Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Booming Economy of Punjab

  By Dr Srimal Fernando,  Asia Correspondent

The Indian state of Punjab is one of the most vibrant and dynamic states in the whole of India. Situated in the northwest of the country Punjab is called the “Land of Five Rivers”. This unique piece of land covers an area of 50,362 square kilometers. The state's 27 million inhabitants (Estimates 2011) spread across twenty two districts are well known for its socio-economic achievements. Agriculture continues to be the bedrock of the Punjab economy and earned its reputation as the “Granary of India”.  By South Asian standards, the economy of the state has a diverse and rich resource base. Poverty has been reduced over the past 30 years, and a social safety net put into place. There are a number of popular people and celebrities that have already made their presence felt in different streams and activities. Among them is the incumbent Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, one of the internationally acclaimed personalities from Punjab. Another personality is Shri Prakash Singh Badal who has been the Chief Minister of the state since 2007. His party, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), together with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been, once again, elected to power by winning the 2012 assembly elections in the state. Shri Prakash Singh Badal has been the Chief Minister of Punjab for a record-breaking fifth time. The states major economic resources are its fertile land, the irrigation systems and its well-educated, technically sound population. These factors have contributed to achieve higher levels of productivity and a better competitiveness level in the global economy.

The economy of the state depends heavily on agriculture, industrial exports and tourism .The state is endowed with vast agricultural resources. Being an agricultural state the majority of its workers are engaged in farming and animal husbandry. The state produces most of India's grains than any other state in the country. Wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton, fodder are the vital economic indicators of Punjab's agrarian society. The state has two crop seasons “Rabi”, the spring harvest season and the “Kharif” the autumn harvest season. The rice produced in the state is marketed and processed in different types of rice mills. There are about 2,200 grain hullers mostly in rural areas of the state. The Punjab sugarcane industry has undergone a major overhaul during the last five decades. The sugar production too has increased in recent years. Morinda Co-operative sugar mill is one of the largest sugar crushing mills in the state with a daily crushing capacity of 4,000 tones. Animal husbandry has been an essential part of Punjab’s economic life. The dairy industry of the state is part of a long and proud agricultural tradition of the state. Punjab is one of the largest milk producing areas of India with  a capacity of 10 per cent of the country’s total production capability. Moga, is one of the largest milk processing plants in the state with a total production capacity of 435 thousand liters of milk.

Punjab is one of the most industrialized states in India. The state has a large manufacturing sector serving both the local and exports sectors. The large and small scale factories are scatted in all parts of the state.  The majority of the industrial workers are engaged in small scale industries that make up 160,000 units (Estimates 2010). Large and medium business units are four hundred in number (Estimates 2010). The state's diverse industries range from Steel Rolling, scientific instruments, agricultural goods, electrical goods, bicycles, garments, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines to manufacturing of sports goods. Over the past few years the industrial sector employed over a million. The state has positioned itself as a key destination for operations of multinational companies in a variety of industries. In recent years, the state has successfully attracted many big-names and reputed global companies such as Nippon, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Nestle, Glaxo, Smithkline and Motorola. The state economy has witnessed rapid growth in the bicycles manufacturing industry. Today the state of Punjab is the largest bicycles manufacturer in India. Handicrafts and cottage industries of the state have been extremely popular. Punjab has more than 39,000 (Estimates 2010) small cottage industries providing widest avenues for the state’s labours.

Both modern and ancient culture is visible all over the state. Punjab’s natural and historical attractions appeal to many visitors from all parts of the world. Moreover, the fast growing tourism sector is another major pillar in the overall economic field of the state. According to the Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board (PHTPB) the state has been ranked the fourteenth tourism destination in India from twenty eighth position.The first planned city of India is the state’s capital; Chandigarh. It is a bustling affluent metropolis with glitzy shopping malls, boutiques and colorful markets which houses the intellectual elite as well as the seat of government. It serves as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana .The pilgrimage to the holiest of Sikh shrines,  the Golden Temple  of Amritsar is regarded as the holiest city of Sikhism. It attracts millions of Sikhs from all over the world. Punjab's educational system and technical training is considered to be the best in India. The state has achieved universal literacy of more than 71 percent. The state's high proportion of tertiary graduates and its performance as a modern technological society with thirteen universities promotes high quality of professional education. Currently the state is ranked seventh in terms of education amongst the states of India. The state has a large potential for hydroelectricity, thermal and renewable energy. The state is constructing  several power plants with the vision of becoming a state with a power surplus by 2013. As one of the fastest growing economies in the country, the state of Punjab has a unique prospect to position itself on a path of continuing sustainable economic prosperity for its entire people.


