India will counter Jhootistan
Intelligence agencies have been cautioning about round-the-clock “false propaganda” being beamed by Pakistan’s public and private television channels and its state-run radio station, targeting Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, alleging human rights violations and “provoking” people “to rise against Indian occupying forces”. The Narendra Modi government has decided to revive a TV and radio transmission project at the Attari border in Punjab to counter Pakistan’s propaganda machinery.
The issue about how Pakistan was “bombarding” through its electronic media to create confusion among people living in Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran was raised by the Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa in the Rajya Sabha this year.
Bajwa has now received a written reply from the Centre that the Doordarshan project to counter Pakistan would be executed this year. “The new transmission facility would be then received in Lahore, Gujranwala and Sialkot,” he says. He agreed with a suggestion that a popular programme Jhootistan, which used to be aired during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistan wars, was now required to nail the lies of Islamabad’s propaganda machinery.
The project had been jointly conceived over a decade ago by the All India Radio (AIR) and the Prasar Bharti Corporation of India (Doordarshan). In 2005, a 1,000-ft high, 20-KW AIR tower was set up as an “interim step” at Gharinda, five kilometres from the Attari-Wagah border, with an expected radius-range coverage area of about 60 kilometers.
Despite the plan, a 300 meter high self-supporting television tower could not be installed. Doordarshan had given the job to set up the TV tower worth Rs17 crore to a UK-based firm Alan Dick Broadcast in 2005. The contract was annulled since the firm had breached the contract terms. The UK firm had moved the Delhi High Court. The case is still pending.
The AIR infrastructure at the Attari border is already in place. Another border town Fazilka also has an AIR station. It operates with a 20-KW FM transmitter on 100.8 megahertz and broadcasts the Urdu service.
Mini cruise plan hits ‘lake block’
It was an interesting dream project to run mini cruise ships in the hilly-state of Himachal Pradesh’s panoramic Pong Dam. But, it seems, the tourism department plan has hit a “lake block”. The Intelligence Bureau has raised a red flag and denied the permission to ply cruise ships within 1.5 km from the Pong dam head. Devendra Kumar Sharma, chairman of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), told The Sunday Guardian that the IB has communicated that no activity could be allowed in the dam waters within 1.5 km of the dam head. The BBMB has no objection in the Pong Dam lake beyond 1.5 km from the dam head. The BBMB manages the release of water in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan as it controls Bhakra, Pong and other dams. Without taking prior clearance from the BBMB and security agencies, the tourism department spent about Rs 4 crore on developing infrastructures in Dhameta, a place located about 400 meters from the dam structure. A loan was also raised from the Asian Development Bank. The department has already spent about Rs 8 lakh on developing the jetty for cruise, Rs 1.32 crore on about nine luxury tents, Rs 75 lakh on an open air cafe, Rs 5 lakh on landscaping, Rs 80 lakh on parking and toilets, and rest on other infrastructure.
The expenditure was done with an idea that tourists would stay at Dhameta and would be taken to the Pong Dam lake in a cruise. Now, the grand cruise idea stands shelved, at least, for the time being, till security requirements are fulfilled. Now, a search is on to identify an alternate site beyond 1.5 kilometre from the dam head.
FOR RELIGIOUS TOURISM
Gurudwara at har-ki-pauri
Har-ki-Pauri in Haridwar is known as the most “holy place” for Hindus. Now, some Sikhs are also staking a claim to this scared place. The top Sikh body, Akal Takht, and the leaders of the Delhi Sikh Management Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (DSGMC) are claiming that some government documentary evidence has surfaced of a gurudwara at Subhash Ghat near Har-ki-Pauri. They have started pressing the Central government and the BJP-ruled states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to reclaim this place as they wish to reconstruct the historic gurudwara Gyan Godri Sahib there. “This gurudwara at Har-ki-Pauri will boost religious tourism in the holy city,” the DSGMC general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa told The Sunday Guardian.
Sirsa says that it has now come to light that the Haridwar civic body record had shown the evidence of a gurudwara at Har-ki-Pauri. The municipal corporation record of 1935 depicted the existence of this gurudwara. The documents of the local Bharat Scouts and Guides office also related to a gurudwara at the site.A section of Sikhs has been demanding handing over the piece of land, as they claim, Guru Nanak Dev had visited Har-ki-Pauri in 1504-1505, where he meditated and gave sermons. The Sikh Panth wants an early settlement of the issue so that they can reconstruct a grand Gurudwara Gyan Godri before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in 2019.
It is being said that Gurudwara Gyan Godri was constructed in 1935 in the memory of Guru Nanak Dev on the property given by the Landran Estate. In 1979, the then Uttar Pradesh government had acquired the land for the beautification of Har-ki-Pauri. The land was, however, not returned to Sikhs despite the government offering alternate places to the evacuees. In 2000, Uttar Pradesh was divided and Uttarakhand was born. Haridwar is in Uttarakhand. The new state government had allotted an alternate place for the gurudwara, but the land was disputed between the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. “We will not compromise on the site. The gurudwara will be constructed on its original site only,” says Sirsa.
B-Schools will offer ‘Free Counselling’
This is the season for admission to business schools for studying one-year or two-year MBA courses. The prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are students’ first choice, but not everyone is able to get in. There has been a mushroom growth of MBA schools, which has confused students. There is a golden opportunity available “for one year MBA admission seekers” in north India, especially those residing in the National Capitol Region of Delhi.
Many IIMs and top league business schools are organising a “free counselling” fair at CyberHub in Gurugram on 27 September, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event has been organised by top global advisory resource, oneyearmba.co.in. One can book a “free seat” by visiting its website. Shikhar Mohan, the founding chairman of oneyearmba.co.in says that because of lack of awareness, many students take admission in wrong schools, and find it extremely difficult to get the right worthwhile placement later. A majority of the top-50 MBA programmes are now offering one-year programmes. Almost every new entrant to these top ranking B-Schools in the past five years has taken admission to a one-year programme. Like in America and Europe, the Indian corporate world has started showing preference to one-year MBA degree holders as they, as per the admission requirement, already have minimum five years’ work experience and are more mature compared to fresh two-year MBA students.
Man Mohan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org