Category Archives: International

Global Punjabi Association to strengthen ‘Punjabiyat’ across the globe; promote language & culture

National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Chairperson Iqbal Singh Lalpura who has been actively associated with issues relating Punjab and Punjabi community on Friday (today), held a Press conference to announce the formation of The Global Punjabi Association (GPA), with head quarter at the holy city of Amritsar and sub office in Delhi.

The objective of this society is to promote Punjabi and Punjabiyat. It is above any division and is simply uniting Punjabis world over to promote our language and culture.

Punjab has seen bad days which need no explanation. However, the Global Punjabi Association is only interested in doing positive work to promote brotherhood, industry, agriculture, education and sports . Of course Punjab is under the bad shadow of drugs, their number in central services is decreasing. Lalpura, a retired top cop with Punjab police had witnessed the dark days when terrorism was at it’s peak in Punjab.

Helping humanity to survive and escape from cancer is the mission of our President Sardar Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, who is the Chairman of World Cancer Care. The other organization, Humanity First, is already working in Punjab and has done unparalleled work during Corona in Punjab and is still promoting education and sports, under Sardar Ajayvir Singh Lalpura.

Dr Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal President of GPA, Global Ambassador of awareness against Cancer (Chairman World Cancer Care, UK), said “GPA would also take steps to devise a mechanism through traditional and collective wisdom for shaping behavior of Punjab youth in the best way so that they could contribute to developing Punjab, Punjabiyat, sports and education.”

“GPA would take quick steps to Protect and promote the interests of Punjab and Punjabis settled across the world. GPA would work simultaneously to redress the problems of Punjabis settled across the globe” he added.

We strongly feel that there are many issues pertaining to Punjabis, which include drug menace , unemployment and need attention and positive approach. The other main objective of formation of GPA is to take up issues pertaining to Punjab/Punjabis with concerned authorities/organizations/ governments in a peaceful, democratic and legitimate manner for their quick redressal.

Explaining further, Patron of GPA ,former IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura, who is presently the Chairman of National Commission for Minorities, said “GPA would strive to protect and promote the rich spiritual, religious, ethical, educational, economic and cultural traditions of Punjabis world over. The Association would use all means to promote Punjabi language, literature and culture.”

“Apart from promotion, GPA would also encourage and support the development of agriculture, industry, entrepreneurship, service sector, health, education, economy & youth activities among other socio-economic aspects in Punjab and for all Punjabi communities across the word.” Lalpura added.

Lalpura rues that despite having brilliant brains, there are many Punjabi youngsters, who have not been able to clear competitive exams and are lagging behind due to lack of required proper and timely guidance. He said that GPA would take steps to provide requisite help and guidance to brilliant and deserving Punjabis for placement in competitive exams, services, entrepreneurship and other ventures.

Gautam Gambhir, Member, Former Indian Cricketer has also supported the vision of Global Punjabi Association and assured his full support. GPA has active support and participation of many top Punjabis.

The meeting was graced by the following people:

Dr Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal Global Ambassador (World Cancer Care UK), Sagar Mehta from Delhi, Exporter, Parvinder Singh, Social Worker from Delhi, Ravi Ranjan Singh, Jhatka Organization, Delhi, Osho Kalia, Environmentalist and Social Worker from Gurugram, Haryana, Gikinder Pal Singh, Social Worker from Delhi
Gurpreet Singh Rummy, Ranjeet Singh Juneja, Lawyer, Varun Gulati, Sports Promoter, Jaswinder Singh Dhillon, Former Vice Chancellor of Guru Kashi University, JP Singh Sahni, Educationist and Social Worker, Salil Mehta from Delhi, Exporter, Chetan Uppal, Industrialist, Arjun Marwah, Social Worker, Suraj Miglani, Builder, Gaurav Narang, Businessman, Ajayveer Singh, Social Worker, Rompy Bhatia, President, All India Furniture Association.

Bengali remembers Abdus, Rafiq, Sofiur, Barkat and Jabbar with tears on Feb 21

In the famous words of Kobiguru Rabindranath Tagore, “moder gorob, moder aashaa, aamori Bangla bhashaa… ” (Bengali language is our pride… Bengali is our identity…)

February 21st is a very significant day, its regarded as the International Mother Language Day but for Bengalies all over this has immense importance as on this day, in 1952 on the streets of then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) people protested the imposition of Urdu language upon the large number of Bengali speaking Muslim community. The diktat by the Pakistan government had spread huge uproar among the students of Dhaka University. They decided to defy the order and take out a protest march.

The Government of the Dominion of Pakistan in 1948, ordained as part of Islamization and Arabization of East Bengal that Urdu language would become the sole national language. It said that the Bengali writing alternatively in Arabic script or Roman script that was also called the ‘Romanisation of Bengali’ or Arabic as the state language of the whole of Pakistan was also proposed.