source of the article as

Private school bans wearing turban in Shimla, Singh Sabha says

By Nagender Ranta

SHIMLA: The 18-year-old Sikh boy studying in a Christian private school in Shimla was banned wearing a turban in the school, said Guru Singh Sabha, Shimla, an apex body of the Sikhs in the capital of the state.
“A Sikh boy studying in plus 2 class in St. Edward’s School here in Shimla was denied wearing turban. The Guru Singh Sabha wrote a letter to the Principal in the Month of March when the school reopened  but the school administration did not respond on this sensitive religious matter. Ultimately, we decided to go to the media as it hurts our religious sentiments. We would welcome if school administration allows wearing turban to the senior students. We want the issue to be resolved amicably,” Jaswinder Singh,President , Guru Singh Sabha Shimla,  told Punjab Newsline.
The Guru Singh Sabha severely criticized this move of the private school calling it violation of the right to freedom of religion granted under the Indian Constitution.
We have given ultimatum to the principal of the school if this practice does not end and wearing turban was not allowed, we would begin a protest in front of the school and need be, can launch a protest movement across the state. The school is purposely hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community, he added.
“The Sikhs in Shimla feel hurt by this act of violation of the religious right of wearing turban, which is the religious identity of our community. We are a secular democratic country and such an act leads to spread of communalism in the society especially when an educational Institution practices such unconstitutional activity in its campus,” said President of the Guru Singh Sabha, Shimla.        .
We have given ultimatum to the principal of the school if this practice does not end and wearing turban was not allowed, we would begin a protest in front of the school and need be, can launch a protest movement across the state. The school is purposely hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community, he added.
The school administration denies such allegations. The principal of the school said that we have no objection on wearing turban in the school and the matter has already been settled with the parents.

with thanks : PunjabNewsLine : LINK for detailed news.

Anand Karj Act

On behalf of Sikh Community,DSGMC President ParamjIt Singh Sarna along with other Sikh dignitaries visited Sonia Gandhi's house to convey thanks for Central Government's approval towards making a separate law to register marriages under the Anand Marriage Act.

Visit to Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Gurdwara : Europe's largest Gurdwara in Cremona,ITALY

With thanks : Gill Family,Cremona,ITALY.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sikh leaders want Manmohan-led Congress Government at Center to quit

Amritsar, April 24 (ANI): There have been strong reactions in Sikh circles to the final conclusion of arguments in the Delhi Court that was hearing cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

On Monday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had concluded that Congress leader Sajjan Kumar had incited mobs to attacks Sikhs during the riots in New Delhi.

Sikh leaders have called on the Manmohan-led UPA Government at the Centre to quit and take moral responsibility for their leaders secret involvement in the anti-Sikh riots.

Punjab Revenue and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia said the Congress has no moral right to stay on in power at the Centre.

He said the Sikhs had all along maintained that the Congress leaders had taken the law into their own hands in 1984, and added that the Gandhi family was also responsible for the killing of hundreds of the Sikhs.

Majithia said the Congress and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi acted hand in glove with the killers of Sikhs, and added that Congress leaders and activists incited mobs to act violently and in a retributive manner.

"Our stand had been vindicated that the Congress was responsible for the killing and massacre of the Sikhs in the national capital and other cities of the country in 1984'', said Majithia.

BJP State Executive Member Rajinder Mohan Singh said in a statement that what they had been saying for the years has now come true.

