can I have sex? I’m unmarried. Contraception is meant for married women.’ For a set of some young students contraception was the danger word. Though sex was at times easy, violence lurked in the background and abortion or the i-pill were the only answers. For a small minority of women, however, the contraceptive symbolised choice and right to their own bodies. While for the rest it was just an elitist idea. Contraception is not just a passport to women’s freedom. An empty rhetoric of female choices, the method and practice of contraception is surrounded by coercion and subjugation of women in a society embedded in patriarchal restrictions. I pondered: how do women, whose identities are fractured along class, caste, ethnic and religious lines in different locations - villages, small towns, and our provincial universities and colleges - relate to sex and contraception? Universal languages of rights and freedom - reproductive, sexual, personal -hardly touch their lives. Their expressions of their desire, agency, pleasure and romance in the everyday life are silenced by the very forces and institutions that are purporting to be, in the name of democracy and progress, the strongest advocates of contraception in our country.


December 15, 2011

Courageous Journalism

07

Punjab Election

Cong ticket: Women form 40 per cent of applicants Chandigarh, December 7 The kith and kin of Congress leaders, former officials and women (40 per cent) dominate the list of applicants for the Congress ticket in Punjab. Party leaders have tried to push the case of their relatives even as hundreds of women have applied for the party ticket hoping the 33 per cent quota would be put in place for the coming assembly elections. Women have also come out in large numbers for the reserved seats, keeping with party president Sonia Gandhi’s express wish to project educated women from such seats.

Jalandhar MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee’s wife Suman Kaypee has applied for the party ticket from Jalandhar West. Dhanaula legislator Kuldeep Bhattal’s son and daughter-inlaw have applied from Barnala. The Dhanaula constituency has been dissolved post-delimitation. Muktsar legislator Sunny Brar’s wife Kiran Brar, who is daughter-in-law of former CM Harcharan Singh Brar, has applied for the Muktsar seat. According to DCC sources, former Speaker Kewal Krishan’s son Rajnish Bubbi has applied from Mukerian. Fatehgarh Sahib MP Sukhdev Singh

Libra’s son has applied from Bassi Pathana. It is clear that senior leaders are hoping for more than one seat for their family. Former minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh’s son Surinder Chaudhary has applied for the party ticket from Adampur and is also a candidate for the Kartarpur seat. Former minister Santokh Chaudhary’s son Vikram Chaudhary has applied from Kartarpur and Adampur. Santokh Chaudhary is a candidate from Phillaur. EX FACTOR State Planning Board exDy Chairman RR Bhardwaj has

applied from Dera Bassi. Former AAG Maninder Singh Patti, son of former Gurdawara Judicial Commission chairman KS Patti, has applied from Patti and sitting PPSC member Dr Satwant Singh Mohi from Dirba. Devinder Kaur, widow of former IGP Hardish Singh Dhillon, has applied from Dasuya from where ex-DGP SS Virk is also an applicant from this seat. NEW SEATS- Senior leaders who have lost their constituencies and applied for new constituencies include Surjit Dhiman from Sunam (his constituency Dirba has been reserved); former minister Jasjit

Randhawa from Amloh (his earlier constituency was Ghanaur), and former Adampur legislator Kanwaljit Lalli from Jalandhar Cantonment. WOMEN POWER- Among the women candidates, Punjab Mahila Congress president Dr Malti Thapar has applied from Dharamkot constituency. Former Mahila chiefs MS Ratna and Dr Harbans Kaur have applied from Amritsar North and Ludhiana East, respectively. Supinder Kalkat, daughter of former minister Amir Singh Kalkat, has applied from Urmar and Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha from Mohali.

Capt assures new industrial Election scene heats up in Punjab policy, more jobs for youth Batala- PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh today questioned the timing of conferring the Faqr-e-Qaum award on Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal when “Akali stalwarts like Baba Kharak Singh and Master Tara Singh had been ignored in the past”. “The SGPC, the body which conferred the award, is controlled by the Akalis and both the CM and his son are in the habit of arm-twisting it to suit their ends,” Amarinder said. Addressing a rally here, the PPCC chief lambasted Badal and his son Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal terming them as “liars of the first order”. Amarinder also promised to bring in a new industrial policy if the Congress was voted to power in the coming assembly elections. He said there were nearly 47 lakh unemployed people in Punjab primarily because of the “myopic industrial policies of the Badal father-son duo.” There was a clamour amongst ticket seekers of Qadian, Batala and Fatehgarh Churian to bring in the maximum number of supporters to the rally in an attempt to impress the PPCC chief. The rally was held at VMS College, owned by PPCC vice-president Ashwani Sekhri who along with Dr SS Nijjar is a frontrunner in the race to secure ticket from Batala Vidhan Sabha segment. Gurdaspur District Congress Committee chief Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa remark that “Sukhbir says the SAD will rule Punjab for next 25 years, however, when the Congress comes to power he will run to some foreign country in just 25 hours” had the crowd in peals of laughter. Gurdaspur MP Partap Bajwa, AICC Punjab affairs in-charge Gulchain Singh Charak, Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former minister Tripit Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Youth Congress leader Vikram Joshi were among those present.

