Sunday, July 1, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Premier UT clubs owe Rs 10.75 cr to Admn
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
It is like wining, dining and then not paying for it. The Chandigarh Administration now appears keen to set things right. A notice has been sent to the Chandigarh Club, seeking Rs 1.75 crore as arrears of lease money.

The administration has raised a serious point in the notice, alleging that the club had encroached upon 5.17 acres of prime land owned by the government while carrying out expansions of its building in the past.

The property located in Sector 1 is owned by the administration and was let out on lease to the club in 1971 on the basis of an annual extension of the lease agreement. The lease money was fixed at Rs 533 per month. The newly elected President of the Chandigarh Club, Mr Ravinder Chopra, said: “I am not in a position to comment as we are yet to receive any notice from the administration.”

Sources pointed out that the office of the Assistant Controller (rents), Chandigarh Administration, has fished out old records. Quoting them in the notice, the administration has said that the 1971 original lease agreement had not been renewed since January, 1982. The club has been told that as per the April, 1993, order — made applicable to Golf club also — the lease money of the Chandigarh Club had been fixed at Rs 2.08 lakh per month.

Now the administration has evoked a clause in the same 1993 order which allows the administration to charge commercial rate, which is five times the fixed lease. Under this, the administration has slapped a rate of 10.42 lakh per month on the club.

On top of it, a survey report submitted by a Superintending Engineer of the Engineering wing says the club has unauthorisedly taken over 5.17 acre (about 24,200 square yards) of prime land. Sources said a part of this land is government land. The land was encroached upon while carrying out expansion of the club in the past. A source said “we do not want to send signals that the high and the mighty can toy with the rules and bye-laws of the Chandigarh Administration.

The club at present has about 8000 members from all walks of life.


Golf Club asked to pay 9 cr

Another notice seeking a whopping Rs 9 crore as arrears from the Golf Club has the potential to snowball into a major controversy. A few weeks ago the administration sent a notice to the Golf Club management, demanding Rs 9 crore as arrears of lease money for the 130-acre golf course. The Assistant Controller (Rents), Chandigarh Administration, cited an April, 1993, order in which the lease money for the Golf Club was revised and fixed at Rs 9.56 lakh per month.

The Golf club management, in its reply to the administration, has produced a 1988 lease agreement between the management and the Chandigarh Administration. Under this, the lease money was fixed at the rate of Rs 30 per acre for the 130-acre golf course. The total sum of the lease for the golf course, building and other facilities works out to be about Rs 1 lakh a month. The President of the Golf Club, Mr G.S. Sandhu said: “We have been depositing the fixed lease money on a regular basis and also have the receipts for this.” A detailed letter has been sent to the Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Administration, explaining the matter, Mr Sandhu asserted.

Sources say the administration, which owns the property located in Sector 6, is likely to issue a fresh notice as the 1988 lease agreement has not been reviewed in view of the changed scenario.

Almost all top retired and serving civil services officers, defence personnel and top industrialists of the region are members of the club which is considered to have one of the finest golf courses in north India. Besides, it also provides for top-of-the-end facilities like dining rooms, bars and a swimming pool.


Balayogi for more House sittings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Advocating strong and exemplary action against the MPs resorting to persistent obstruction of proceedings, the Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr G.M.C. Balayogi, today urged the media to play an “enabling role to encourage positive conduct on the part of the legislators.”

Addressing a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club, Mr Balayogi said the live telecast of the proceedings of the House would discourage negative behaviour of the legislators since the rational public opinion supported only the right conduct of their representatives.

The media, he said, should not give undue coverage to the members who created unruly and disorderly scenes in the legislatures. If the media deplored disorderly scenes and highlighted the good work and positive contribution of members, it would certainly help improve the situation, he added.

Stressing the need for increasing the number of sittings of the legislatures, he wanted that presiding officers be consulted while deciding the duration of the sessions of the Houses. “There should be a constitutional provision to ensure a minimum 100 sittings of the legislatures of the bigger states and 60 sittings for smaller states,” he said.

During the three-day All-India Presiding Officers Conference, which concluded here today, a view that emerged was that the issue of Code of Conduct had went beyond the confines of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the House, the floor of the House and the functional jurisdiction of the Presiding Officer, he said, adding that the conduct of the legislators had an intrinsic relationship with the larger political system.

“Hence there was a need for a concerted effort by all concerned, including the heads of the political parties, leaders of the political parties, groups in the House, legislators and electors. A unanimous and serious concern was voiced in the conference about the state of affairs in our legislators and the pressing need for corrective measures,“ he added.

