– Sikhs Volunteers at Golden Temple Continue to Feed People Displaced by Kashmir Floods

Amritsar Sahib, 14 September 2014. Guru Ramdas Langar Hall (free community kitchen) of Supreme Sikh shrine, Shri Darbar Sahib, which is commonly known as the “Golden Temple”, has continued to send consignments of langar (food prepared by volunteers) to the flood-hit areas of Jammu & Kashmir by air.

Indian Army Officials of Northern Command had requested the SGPC to make arrangements for feeding large number of people displaced in J & K.

The development has also brought a sigh of relief for various agencies of India, which are finding it hard to feed the large population displaced in the flood hit areas of the state.

At the time, when the reports of thefts in flood hit areas of J & K has upset the humanitarians, the Sikhs from Punjab, especially from the Darbar Sahib are teaching a unique lesson of humanity to these people by doing selfless service.

In addition to the SGPC, a number of Sikh organizations run by volunteers have continued to provide much needed relief work.

Namely, the Sikh Awareness Foundation, a youth based organization being run from Canada, along with Sikh Relief (funded from UK), United Sikhs (America), as well as Khalsa Aid (England), have continued to support the humanitarian relief work.

Sikh24 Editors can be reached at

Gurdwaras – West Midlands Gurdware, 25 March 2010, Birmingham, UK

New gurdwara front under construction

Gurdwara Bebe Nanake
189 Rookery Road
Birmingham, West Midlands B21 9PX

The Tribune -Dikshit sticks to her position on Delhi government formation issue

New Delhi. Undeterred by attack from within the Congress for her comments on government formation in Delhi, Sheila Dikshit on Sunday stuck to her position, saying she did not back BJP’s bid to power and was only explaining the “factual and constitutional” provision on the issue.

The former Delhi Chief Minister, who had led the Congress to victories in the Assembly polls in Delhi in 1998, 2003 and 2009, maintained that it will not be wrong to invite the BJP to form the government if the Lt Governor feels it has the numbers.

Asked how the BJP can form a government as both the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party had ruled out support to it, Dikshit said it was for the BJP to get the numbers.

“It is for them (BJP) to get the numbers. It is not our job. What I said was factual and constitutional,” Dikshit told PTI in an interview.

The former Chief Minister, who was made to resign as Kerala Governor last month, said she cannot think of backing the BJP and was only explaining norms and rules.

“If they have the numbers, that’s the only way they can form a government. It’s not about my supporting or anybody supporting them. The Lt governor has to be satisfied that they have a majority and only then they can form a government.

“If invited, they will have to prove their majority in the Assembly. I stated the facts,” she said.

Dikshit’s comments on Wednesday that the BJP should be given an opportunity to form the government created political ripples with the Congress criticising her while the BJP had welcomed it.

Asked about Congress’ criticism of her for the comments, Dikshit said the party, probably, did not understand what she stated.

“I think they did not understand it. I was stating a purely constitutional requirement. I said the BJP can form a government like the AAP had formed a government when we gave them support from the outside.

“It is the case everywhere, be it Parliament or state Assemblies,” she said.

When asked what will be the option if the BJP could not get the required numbers, Dikshit said in that situation fresh elections will have to be held.

Congress had distanced itself from Dikshit’s “shocking” statement on the formation of government by the BJP, saying it was her personal view and did not represent the party’s stand.

The Congress as well as the AAP have been demanding immediate dissolution of the Delhi Assembly and holding of fresh polls.

Dikshit’s comments favouring the formation of government by the BJP had come when the party was facing severe embarrassment after the AAP alleged that a senior leader of the saffron party’s city unit offered a bribe of Rs 4 crore to one of its MLAs for switching sides.

Asked whether she will return to active politics, Dikshit refused to give a direct answer.

The former Delhi Chief Minister indicated that she was not keen to return to Delhi politics, saying the young generation should take the lead in taking forward the Congress.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung earlier this month had sent a report to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking permission to call the single largest party to take a shot at power, though it is well short of majority in the Assembly.

In his report, Jung gave a detailed analysis of the political situation in the city and underlined the need to have an elected government for Delhi which has been under President’s Rule since February 17 following resignation of the AAP government.

The AAP and the Congress had come down hard on Jung for his report and accused him of promoting “horse-trading”.

The BJP, along with its ally Akali Dal’s one MLA, has 29 MLAs in the Assembly and it will require support of five more legislators to prove majority in the House of 67.

The AAP and the Congress have been fuming over Lt Governor’s communication to the President to seek permission to invite the BJP, terming it as “unconstitutional”. (PTI)

The Asian Age – China on track to develop Indian railways as President Xi Jinping heads to South Asia

New Delhi/Beijing, 14 September 2014.China will pledge to invest billions of dollars in India’s rail network during a visit by President Xi Jinping this week, bringing more than diplomatic nicety to the neighbours’ first summit since Narendra Modi became prime minister in May.