Corruption to be sole issue in Punjab Vidhan Sabha poll CHANDIGARH: As the assembly elections are approaching near and expected to take place around February 13,2012 in the state of Punjab, new issues and opinions have emerged making the battlefield more and more interesting. Punjabnewsline.com has conducted an online survey through public poll on the current issues which have given startling results. When asked to rate SADBJP government, around 74 % of our readers consider the government corrupt and incompetent while 16% fare it better than Congress government. About 10 % feel that this government is not better than the previous government. One can easily make out from the previous poll that the current SAD-BJP government has been criticized on all the fronts especially due to the corruption. Around 61% readers have agreed to Captain Amarinder’s demand for dismissal of the government on corruption charges while 37% felt contrary and only 2 % could not decide whether Amarinder’s demand was right or not. When asked about the main issues in the upcoming Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections as always the developmental issues have taken a backstage and only 21% people concur with this issue while majority of 66% feels that the fate of the current SAD-BJP government will be de-

cided on the issue of corruption, crime and non-performance during their regime. As low as 11% think that unemployment and corruption will be the key factors and negligible 3% feel that none of the issues will play any role in the upcoming elections. The Kabbadi World cup was seen as another attempt by the SAD-BJP government to woo the electorate of Punjab. 67% felt that it is possible to win the hearts of the people with such stints while 28% thought that it might prove favourable to the Badals but 5 % could not decide what will be the outcome of the tournament. The recent slapping of a female EGS teacher by an Akali sarpanch was definitely considered as a dent in the popularity of SADBJP government by a whopping majority of 82 % while as low as 16 % did not have the same opinion and only 2 % were not able to decide the outcome of this infamous slapgate incident.

CHANDIGARH: Even though the Election Commission has not yet announced the dates of assembly polls in Punjab, the election scene was warming with the ruling SAD-BJP combine and opposition party Congress engaged in intense battle to outscore each other. The SAD-BJP combine in its rallies has been beating the drum that state has witnessed unprecedented development under its regime. Besides this, it had also been claiming that state has made phenomenal strides in all the sectors due to which opposition has been left with no issue to be raised in the ensuing assembly elections. However, despite massive drum-beating by SAD-BJP combine government, Parkash Singh Badal regime seems to be nervous as the assembly elections approach near. The testimony to this fact was that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called for another cabinet meeting on December 17, which would be fifth in just within 45 days to decide on some of the major issue and policies to woo the voters before code of conduct comes into play.

Though official date of elections would be known only after the announcement by Election Commission, however assembly polls are expected to be held in Punjab on February 13, according to highly placed sources. Earlier four cabinet meetings were held on December 10 and 3, November 19 and 4 to take decision on some important policies. It is quite unusual and for the first time that four cabinet meetings have been held in the state in just a month’s time as generally one cabinet meet is held every month. The spate of cabinet meetings by Parksh Singh Badal-led government is indicative of uneasiness and edginess on the part of SAD-BJP combine, say political analysts. They said that Badal government’s decision to hold number of cabinet meetings in small duration was clear pointer towards tizzy feeling within SAD-BJP combine. However, the analysts feel that Congress, the opposition party seems also to be not taking proper advantage of anti-incumbency factor and feeling of discontent against Parkash Singh Badal.


08

December 15, 2011

Courageous Journalism

Myanmar on the road less travelled During the past year, starting from the elections in November 2010 and ending with the visit of United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in early December 2011, Myanmar has undertaken an exciting journey. Developments relating to its internal politics, external relations and regional equations have received close scrutiny. As optimists and pessimists debate the nature and direction of change, a realistic appraisal is advisable in order to appreciate where Myanmar is heading now. The past month witnessed significant changes. Ms Clinton's dialogue with President Thein Sein followed by the more gripping visual coverage of her interaction with Aung San Suu Kyi demonstrated that the reform process had gained traction, which the international community is now ready to encourage boldly. Just five months ago, when External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna visited Myanmar, he was not in a position to meet Ms Suu Kyi. Ms Clinton's visit was preceded by Asean's decision to allow Myanmar to serve as its Chair in 2014. President Barack Obama had a telephonic conversation with Ms Suu Kyi on his way from Australia to Bali to clear the new U.S. initiative. Separately, the Myanmar government amended the electoral law, paving the way for the participation of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the forthcoming parliamentary by-elections. Ms Suu Kyi will soon adorn Parliament as the nation's conscience and voice, thus becoming a significant part of the political system that she is determined to reform further from within. Negotiations in progress It is evident that complex negotiations have been under way. Within the country, negotiating partners are the Tatmadaw, that is, the military, the government, Ms Suu Kyi and the NLD, and ethnic groups. Outsiders engaged actively in the negotiations are the U.S., the European Union, Asean and the United Nations, whereas China and India display only limited interest. In Myanmar, reformers in the military and the government have managed to convince the conservatives that the country's — and the military's — interests would be best served by backing the reforms. Both camps agree that the process should be gradual and controlled, and it should unfold within certain red markers. Governance can be liberalised as long as there is no witchhunt for the previous military leaders, nor an immediate campaign to reduce the military's role as envisaged by the Constitution. Besides, the military's stake in order, stability, and unity of the country will have to be respected. The government wants Ms Suu Kyi to help it to progressively reduce the country's international isolation. It won its first major reward when Ms Suu Kyi advised Mr. Obama to upgrade engagement with

