HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Regional Takes

Drugs chief concern, infrastructure the primary promise in Ludhiana

In a campaign filled with much din, little substance and a lot of mudslinging, issues came to the fore as Hindustan Times took its special initiative, CANDIDateTalk@HT, to Ludhiana on Wednesday. The top three candidates — Congress’ Ravneet Singh Bittu, Shiromani Akali Dal’s Manpreet Singh Ayali and the Aam Aadmi Party’s Harvinder Singh Phoolka.

A matching dress that was almost a killer

"Matching madness" is an old disease. Experts opine that it is gender specific and affects only the fair sex; so I, on the other side of the biological fence, thought I was immune until my wife got infected last month during the wedding of my brother-in-law and to me were passed on the consequences.

Looking at the brighter side

Recently, I was transferred to Ludhiana from my hometown, Amritsar. I was looking forward to new experiences, and I shared the news with my friends and relatives. To my shock, they rolled out many discouraging tales about Ludhiana.

The house that built me

What is it with the houses we are born into and spend our childhood in? I often wonder why my eyes well up as soon as I remember the house I spent the first six years of my life in. I don't recall much but the fountain in the garden still stands out vividly in my memory. Writes Pallavi Singh.

Whose face is the slap on?

I have no political sides to take, but I am sure if Gandhi had known the menace of slapping that was likely to visit India none too soon, he would never have suggested offering one’s other cheek to be slapped one more time. What is this nonsense? And why are we tolerating this? What is so great about politicians too who ‘forgive’ those who cross the line? Rajbir Deswal writes

Elections then and now

The other day I heard my six-year-old daughter singing "Cong party ko desh se nikaal do…" Where, on earth, did she pick that up from? I wondered. "A WhatsApp forward on mamma's phone," she answered. "Ah, these forwards!" I muttered. But even I found the video catchy when I checked it out. Writes Rakesh Kumar.

Route to the mystery drug

There are happy and interesting coincidences to discover when you start researching. The recent acquisition of Ranbaxy by Sun Pharmaceuticals for $4-billion (around 24,000 crore) afforded me one such mystery. Madhusheel Arora writes

The vote scrabble

Fingers inked, selfies tweeted, records broken, Chandigarh has voted. But since we are still in the middle of our Election Kumbh that culminates in salvation on May 16, there’s no escaping the mania yet.Don’t worry, though. This week’s column, too, may be about politics, but is not another political science lecture. Aarish Chhabra writes

Combat engineer support in Siachen

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the launching of operations in Siachen. The versatility, innovation and inventiveness shown by our combat engineers to overcome the challenges posed by the high altitude, extreme climate and arduous terrain have been in their best traditions. I’ll present just two examples of the resourcefulness shown by them. Mandeep Singh Bajwa writes


An ill-effect of a prolonged winter and unusual rains has been that the Flame of the Forest tree has not come into bloom in its strongholds such as the Siswan jungles.

When Doordarshan was the only candidate

As I watch the Indian election fervour escalate from half a world away, I'm reminded of my growing years in India and how we looked forward to the elections every five years. No, it wasn't for any sense of patriotism or for the love of any one candidate. Writes Sona Sethi.

Shaping a new poll agenda for Chandigarh

Elections are about winning and, for some, to ensure others lose. They are shorn of any ideological persuasions and, more recently, have even ceased to be political. Therefore, it is essential to decode the claims and counterclaims made by the various poll contestants in the fray for Chandigarh.

Our vote will decide quality of governance

India is world's largest democracy with 81 crore voters, of which 10 crore are first-timers. The right to vote comes to us every five years to elect our Parliament and state assemblies.

Elections in 1937

“I will vote for Lala Kalyandas, because he has promised to introduce a bullockcart sprinkler in our town,” announced Choudhary Ramnarayan. “But Seth Hukumchand insists we need to erect a platform in the main mandi for vegetable vendors,” retorted Jamnadas.

A postmodern Punjabi thinker

In Dr Gurbhagat Singh’s death on April 3, the world of the English literature, Punjab, and the Sikh studies have lost an innovative thinker. The most severe blow is that his most-cherished project of translating the Shri Guru Granth Sahib into English remains incomplete. His translation of 1,208 pages will remain a hugely rich and valued contribution. Writes Pritam Singh
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