The conference was of the view that lack of discipline and decorum among the legislators and the increasing instances of the disregard for the authority of the presiding officers were hampering the functioning of the democratic institutions, he asserted.

“The disruption of addresses of the President of India and Governors is a highly-deplorable as their addresses are in the nature of discharge of their constitutional functions. Disrupting such addresses amount to violation of the oath of allegiance to the Constitution taken by the members,” he stated.

He informed that with a view to improve the functioning of legislatures, he had decided to convene a high-level meeting of the Presiding Officers, leaders of the parties, floor leaders in Parliament and State Legislatures, Ministers of Parliamentary Affairs and Chief Whips in August-September this year.


Admission-seekers throng colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
With the Punjab School Education Board declaring its 10+2 results, barely two days before the admission work is scheduled to start in city colleges the colleges saw a fresh spurt of rush at their application form sale counters. Although many students had applied earlier, with result awaited status, most the colleges have decided to give the students another three days’ time to submit fresh applications after the declaration of results.

The students whose results were declared today have been allowed to seek admission in any institute within 10 days from the date of declaration of results. But most of the colleges feel that the process should be completed before that so that classes can commence at the earliest. “There are no hard and fast rules about the receipt of applications. Admissions without late fee are to continue till July 7 starting from July 2, and we are open about receiving applications till this date from outside students,” said most of the principals. In fact Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and Government College, Sector 11, have decided to start with their classes on July 9. While most of the other colleges will be starting classes a week after the admissions are over.

On July 2, admissions to BA first year and BSc first year will commence in all colleges along with admission to the various masters’ courses offered by these colleges. Whereas, some colleges have decided to retain the 15 per cent of seats for outside students till all applications are received before the new last date for PSEB students, they have decided to admit students to these seats on first come first serve basis.

“It is not going to create a problem since most of the students have already applied. We were receiving forms till four in the evening today and from Monday we will start admitting the students. It has been clearly written in the prospectus what percentage students are to be admitted on a particular day,” said Ms Vijaylaksmi, Principal GCG-11.

“Forms from the students can be received till the last day of admission. They can submit the form and can get admitted immediately if they fall in the percentage category being admitted that day but 15 per cent seats will be kept aside for PSEB and other outside students.” said Mr S N Singla, Principal, Government College, Sector 11.

“Similarly, we will be retaining 15 per cent seats for PSEB and other outsiders for all the forms to be received and then admit them. The rest of the 85 per cent seats will be filled on July 2 and 3,” said Ms Mohini Sharma, Principal, GCG-42.

“This seat problem is there only in government colleges where there is a limited number of seats, in most of the private colleges there is generally no limit to the number of seats in for BA and BSc. In fact in BSc its difficult to fill the number of seats allotted to us. So we will have no problem of admissions. We are going to admit the students as and when they come till July 7 and classes will commence within one week from that.”

As far as admission to continuing classes are concerned, most of the colleges have set their own dates for admission to BCom, BA and BSc second and third years. College lecturers will be on duty in the colleges from July 2 and teaching of these classes is likely to commence soon after the admissions.


Chohan’s arrest demanded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Activists of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, led by its local president, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, today held a demonstration, demanding the arrest of top “Khalistan” ideologue Jagjit Singh Chohan.

Braving rain, activists of the front converged at Aroma Chowk and demanded immediate arrest of Dr Chohan for his anti-national activities and his involvement with militants, who were responsible for killing of thousands of innocent persons.

Members of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front demand the arrest of Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan, a Khalistan ideologue, in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Members of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front demand the arrest of Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan, a Khalistan ideologue, in Chandigarh on Saturday. — Tribune photo Manoj Mahajan

Later, in a memorandum to the UT Administrator and Punjab Governor, the front listed cases registered against Dr Chohan. On August 17,1981, a case under Sections 124-A, 153-A of the IPC and Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was registered against him at Jalandhar. Similarly, on Nov 24 the same year, a case under Section 13 and Section of the Act was registered against him at Amritsar.

Besides, a case under Section 153-A and Section 13 of the Act was registered against him at Jalandhar on March 11,1983. Dr Chohan was also booked under Section 13(1)(a)(b) of the Act in Delhi on July 21,1983.

The memorandum also expressed sympathies with hundreds of police officials facing legal cases against them on account of actions taken by them to discharge their duties while curbing the menace of terrorism. The front held Dr Chohan responsible for the plight of such police officials.