"The CBI has finally admitted that violence against the Sikhs had the backing of Congress leaders,'' he stated, adding it was Congress leaders like Sajjan Kumar who incited the mobs against the Sikhs.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee's executive member, Rajinder Singh Mehta, said anti-Sikh riot victims were yet to get justice 28 years after the violent event. 

with thanks : Yahoo News : LINK for detailed news.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seems the leaders are just playing politics n nothing else !

Instead of sitting on a Dharna, why don't these leaders ask for the Documentary evidence from Sarna ji, to check that its sold or leased. If it's sold, Sarna ji has no right to sit on the seat. But if it's just leased than why to make it an issue. Terms can be discussed & if anything wrong or bad, can be altered. But seems the leaders are just playing politics n nothing else as the elections to the DSGMC are nearby. If any one has the Documentary evidence that it has been sold, please open it & let the Sikh community view n decide. But in case you dont have any thing, why to play blame games.

SikhsIndia : Facebook, Blog, Youtube, Twitter, Flickr

Monday, April 16, 2012

"I am a Muslim, not a terrorist; I am a Khan, not a terrorist; I am from Pakistan, but not a terrorist :Mr Khurshid Khan

"Mr Khan's actions had moved Indian Sikhs.We salute Mr. Khurshid Khan who is an example of humility"
Pakistani Deputy Attorney General Khurshid Khan shines shoes at Gurudwara Rakabganj in New Delhi
Photo: Sanjeev Rastogi/Times Of India

Pakistan Deputy Attorney-General Mr.Khurshid Khan of Peshawar spend several hours polishing the shoes of worshippers at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in New Delhi on 26th March 2012 when he was in India as a part of a Pakistani Supreme Court Bar Association delegation( SCBA )to India.Same day he also left for Amritsar,home of the Golden Temple and the centre of the Sikh religion, to clean thousands more.after India's Sikh prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, indicated he had no objection with Mr.Khan's continuing his pilgrimage at the Golden Temple.

Mr.Khan began his service pilgrimage after Jaspal Singh, one of three Sikh men kidnapped by Taliban militants in Peshawar in 2010, was murdered. The other two men were rescued by the Pakistani Army. Since then he has visited Sikh temples or Gurdwaras in Pakistan and India to declare his opposition to terrorism through'sevadari'– service –to other religions

Mr Khurshid Khan said he was so upset by the killing and his fear that it associated his own Muslim faith with terrorism that he went to sit on the steps of Peshawar's Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh. He felt a sense of peace, he told The Times of India, and resolved to visit other places of worship, including Hindu temples and Christian churches to offer his help.

"I am a Muslim,not a terrorist;I am a Khan,not a terrorist;I am from Pakistan,but not a terrorist,"he explained.

The Taliban had damaged Pakistan's 'pluralistic' heritage –there are still Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities throughout the country – but it was unfair "to tarnish a whole community for the sins of a few," he said.

He visited his local Gurdwara every day for two months, where he read the works of the Sikh gurus, including Guru Nanak, and polished shoes. In both India and Pakistan, shoes are regarded as dirty, and touching the feet of another is an act of self-abasement and respect.

Paramjeet Singh Sarna, president of Delhi's Sikh Gurdawara Management Committee, said "There is always this underlying impression that every Pakistani is a radical but people like Khurshid have changed this image.His act has a message for the entire humanity. Although he as an individual didn't hurt or kill anybody, he has shown remorse for the innocent victims of the Taliban in Pakistan, including a Sikh, by performing community service. We are thankful to him for everything he has done for the minorities in Pakistan,"

March 27, 2012 by Dean Nelson Source:

Monday, April 2, 2012

At 101, Fauja Singh still Running !

London/Chandigarh, Apr 1 (IANS): As he turned a memorable 101-years-old Sunday, Sikh marathoner Fauja Singh did not have his birthday celebrations on his mind at his London home. Instead, the oldest athlete on earth is busy preparing for his next event - the London Marathon - on April 22.

Getting up early Sunday at his Ilford-London home, Fauja was on the tracks to run six laps as the 'Sikhs in the City' team organized an event in London to run 101 laps of two km each to commemorate his 101st birthday.

