In Haryana

IGP to look after bovine welfare 

In BJP-ruled Haryana, a senior Indian Police Service officer is now being deployed for an important job—cows’ welfare.

Everyone was surprised when Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recently cleared the name of Inspector General of Police Shrikant Jadhav “to look after the welfare of cows and functioning of Gaushalas”.

Khattar has ordered that Jadhav would move from his post of IG of the State Crime Records Bureau in Madhuban and would take charge as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Haryana Gau Seva Aayog. The Haryana Gau Seva Aayog Act, 2015, does not have the provision for the post of CEO. The Khattar government has, therefore, decided to amend the Act.

It is said that a religious leader close to Khattar, who was associated with the International Gita Mahotsav in Kurukshetra in November, played a major role in the very capable and competent officer Jadhav’s shift to bovine welfare.

Interestingly, Jadhav has a history of working for the welfare of stray cattle during his postings in the districts. He first launched “Mission Stray Cattle” in Hisar in 2011 when he was there as the Superintendent of Police.

Later, he created similar bodies in Jhajjar, Panipat and Faridabad. He launched the mission in all five districts of Rohtak range after he took charge as the Inspector General.

This is the first time that an IPS officer has been made the CEO of the Gau Seva Aayog.

Earlier, the Khattar government had assigned DIG Bharti Arora with additional charge as the head of the Cow Protection Police Task Force, which was essentially a policing job to check cow slaughter and cruelty against the animal.

She was, however, not made the CEO of the Aayog.


President’s Himachali Topi

We now know President Ram Nath Kovind’s head circumference!—thanks to a special Himachali woollen cap, the traditional hill state “topi”—made to measure that he wore on the Republic Day parade ceremony. These days, Himachali caps have become a fashion, even with politicians from outside the state. In Himachal Pradesh and outside, the maroon caps are being preferred by BJP leaders as the colour goes with the party’s love for saffron. These traditional handcrafted caps have a rich variety. Kovind developed a liking for the Himachali caps when early in January, Shimla’s MP Virender Kashyap gifted a few caps to him. Kovind immediately expressed his desire to meet the maker of these caps. On a priority basis, a meeting of Solan-based entrepreneur Sangat Singh Pundir (62) was arranged. A former fire officer, Pundir started his cap manufacturing business with Rs 5,000 only in 2002, selling a cap for Rs 12. The Sunday Guardian spoke to Pundir to find out how the President took a liking for the caps manufactured by him, and ended up wearing one during the Republic Day parade.“I was thrilled when I saw the President standing, taking salute from the Republic Day parade’s contingents, wearing a Himachali cap made by me. I felt as if I was also being honoured on this great day,” says Pundir. According to Pundir, the President had told him about his requirement of a brimless cap’s maroon padding to make it stand 2.75 inches around the head as against the usual 3.5 inches, plus specifications about the circumference and the shape. “Kovindji told me that he wanted to wear it on the Republic Day parade. It was a new challenge as the work was time-bound.”“I had some idea as to what would suit our First Citizen. In April 2017, our state’s BJP leaders had gifted a muffler in an intricate Kinnauri pattern, prepared by me, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” says Pundir. “Modiji wore it during his visits abroad.” For Kovind, Pundir procured the best sheep wool material from shepherds in Kullu and Rampur and stitched four caps of varied Himachali patterns—two each in grey and white base—to give the President a fair choice.Pundir is not from a family of artisans. When he was a fire officer, he developed his love for caps’ art work. In 2002, he took voluntary retirement and launched his handicraft business at Solan. He struggled for some years. Today, his annual turnover is Rs 20 lakh.

Loving it

Nitin Gadkari is the most sought after ‘contractor’

As the Modi government moves into an election mode, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Ganga Rejuvenation, is the most sought after man by BJP-ruled states for getting their projects done. And Gadkari loves it. On Wednesday evening, while releasing a coffee table book Naman Narmada by veteran Hindi Editor Alok Mehta at a function at the Transport Bhavan, Gadkari said, “Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan telephoned the other day asking me to build the Narmada Express Highway in his state. I told him to send me the technical details and coordinates of the proposed project, and leave the rest to me.”“I would love to do this project as it is associated with the name of holy Narmada river, which is close to my heart,” Gadkari later told The Sunday Guardian. Gadkari said that the Narmada plays an important spiritual, cultural, social and economic role for the welfare of the people of Madhya Pradesh, from where the river originates, and enters Gujarat.

Himachal Pradesh’s new Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur met Gadkari in New Delhi on Wednesday to accord approval to national highways worth Rs 487 crore under the Central road fund. Thakur also sought funds for running seaplanes in the water bodies and ropeway projects, which, he said, would improve rural connectivity and boost tourism in the hill state.

The Narmada is also close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s heart. Modi has written a message for the 105-page Naman Narmada book which contains about 80 colour photographs (many rare) of the 1,312 km long river from Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh to Gujarat. The PM was presented the first copy of the book by author Mehta and publisher (Shubhi) Sanjay Arya some time ago.

Best practices

Don’t call me ‘your excellency’: Naidu

We have earlier reported that Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu loves to advise the members of the House about how to follow the best practices in smooth running of the proceedings. The other day, he guided the members how to address him in their written communications.

“Hereafter, it will not be written ‘Yours Faithfully’. You can write ‘Yours Sincerely’,” the modest Vice-President Naidu requested.

As Venkaiah Naidu is also the Vice President of India, he advised members not to address him as “Mahamahim” or “Your Excellency”. He said: “Honourable will do.”

Last journey

Incident at Nigambodh Ghat

Well-known Delhi-based astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal (65) was shocked to hear what his maternal uncle and some other relations told him two hours after he reached home from Nigambodh Ghat after cremating his 94-year-old father S.D. Kaushal, who had worked in many Union Ministries at senior positions. These relations had come from late Kaushal’s ancestral village in Himachal Pradesh. As per the local hill state’s custom, they had brought some wood and dust from their village to put it in the pyre at the time of cremation between 4.30 and 5.30 pm. But by the time they reached the cremation ground at about 8 pm, everyone had left. From the cremation ground, they telephoned Suresh Kaushal to know the pyre number. On being given the information, they went to pyre number 43. The fire had died down. They were shocked to see portions of both the legs below the knee still intact. And the skull was also visible, half burnt. They summoned the night staff, brought more wood and ghee to re-light the body’s remains. They also put the wood pieces and dust they had brought from their village in the fire. They sat there for an hour till the body’s portions were fully burnt. When they later informed Suresh Kaushal, he was shocked over the carelessness and shoddy job done by the cremation ground’s pundits and helpers. “They had asked us to leave within 15 minutes of the fire being lit to burn the body. Now I realise that the ‘kapal kirya’ was done before the right time,” Suresh Kaushal said.

Man Mohan can be contacted at



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