AS A JOURNALIST

Mr Amar Chandel took voluntary retirement in 2011 from the post of Associate Editor of The Tribune, one of India ’s oldest and biggest newspapers published from Chandigarh . The 127-year-old newspaper is also published from New Delhi , Bathinda and Jalandhar with a daily circulation of over 400,000. He remained on the editorial staff of this premier daily for more than three decades.

 

In these years, he gained experience in all streams of journalism: editing, reporting and the running of the newspaper. He holds MA, B.Sc, BJ, LL.B degrees. Mr Chandel’s principal responsibility was to write editorials and he had over 3,000 editorials on international, national and regional subjects to his credit. These were besides the numerous signed articles he wrote regularly. He was also Editor of the Magazine Sections of The Tribune. He wrote extensively on such subjects as health, environment, science, law, wildlife, social issues, sports, adventure and tourism. Political satire was his forte and he penned middles on a regular basis. Legendary journalist, author and Editor Khushwant Singh once commented about one of his pieces: "I wish I had written that".

 

He also wrote film reviews for the newspaper for more than a decade, besides covering cricket Tests and one-day internationals. He edited the weekly Science and Technology page, Oped Health and Behaviour pages of The Tribune for many years. Many of his writings have been reproduced in various anthologies and compilations.



ARTICLES




If Ahmad Shah Abdali were here

wednesday, september 20, 2006

History books tell us that Ahmad Shah Abdali of Afghanistan attacked India repeatedly in the eighteenth century and pillaged the country barren. These never-ending invasions gave birth to a desperate coinage in Punjab: “Khaada Peeda Lahe Da, Baaki Ahmad Shahe Da” (What you eat and drink is yours; all the rest belongs to Ahmad Shah).

During his fourth incursion in 1757, his men butchered...



Why did Kayani drop a bombshell of peace?

The peace overtures by the Pakistani Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani have ostensibly been occasioned by the precarious conditions in Pakistan

 

The Pakistani proposal to withdraw forces from the Siachen cannot be taken at face value, because the area has seen a lot of back-stabbing by the neighbouring country



Whenever any responsible Pakistani makes even mildly friendly comments about India, tongues start waggin...



Vagaries of coalition politics

Congress is willing to compromise even on its foreign policy in order to humour its alliance partners who are in the habit of threatening to topple the government

 

If local factors sway strategic and defence policies at the global, regional and bilateral levels, India will erode its position in the comity of nations very fast


The price that the country is being made to pay to allow the Congress to keep its UPA in power...



Triumph of Suu Kyi is complete

But the real change in Myanmar will take time to come

 

One-fourth of seats in parliament are reserved for unelected military officials. So, in the years to come, the influence of the army may diminish somewhat but it is unlikely to vanish


Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi enjoys such popularity and hold over the suppressed masses of Myanmar that it was obvious all along that if byelections were held in an authentic, free...



The Tribune

Govt was oblivious of public anger for too long in governance, what matters most is public perception. Ministers must not only be honest but also perceived to be so. Right now, quite the opposite is true CounterPoint Amar Chandel

 

IT is said that when a pigeon sees a cat, it simply closes its eyes instead of flying off. Since the cat is not visible to it with eyes closed, it feels smug that the danger has receded.

 

The government did...



The “Natak” in Karnataka

Things have turned to such an extent because of the absence of leaders of stature in the central leadership; the BJP seems to be its own worst enemy

It’s not only in Karnataka that the Chief Ministers are asserting themselves. Things are not better in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh



The BJP has never missed an opportunity to say that Dr Manmohan Singh is the weakest Prime Minister the country has ever had. Iron...



Stars steal the shine Politicians’ script has gone

LIKE in most large-sized villages of the country, Ramlila is the most awaited annual event in my native place. But the boisterous menfolk there are not really interested in the narrative. To keep them engaged in the proceedings, a large number of dance items are somehow thrust into the narrative. It is not only "Ravana" who shouts "ab kisi nachne wali ko pesh kiya jaye" every five minutes or so. "Dasratha" and "Janaka" also make simi...