Blaming Dr Chohan for misguiding Punjabi youth to indulge in anti-national activities, the front demanded the resignation of Union Home Minister L.K. Advani for patronising the re-entry of people like Dr Chohan to India.

It also held the SAD-led Government in Punjab and the NDA-led government at the Centre responsible for arranging the safe return of the people like Dr Chohan, Satnam Singh and Wassan Singh Zaffarwal.


No-sweat June this year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
City residents have perhaps, never experienced such a cool summer for the past atleast nine years. The month of June this year, besides being the coolest since 1993, has also been one with maximum rainfall.

Data available with the local Meteorological office reveals that the mercury has not crossed 38.4 degrees celsius this month, which is the lowest maximum temperature recorded during the month of June since 1993. Though the relative humidity was high on several days, leading to sultry conditions, the day temperatures remained generally low throughout the month on account of clouds and rain. As per the met office records, the city experienced rain on 22 days this month. Rain in the neighbouring areas also had a cooling effect on the city's weather even if it was sunny here.

While the normal temperature for the month of June is stated to be between 36 to 40 degrees celsius, the city has experienced temperatures as high as 46 degrees celsius, way above normal.

The monsoon experienced in the city has also been above average so far. Met data shows that total rain received in the city this month has been 201.8 mm, which is 65.6 mm above normal. The status of monsoon in the city during the month of June has been above average since 1996, while for the three years preceding it monsoon had been sorely deficient.

The city and its surrounding areas also experienced intermittent showers today. The rain, which began in the morning, continued till afternoon. About 6 mm rain was recorded during the past 24 hours, while the mercury dipped to 29.4 degrees celsius.


S.No                     Year                            Rainfall                        Temperature

                       Normal                    145.2 mm                  36-40 Deg C

1.                    1993                       94.7                         45.0

2.                    1994                       81.4                         45.2

3.                    1995                       87.2                         45.6

4.                    1996                       214.5                       42.6

5.                    1997                       157.6                       43.0

6.                    1998                       244.6                       44.0

7.                    1999                       211.5                       41.8

8.                    2000                       247.9                       39.5

9.                    2001                       210.8                       38.4



Punjabi artistes bemoan govt apathy
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
No policy has so far been formulated by the Punjab Government for the welfare of artistes. Instead of boosting their morale, Punjabi artistes have continuously been demoralised by political leaders for long.

These statements were made by Punjabi pop singer Jasbir Jassi at the Chandigarh Press Club here today.

Punjabi singer Jasbir Jassi addresses newspersons at the Chandigarh Press Club on Saturday while Mohamad Sadiq and Pammi Bai look on.
Punjabi singer Jasbir Jassi addresses newspersons at the Chandigarh Press Club on Saturday while Mohamad Sadiq and Pammi Bai look on. — A Tribune photograph

Reacting to a statement made by Mr Swarna Ram, Culture Minister, Punjab, Jassi said that the minister had not talked wisely on the issue. “Mistakes are often there whenever some works but we often avoid objectionable things,” Jassi claimed.

Earlier the minister had threatened to put the singer behind the bars for his hit Punjabi song “Channo da jawani vich pyaar pai gaya”, terming it vulgar. He said that the minister should not have any objection over the “controversial” song as the public had already accepted it. The statement of the minister had hit the sentiments of Punjabi artistes. “Our aim remains to educate the public and not to create vulgar songs and albums,” he said.

Punjabi artistes who had come from different parts of the state, felt that the government should formulate a balanced cultural policy with a provision of the Censor Board to rectify songs instead of the singers. The learned, intellectuals and the Punjabi artistes should be members of the board and not political leaders. Singers hardly had any say in the shooting of video films.

To register their resentment they said Punjabi artistes would boycott the meeting called by the government on the issue.

Those who addressed the conference included Mohamad Sadiq, Kuldeep Manak, Pammi Bai, Hardeep, Ravinder Grover, Daljit Dardi, Jaswant Sandola, Pali Detwalia, Kuldeep Shergil, Balwinder Bindra and some other prominent Punjabi artistes.


A heartening change
Sanjeev Bariana

‘Pyar Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega’ (Batra) is an average situational comedy showing normal lifestyle of the Indian middle class society ‘ full of tensions relating to every aspect of survival.’