Myanmar. Ms Clinton's visit and the decision by Asean resulted from this collaboration. The NLD now shows considerable resilience, shedding its ideological inflexibility. Responding to critics, Ms Suu Kyi has asserted that participation in elections will not lower her “dignity;” rather, it will enhance her credentials as a key political leader. As to the release

mands on the Thein Sein government but some of them could merely be negotiating chips. In stepping up its engagement, the U.S. is guided by the imperative to re-calibrate its presence in the Asia-Pacific region and by its assessment of threat perceptions relating to China. Americans are now listening to many Asians' plea that the isolation imposed

of political prisoners, it is no longer an intractable issue as both sides are nearly on the same page. The government has conveyed that political prisoners can be released — but gradually and in batches so that their release “does not rock the boat.” As regards a dialogue between ethnic groups and the government, it is largely on the back burner as the issues are far more complicated. The priority seems to be to secure more progress towards inclusive democracy before concrete steps for ethnic reconciliation can be contemplated. International dimensions Among the western countries, the leadership for handling the Myanmar dossier has now been assumed by the U.S., thus indicating that the United Kingdom is no longer the point man. Even within the EU, Germany is guiding to give it a more pragmatic orientation. As a sequel to the partial modification of its restrictive measures, the EU has now launched “a substantial review” of its policy. Within the U.S., the Administration is becoming convinced that Myanmar deserves more incentives — that is, beyond Ms Clinton's visit and the Asean Chair. But Mr. Obama has a daunting task of convincing Congress. Assuring help from the World Bank and the IMF to study the Myanmar economy and suggest reform measures is the easy part. The key challenge relates to the lifting of sanctions but it may not happen soon. The State Department will have to pilot this carefully. Myanmar is well aware of the difficulties ahead; Nay Zin Latt, political advisor to President Thein Sein, stated that imposing sanctions was easy but lifting them would be difficult. Even if Ms Suu Kyi announced her support for the lifting of the sanctions “today,” they would not be lifted “tomorrow.” He added: “But her voice is important. It is her leverage.” The U.S. has its own de-

on Myanmar drove it to China's lap. Curiously, even Myanmar officials are now using this argument to convince the U.S. that Myanmar's search for additional options deserves support. Another, longer term, consideration for the U.S. is the lure of the Myanmar market and natural resources. If there are no mishaps, the coming months may see the government and the NLD collaborating further to improve governance, building on the changes already introduced relating to labour laws, media regulations and opening of the economy. This should encourage the U.S. and the EU to start lifting the sanctions in phases. As that happens, investments from the West could start trickling in. Vietnam, once a sworn enemy of the U.S., is now a major destination for American and European

France, China, Japan hammer Canada over Kyoto The international community, as well as opposition MPs, took aim at the Harper government Tuesday over its announcement that Canada intends to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. France, China and Japan all criticized the Canadian government's decision to pull out of the international climate-change accord, a move announced by Environment Minister Peter Kent on Monday. A spokesperson for France's foreign ministry said Tuesday the decision is "bad news for the fight against climate change," while a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry called the move "regrettable and flies in the face of the efforts of the international community." Goshi Hosono, Japan's environment minister, encouraged the Conservative government to reconsider its position. Kent announced Monday that Canada would formally withdraw from Kyoto, saying the deal wasn't an effective

global solution to climate change and perhaps even, "an impediment." Kent's announcement came a day after a 194party climate change conference in Durban, South Africa agreed to start negotiating a new deal to fight climate change. The fresh accord is scheduled to take effect by 2020 at the latest. In the days leading up to the conference, Kent had repeatedly said the Kyoto accord "was in the past," and said Canada would not sign on to an extension of the deal. The government came under fire for its announcement during question period in the House of Commons Tuesday. Interim NDP Leader Nycole Turmel accused the Conservatives of "turning their back on the world" and "betraying future generations.""They have set up bogus targets and are not even a quarter of the way towards meeting this lame attempt at saving face.