Abdus Salam, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Sofiur Rehman, Abdul Barkat and Abdul Jabbar along with many others protested on the streets of then Dhaka. The agitation took that was dormant till then took momentum and it turned out into Bengali Language Movement.

Since then February 21 is observed as a solemn day. The day is also called ‘Omor Ekushey’ (Immortal 21). Poets, writers, and philosophers over the years have written songs, poems, and even created dramas as a mark of respect to these martyrs who raised their voices against the autocratic diktat and protected the respect and dignity of the Bengali language.

“amar bhai r rokte ranga ekushey February, aami ki bhulte pari…” (February 21st is red with my brother’s blood, can I ever forget the day…), mark the day.

Devastation, tears and trauma marks Turkey and Syria after 7.8 quake, death toll may rise

On Monday, an earthquake of 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Richter scale had hit Turkey and Syria that killed over 600 people. Many injured, while hundreds have rendered homeless.

However, the death toll may rise as the debris are cleared. Rescue operations are taking place at an war footing. However, the rescue operations is being hampered at some places due to snow and inclement weather.

According to Raed Ahmed, the head of Syria’s National Earthquake Centre, called the quake was “historically, the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the centre”. Over 300 locals have died in government-controlled parts of Syria, as well as the northern areas held by pro-Turkish factions. At least 284 people died in Turkey, Vice President Fuat Oktay said, More than 2,300 people had been injured and that search and rescue work was continuing in several major cities.

The earthquake struck predominantly Kurdish area of Turkey near Syria, a country gripped by more than a decade of violence that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions.

The exact intensity of the damages will known after the rescue operations are over. The number of deaths too will be known only after the rescue operations are complete as many people might be trapped under the debris. While some may be alive as miracles were seen in the past too. Locals also fear of fresh after shocks as it’s natural to have after shocks hitting the quake prone region. Locals in the region are scared, terrified and under trauma recalling the devastation.

Nepal Plane Crash: 70 dead, rescued passengers critical

On Sunday, an ill-fated 9N-ANC, ATR-72 500 of Yeti Airlines, crashed while landing at Pokhara International Airport. The plane which was on its way from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International, Kathmandu to Pokhara. 70 passengers are dead. Two passengers (Nepali national) were rescued from the debris. Both are fighting for Life at a hospital in Nepal.

There were 68 passengers and four crew members. All the five Indian passengers are dead. According to an advisory issued by Yeti Airlines – Four crew members in the aircraft. Among the 68 passengers, 53 from Nepal, five Indians, four Russians, two Koreans, one Argentine, one Australian, one Irish, and one French.

Nepalese Prime Minister Prachand first took stock of the situation at control room, subsequently went to accident site. One day state mourning has been declared across Nepal in the respect of the dead.

Helpline numbers were issued –

However, actual reason behind the accident will be ascertain only after the Black Box is found.

This accident has once again raised a big question mark on the safety and security of the passengers who travel by airlines in Nepal. The ill-fated plane 15 years old.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Pained by the tragic air crash in Nepal in which precious lives have been lost, including Indian nationals. In this hour of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families.”

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has called the Nepal plane crash a “tragic incident” and offered sympathies to the families of the victims. Scindia said, “It is a tragic incident and my sympathy is with family members of all the passengers. I also sympathise with the passengers who survived the plane crash.”

The ATR72 is a widely used twin engine turboprop plane manufactured by a joint venture of Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo. Yeti Airlines has a fleet of six ATR72-500 planes, according to its website.

The real reason of accident will be clear only after Black Box is recovered.

Humanity above any religion, said Swami Vivekananda

“otho, jaago, egiye cholo” (arise, wake-up, don’t stop till you reach your goal), were the inspiring words by Swami Vivekananda whose teaching were simple but practical. World is celebrating his 159th birth anniversary on Thursday January 12th today.

Special programmes are organised across all the Ramakrishna Missions in the country and outside India. The main function was held at Swami Vivekananda’s residence in Shimla Road, north Kolkata. Apart from that, special puja was also held at the Belur Math in Howrah district of West Bengal where Swami Vivekananda took samadhi at the age of 39. The Belur Math is also the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission sect.

Swami Vivekananda always said humanity above any religion. He asked, “maanush r jonne dhormo na dhoro r jonne maanush?” (Is religion for people or people for religion?). He followed the philosophies laid down by his Master or ‘guru’, Ramakrishna Paramhansa who spoke of simple and practical way to follow religion. He believed God is one and to reach Him all one is required to do is to madidate. Swamiji, once said people should play football than sitting in prayers whole day long.

This day each year is also celebrated as National Youth Day. Swami Vivekananda always placed the youth power above everything and said any country can prosper only if the youth in that country are disciplined and dedicated in their goals.

President Draupadi Murmu tweeted to pay her tributes to Swami Vivekananda.