Simplicity of the plot is a heartening change from the normal hot trails of pot broilers and ‘in- vogue family dramas’, but the film lacks an artistic grip to sustain continuous attention of the audience. Saif Ali Khan, Fardeen Khan and Aftab Shivdasani are relatively fresh faces but none’s role succeeds to make a lasting expression.Sonali Bendre and Twinkle Khanna have also tried out their best to wriggle out their faces for recognition but other faces including Dalip Tahil, Sharad Saxena, Tanikella Bharani and Mukesh Bhatt have also jostled strong to make their presence felt.

It is lightness of the plot and minimal attempts of the cast for super-human deed which is a strong saving grace. E. Niwas in the chair of the director has battled the story well for a much quicker than expected routine ending.

Sonali, daughter of a millionaire, makes ‘ pitiable paintings. Saif courts her telling her works were artistically great.They get married, but Dalip Tahil ( her father) cannot stand him. He keeps him idle in a corner of his office. Fardeen and Aftab live in a house without paying rent for more than six months. They have no job and so no money. Fardeen loves Twinkle, daughter of the landlord.

Each one is struggling for a decent life when one day his landlord tells him to get decent money to his within one month or he would get his daughter married off.

Saif discovers them both. A plan is hatched where Sonali would be kidnapped by the duo and a phone call at Saif’s place would ask him to arrange for Rs 50 lakh which would later be split equally between both the parties. Sonali is kidnapped.

Johnny Lever in a role of a local ‘dada’ is indeed mentionable. He is a ‘dada;’ whose only weakness is a dream to enter the film world.

The music is by Vishal Bharadwaj. The film has been produced by Nitin Manmohan and Ram Gopal Verma.


Focus debate on ‘development’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
While delivering his keynote address at a symposium on “Indian Legislatures — Vision for 21st Century” in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today, the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Mr G.M.C. Balayogi, urged the legislators to rise above narrow considerations and cultivate broader outlook to transform the legislature as a forum to debate issues of development of the society, the economy, the polity with a wider vision.

He said that it was politics that dominated over the issues of development in the last century. But a new vision was required in the new century to meet the new challenges. First modern age legislator must come to the house well prepared to make a meaningful contribution to the debate. Speaking in the House without relevance must be checked. The trend of stalling proceedings of the house to register protest had caused a damage to the prestige of the legislature in public estimation, he added. The Political parties should develop a culture among its representatives in the House to ensure best quality debate on public issues.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who inaugurated the symposium, said that states should strive collectively for more financial autonomy which was only solution to meet the aspirations of the common masses at the grassroot level.

He said that representatives of people should fight to protect civil liberties, human rights, rule of law and freedom of press. He said that unruly scenes should be avoided in the House. The legislators should commit themselves to improve physical infrastructure like power, roads, transport, housing, drinking water etc in their respective areas.

Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, said that there should be a minimum educational qualification for the legislators, members of Parliament and other elected representatives at various levels. To check the menace of defection, all lacunae in anti-defection law should be removed. He said that any member who defected should be deprived of the membership of the House. His all allowances, perks and other facilities should be immediately withdrawn.

Participating in the debate, Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, a BJP legislator from Amritsar, took pot-shots at fellow legislators. She said that there should be a provision of “double punishment” for the lawmakers if they broke the law.

She questioned that why such symposium were being held by spending lakhs of rupees when earlier recommendations of the Conferences of the presiding officers of state assemblies, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had not been implemented. She said that not to allow inconvenient MLAs to speak in the house had become a common phenomenon. Even the MLAs of poor states hold the meetings of various committees at tourist places to make money through TA and DA. She said that while meetings of the Committees of the Vidhan Sabha were frequently held to make TA and DA, the number of sittings of the Assembly had come down, she alleged.

Among others who spoke at the symposium were Mr R.L. Bhatia, Chowdhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Hardev Arshi, R.P. Shukla and Mr V.P. Tripathi.


Senior citizens seek higher interest rates
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
The lowering of interest rates in the Budget presented in February was criticised by the Senior Citizens’ Federation, North Zone, in a letter to the Union Finance Minister.

Claiming that great damage had come to senior citizens on account of reduction of interest rates on small savings like national savings certificates, kisan vikas patras, monthly interest savings and PPF from 13 to 9.5 per cent.

The letter mentioned that interest on savings, was the main source of sustenance for several senior citizens in the absence of regular pension. Thus they were unable to understand the complications of saving investment.

In view of the lowering of interest rates, senior citizens have started looking out for more lucrative investment and non-banking finance companies have started coming up again. But the risk involved in investing in them was more.