investment. The Myanmar government seems to have set its sights on a similar outcome in the medium run. As to its equation with China, it will not remain static, evolving in the direction in which Myanmar enjoys greater policy space for balancing relations with key stakeholders. India's choice With important developments having a bearing on regional power balance taking place along with momentous changes in Myanmar, India needs to recraft its Myanmar policy with a judicious mixture of pragmatism and boldness. First, it should no longer be content with just a focus on managing development cooperation projects; it must enhance the political quotient of the relationship. It is time to articulate our interest in crafting ‘a strategic relationship' with Myanmar. Second, the External Affairs Minister needs help from his ministerial colleagues. His June visit should be followed by the visits of Minster of Commerce and Industry, the Home Minister and the Defence Minister as economic, security and defence cooperation have much potential for development. Third, other measures need to be implemented such as accelerating Business-to-Business engagement and dialogue between the strategic communities. Finally, it is noteworthy that 2012-2014 will be of transformational importance for India's ‘Look East Policy.' This period will be marked by India hosting the commemorative India-Asean Summit, and Myanmar serving as the Asean Chair. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should consider visiting Myanmar soon. Rajiv Gandhi went there in 1987. The spectacle of India's Prime Minster meeting President Thein Sein as well as Aung San Suu Kyi and paying obeisance at Shwedagon Pagoda, will lift not only the India-Myanmar relations but also India-Asean ties to new heights.


December 15, 2011

Courageous Journalism

9

Civil war fears on the Congo The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is Africa's second largest country and covers an area equal to about 70 per cent of India's, is on the edge of another civil war. Etienne Tshisekedi of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the defeated candidate in the presidential election, refuses to accept the result announced by the country's independent electoral commission. It has awarded victory to the incumbent Joseph Kabila, of the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), by 49 per cent to 32 per cent. The election, only the second democratic one in the country's history, was dogged by problems and lasted three days instead of one. The transport

infrastructure is very poor, and bad weather also prevented United Nations aircraft from carrying ballot papers to remote regions. After the polls closed, the count was delayed by staff shortages; in addition, bags of ballot papers were often so overfilled that they split in transit. European Union and some international observers have also expressed doubts about the credibility of the poll process. The 30 million voters are also electing a 500seat parliament, with more than 18,000 candidates standing in a multi-member plurality electoral system. Above all, the political context is highly unstable. Mr. Tshisekedi has called for calm, but his intransigence

over the result is awakening fears of another civil war. The 71 million-population remembers only too well the 1998-2003 war, in which over five million died and ethnic tensions were severely exacerbated as other countries and international corporations manipulated warring groups for access to mineral resources and tropical hardwoods. In addition to oil and diamonds, the DRC has 70 per cent of the world's coltan, an essential ore for electronic goods. Parts of the East are still controlled by brutal militias, and many regions are notorious for rape of women as a war weapon. The recent election also saw 18 people killed. As poll-related clashes spread, thousands fled across the

river Congo to the Republic of the Congo. Meanwhile Mr. Kabila seems willing to use the army for party purposes, and in the campaign police teargassed opposition supporters. The external environment is very different from that which obtained at the time of the previous election, held in 2006. For that exercise, donor states gave $460 million and approved the dispatch of the largest-ever U.N. peacekeeping force. This time, major countries have only uttered hopeful injunctions, and the U.N. mandate allows intervention only at Kinshasa's request. If civil war breaks out again, it is unlikely that the international community will be able to do anything significant.

Environment watchdog slams gov't for not enforcing rules Canada's environment watchdog raised the spectre of dangerous chemicals burning through transport trucks on highways. Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan was commenting on a series of reports tabled in Parliament today that criticize Ottawa for poor follow-up on crackdowns against environmental scofflaws. "There are requirements that you put dangerous products in the right container. When they go in the wrong container, bad things can happen. There have been a couple instances where highly corrosive materials have been put into trucks that weren't built for that and have literally melted on

the highway," said Vaughan. Given there are "about two (accidents) a week involving transport of dangerous products," he continued, it's important that accident protocols are adhered to and follow-up procedures carried out. The commissioner examined how Ottawa polices the shipment of dangerous goods, enforces national flagship environmental legislation and shares scientific research. Vaughan also tabled a pair of studies on fisheries and environmental monitoring. According to the report on shipping dangerous goods, tens of millions of dangerous product shipments are made each year. By tonnage, 45 per

