HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Regional Takes

A bus stand in Zirakpur, and the death of common sense

An iron-and-bronze statue worth thousands of crores is the hot topic of debate these days. Some see it as the BJP trying to adopt the Congress’ Sardar Patel as its own Independence hero. Writes Aarish Chhabra.

Banking on an online world

I keep urging my 70-plus father to use that great convenience of the 21st century — online banking. “It will make your life a lot easier,” tell him, as if I’ve mastered the art of living at half his age. “You won’t have to visit banks and government offices to a great extent. And you’ll get more time for yourself.” Writes Vikramdeep Johal.

Stop mushrooming of agricultural colleges

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is one of the first seven agricultural universities established in the 1960s. Post-Independence, memories of the Great Famine of Bengal of 1943 still haunted India. Nearfamine conditions prevailed in the country in the early 1960s. Dr Manjit S Kang writes.

A farmer is not a file statistic or a vote bank

Recently I met a renowned economist buying shirts on a sale. The economist, like many others of his ilk, is very much against farm subsidies and believes in their withdrawal for a balanced growth of economy. Writes Khushwant Singh.

Kirantis’ khukris flash at Chola in 1967

In conflict, moral ascendancy over the enemy is an imperative. During World War 2, we had seen how the Indian and British troops systemically demolished the image of the Japanese supermen before driving them out of Burma. Writes Mandeep Singh Bajwa.

Rusty petals in a lusty letter

For the last 15 years, these flowers I had collected from the Kharlubar ridge (Batalik) during the Kargil War on July 7-8, 1999, had been preserved in the folds of a letter I had then sent to my Chandigarh-based fiancee, Hemani. I recently published a short memoir of those moments and mentioned the flowers.

Football 1937, lessons for a lifetime

Chandulal took aim to kick the football between the goalposts. The crowd was waiting to yell “wahwah”, hoping he’d score. But the ball sped to the left of the goalpost. The crowd sighed in despair. We had just lost an inter-school match in 1937, since Chandulal would not pass the ball to a teammate. Writes Hari Chand Aneja.

The mother of all diplomacy

Diplomacy is a political tool to build or worsen any relations. If your wife, conscious of your health, serves you your favourite omelette every day but with reduced yolk without your knowledge, she uses yolk diplomacy. Writes Col Avnish Sharma (retd).

Who changed my channel?

It may have been unimaginable heights of joblessness which made me sit in front of the “idiot box”, as they call it, when my five-year-old cousin was glued to the heroics of ‘Chhota Bheem’. Writes Nishant Andrews.

Love and loss at Kargil heights

Conjure in your mind a spectacle of being bunkered at 15,000 feet on a remote ridge and watching the night’s dome. At that vantage, the night is a milky bed or an infinity of twinkling celestial entities. And then visualise three red balls arch across like shooting stars that sear the white sky, turn invisible in the last few hundred metres of descent, and detonate with Ravana flashes and dull thuds on the opposite ridge. Vikram Jit Singh writes

Modern cafés no match for our Shekhar’s

It’s about those days when there weren’t any established foreign cafes or restaurants in the country. Last Friday, catching up with an old college pal at a foreign-brand coffee shop, figured out I was sitting in a place that was flashy but not a true, soulful hangout for free socialising. Writes Vaibhav Sharma

Life of a BA-wallah

The cut-offs are touching dizzying heights. The queues are getting longer and angrier. The last date is approaching, and the newspaper headlines are making it worse. For those seeking admission to BCom, BSc, BBA and the like, this is the turning point of their lives. Writes Aarish Chhabra.

Going cashless whole hog

“A business that makes nothing but money is condemned to remain poor,” said Henry Ford. One does not necessarily have to agree with Ford to understand that all business, at the end of the day, has to have a philosophical core that goes beyond making money and the everyday exigencies of earning a livelihood. Writes Madhusheel Arora.

The first Indian military dentist

General Kartar Singh, an internationally-renowned dentist, passed away recently in Panchkula at the age of 96. For his role during its initial years, he is widely respected as the father of the Army Dental Corps. Writes Mandeep Singh Bajwa.

Luv rocked, flowers mocked

Strolling along the raging Beas river at Katrain (short of Manali) recently, I came across these quaint wild flowers that had been dumped as dead bodies are in the Ganges river. Writes Vikram Jit Singh.
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