To counter the “dangerous” existence of such companies, the federation has suggested that the government should raise interest on small savings to 11 per cent, banks should fix at least 11 per cent rate of interest on deposits of senior citizens and have demanded a rebate of 100 per cent on exemption from income tax on contributions made by senior citizens.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the federation was held to elect office-bearers. Those elected include: president — Mr H.L. Dhammi; senior vice-president — Mr M.R. Singla; Mr V.S. Sodhi; vice-presidents — Mr A.S. Shyan, Mr M.P. Garg; general secretary — Mr S.S. Kaura, secretary — Mr Kuldeepak Lal; finance secretary — Mr R.S. Jain; organising secretary — Mr B.S. saini, press secretary — Mr M.M.S. Walia; and nominated member — Mr C.L. Ohri.


Front condemns Chohan’s return
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 30
The state chief of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, Mr Jagmeet Singh Bawa, and the General Secretary of the body, Mr Yogesh Dewan, have reacted strongly to the return of Khalistan ideologue Jagjit Singh Chohan to India.

They said here today that, by sticking to the Khalistan ideology, Chohan had shown that he still hated India. Mr Bawa and Mr Dewan said, according to reports, a case of sedition was pending against Chohan for the past 20 years.

They said, “Chohan, who says that he has not murdered anyone, in an interview to the BBC, had announced a reward for assassinating Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister of India.” They said persons like Chohan and Zaffarwal had provoked the youth of the state to pick up arms.

They said Chohan, self-proclaimed President of the Council of Khalistan, was now making fresh attempts to destabilise the peace in the state after initial failure. They also said Zaffarwal and Chohan were ISI agents who should be treated accordingly.

Mr Bawa and Mr Dewan said now drug and economic terrorism was on the rise as the ISI was smuggling fake currency into India.

They said, at a meeting of the state unit of the front next week, workers would prepare for the August 14 rally that was to be held in Talkotara Stadium of New Delhi to honour freedom fighters.


Focus on immigration issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The 55th annual conference on immigration law was held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, from June 20 to 24. The largest annual conference organised by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) was attended by more than 3,300 American immigration lawyers and about 100 lawyers from foreign jurisdictions, including Canada, Australia, EEC member states and select South Asia countries.

Giving details of the conference, the Chandigarh delegate, Mr Ranjit Malhotra, England educated lawyer specialising in areas of immigration law and international law, said the conference focused on immigration issues in the new millennium.

The opening session got under way on June 21 with a keynote address from AILA’s national presidents (outgoing and incoming), followed by a morning of plenary presentations on cutting edge issues that affect all practitioners. The outgoing AILA president, Ms Margaret A. Catillaz, concluded her term with a review of the current state of immigration law and the association’s accomplishments for the year. While the incoming AILA president, Mr Steven M. Ladik, provided a preview of his goals and priorities for the upcoming year. The opening speakers also discussed the newest American immigration legislation, regulations and policy changes.

The opening session was also marked by the presence of Mr Kevin P. Rooney, Acting Commissioner of the US Department of Justice of Immigration and Naturalisation Service.

More than 80 half-day sessions focused on highly analytical discussions by leading experts. This included areas like permanent residence family and employment-based immigration, latest developments in labour certifications, strategic consulate practices in overseas American posts, inadmissibility, deportability, waivers and substantive relief, representing international clientele, ethical issues and the liability pitfalls of immigration practice.

The conference included open forums with government officials and expanded strategic lawyering programmes. The chief guest of the luncheon organised by the Association of American Lawyers from the Indian subcontinent was Ms Catherine Barry from the US Department of State, Washington DC. She is the overall head of immigration issues of American posts in the South Asian region. During her speech, she briefly discussed the consular practices followed by the respective American Embassy posts in India.

Mr Malhotra, the only speaker from India, was invited by AILA to speak on executive immigration to India in the session on global transfers and processing issues.

The conference concluded on June 24. The conference was informative and inspiring. The next annual conference will be held in San Francisco in June, 2002.


BSP to hold dharna in front of Parliament
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will hold a dharna in front of Parliament in New Delhi on July 23 to pressurise the government to end bonded labour in Punjab, announced the BSP supremo, Mr Kanshi Ram, while addressing a rally at Matka Chowk here on the last day of the dharna today.

Mr Kanshi Ram said the party would continue its agitation till the government amended the Labour Acts. Accusing the Punjab Government of failing to improve the lot of the Dalits, Mr Kanshi Ram regretted that even after 54 years of Independence, the conditions of the Dalits were not changed in Punjab. There were 5 lakh bonded labourers, including one lakh children, in Punjab, he claimed.

