Tuesday, May 10, 2005

10may05/ From 3 flights to 56, Amritsar airport is ready for take-off / 1994: Mandela becomes SA's first black president

From 3 flights to 56, Amritsar airport is ready for take-off
Coming up at Rajasansi: new airport terminal, international flights, Rs
79-crore makeover

AMRITSAR, MAY 9: Just a few years ago, it was a one-plane stop. But now,
Rajasansi Airport is fast becoming a buzzing hub of international action-and
getting a new look, too.
Singapore Airline, which landed here four months ago, has been going
full-three days a week. And with a new terminal likely to open in October,
British Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Phuket Airlines, Tajikistan Airlines,
Uzbek Airways and Air-India are also lining up a landing here, say

With Air-India starting its Amritsar-Birmingham-Toronto-Amritsar service on
May 15, the number of flights will go up to 56 a week-a big leap from a mere
three in 1997. Even cargo flights, such as those of Ariana to Kabul, are
planning to double their flights from three to six in a week, while First
Flight, a courier service, has evinced interest in starting operations, say


India's worst war, but most heroic moments

July 10, 1944. 5th Maratha Regiment's Yeshwant Ghadge, all of 22, was caught
in a mortal combat in the Upper Tiber Valley of Italy. Except for his
commander, his platoon had been wiped out by enemy machine-gunners. With no
alternative left, Ghadge rushed the machine gun nest, lobbing grenades,
knocking off the gun and the gunner. He charged, shot another enemy. With no
time to change his magazine, Ghadge clubbed to death two remaining enemy
gunners. Ghadge finally fell to an enemy sniper.

India's memories of the World War II are made of such tales of exceptional
valour. Fought for the British masters, it was India's biggest and worst
war. It was also a war where Indians were on either sides.

While some 2.5 million Indians fought the war for British rulers, a few
thousand men and women joined the Germany-Japan-Italy (Axis Powers)
alliance, under Subhash Chandra Bose, hoping to overthrow the British rulers
from India. Bose's venture was romantic and is an awe-inspiring chapter in
India's freedom struggle.

But for most of the Indians who donned uniforms during World War II, it was
only to earn their daily bread. Though the war was not India's, Indians were
among the most heroic, borne out by the fact that they won over 4,000
gallantry awards, among them almost 20 Victoria Crosses. Over 36,000
Indians were killed. Official estimates put the wounded at 64,000.



1994: Mandela becomes SA's first black president
Nelson Mandela has become South Africa's first black president after more
than three centuries of white rule.
Mr Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) party won 252 of the 400 seats
in the first democratic elections of South Africa's history.
The inauguration ceremony took place in the Union Buildings amphitheatre in
Pretoria today, attended by politicians and dignitaries from more than 140
countries around the world.

Never, never again will this beautiful land experience the oppression of one
by another ; Nelson Mandela


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