Spare the rod, but don’t spoil the child

ONE piece of conventional school wisdom which has been squarely rejected in the recent years is the adage, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. It has been replaced with a “hands-off” policy.

Perhaps this has helped in removing the fear of the school from the young minds, but the change is not exactly an unqualified success. Its intended effect has been marred by a marked rise in indiscipline.

Actually, the pendulum has swung t...



Shape of Laloo trains to come

ENCOURAGED by the success of the kulhar experiment, Rail Mantri Laloo Prasad Yadav is believed to be toying with the idea of bringing about several other revolutionary changes.

Senior railway officials have been told to explore the possibility of removing all engines and pulling trains with the help of bullocks instead. This will give employment to thousands of bulls and their keepers. Fodder for the animals will be provided by the Rail Mantri himself.

...



Punjab, polls and predictions

A large section of the media cannot wipe egg on its face

The Indian electorate are too diverse and heterogeneous to be gauged accurately by any sample survey

A good weather man is the one who makes accurate predictions. An even better one is that who can explain away what went wrong. The same holds true of the know-all psephologists and journalists who make predictions about election results. Almost unanimously, they had handed...



Of Tibets victory in the 62 war

A Clash of Political Cultures: Sino-Indian Relations (1957-62)
by Sudarshan Bhutani. Roli Books, New Delhi. Pages 282. Rs 450

THE 1962 war is one of the watershed events of free India, considering that it jolted the country out of its idealistic frame of mind and brought it back to the hard ground of real politic with a thud.

The sense of betrayal was all consuming. No wonder there is insatiable curiosity about what went wrong...



Our own hurricanes

KATRINA, Rita, Ophelia, Irene…. All dreaded hurricanes. Played havoc. Left a trail of destruction in their wake. Laid even the mighty United States of America low.

No, we are not concerned about their respective destructive power. Did you notice another similarity in them? They all have feminine names. The tradition started during World War II when Army and Navy meteorologists started naming tropical cyclones after their girlfriends and wives. Perhaps, it...



Is flyash blended concrete beneficial

Use of flyash admixtured cements and the flyash itself as admixture to the cement concrete to be used in the reinforced cement concrete (RCC) structures, was not permitted till recently by the CPWD and other governmental organisations. It was considered that such use leads to increased corrosion of reinforced steel, thus shortening the lifespan of such buildings.

However, with the advancement of technology and research in the field of concrete and flyash utilisa...



A happy lot

We have reasons to rejoice. An international survey has found that Indians are the fourth happiest population in the world. Our happiness quotient is far higher than that of First World countries like England and Canada. Only Australia, the US and Egypt are ahead of us.

Those who dismiss us as a depressed lot due to our grinding poverty, illiteracy and diseases will find this contentment intriguing. But we ourselves will be least surprised. We know the art of ex...



Corruption non-practicing allowance

THE jailed netas were livid over the lack of basic amenities in prison. They first raised slogans in support of their demand for ATMs of Swiss banks on the jail premises, and then decided to go on a relay hunger strike for three hours every day after lunch.

A veteran of many mega scams advised them to shun the agitational path and instead use their forced leisure period – free from the worries of running the country – to mull over the reasons for their changed circum...



Becoming road-worthy

MY NRI friend was returning from London, with a British colleague in tow. To make some polite talk, I asked the first-time visitor how his drive from Delhi to Chandigarh had been. “Wonderful,” he replied, “you see, I have been an atheist all my life, but during this journey I prayed all the way through and now qualify to be a believer”.

Yes, that is what our chaotic traffic can do to most of those who come face to face with it for the fir...



Diamonds are Forever

Diamonds are forever. But they are not for everyone, given their fabulous cost. Just because you love them does not mean you can have them.


For all those who dream of possessing a real large rock, Valentine Day this year came with a wish fulfilment. Scientists have discovered a huge sparkler. It is a 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carat giant (that is 1 followed by 34 zeroes). Definitely too big to wear but still real enough!


By way o...

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