Ban on Hookah Bars in Delhi – People are the real winners!

Finally I did what I promised – my efforts to close hookah bars in national capital have borne fruit and Delhi State Tobacco Control (DSTBC) has ordered closure of all Hookah bars in Delhi.

Finally I did what I promised – my efforts to close hookah bars in national capital have borne fruit and Delhi State Tobacco Control (DSTBC), following the notification from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare dated 23 May, 2017 which completely prohibits use of hookah even in smoking zones, has ordered closure of all Hookah bars in Delhi.
Delhi State Tabacco Control vide F.No. 7(6)/STCC/DHS/14-15/6796 dated 21.07.2017 has completely prohibited the use of Hookah in Delhi. Consequently, there will be no hookah bars in Delhi.
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In last four months, we have been trying to spread awareness about Hookah smoking which causes potential health effects on hookah smokers particularly among the young boys and girls. The fact that hookah contains harmful chemicals including carbon monoxide, metals and cancer causing chemicals, tar etc. makes it lethal for the younger lot. Public too showed their disapproval for such Hookah Bars in Delhi. Especially the parents of youngsters came out in large number to support my cause because they were getting worried seeing the drug-inclination of their young ones graduating from Hookah to smoking and then to drugs!
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I took up this matter with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble LG Delhi and even submitted evidence to National Green Tribunal to get these Hookah bars closed with a single aim of saving the youth of the Delhi. I submitted strong credible evidence to National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairman on disastrous effect of hookah smoking on environment.
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I am thankful to all the people of Delhi particularly those who not only directly supported the cause but also became part of the campaign from time to time. The latest order of the DSTBC has made it clear that there will be no Hookah Bar allowed to operate in Delhi. As per another order of the Health Ministry, no Hookah material can be served even in the service cabins established for smoking.
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I am now warning the Hookah Bar owners that if they don’t obey orders on closure of these bars, then we will be forced to physically shut down these bars in order to save the youth of the Delhi. Nothing matters more to me than the future of our youth and I will do all that I can to save the youth of Delhi from Hookah menace.
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I thank Dr Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble LG Delhi Anil Baijal Ji, Maheish Girri Ji, KTS Tulji Ji and other dignitaries who understood the gravity of the problem and extended their support to ban Hookah bars in National Capital.

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Setu – The signage now shows the great warrior’s name

The very idea behind naming roads and monuments after great personalities is to keep reminding the younger lot about our glorious heroes of the past

Today, we did something that delighted our hearts – we ensured putting signage boards in the Delhi flyover at Barapulla which Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convener Mr. Arvind Kejriwal had promised to rename after the legend national hero Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

The important thing to note is –

  • CM Kejriwal made the announcement of changing the name of Barapulla flyover to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Setu before Punjab elections.

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  • A full page AD was given announcing the name change; it has been more than a year but the changed signage was never put despite my repeated reminders and letters.

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  • CM Kejriwal is an habitual offender and a liar who always forgets his promises once the elections season is over.

Many people including Arvind Kejriwal fans asked me that since the name exists in Google Map, what is the need of a Signage or a road side board?

Let me answer – The reason we name roads and monuments after great personalities is to keep reminding the younger lot about our glorious heroes of the past. I am very sure whenever a family crosses Kautilya Road or Baba Kharak Singh Marg or Tilak Marg, children sitting with you will ask who was Kautilya or Baba Kharak Singh and so on. And that’s how conversation about our rich past starts.

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The same has been the motive in my mind when we ensured putting up the signage highlighting Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Setu. I want more and more people to read about Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, the great warrior who defeated Mughals and ensured justice for the masses.

Mr.Kejriwal, by ignoring to change the signage has tried to belittle the great national hero about whom Pm Sh. Narinder Modi Ji himself had said that nation owes it survival to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur ji and he bows his head before this great personality.

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Keeping the sentiments of the people in mind, we have today put up signage of renaming this bridge Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Setu and hence after today it will be known by this name.

