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October 21, 2001 - October 21, 2001

New lease of life for Bardoli museum Sunday, October 21, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SURAT: Thanks to the initiative taken by higher authorities, the Sardar Patel National Museum, Bardoli -- depicting the freedom struggle by farmers, or the 'Bardoli Satyagrah' -- has been resurrected.

Priceless photographs, oil paintings, scenes depicting the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel have been saved from irreparable damage through the renovation of the museum since May this year.

According to official sources, constant seepage of rain water over the years had caused a considerable damage to the artefacts in the museum. Taking note of this, the director of museums contributed Rs 5 lakh in May 2001 towards its renovation. Along with financial aid, the assistance of senior curators was also extended to renovate the museum.

The museum in Bardoli is intricately linked with the freedom struggle of India. When the British government raised taxes to unbearable levels in 1928, farmers of Bardoli put up a tough fight against the British order. This resistance went down in history as the 'farmers' agitation of Bardoli'.

Details of this historical movement and the life of its legendary leader 'Sardar', has been permanently captured by the museum. Located within the campus of Swaraj Ashram, the museum was established in 1981 to commemorate the birth centenary of Sardar Patel.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Bardoli :: New lease of life for Bardoli museum Sunday, October 21, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SURAT: Thanks to the initiative taken by higher authorities, the Sardar Patel National Museum, Bardoli -- depicting the freedom struggle by farmers, or the 'Bardoli Satyagrah' -- has been resurrected.

Priceless photographs, oil paintings, scenes depicting the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel have been saved from irreparable damage through the renovation of the museum since May this year.

According to official sources, constant seepage of rain water over the years had caused a considerable damage to the artefacts in the museum. Taking note of this, the director of museums contributed Rs 5 lakh in May 2001 towards its renovation. Along with financial aid, the assistance of senior curators was also extended to renovate the museum.

The museum in Bardoli is intricately linked with the freedom struggle of India. When the British government raised taxes to unbearable levels in 1928, farmers of Bardoli put up a tough fight against the British order. This resistance went down in history as the 'farmers' agitation of Bardoli'.

Details of this historical movement and the life of its legendary leader 'Sardar', has been permanently captured by the museum. Located within the campus of Swaraj Ashram, the museum was established in 1981 to commemorate the birth centenary of Sardar Patel.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Probasi north Indians attuned to garba in Surat Sunday, October 21, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SURAT: Distant drums (read dhak, musical instrument played during Dasara in north India) sound better but for lakhs of probasi (migrants) Bengalis, Biharis and others from the north settled here, the Navratri over the years has been an occasion to synchronise ritualistic traditions associated with Durga Puja back home and garba culture.

Though most migrants from West Bengal, Bihar and UP feel a bit homesick during Navaratri they do not display the discomfort of having missed something back home; they feel jubilant to be part of the garba.

Take the case of 20-year-old Prema Choudhary. For the past seven years that she has been here after her father joined a company at Hazira, the celebration has evolved with new dimensions. For here it Durga Puja during the day and evening and then dancing to the garba songs till late night.

Prema says, "Being a probasi Bengali, we have accommodated to culture here, not clinging to traditions of our childhood. We have a Bengali Club that organises Durga Puja which comprises anjali or aarti during the day which every Bengali makes it a point to attend. This is followed by prasad. There is also a daily bhog or prasad. Hence, we do not miss out on the fervour associated with Durga Puja back home."

Though her family attends the Puja religiously, they also enjoy the Navratri celebrations in Surat and she often goes out with friends for garba, a must for her for the past few years, she adds.

Even for Mrityunjay Dey, residing at ONGC colony for the past 11 years, Durga Puja and Navaratri have not been two options to choose just only one. His family has blended cultural traditions so beautifully that they no longer feel the need to get back to their native place during Dasara. Of course, the initial years were a little difficult as they missed the fervour of Durga Puja celebrated in Kolkata and other cities of north India.