The leaders of Asia’s three biggest economies, China, India and Japan, have crisscrossed the region this month, lobbying for strategic influence, building defence ties, and seeking new business opportunities.

Beijing’s bid to ramp up commercial ties in India comes despite a territorial dispute that has flared anew in recent years, raising concerns in New Delhi, where memories of a humiliating border war defeat in 1962 run deep.

It follows a pledge by Japan to invest $35 billion in India over the next five years – including the introduction of bullet trains – and a drive to deepen security ties during talks earlier this month between Modi and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

India and China are expected to sign a pact that will open the way for Chinese participation in new rail tracks, automated signalling for faster trains and modern stations that India’s British-built rail system desperately needs, having barely added 11,000 km of track in the 67 years since independence.

China, which added 14,000 km of track in the five years to 2011, is also pushing for a share of the lucrative high-speed train market in India, which it says would be cheaper than Japanese proposals.

“India has a strong, real desire to increase its cooperation with China and other countries to perfect and develop its rail system, and has concrete cooperation ideas,” Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao told reporters ahead of Xi’s trip.

“India is considering building high-speed railways, and China has a positive attitude towards this.”

China’s consul general in Mumbai, Liu Youfa, told the Times of India last week that Chinese investment in the modernisation of India’s railways could eventually touch $50 billion.

Beijing is looking to invest another $50 billion in building India’s ports, roads and a project to link rivers, part of an infrastructure push that Modi has said is his top priority to crank up economic growth.

Chinese investment will also help narrow a trade deficit with India that hit $31 billion in 2013.

From economic parity in 1980, China’s growth has outstripped India’s fourfold. Beijing is now seeking to recycle some of its vast export surpluses into foreign investment in resources and infrastructure in South Asia to feed its industrial machine.


New Delhi’s ties with Beijing have long been held back by distrust, mostly over their contested border. India has reported a rise in incursions by Chinese troops in recent years across a military control line, prompting a drive to beef up defences.

India also views Chinese military collaboration with its arch-rival, Pakistan, as a security threat.

Beijing, for its part, is concerned about the activities of Tibetans led by the Dalai Lama who fled to India following a failed uprising in 1959.

Xi kicks off his visit in Ahmedabad, the commercial capital of Modi’s home state, Gujarat, on Wednesday when the nationalist Indian leader will be marking his 64th birthday.

Xi is set to launch one of two industrial parks focused on building power equipment in the booming state, which topped India’s growth rates when Modi was its chief minister. China will set up another park in the neighbouring state of Maharashtra that will be mainly involved in the autos sector.

The informal setting of the first meeting between Xi and Modi is expected to bring a personal touch, much like the friendly get-together of the new Indian leader and Abe in Kyoto before their formal summit in Tokyo.

“We hope that during this visit the Chinese and Indian relationship of the last 50-60 years would see a directional change,” India’s Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

For all that, Modi’s bonhomie with Abe and his plans to meet U.S. President Barack Obama later this month point to a carefully balanced approach to relations with big powers.

“Modi is playing his cards very close to his chest, first by visiting Japan ahead of Xi coming to China, and also by planning a U.S. visit later this year,” said a Beijing-based diplomat who follows the China-India relationship.

Before he arrives in India, Xi will visit the Maldives, the Indian ocean island which India has long considered its area of influence.

He will also travel to Sri Lanka, where China is building a port less than 200 km from India’s southern coast, part of a drive to build ports across the Indian Ocean that some have dubbed a strategic “String of Pearls”.

Earlier this month, Abe visited Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. (Reuters)

31 August 2014, Black Park, Harrow Sikhs

Kamaljit Singh and Manjit Singh

Trying to set up the goal

They did manage it in the end

Cricket – Arvinder Singh (East London) ready to bat

To see more UK general pictures

More UK pictures to follow
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 4:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Tribune – Will ensure flood victims do not suffer during winter: Jammu & Kashmir government

Srinagar, 14 September 2014. All necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the flood-affected people in Jammu and Kashmir do not suffer further miseries during winter which is going to set in less than two months, the state government has said.

“We are aware of the approaching winter. We will take all the steps to ensure that the people affected by floods do not suffer any further,” Secretary to state government’s Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation department Vinod Kaul told PTI.

Although December 21 every year traditionally marks the onset of winter, the night temperature in most parts of the Kashmir Valley have fallen below freezing point as early as first week of November over the past several years now.
Kaul said the rehabilitation of the flood-affected persons was a three-staged process with rescue and relief of people from flooded areas being the top priority.

“We are rescuing people and providing them relief like ration, bottled drinking water, medicines and vaccines,” he said.

The official said the second phase will involve providing shelter like tents and blankets and other material to ensure that the victims are able to sustain.

He said at present over 130 relief camps are operational in the state where the state government — with the help of local volunteers, Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Indian Air Force (IAF) — is providing the material for the displaced people.

“It is a joint effort. No organisation can work in isolation and each organ of the system is functioning at optimum to provide succour to the victims,” Kaul said, adding, the efforts put in by the local volunteers were nothing short of heroic.