“My tributes to Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary! An iconic personality who combined spirituality and patriotism, he propagated Indian values globally. His life and teachings continue to inspire youth to follow their dreams and achieve greater goals.”

The Prime Minister in his message said his great ideals and ideas will continue to guide the countrymen. PM Modi said, the life, patriotism, spiritualism and dedication will always inspire the youth.

PM Modi who had a deep connection with the Ramakrishna Mission since his early days and had once decided to join the sect also mentioned how the life and teaching of Swami Vivekananda had a major influence on him.

The day is also observed as the National Youth Day.

Remembering Irrfan Khan on his birthday

India lost one of its finest and promising actors Irrfan Khan. He was diagnosed with an endocrine tumor (a rare type of cancer). He went to London for treatment and had his surgery done. The condition deteriorated and he was admitted to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He died on April 29, 2020.

His death has shocked not only his admirers but even those who took a casual approach towards his acting that is Irrfan, many would not even notice him for his out-of-the-bottle look. His cult look was his advantage as he would bag those roles that many would not even think of doing. The man was an intense actor who tried to live that character for the period. No wonder why his acting career touched the peak. Irfan married his National School of Drama (NSD) sweetheart Sutapa Sikdar and both have two sons – Ayaan and Babil Khan.

Irrfan Khan was born on January 7, 1963, as Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan in Jaipur, to a Muslim family. Khan’s mother, the Begum, was from the Tonk Hakim family, and his father, the late Jagirdar, was from the Khajuriya village near the Tonk district and ran a tire business. He has two brothers, Imran Khan and Salman Khan, and one sister Rukhsana Begum.

He began his career with prominent serials on Doordarshan like ‘Chanakya’, ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’, ‘Sparsh’, ‘Sara Jahan Hamara’, ‘Banegi Apni Baat’. He became a popular face with his role in ‘Lal Ghaas Par Neele Ghonde’ where he played the role of iconic leader Lenin. It was translated by Uday Prakash based on a Russian play by Mikhail Shatrov. He had acted a few serials on Star Plus and other channels.

He made his debut with Meera Nair’s controversial film Salaam Bombay (1988), though his role was edited at the least minute. He acted in numerous parallel films like Basu Chatterjee’s Kamla Ki Maut  (1989) where he featured opposite Roopa Ganguly.   In 1990, Irrfan worked with iconic filmmaker Tapan Sinha in his film ‘Ek Doctor Ki Maut’ having Pankaj Kapoor in the central role. He worked in a few more parallel cinemas. 

His role in Maqbool in 2004 opened new doors for him and after his stint in Rog (2005) there was no looking back for the actor but he always remained in touch with his first love, the stage. The biggest advantage and perhaps disadvantage was his cult looks. The out of the bottle looks made him special, those who would meet him would never feel like meeting a celebrity but the guy next door. Irrfan himself was aware of this would cherish this characteristic about his personality. His role in Mira Nair’s Namesake (2006) was appreciated by all.   

Irrfan had a big struggling life in films but with his dedication and zeal to achieve the peak, he became a world-famous name. Not just Bollywood but Irfan left his mark in Hollywood too.

Social media is abuzz with condolences pouring in from all quarters. Irrfan Khan had a short span of successful cine career but has left an indelible mark in the world of cinema. He will be always remembered for his impeccable acting and the cult expressions that would bring the characters alive he played on screen.   

All flights in USA grounded, passengers stranded

Passengers across United States of America (USA) are reportedly stranded due to a technical snag that has largely impacted Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs)’ following which all flights from USA have been grounded.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) informed that no flights are able to take off and it’s ‘experiencing an outage’.

The situation is expected to remain like this for next four to five hours if not more. Technical staff is working to bring back the system on the tracks. Over 1200 flights have been affected. However, those flights were to take off have been affected, those in the air are out of the outage effect.

USA has asked the FAA to investigate if it’s a cyber attack. However, till now any possibility of cyber hack has been ruled out.

According to reports, over 90 flights have been cancelled till further announcement is made about the developments. Over 700 flights have been delayed.

Christmas! Santa Claus! Down Memory Lane…

“shokaale uthey dekhbo Santa Claus ki diechey, kokhun je aashbe…ghumeye pori tai dekha ei hoyenaa” (After waking up in the morning will see what Santa Claus gifted this year…would have seen him but always fall asleep). Basking in the nostalgia on Christmas morning. Today, I can’t stop myself from smiling recalling these words but every Christmas morning I would run to my parents showing them what Santa had left the previous night. I would always get my gifts under the pillow as I never kept the Socks. Well, I am sure on average we all have some experience and many after reading this will also bask in the nostalgic memory. The tradition goes on, yesterday it was us, today the kids who will have the same feelings as they grow up. This will go on…and on…

While I was thinking of these nostalgic memories standing at the window and trying to cherish the cold winter Christmas morning, I saw a small girl decked up at Christmas best excited to show her mother what she has received from Santa. Her mother was listening to her innocently with big eyes as if she knew nothing. Indeed a sweet moment. Perhaps the family was going for a Christmas day out and the mother-daughter were waiting for the father. This tiny tot has no idea that her Santa Claus whom she was so eager to meet was standing beside her.