SIKH FEDERATION SECURE SIGNIFICANT COMMITMENTS BY POLITICIANS IN UK PARLIAMENT 1. Hundreds of Sikh representatives from across the UK took part in a lobby at the UK Parliament organised by the Sikh Federation (UK). 2. Several human rights issues were raised at the lobby, including the case of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar, the continued imprisonment of Daljit Singh Bittu since August 2009 and the lack of justice for the November 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms. Paramjit Singh Gazzi, the President of the Sikh Student Federation, was present at the lobby to give a first-hand account on many of these issues. 3. Fabian Hamilton MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for UK Sikhs, chaired the meeting alongside Dabinderjit Singh of the Sikh Federation who contributed on each of the issues. Fabian Hamilton confirmed he would facilitate meetings in the next few weeks with the National Union of Students and Amnesty International to assist with human rights campaigns involving Professor Bhullar and Daljit Singh Bittu. 3. Respect for the Sikh Identity was the second main issue and an update was provided on the trial at UK airports of checking the Sikh turban and a strategy for influencing the European Commission to implement similar procedures at airports across Europe. Sukhvinder Singh, an advisor to the Sikh Federation explained developments at the UK and European level. 4. Harnek Singh, one of the five Managing Directors of the Sikh Federation provided an update on Amritdhari Sikhs right to wear the Kirpan in public places e.g. sporting events and tourist attractions following the victories on the right to wear the Kirpan at the London Olympics 2012 and Lords Cricket Ground. He explained the significance of the Kirpan to an Amritdhari and many politicians agreed there needed to be much better awareness of the Kirpan. Nicky Morgan a Conservative MP confirmed she would be meeting the Tourism Minister later in the week and would take up the issue of the right to wear the Kirpan at tourist attractions, such as the London Eye and Madam Tussauds. 5. Bavinder Kaur, the Chair of the Sikh Womens’ Alliance, was asked to speak about the need for a stronger political voice for UK Sikhs, the importance of the Sikh Council UK and the need for the Coalition government to move away from dealing with one or two so-called ‘community leaders’. Many of the dozen or so MPs from all three of the main political parties that spoke at the lobby agreed that officials needed to change the way they interact with the Sikh community. 6. MPs that attended included a number of former Ministers – John Spellar MP, Pat McFadden MP and the former Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon. Margaret Beckett MP. The most significant contribution came from the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Simon Hughes MP, who spoke passionately at the June Freedom Rally in Trafalgar Square, recently visited Amritsar as promised and confirmed that a date for a Sikh delegation to meet the Deputy Prime Minister would be confirmed in early January 2012.

cent of dangerous products are shipped by road, 39 per cent by rail, 15 per cent by ship and under one per cent by air. Products shipped include oil and gas, chemicals such as sulphuric acid and even explosives. The reports cite graphic examples of chemical spills and explosions caused by accidents involving the transportation of dangerous products. Transport Canada -- which enforces regulations concerning shipments of dangerous products -- was rebuked for taking an inconsistent approach to investigations of non-compliance. For the report, auditors randomly selected 49 compliance inspection files made during the 2008-09 and

2009-10 fiscal years. More than half the case files revealed inadequate labeling, missing documentation and other problems. "In the sample of completed inspection files we reviewed, 53 per cent identified instances of non-compliance and, of those files, 73 per cent contained incomplete or no evidence that corrective action had been taken," reads the report on shipping dangerous products. It was questioned whether Transport Canada was even aware of the extent to which companies transporting dangerous goods were complying with government regulations. Similar sentiments were raised in an earlier internal audit conducted more

than five years ago. Environment Minister Peter Kent was defensive about the report on shipping dangerous products. "Certainly every department of this government wants to conform with safe environmental guidelines and rules for that matter, but we need to remember there are 30 million shipments of dangerous products every year in Canada and 99 per cent of them don't come to (a bad end). "We have already begun work to address the findings in this report, including a national risk-based inspection planning process which will create a harmonized and consistent framework throughout Canada.


10

Courageous Journalism

December 15, 2011

Auto Section

Test Drive: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ hatchback ou can be forgiven if the thought of a new subcompact car from General Motors doesn’t send your heart racing. Over the past few decades the poor General has

struck out more times than A Rod in a cold slump. The Pontiac Le Mans, Geo Metro and Chevrolet Aveo never lived up to the standards set by the class front-runners – or even midpackers. So, the question is then, can the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic break this losing streak and get the General back on top? Yes, yes it can. All new for 2012, the Chevrolet Sonic is available in both hatchback and sedan forms. We sampled the top-of-the-line Chevrolet Sonic LTZ

First Drive: 2012 Audi A6 Sciacca region, Sicily – If you spend any time on this island, which is literally at the foot of Italy, you’ll be moved by its beauty; even a cloudy sky and torrential rain last week couldn’t dampen our appreciation for this dramatic landscape. We were there for the birth of the new Audi A6, a car the company claims is the world’s most successful executive sedan. While there are many luxury vehicles priced in the fifty-to-eighty-grand

sumption. All Audi gasoline engines have direct fuel injection, and a new stop-start feature. Stop-start turns the engine off when the car stops and automatically restarts it as the driver lifts foot pressure off the brake pedal. It’s a slick system in operation and provides a significant fuel saving, especially in city traffic. The Canadian 3.0 TFSI engine will be mated to the latest Quattro permanent

range in Canada, the A6 competes primarily, and is priced competitively, against the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Audi is an industry leader in lightweight aluminum body construction and advanced fuel-efficient technologies in both its gasoline and diesel engines. The new A6 offers an impressive 16 per cent reduction in fuel consumption when equipped with the 3.0-litre TFSI V6 engine edition that will spearhead its launch in Canada. In Europe, the A6 debuted with five power plants: two gasoline engines and three TDI (diesel) units. Later on, Canada is expected to get the 3.0-litre TDI and the 2.0-litre TFSI gasoline engine, which is an interesting move. A hybrid A6 is also in the works and is expected next year. It may come as a surprise that fuel economy is a concern for car owners in this price range, but it has proven to be an increasingly important factor for luxury buyers who are concerned about the social and environmental costs of poor fuel con-