Long vacation in schools and offices during the Durga Puja were definitely a thing which many migrants eagerly awaited back home. All the annual social visits and celebrations used to be planned for that period, says Arun Chakarvorty of City Light Area. Here, Navratri doe not bring vacations to plan something like that, he points out.

But there are many like Tapankumar Ghosh who has been in the city for over two decades who still feel very strong about their own way of celebrations. Though earlier he used to take part in Garba now he confines himself to prayers and other rituals. During the day he is so preoccupied with the arti, bhog, chandi paath and mingling with others in the puja pandal that during night he feels tired to keep pace with the garba.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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No breakthrough in Hitesh Ahuja kidnap case Sunday, October 21, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SURAT: Mystery remains unfolded with the city police yet to achieve any breakthrough in the kidnap case of one Hitesh Ahuja (21), son of the owner of Superbread factory at Pandesara, who was last seen on Monday while leaving home for the factory.

The car which Hitesh was driving during the incident was found abandoned near Navasari on Thursday evening, said additional commissioner of police Ashish Bhatia.

Sources said Hitesh used to sit at the factory in the morning and his father Kamlesh would take over from him in the afternoon. As usual, Hitesh left home for the factory on October 16 around 8.30 am in his car but he never reached there.

Kamlesh Ahuja went to the factory during noon and on not finding Hitesh there, called up various acquaintances to find out Hitesh's whereabouts. All the enquiries drew a blank note and Kamlesh registered a case with the Pandesara police.

The case was later handed over to Athwa police.

Meanwhile, suspicion rests on one Mukesh Daulatchand Harmani (32), who worked as a tempo driver in Kamlesh's brother's factory around three years ago. Kamlesh's brother also runs a Super Bread factory in Vadodara. Harmani had in the past kidnapped Kamlesh's father Bhagwanlal twice and had also attempted to kidnap Prakash, but failed, Bhatia told TNN.

He added police have got certain clues and a major breakthrough is expected soon. The city police released pictures of Harmani on Thursday and appealed to the public that anybody having any information about Hitesh Ahuja should contact the Athwa police or the Surat city control room.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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'Kidnap' to dodge financiers Sunday, October 21, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SURAT: Was it really a kidnap case or a cover-up to escape the wrath of financiers who pumped in crores of rupees into the local Surat TV Channel? One of the channel's key promoters, Nikhil Madrasi, was reportedly abducted on Monday with the kidnappers' demand being the channel's closure. The incident has taken a curious turn among media and business circles here as Nikhil is presently said to be lodged in Kolkata's Burra Bazar police station.

On Thursday evening the city police was informed by Nikhil's wife, Alpa Madrasi, that he was kidnapped and was kept somewhere near the Bangladesh border. She said calls made by Nikhil to one of his relatives in Andheri, Mumbai, on Thursday morning revealed that the kidnappers' demand included closure of the channel.

Accordingly, the channel, the oldest in the city, went off air at 9.30 pm as per the decision of other promoters, sources informed. A case was initially registered with the Athwalines police and was later transferred to Varachha police, said additional police commissioner Mohan Jha.

According to deputy commissioner of police B Srimali, Nikhil got a call on his mobile phone on Monday from his wife asking him to come home for lunch. He said he will be present for lunch in 10 minutes, but never turned up. Surprisingly, even after many hours of his not being traceable, the police was not informed, sources said.

The other theory making rounds in the city is that the channel was under heavy financial debt and Nikhil was the key person who had managed the channel's affairs, including sourcing money of about Rs 4 crore from over 130 financiers, 18 cable operators and two co-operative banks. Since, the channel was not doing well, the management was under heavy pressure to clear off its dues. Recently, the channel had to convert its morning Gujarati daily into an eveninger, raising wide speculations about the channel's financial stability.

Meanwhile, the city police requested the Kolkata police on Saturday for a thorough investigation into the case as Nikhil was reportedly lodged at the Burra Bazar police station.

Sources in the city police said the kidnap case appears to be 'stage-managed' as the channel was headed towards a severe financial crisis. The city police is presently exploring the 'plot' of the whole drama, senior cops told TNN.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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