He said in a short time the party would be able to emerge as a major player in several states, like it had emerged in Uttar Pradesh. The party base was being strengthened in several states so that the governments there were formed with support of the BSP.

Braving rain, hundreds of party workers and supporters gathered in the morning and raised slogans against the Punjab Government. The BSP had started the dharna on June 4 and 100 cyclists from all 13 constituencies of Punjab had joined the dharna.

Mr Man Singh Manhera, general secretary of the BSP (Punjab), said the party was fighting to end discrimination in various sections of society. He added that the representatives of the poor among the government alone could uplift them socially and economically.


Devoted to simplicity
Rajiv Kaplish
Tribune News Service

Two rivers run through Hollywood. One has the turbulence of mediocrity. In the other silently moves all that is sublime and sensible about the world of make-believe. “Finding Forrester” (Kiran) is part of this flow of sensitivity.

It does not hit you as a story torn from today’s headlines. It does not even burst with provocative ideas. Yet, it strikes a chord with the audience with its simple narrative and restrained portrayals. Consider this: an ordinary kid with extraordinary writing skills ( Rob Brown) snooping around the house of a recluse author ( Sean Connery), only to face the confiscation of his bag and a directive to write 5000 words on why he entered the house on the sly. Or, on being asked why he had so many books on his shelves, the once-famous writer nonchalantly telling the kid that it was to impress visitors.

Without boasting of any larger-than-life images, the film rivets your attention with its singular devotion to simplicity.

No guns, no fights, no car chases. Just a tapestry of emotions: the private hell of the burnt-out novelist; the anguish of a child prodigy whose transformation from the streets of Bronx to the hallowed portals of a Manhattan school is about to be derailed with accusations of plagiarism; the emotive bond between the two which keeps expressing itself in the form of heated arguments, brainstorming sessions over nuances of writing and reaching out to each other as human beings; and the petty bickerings of a failed-writer-teacher (F. Murray Abraham). The rest is only incidental.

Sean Connery’s arsenal of intelligence never ceases to surprise you. Just when you thought that it was restricted to firing guns and catching thieves (or, even playing one in “Entrapment”), the James Bond of yore catches you off guard.

Essaying a role that would previously come into the domain of the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hanks, Richard Gere or Jack Lemmon, the Scotland- born actor doles out a compelling performance.

Rob Brown is a perfect foil for Connery.

Why don’t they make more such movies anymore ?


Star who retains middle-class values
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, June 30
Supermodel Nethra Raghuraman may have made it big in the glamour industry, but when it comes to real life she has retained all the values and morality of a middle-class small-town girl. One cannot but get drawn to her effervescent charm as Nethra talks about her modeling career — the good times and the fiascos.

This Baroda-born girl, who believes whatever happens for the best, took the plunge into the modeling world when she was still in her final year of graduation. “It was the fun factor that motivated me to participate in “Miss Gujarat” beauty contest,” she says. Though she won four titles — Miss Perfect Ten, Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Beautiful Hair and Miss Gujarat — the whole show turned out to be a fiasco as the winners were cheated of the money and the gifts they were promised.

It was the prestigious “Look of the Year” title in 1997 that put her in the mainstream modeling scenario. “But still I was not ready for what followed next,” says Nethra, recalling the harrowing time she had during her first foreign trip to Milan to participate in ramp shows. “Looking back at the whole scene now I know that I did not know how to conduct myself as a model at that time,” she adds.

Like every the other good thing in life, the offers for movies just happened to Nethra. She acted opposite Rahul Bose in Takshak and then in Bhopal Express. It was her second film Bhopal Express that won her the Screen Videocon 2000 award for best female debutante.

How does it feel to be suddenly transformed from an ordinary girl-next-door image to the larger than life supermodel image? “Nothing affects me mush,” says Nethra. “Being a small-town girl, it helped me not to get carried away by all the success,” says Nethra. She became a familiar face through the prestigious ad campaigns. Besides working in a number of video albums, she is also anchoring a number of shows on television.

Nethra today launched two new courses — apparel manufacturing merchandising and marketing and garment manufacturing technology — at the National Institute of Fashion Design. She also inaugurated a new laboratory set up for the garment manufacturing technology course.