all-wheel drive system, with a crowngear centre differential and a torque vectoring function. As well, Audi Drive Select, a system that allows the driver to choose various steering, suspension, engine and transmission settings, will be standard on the A6. A new “eco” mode has been added to the selection choices, and there’s no prize for guessing what it does.The new styling changes are subtle and don’t dramatically change the overall look of the A6. However, it’s actually a little lower, lighter, and shorter, and new wind-cheating details have dropped its coefficient of drag to 0.26, which is sports car territory and exceptionally low for a sedan. New optional LED (light emitting diode) headlights give the car an even more striking appearance from a front view. While the LED headlight offers similar illumination when compared to Xenon headlights, it consumes less power, and has a more natural look to its light. In addition, the A6’s fog and cornering light performance is improved.

Turbo Hatchback. The LTZ ditches the regular Sonic’s 1.8-litre 136-hp motor for a 138-hp 1.4-litre turbocharged gas burner. Although the horsepower numbers are very similar, the difference lies in the torque: 125 lb.-ft. for the 1.8 vs 148 lb.-ft. for the 1.4 turbo. If you think you’ve heard this all before, you’re right, these are the same engines offered in the larger Chevrolet Cruze. Interestingly, the LTZ model is only available with a 6speed manual transmission. The Sonic starts at a base price of $14,495 for the sedan and $15,495 for the Hatchback. The LTZ Hatchback comes fully loaded at a sticker price of $20,995 ($22,590 after destination fees). For that price some unexpected features pop up that were not available in subcompact cars a few years ago. Our car had a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, heated leatherette seats and, of course, the turbocharged engine. The only options available on the LTZ are a smoker’s package, sunroof and oil pan heater; our car came with none of these options. Unlike its predecessor, the Sonic is built in the USA. In fact, Chevrolet touts this car as the only subcompact built

in the USA. Although it is based on GM’s new Gamma II global subcompact platform, the Sonic unfortunately shares some styling cues from the outgoing Aveo. It’s not that there’s anything I would have changed with the Sonic, it’s just a shame that GM dressed up the last Aveo redesign in some of the styling cues that were also in the pipeline for the Sonic, especially the new signature Chevy split grille. It would have been nice if they had withheld these styling cues to completely make a break from the Aveo stigma. If you are going to change the name, why not change the looks? Make no mistake though; these two cars share nothing in common, except for some of those looks. An initial drive reveals that the steering is artificially light in the tradition of recent Chevrolet vehicles, but very direct; just over two rotations lock to lock. It makes the car a bit darty on the highways at first until you are used to it; I was weaving back and forth like a texting-and-driving idiot for the first few seconds. Once adjusted to the responsiveness, the car becomes very tossable and light on its feet. The chassis is refined and very solid feeling for a car in this class. We had a Hyundai Accent and Nissan Versa on hand when testing the Sonic and neither of them could match the Sonic’s solid feel. Part of it may be due to the Sonic’s higher curb weight of 1,259 kg.


December 15, 2011

Courageous Journalism

11

Gwyneth chooses It’s a world record for Asha kids over acting

This was an honour that belonged to her beloved didi Lata Mangeshkar from 1974 to 1991, but now the baton has passed on to her younger sister Asha Bhosle who’s set a new record for recording the maximum number of songs in the world in a studio. The Guinness officials conferred on the title on her officially on Thursday. For 10 years,

chorus-backed songs and in over 20 Indian languages since 1947. She was conferred with this honour at the Asian awards function held in London,” said a statement released on the occasion. Asha was elated with the achievement and thanked her friend Vishwas Nerulkar for painfully documenting all her there has been a songs and letting constant demand the Guinness aufrom a section of thorities know. her fans that Asha be the true heir of the title as she has recorded the maximum number of songs. The demand has now been fulfilled. “Asha Bhosle enters the Guinness World Records and was awarded a certificate for the most studio recordings (singles) for recording up to 11,000 solo, duet and

Mika removes ‘Katrina’ from song

Controversy specialist Mika Singh is at it again. The crooner who has penned and rendered the track Saari Duniya Mere Ispe, Neta Abhineta Mere Ispe for the forthcoming flick Loot has done a rethink. Reason? He did not want to rub Salman Khan the wrong way as he considers him his buddy. Apparently the track in the comic caper mentions quite a few well-known people of the country including Bollywood folks. One of the names mentioned was that of Katrina Kaif. The line went Sun Meri Katrina Mera London Jana China. Says a source, “Mika has been excited about the track. He thinks it will be as well received as his Ae

Ganpat and the recent Dhinka Chikha numbers. But after recording it, he felt he needed to remove Katrina’s name. He considers himself to be a good pal of Salman, and decided to change the name from Katrina to Jacklina as it was a similar rhyming name.” Adds the source, “Salman and Mika share a good relationship and all their songs together have been popular. Saari Duniya Mere Ispe is a fun Bollywood masala song and as Mika respects Salman, he decided to give it a pass and changed the name for the sake of his friendship with the star.” Incidentally, Mika has also acted in Loot, which stars Suniel Shetty and Govinda.