I would like to say that making an announcement is one thing; following it up with action at ground level is another! Until Mr Kejriwal walks the talk, he would be called a manipulator and a fraud… by every Delhite, sooner or later!

Sabse Bada ‘Promise-breaker’ kaun?

Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi!
The list of promises broken by AAP President is far bigger than anyone else’ list!

Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi!

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It is difficult to begin the list; should we talk about the promise made by CM Kejriwal before Delhi elections when he shouted on the top of his voice promising people 15 lakh CCTV Cameras in Delhi and 8 lakh government jobs to youth?  The promise of Free WiFi in Delhi or last mile connectivity, or ensuring women’s safety on buses by deploying marshals or opening of new schools and colleges… name any promise and it appears unfulfilled.

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What disgusts me the most is Mr Kejriwal’s repeated and rhetoric statements on clean and transparent governance! Look at the profile of tainted minister Satyender Jain in his cabinet. Mr Jain has been handling important portfolios like Health, Industries, Home, Public Work Department, Power, Urban Development and Transport etc. as a minister. And all these departments are messed up badly for which the price is being paid by Delhi people.

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Not only this, Mr Jain has been linked in Hawala scams for which Karawal MLA Kapil Mishra has even handed over the ‘evidence’ against Satyendra Jain to the Anti-Corruption Branch. But Mr Kejriwal hasn’t questioned or doubted Mr Jain even once! Simply because, Kejriwal’s co-brother Surendra Bansal has also been one of the beneficiaries in one of the PWD scams done by Satyendra Jain.

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Kejriwal has fared badly in providing civic amenities to people. He promised to regularise the unauthorised colonies in Delhi in a year and hand the ownership rights over to the occupants. But, nothing has happened. People are not even getting basic civic amenities. Even today, many people have complained to Aaj Tak team that they are getting dirty water supply in their home. Thousands of households everyday complain of water shortage.

Arvind Kejriwal broke the promise of regularizing guest teachers. Rather made the issue a political one blaming the center. The truth is the Bill to regularize Guest teachers in Delhi does not talk of financial accountability of Delhi government. So how did AAP govt plan to regularize guest teachers without assuming financial responsibility? Another lip-service by Kejriwal, nothing else.

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And the worst part – Instead of working for public education or health, Kejriwal government gave 399 licences for liquor vendors in 371 working days. There is a tremendous growth in the number of Hookah Bars in Delhi ever since Kejriwal came to power. Was this one of his promises?

So now every time Kejriwal says, ‘I will make Delhi London’… I wish to tell him that please make it the Delhi we all deserve. We don’t want it to be like London!

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And somebody needs to tell him – Promise breakers get the worst punishment from the people.

5 things that make Baba Banda Singh Bahadur the greatest Sikh warrior!

Not many people know about the valour of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur; a fact I truly feel sorry about. Our History books should be narrating the stories of great warriors born in India who made Mughals and Britishers dread the sons of soil.

Not many people know about the valour of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur; a fact I truly feel sorry about. Our History books should be narrating the stories of great warriors born in India who made Mughals and Britishers dread the sons of soil. Instead, our children end up reading about the lavish ways of Akbar the great and Delhi Sultanate.

I am sharing this piece just to make Indian aware about Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi Ji has also spoken in length on Baba Banda Singh Bahadur when the country celebrated the great warrior’s 300th martyrdom at New Delhi in 2016. PM Narendra Modi Ji also took part in the commemoration releasing a book and souvenir on his life.

Take a look at five most amazing aspects of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur’s life –

  1. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur had become a bairagi as he renounced his comfortable life and left his home at the age of 15. It was Dasham Pitah Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji who created an awareness in him that he is a Sikh and a warrior and he should fight for the people and justice. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji gifted Banda Singh five arrows, one Nagara, five Khalsa Singhs and a handwritten message for Sangat. Their meeting happened at Nanded.