Song & music to your taste
Parbina Rashid

DJs have stormed the city scene but when it comes to having a quite evening with soft music, nothing beats a live band of musicians, ready to perform at your request. They lend their voices to express your feelings, themselves remaining in the background all the time.

The practice of engaging live bands in restaurants started in the late eighties when a couple of reputated hotels employed singers, says Naresh Jacob who started singing at Hotel Mountview in 1988. “Those were the golden days for singers as people used to depend entirely on us to provide for entertainment,” he says.”The invasion of satellite TV , disc culture and DJs has changed the scenario over the years.”

Limited working hours, just about three hour in a day, leave much of scope for the singers to take up other businesses. “Restaurant singing is only a part-time job,” says Jacob. As singing in a restaurant alone cannot sustain a singer, he has to look for private parties.

Private parties do provide a good deal of scope. With a number parties being held every month in and around Chandigarh, there is work for all. “If you have a good band with the latest equipment you can earn good money”, says Errol of the Rodrigues Band which has been playing their business in various restaurants in the city for the past eight years.

However, most of the singers who have been singing at various restaurants in the city feels DJ system has hurt their singing business. “To withstand this competition, one needs to be able to sing in Hindi, Punjabi and English with equal ease,” says Errol.

“Most of the people here prefer Punjabi pop songs, so singers who mainly sing western songs may not survive,” chips in Bazil who works at a music store besides moonlighting as a hotel singer.

How expensive is it to form a band? “ It can cost anything between Rs 25000 and Rs 5 lakh,” says Jacob.”Most of the bands are two piece bands with a singer and a keyboard. But to have a full-fledged band one has to spend something like Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh,” he adds.


The day Emergency was imposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Sitting in the study of her Sector 15 house, former Head of the English Department, Dr Pushpinder Syal, flips through the worn-out pages of a scrapbook, thinking of the day the Emergency was announced over the radio.

“June 26, 1975. The dying sun was silently slipping into oblivion as the newsreader’s crisp voice blaring from the radio sets in almost all the houses followed me on my way home,” recalls Dr Syal. “At that moment, I did not realise the ramifications of the declaration. No one did”. Pushing aside her black mane, she says: “Till then, everyone had imagined revolution was just round the corner”.

Going back in time, she reveals, “For hours in pre-Emergency days, young Leftists, their white kurta-pajamas with jholas swinging from their shoulders, would sit across tables in coffee houses and discuss ideas and strategies to bring about a dynamic change. Brought up on thinker Herold Laski, and being a student of Political Science, I too joined the movement. But after the declaration everything changed overnight”.

Putting down the scrapbook, she continues, “Soon, very soon, we all realised that dreams die fast. Suddenly no one was talking of changing the system. The thinkers, and the revolutionaries, either went underground or were arrested. Some died mysteriously. Others were effectively silenced. A few were even ‘purchased’. The rest became part of the system on the pretext of fighting the set-up. The sun stopped shining on them”.

The Leftists were not the only sufferers. “Several intellectual magazines and newspapers with not-so-impressive circulations were also targeted one after the other,” reveals Dr Syal. “Though popular among the people, they had to close down”.

The not-so-congenial conditions did not improve even after the emergency had ended. “Stunned silence continued for months among the shocked youngsters,” she asserts. “And then, everyone became self-centered — each one for himself. Career took precedence, pushing national interest into the trash can of memories”.

Tapping her artistic fingers on a sparkling cut glass, she continues, “Emergency was followed by terror, then by consumerism. There was no incentive for thinking”.

As part of the consumer movement, a synthetic demand for “not-so-essential luxuries” was created. “The masses were encouraged into believing that they were consumers, not sensitive beings disturbed by socio-political upheavals. Their attention was diverted towards acquiring means to attain social status. Little wonder, they stopped using their brains to bring about a change in the wild goose chase for money”.

Picking up the scrapbook again, she concludes, “Today, no one even talks about a revolution. Worse, no one even feels the need for one. The reason is not hard to see. Nothing disturbs the people anymore, not even the Tehalka episode”.


Selling tea on pavements
Nishikant Dwivedi

There are hundreds of roadside tea-sellers in the city. They are mainly migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. But these cha-walas have so adjusted themselves to the local culture that it is difficult to tell them from the local community. Conducting business on the roadside has so exposed them to the local milieu that they speak the Punjabi language as if they were born and brought up in Punjab.