Even at 101, what is top-most on his mind is the preparation for the London Marathon for which he is already training and not his birthday cake.

"Mere coach ne mainu dovara jinda kar ditta hai (my coach has given me a fresh lease of life)," Fauja Singh told his Chandigarh-based biographer Khushwant Singh.

Last year, Fauja Singh had become, perhaps the only man in the world to have lived a 100 years to see his biography being released at that age. The biography 'Turbaned Tornado' (Rupa/Rs.250) was released at the Atlee Room of the House of Lords in London in July last year.

An illiterate person who converses only in Punjabi, Fauja had told IANS how he yearned that he could have read his biography.

As Fauja Singh prepares for the London marathon, no insurance company in Britain is ready to issue him a policy for the event.

"No company here is ready to insure him. We are willing to accept insurance even from India from anyone who has the confidence in Fauja's ability," Fauja's coach Harmandar Singh said.

with thanks : LINK for detaied news.

Gurdaspur firing victim a 'Sikh martyr': Akal Takht

The Akal Takht has decided to declare engineering student and Gurdaspur police firing victim Jaspal Singh as a martyr of the Sikh 'nation'. His portrait will also be installed in the Sikh museum. Jaspal was killed in police firing on March 29 to control the spiralling of violence between twocommunities.
Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh will make this announcement at the bhog and antim ardas of Jaspal on April 7 at his native village, Chour Sidhwan.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar will also announce free MTech level education to the only sister of Jaspal Singh.

with thanks Hindustan Times : LINK for detailed news.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We'll examine Rajoana's mercy plea on merit, says Chidambaram

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday said that his ministry would examine on merit the mercy petition of Balwant Singh Rajoana, sentenced to death for assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh and it would be submitted to the President for a final decision.

Mr. Chidambaram said that Rajoana's mercy petition, filed by Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, has reached the Home Ministry two days ago and has been added to the list of mercy petitions of condemned prisoners.

At his monthly press conference, Mr. Chidambaram said that execution of a condemned prisoner has to be put on hold once a mercy petition was filed before the President and it should be kept in abeyance till a decision was taken on the prayer.

He said guidelines in this regard were very clear. “Once a mercy petition is filed on behalf of a sentenced prisoner, the sentence cannot be executed unless there is a decision on the mercy petition. So, when we got the copy of the mercy petition (of Rajoana) from the President's Secretariat, we immediately drew the attention of the government of Punjab to the standing guidelines and the instructions,’’ he said.

“By drawing the attention of government of Punjab to the standing guidelines and instructions, does not mean the Home Ministry is expressing any opinion on the merits of the mercy petition,’’ he said.

with thanks : The Hindu : LINK for detailed news.

Police kept eyes 'closed' during anti-Sikh riots: CBI

The CBI on Saturday told a court that the Delhi police, acting in a pre-planned manner during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, kept its "eyes closed" to the violence. 

Advancing final arguments in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, in which veteran Congress leader Sajjan Kumar has been accused of instigating a mob in Delhi Cantonment area, CBI counsel RS Cheema said the city police "deliberately" did not act the way it was supposed to.
"This was a case where the police acted in a pre-planned manner and every policemen was keeping his eyes closed," Cheema told Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) J R Aryan.
He said about 150 complaints were made regarding the riot incidents but only five FIRs were registered by the police.
"Whatever action was taken by the police was taken against the people who helped the Sikhs. Police did not take action against the main culprits. No policeman was recording complaint during the riots. They were not interfering to help the victims," he said.
Cheema said even the police officials, who were defence witnesses in the case, had said in their statements that they had not seen anything during the riots.
During the arguments, the court asked the prosecutor if the CBI has any "direct evidence" against Sajjan Kumar and other five accused Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal, Mahender Yadav, Balwan Khokkar and Captain Bhagmal to show they were instigating the mob to kill the Sikhs.
"Apart from the witnesses, do you have press reports or photographs published in the newspapers to show that Sajjan Kumar was addressing the mob? Do you have direct evidence against the accused?," the judge asked.