Kaul, however, admitted that permanent rehabilitation of the flood victims will be an uphill task that will need a massive effort.

Given the extreme weather conditions in various parts of the state, permanent rehabilitation of the victims will need to be expedited, he said. (PTI)

Dawn – Arrests, torture will not stop creation of Naya Pakistan: Imran

Islamabad, 14 September 2014. Addressing a charged crowd at the PTI Azadi March, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan said that the government could arrest his party workers or torture them but a new Pakistan would be created regardless.

At a gathering marking the thirtieth day of the protest in Islamabad city, Khan said ‘the tigers and tigresses are not scared of suicide bombers’.

“Nawaz Sharif grew up in the nursery of a dictator and does not know the Pakistani nation,” the PTI chief said.

He further criticised Maulana Fazlur Rehman and said that the JUI-F Chief would never again be able to win a single seat.

On the occasion, Khan said that the high-ups of Islamabad and Punjab police would be taken to the courts for justice.

It must be noted that two days ago Khan had said that he would share the names of the killers of MQM MPA Tahira Asif and Minority MPA Hendry Masih. However, at the dharna he did not reveal the names of the alleged killers.

The Imran Khan-led movement against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, had partially paralysed life in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Containers and police personnel continue to guard state buildings against charged protesters.

Khan has rallied supporters with the aim to remove Nawaz as prime minister in protest of alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections. – Clueless About Scotland, Indian Foreign Minister Opposes Independence Vote

New Delhi, 12 September 2014. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Sawaraj opposed Scotland’s independence while responding to a question asked by the correspondent of The Telegraph newspaper here.

Mrs. Swaraj responded to a question about next week’s vote in UK parliament on Scotland’s independence with a note of horror. The journalist asked her about her opinion in regards to the independence of Scotland. “God forbid!” she replied.

After an official had a word with the External Affairs Minister, she quickly corrected herself, adding it was “up to Scotland to decide.”

The referendum is being conducted over the independence of Scotland among the Scottish masses within next few days.

Sikh24 Editors can be reached at

Published in: on September 14, 2014 at 6:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Gurdwaras – West Midlands Gurdware, 25 March 2010, Birmingham, UK

New front part under construction

Gurdwara Bebe Nanake
189 Rookery Road, Handsworth
Birmingham, West Midlands B21 9PX

The Tribune – Independence of judiciary is non-negotiable: CJI

New Delhi, 13 September 2014. Chief Justice of India R M Lodha today asserted that the independence of judiciary is “non- negotiable” and it has the inherent strength to foil any attempt to interfere with that.

In remarks that come against the backdrop of steps to end the collegium system of higher judicial appointments, he did not make any direct reference to the law passed by Parliament in this regard but said no effort to take away judiciary’s independence will succeed.

Judicial independence is essential for maintaining public confidence that there is an institution which would come to their “aid and rescue in case of any wrong committed by the Executive or anyone”, he said addressing a seminar on ‘Rule of Law Convention-2014′.

The CJI called upon the legal fraternity to keep away people who “play tricks to taint judiciary”, saying any form of corruption in judiciary “shield impurity which is the worst form of aliment in thriving democracy”.

“I won’t speak on the issue (the Bill,) but I would touch upon the issue of independence of judiciary which is very dear to me. It is one thing which is non-negotiable,” Justice Lodha, who is demitting office as CJI on September 27, said.

“Having been a judge of High Courts and the Supreme Court for more then two decade, 21 years, I can say with confidence that judiciary has the inherent strength and no effort would succeed in taking away the independence of judiciary,” he said.

Justice Lodha said, “My experience is that by and large now people understand that judiciary is something whose institutional independence cannot be touched.

“I am more than confident that independence of judiciary maintained by everyone and anyone for whom judiciary is dear at any cost and once it is maintained I am sure there would be strong rule of law as it is the independence of judiciary that leads to confidence in people mind that here is a judiciary that would come to their aid and rescue if there is wrong done by executive or by anyone.”

Justice Lodha also referred to the Judicial Appointments Commission of United Kingdom and said during his recent visit to London, he was told that there is no change in the quality of appointments after the Commission was constituted five years back but “it brought transparency”.

He said in the era of economic growth, corruption is also growing and it is “very-very” essential that judiciary remain corruption free.

“If there is any amount of corruption in judiciary one thing that will happen is it would shield impurity.

That is the worst form of ailment in a thriving democracy and to each one of you who are sitting here I request you don’t do anything that directly or indirectly brings corruption to judiciary. Because corruption is not something which can happen by one hand.There are people who play all sorts of trick”.

“Corruption has to be eradicated in all forms in judiciary,” the CJI said, adding that the challenge is there to maintain the purity of judiciary.

While lauding the role played by legal profession in the independence of the country, he said “Now, the role of lawyers has become important for maintaining rule of law. Rule of law cannot be breached by anyone howsoever be a person mighty.” (PTI)


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