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2. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur created a Sikh army of warriors and  succeeded in capturing back large part of Punjab by defeating Mughals in the Battle of Samana. He established Sikh rule and minted coins in the name of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

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3. The biggest conquest for Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was the victory in Sirhind where  he defeated Wazir Khan, the cruel Governor of Sirhind who ordered the execution of Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh Ji in 1705. Historians account that Wazir Khan was beheaded by the Sikh army in the battle of Chappar Chiri in May 1710. Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP led Punjab Govt built a monument, Fateh Burj, at Chappar Chiri to pay tribute to the great warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

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4. He not only defeated the Mughals with his strength but also with his wit. When Mughal army laid a siege at Lohgarh to capture Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, he fooled the Mughals by making his General Gulab Singh dress like him. The plan worked and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur escaped the siege successfully.

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5. It is said that emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was very scared of Baba Banda Singh’s valour. His army succeeded in capturing Baba Banda Singh in 1715 along with his son and many Sikh warriors. The Mughal army bound all the captives head and foot in chains and paraded them all the way to Lahore. Mughals inflicted goriest torture on Sikh soldiers and asked them to accept Islam. Upon refusal, Mughal army pulled out the Sikh warriors’ eyes and chopped off their hands and feet. Mughals humiliated Baba Banda Singh by carving out the heart of his son and forcing it into Baba Banda Singh’s mouth. Despite such torture, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur didn’t betray the spirit of Sikhsim.

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Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has installed his huge statue near the Mandi House metro station in New Delhi. Delhi govt led by Arvind Kejriwal had refused to extend any help for the same so the land was provided by Punjab Government led by S. Parkash Singh Badal Ji and the statue was also gifted by him.

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No words can suffice his gallantry and committed administration. If we truly wish to pay a tribute to this great Sikh warrior, we should narrate his story to our children.

Stories & actions of Mughals which get no mention in history books!

The fanaticism, cruelty and dogmatic behaviour of Mughals has been known worldwide; still we continue to call them the great rulers in our History books – a fact I truly dislike!

From calling Akbar ‘the great ruler’ to naming Shah Jahan as a connoisseur of Architecture… History books in India paint a very rosy picture about Mughals. The truth, however, is quite the opposite. Mughals were barbaric and discriminating. Their blood-thirsty approach and behaviour is known to the rest of the world yet children in our own country are told that right from Babur to Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan were fair and competent rulers.

I am sharing some of the eye-opening truths about Mughals which I gathered from Sikh history and the books written by travellers other than those who were funded by Mughals during that time.

Mughal emperor Jahangir himself wrote in his autobiography Tuzk-e-Jahangiri that too many people were becoming persuaded by Guru Arjan’s teachings and he was scared of Guru Sahib’s presence. He forced Sri Guru Arjan Dev ji to convert into Islam and upon Guru Sahib’s refusal, he tortured and executed Guru Sahib. Sheer cowardice of a Mughal ruler!

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Even Akbar was responsible for the massacre of 30,000 captives during the Siege of Chittorgarh (20 October 1567 – 24 February 1568) followed by Rajput women committing Jauhar.

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Akbar was a womanizer who had more than 300 wives. The actual number of women in the harem was nearer to 5,000. Many of these were older women, but there were also young servant girls, or Amazons of Russia or Abyssinia as armed guards, all with the status only of slaves.

Aurangzeb, the cruelest of all, destroyed temples and Gurdwaras in India. It was he who ordered Brahmin Pandits of Kashmir to convert to Islam. Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur came forward to protect Kashmiri Pandits from the torture of Aurangzeb.

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The sad part is – our History books do not even mention about the supreme sacrifice of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur for the protection of the most fundamental of human rights – the right of a person to freely practice his or her religion without interference or hindrance.

Mughals were known for their inhumane torturing methods. Such was their cruelty that they made Baba Banda Singh Bahadur watch his own son’s heart getting carved out by the executioners which was thrust into Baba Banda Singh’s mouth!