I don’t know about you but I recall running to my parents after waking up excited to show the gift or gifts I received from Santa the previous night. When my parents would ask did I see Santa this time, I would lament and tell them I could not see as I was asleep and then would take the resolution that next time I will surely see him and thank him. My parents smile but the next time never came and I could never see Santa who came with a big sack full of gifts. I was told Santa comes on a sledge only after we are asleep. I can’t help laughing on myself as I too believed and did not question how can Santa come on his sledge in Delhi where there is no snow. Why we do not stay such innocent all through our lives.

One fine morning we grow up to know our parents are our Santa Claus. I often hear today’s kids are mature enough. They know what we did not know or were told. True and I appreciate this but at the same time, I feel there are certain things which they should know as they grow up. Knowing who Santa in real is may be a small thing but that moment to find gifts under the pillow or inside the socks holds the biggest treasures of life. These moments fill us with the nostalgia that provides the energy to live and cherish life. These special moments make our childhood memories so special…so nostalgic…

Thank you, Maa Baba, for being the Santa Claus…basking in the nostalgia on Christmas morning…

Is Bengal really prepared to face COVID variant BF.7 upsurge? CM, Heath Minister to continue with New Years bash & Ganga Sagar Mela

In wake of the recent upsurge in COVID across the globe, worst affected is China that is now under complete lockdown after it reported endless deaths. Back home in India too, the situation is under scanner as the Union Health Ministry is keeping a strict vigil on the situation. The Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had chaired a high level health meeting on Wednesday followed by another meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The virtual meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Mandaviya alongwith senior officials including doctors.

The outcome of the meeting, the government said there was nothing to be scared at this moment but stressed on the need to follow COVID protocols. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Assam even Punjab decided to follow COVID protocols. As expected West Bengal showed reluctance in implementing the COVID protocols at this moment.

Trinamool Supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee immediately after the meeting chaired by PM Modi, said her state is prepared for the adverse situation but she will not implement the COVID protocol at this hour as she does not feel the need for facemask. It seems Mamata Banerjee has not learn from the past experience. Last year, immediately after the New Year bash at Park Street (regular event) there was an upsurge of COVID. The medical fraternity had literally pleaded Banerjee with folding hands not to relax the protocols but she had turned a deaf ear to the requests of doctors. This year too inspite of the COVID scare, the West Bengal chief minister has announced ther will be New Years bash as usual and the Ganga Sagar Mela (an annual event) will not be carried as per schedule.

On Friday, Mansukh Mandaviya, chaired a virtual meeting with states and announced West Bengal will be a part of the countrywide mock drill on December 27 to ensure the readiness of infrastructure with a specific focus on oxygen plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources. State health minister Chandima Bhattacharya informed that the state is prepared for the situation. However, there was a total reluctance on the implementing of COVID protocols. “There will be a countrywide Covid-19 mock drill on December 27. West Bengal will be conducting the drill as well”, informed Bhattacharya. She said the state was continuing with genome sequencing. 

West Bengal had ignored the COVID protocols during Durga Puja, Diwali or Kali Puja, Christmas, New Years and Ganga Sagar Mela. The result of this was an upsurge in the COVID cases. The state government speaks of preparations, but the fact is it had under played the numbers of deaths in the previous surges. Not just this, but the death certificates were allegedly doctored as there was an unwritten stricture of putting any reason behind the death but COVID as it would bring the actual number in the glare. I myself met many such poor families who had lost their near and dear ones to the pandemic but did not either get the mortal remains from the hospital which was sent directly to the Dhapa ground for mass cremation or the death certificate carried different reason of death. I saw these people fuming but in tears. Yet, Chadrima Bhattacharya and Banerjee are talking of preparations to face any adverse situation.

Well, in such a situation all we can do is to keep our fingers crossed and pray no fatality are reported,

Egypt’s President to be the chief guest on Republic Day

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in January, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday.

“This is the first time that the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt will be the Chief Guest at our Republic Day,” the MEA said in a statement.

Egypt has never been invited to India’s Republic Day so far since the first Republic Day celebration started in 1950. India has invited the maximum number of Republic Day guests from Asian countries (36), followed by Europe (24), Africa (11), South Africa (6), North America (2) and Oceania (1).

Egypt has traditionally been one of India’s most important trading partners in the African continent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent a formal invitation to al-Sisi which was handed over to the Egyptian president by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on October 16.