“I am truly feeling that I am being recognised by the whole world. I always knew that I had sung the most number of songs among all other singers, but I decided to keep quiet about it (she kept quiet when the title was given to Lata Mangeshkar). I am thankful to Vishwas Nerulkar for tabulating all my songs correctly and providing the correct information to the

Guiness authorities,” says Asha. The singer also Gwyneth Paltrow ning actress said left a message for has revealed that that she loved her fans thanking them for their unflinching support. “I want to tell all my fans that I am thankful to them for loving me and my songs. I want them to continue loving me and my songs. I also want them to love my acting as well as I have made my debut as an actor in the film Maaee. I want all your blessings,” Asha added.

she had stopped caring about acting once she gave birth to her kids with her husband Coldplay singer Chris Martin. The Oscar win-

doing her recent supporting roles in the film Contagion and in musical TV drama Glee, because she didn’t have to stay away from

her kids for too long while working. “I just had the summer off and with them and now they’re back to school again. Then what I’ll do is look for more interesting supporting-role parts. I have not starred in a movie since I had my daughter seven years ago because it’s too much. I would never see them and there’s no point”. Contactmusic quoted Gwyneth Paltrow as saying. “I think with Glee people were happy to see me as I really am — the silly, singing and dancing side. That’s what I’m like with my kids. I felt like I’d never had parts that really showed that side of myself, so it’s been fun,” she added.

Yeh nayi dosti!

It’s not often that one hears of two actresses genuinely bonding with each other or becoming really pally in Bollywood. More so, if they happen to be costars. In fact, it’s only a matter of time when they often ditch their politically correct niceties and show their true colours, giving each other the cold-shoulder treatment, once the shoot ends. That’s probably why any new friendship, especially between two actresses sets B-Town abuzz and right now, the friendship that they’re talking about is between co-stars Bipasha Basu and Sonam Kapoor, who first bonded while shooting for their upcoming film. And if the men on the sets — actors A b h i s h e k Bachchan, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Bobby Deol — bonded over mean machines, these girls bonded over

fashion talk and fitness fundas. Sources reveal that the two actresses have indeed become close ever since they started working on Players and now they are close buddies, who even tweet about missing each other on networking sites. An insider says, “Both of them are very fond of

each other. Even on sets, the two would always chat up with each other and have fun with the rest of the cast. Sonam, in fact, also mentioned that she finds Bipasha very hot. Bips too on her part, absolutely adores Sonam and is often known to discuss and share fashion trends and fitness tips with

her. Sonam also posted a tweet recently about Bipasha being her favourite costar.” Unlike many friendships that are restricted to the projects they work on, the two girls have been in touch constantly even when not shooting. Bipasha had even attended the premiere of Sonam’s film

Mausam and Sonam later tweeted, ‘Thanks Bips! You are my favourite costar! Love u loads’, while Bips on her part tweeted, ‘Sonam just looks picture perfect’. Well seems like these girls have taken on the onus of making ‘girl gang’ the next big thing. Right Bips and Sonam?


12

December 15, 2011

Courageous Journalism

ARHAR DAL

Ingredients 1 cup Split Red Lentil (Masoor Dal) 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi) 1 tsp Cumin Seed Powder (Jeera) 2 Green Chilli (Hari mirch) 2 Dry Red Chily (Saboot Lal Mirchi) 1 tsp chopped Ginger (Adrak) 2 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta) 10 gms Mixed Spices (onion seeds,fenugreek seeds,aniseeds,cuminseeds and mustard seeds) 2 tblsp Clarified Butter (Ghee) 1 tsp Sugar Salt to taste

1 cup Split Red Lentil (Masoor Dal) Wash the dal and cook the dal in a sauteuse with the turmeric, salt and the sugar over a medium flame. Add half of the ginger to the dal along with the cumin powder. When the dal is cooked and thick remove from the fire. Heat the ghee in a pan and add the mixed spices,(a little of onion seeds, fenugreek seeds , aniseeds, cumin seeds and mustard seeds all mixed together). When the mustard seeds crackle add the bay leaf, remaining chopped ginger , slit green chilliesand the broken red chillies. fry for 2 minutes and pour over the dal.mix thoroughly. serve hot.