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Mughals were known for destroying temples and Gurdwaras and erecting mosques in their place like Mughal emperor Shah Jahan desecrated the sacred Sri Baoli Sahib in Lahore, Pakistan and erected a mosque in its place. Babri Masjid follows the same pattern.

The fanaticism, cruelty and dogmatic behaviour of Mughals has been known worldwide; still we continue to call them the great rulers in our History books – a fact I truly dislike!

Let us demand CBSE to change the curriculum and at least include real heroes of our history rather than these inhumane rulers.

I bet you didn’t know all this about Gatka

Gatka is a a spiritual as well as a physical exercise. Gatka requires spiritual, mental and physical skills in equal proportions and enables a person to defend himself as well as others.

Recently, I had the privilege to witness State Gatka Championship held at Gurdwara Sri Damdama Sahib. Their fluency, skill and alertness was a treat for the eyes. This made me write the blog enlightening people all across the world about Gatka.

I wish to share some significant aspects of Gatka which make it more than just a martial arts.

Take a look –

Gatka originated from the times of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib who kept two swords – Miri and Piri. But it was our Dasham Pitah Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji who emphasized on the use of weapons for self defense.

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Gatka is a a spiritual as well as a physical exercise. Gatka requires spiritual, mental and physical skills in equal proportions and enables a person to defend himself as well as others.

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Gatka is a battle-tested technique and Sikh warriors used it extensively during any battles against Mughals and other invaders of north India.

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One can notice a variety of weapons used during Gatka play ranging from swords to bamboo rods called lathi, whips, chains, and throwing weapons called chakram.

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Even though many people believe Gatka to be a martial art exclusive of Sikhs, yet, one can see Gatka transcending religious divides. Young boys and even girls of other religions, Hindus, Christians and Muslims are also learning Gatka.

Many significant festivals in Punjab like Hola Mohalla, Shaheedi Jod Mela and Baisakhi are considered incomplete without Gatka. Especially in Hola Mohalla, one can witness the awe-inspiring performances by Gatka players.

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In 2016, Gatka was recognized as a sport nationwide, thanks to the efforts put in by Gatka Federation of India.

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Millions of Indians wish to see Bhagat Singh’s face on currency notes

I am a firm believer of the fact that ‘Charkha’ alone did not spin the magical freedom for India. The echoing voices of ‘Inquelab Zindabad’ by young martyrs like Bhagat Singh have marked an indelible impact in shaping progressive and free India.

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I am a firm believer of the fact that ‘Charkha’ alone did not spin the magic of freedom for India. The echoing voices of ‘Inquelab Zindabad’ by young martyrs like Bhagat Singh have marked an indelible impact in shaping progressive and free India.

So when I voice my respect for Bhagat Singh, I do not in any way undermine the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of nation. When I seek to see Bhagat Singh’s face on currency notes, I am not disrespecting the decision given by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) panel which voted against the inclusion of any other national leader’s image on banknotes saying that no other personality could better represent the ethos of the country than Mahatma Gandhi.

I am just saying that Bhagat Singh is one of those martyrs who stand out as an ideal model for India’s youth. He has been named ‘Shaheed-e-Azam’ for the maturity, fearlessness and courage he showed when he was sentenced to death.

It is not just about Bhagat Singh, I believe Reserve Bank of India can do a special series featuring greatest Indians like Shubhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Maharana Pratap and all those who laid down their lives to make India free. Their countless sacrifices need to be reminded to the youth of India which is currently facing a nationalism crisis. We need to share the stories of valour and sacrifices of bygone era.

Bhagat Singh deserves a little space, if not whole, on the currency notes if RBI really wants to commemorate the sacrifices made by people who actually played a great role in shaping the nation and fought for freedom for our Nation.

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Earlier, Reserve Bank of India had brought out Rs 5 coins bearing the picture of great freedom fighter,Saheed Bhagat Singh to mark his birth centenary year.

On the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, I seek the support of Indians to share this article with the Government of India and RBI requesting to print a special series with Bhagat Singh’s picture on currency notes.