The Indian Express – It is hard to feel sympathy for Chidambaram because as Home Minister he never tried curbing powers of agencies

It is hard to feel sympathy for political leaders when they become victims of the system they have created.

Tavleen Singh

It was with deep interest but little sympathy that I watched the arrest of P Chidambaram last week.

As I watched that small army of officials from the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation enforce their authority on a man who was once their boss, memories flooded back of what happened to me when Mr Chidambaram was Finance Minister.

I have told the story in full, gory detail in my book India’s Broken Tryst, but a precis is necessary.

I was staying in the seaside home of a friend. It was a lazy Saturday afternoon. I was half asleep in front of the TV when the study in which I rested filled up with a group of men (and one dwarf-like woman).

They screamed in unison that I had to ‘come down at once’. The Government of India, they yelled, we are from the Government of India, and this is a raid.

On the way down I accidentally touched the dwarf woman and she screeched ‘don’t touch me’ as if I had molested her. When I got downstairs, I saw that there were around 30 people in the raiding party. Their first purpose seemed to be to intimidate me.

This is not easy. I yelled back when they yelled at me and this calmed them down. But, my protestations that the house they were raiding did not belong to me made no difference.

They went through my private things and evaluated every little piece of jewellery I had. When they did not find whatever it was they came in search of, their aggression waned slightly but only slightly.

There continued to be menace in their manner as if they were dealing with a criminal who was guilty till proven innocent. These men were from the Enforcement Directorate.

What happened to me happens to thousands of ordinary Indians routinely. Anyone trying to run a business, no matter how small, is constantly at the mercy of officials who handle economic offences.

Criminals and terrorists are treated as innocent till proven guilty, but with supposed economic offenders, this basic principle of justice is usually reversed.

Anyone who thinks that the platoon of TV reporters who covered Chidambaram’s arrest were there by accident needs to think again. Live television has emboldened officials to make the most of their 15 minutes of fame, so media trials of ‘celebrity offenders’ are now the norm.

The Tribune – India-Pakistan tension may hit Gurpurb festivities

Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 23 August 2019. The tension between India and Pakistan may take a toll on the joint celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Though the SGPC, DSGMC and SAD (Delhi) have planned cross-border pilgrimage and religious processions to commemorate the occasion scheduled in November, looking at the rising tension, especially after the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K, the enthusiasm appeared to have been dampened on both sides.

Though the Pakistan authorities had earlier announced to grant around 10,000 visas for pilgrims, the SGPC has received just around 1,300 applications for a jatha to Pakistan.

Bhai Mardana Kirtan Darbar Society, which organises the pilgrimage, too, received just 400 applications and the DSGMC has got only a few applications.

SGPC chief secretary Roop Singh said the final decision on the jatha would be taken as per the situation prevailing in November. Recently, the SGPC has taken out a nagar kirtan that started off from Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib before entering to India through the Attari-Wagah border.

An official of SGPC said there were at least 3,000 applications for jathas that were scheduled for Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary in the past, but now the enthusiasm had decreased.

Bhai Mardana society’s president Harpal Singh Bhullar admitted that the tension between the two neighbouring countries had dampened the spirit among the devotees.

SAD (Delhi) Paramjit Singh Sarna was of view that the nagar kirtan would cross over to Pakistan on October 31, but the number of participants might be less.

The DSGMC too plans a parallel nagar kirtan from Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi to Nankana Sahib and looking forward to cross over Attari-Wagah border on November 1.

Exhibition on Guru Nanak in United Arab Emirates

New Delhi – India, On the eve of visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE, Vikramjit Singh Sahney, international president, World Punjabi Organisation, presented a painting of Guru Nanak Dev to Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance.

Sheikh Al Nahyan inaugurated an exhibition on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev to mark the 550th anniversary celebrations in Abu Dhabi.

Gentbrugge: Gentbrugse Meersen – Gent-Sint-Pieters, Ieper Visit

Gentbrugse Meersen
15 August 2019

Geboortebos – Birth wood
18 June (Evi}

Geboortebos – Birth wood
06 May (Harjinder}

Rose hips

Rose hips

Unknown flowers – please help !

Ieper Visit
16 August 2019

This train runs to Kortrijk
From there the front part goes to Poperinge via Ieper,
and the rest of the train goes to Lille (Rijsel)

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The News – Police book four Hindus for insulting Sikh gurus

Peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Pakistan, 25 August 2019. The police have registered a case against a pandit and three other members of the Hindu community for using insulting remarks against the gurus of the Sikh religion.

One Balbir Singh approached the Hashtnagri Police Station in Peshawar to complain that Pandit Sheonath Sharma along with Suraj Kumar, Ram Prakash and Keol Nath Sharma had used insulting remarks for the gurus of the Sikh community on their social media pages.

He said this angered members of the Sikh community and they asked the police to take action against the accused. On the complaint of Balbir Singh, the police lodged the case against the four accused.

The Hindu – Subramanian Swamy asks to halt Kartarpur project

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 24 August 2019. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Saturday demanded that the work on the Kartarpur corridor be immediately stopped, voicing apprehension about Pakistan’s intentions.

“There should not be any talks with Pakistan, keeping in view the interest of our country. In my opinion, the work on the Kartarpur project should be stopped. Whatever work has been done, let it be stopped there. We should not have any dialogue or relations with Pakistan,” he told journalists here.

The corridor will connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Narowal district with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. In Kartarpur Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life. India and Pakistan agreed to lay the corridor in November last year.

Dr Swamy said he understood the sentiments of the Sikhs and, in fact, had always supported the community. “The Sikhs need to understand the bad intentions of Pakistan,” he said.