3 Refined Foods To Avoid To Stay Healthy 1. Refined foods This kind of food is either overcooked or canned. Canned food is highly popular looking at fast solutions to incorporate in food like fruits and vegetables. Due to the exposure of the preservatives and long time existence they do not make for nutritious food and can be bad for health. Cut fruit or even vegetables left too long any way lose nutrition.Food today is being injected to be made ready faster. Also, over cooking vegetables will get all the nutrients evaporated. Washing vegetables once cut also is bad for the value of the food as the water gives away the nutrients. Complex carbohydrates are extremely good for healthy and fresh vegetables and fruits are first hand sources of it. Complex Carbohydrates stabilize blood sugar levels and also provides tremendous energy levels. 2. Refined Sugars Milling is a way of reducing the substance to fine particles which then makes it easier to be absorbed in to the blood stream. Same goes for refined sugars. They are milled to add to the product you eat and then get absorbed instantly. Instantly absorbed refined sugars jolt the body with an instant energy level which is short lived. Instead try to eat natural fruits and juices which have natural sugars. You will notice that you’re cravings for food with refined sugar return

in a short period due to the demand of energy. These items like dough nuts, cakes, pastries are quite fattening for the

same reason. Hence watch your intake and weight with what you eat. 3. Refined flours White bread and variously other bakery items are made using white flavor. White flour is very fine in texture and is as fine as the refined sugar used which enters the blood stream to result in low energy levels making a person lethargic. You will see that most commercial bakery items are made from white flour like dough nuts, cookies etc. White flour is milled over and over which then requires to be fortified because of the lack of vitamins and minerals. If you consume white flour products they are definitely not good for health. Instead eat whole wheat bread and whole wheat products. I would love to hear your ideas and experiences of avoiding refined food. Please leave me a comment and let me know. Don’t forget to subscribe our RSS to receive latest updates.

10 Ways to Avoid Junk & Eat Healthy Food – Quit Junk Food You should always eat what is best for you body and health and not what is simply filling. Abstinence from junk food is not a tough task at all, provided you are determined to do so. Just arm yourself with will power and determination and quit the harmful junk food. Do you eat healthy food or are you addicted to junk food? Junk food accounts for a tremendous increase in the number of obese people across the globe. WHO has termed the rising problem of global obesity as “globesity”. Globesity is concerned with the inability to get rid of junk food. We all are aware of the negative effects of junk food on our health still we are addicted to it. It is the matter of inner determination and will power. Those who are strong enough can easily shun off the harmful habit. Steve Elbert has rightly said. “We think fast food is equivalent to pornography, nutritionally speaking.” It is devoid of all the important and vital nutrients needed by our body. Realize what is best for your health – fresh healthy food or the junk fattening food. An alteration in your approach may change the entire scenario. To eat junk food may be habit as long as your will power is not strong enough or so long as you allow yourself to eat it. The moment you become determined to quit it, you definitely will avoid consuming it. Top 10 Ways to Help You Quit eating Junk Food Here are listed some effective ways that will help you in quitting junk food consumption. The top 10 ways for quitting junk food are listed below: 1. Reason Out First reason out why you want to quit eating junk food. Is your health a priority or do you want to be fit and slim or is it because you want to cut down your cholesterol intake. Whatever is the reason? You have

to explicitly clear about it before going for it. Write on a paper and read it daily to keep your morale boosted and charged. It will be a constant reminder of your targeted goal. 2. Quitting Does Not Happen Over night Plan properly as quitting is not an overnight issue. Start reducing junk food slowly from your food. Initially start reducing the quantity and frequency of junk food from your diet. 3. Be Confident Just be confident and believe in the fact that your body is under your control. You do not need junk food if you choose not to. Go for clean and healthy food and be confident not to revert back to junk foods. 4. Take Action Just do not waste time planning and dreaming something to happen. Take effective action. Fill your

fridge with fresh healthy food and never leave it empty. Otherwise you will end up eating junk food

food does not mean eating steamed and boiled vegetables. It has to taste good and delicious. 7. Get into Sports

again. Shop from the grocery store fresh vegetables and fruits and prepare your favorite food. 5. Choose your Favorite Environment We all know that environment plays an important effect in shaping our habits. So choose an environment that is conducive to you in achieving your goal. Stay away from Junk food outlets and it is ultimately up to you either to submit or stay strong. 6. Enjoy Your Food Try to make your healthy food spicier and chunkier. Healthy

Getting into sports is a healthy alternative to staying fit. When you involve in sports, you automatically become conscious about your health and eat healthy food to stay hale and hearty. 8. Eat Junk Food Once A While Once in a blue moon you may eat junk food. Quitting junk food simply does not mean completely abandoning them. Do not ban it for life you may have it at occasions. 9. Self-Control At times you might be tempted to have junk food. That is

where the need to have self control arises. You should have control over yourself and be strong enough to avoid it in spite of all the temptation. 10. Learn About Harmful Effects Increase your knowledge about the harmful effects off junk food. You know that junk food is harmful but do you know all of it? Learn about the health hazards it can cause. This knowledge will help you in quitting it from your cuisine. Junk food might be enticing and filling but it is not at all healthy. So eat healthy and stay fit. We would love to hear your opinion on how to quite junk food and stick with healthy food. Please leave us a comment and let us know. Subscribe our RSS to receive latest updates in diet charts, diet foods, junk foods and much more.

15 dec 2011 issue  

15 dec 2011 issue

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