In these days of soft drinks and beer bars, the craze for tea does not seem to have diminished among the residents of Chandigarh, and these cha-walas are making a living without facing any competition from soft drinks or beer bars. They attract customers from a wide spectrum and their patrons include rickshaw-pullers as well as people in luxury cars. In addition, several government and private offices in the city depend on these roadside tea vendors for a regular supply of tea. One can order tea according to one’s taste — less sugar, more milk or extra sugar — all for Rs 2.50 a cup.

A typical cha-wala also sells locally made biscuits and bread apart from the tea. At times one can also get a packet of milk from them. Many of them also keep snacks such as samosas and bread pakoras. These stalls are also the favourite haunts of students. A large number of tea-sellers around various educational institutions thrive mainly on students.

These stalls have also become ‘addas’ of migrant labourers and rickshaw-pullers, many of whom are seen sitting at these roadside tea stalls, puffing bidis and shuffling through the pages of vernacular newspapers.

There is a general feeling that their tea is not hygienic. Vijay, a tea-seller in Sector 22 market, said that most of the tea-sellers try their best to keep their utensils clean and serve tea in properly washed glasses. A tea-seller in Sector 9 market serves tea in bone china cups.

There are some points where you can get a cup of tea at any time of the day. The Punjab University Gate No 1, the gate of the General Hospital in Sector 16 and the Inter-State Bus Terminus in Sector 17 are some such points. Though at times the police removes these tea-sellers but they re-appear in no time.

These tea-sellers are a blessing to the students, employees of government offices and some visitors to the city. A senior police officers, not willing to be quoted, said that these cha-walas did not create any problems. According to him, they are doing a service to society.

Rains bring problems for these roadside tea-sellers. In heavy rain they have to abandon their business or shift to the corridors of the markets. Some of them set up temporary tarpaulin tents.


Bofors gun has proved its worth’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The falling agricultural and industrial production, growing unemployment and all pervasive corruption in the State Administration were criticised by senior leaders of the Punja Pradesh Congress Committee at a state-level convention of ex-servicemen held at Punjab Congress Bhavan here today.

Among those who addressed the convention were the PPCC chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, the AICC Secretary, Mr Irshad Beg Mirza; the chairman of the AICC Ex-Servicemen Cell, Lieut-Gen M.M. Lakhers, Col Zorawar Singh, Chairman, Ex-Servicemen Cell of the PPCC, and Mr R.L. Bhatia, MP.

The speakers were critical of the manner in which “special treatment was accorded to militants and secessionists like Dr J.S. Chohan and Wassan Singh Zaffarwal”.

They appealed to ex-servicemen to work for maintenance peace, harmony and unity. The speakers were also critical of shrinking job market in general and for ex-servicemen in particular. One of the speakers said that Bofors gun, for which the Congress government had been criticised by all, has turned out to be an excellent weapon during Kargil operations.

The Congress, they said, was capable of fulfilling all demands of ex-servicemen, including one rank, one pension. They also held that the ensuing Vajpayee-Musharraf summit was destined to be a failure as both the leaders lacked clear mandate of their people.


Shivalikview not to be privatised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The idea to privatise Shivalikview Hotel in Sector 17 has been dropped for all practical purposes, well-placed sources said.

On the other hand, CITCO is going in for renovation of the hotel which has earned a profit of about Rs 1.40 crore in the past financial year. The renovation of the hotel like new carpets, repair of broken tiles and new look in the restaurants and bars is expected to start within a week, confirmed CITCO Managing Director S.P. Singh. Tenders to carry out the work have been allotted, he added.

Actually the turn-around in fortunes of Shivalikview came when the management realised that the hotel was doing well despite not having been renovated for the past several years. As per standard hotel industry norms, banquets halls are renovated the moment the decor starts looking dull. In the case of Shivalikview the carpets had worn off, admit CITCO officials.


Taking care of your car-II

IN yesterday’s article you read about car and how you can relate different areas of your car to different things. Today I will tell you how to take care of your car.

The centre of the car being related to health should always be kept clean. Managing a “Mayan ball” from reel ribbon on the reversing mirror will protect the vehicle from accidents, car thefts and any general negative energy. These “Mayan balls” are hollow silver baubles with a small bell inside. Playing calm, soothing music contributes to safe driving. I feel that when people play fast music in their car’s they tend to drive fast which can be dangerous.

Keeping cushions in the car is good for passengers. Cushions are associated with protection and comfort.

People normally hug a cushion when they feel vulnerable. You should never drive your car carelessly. It is not just a piece of big metal; it is much, much more than that. Harshna

Address your Feng Shui queries to:

Postal address:
The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.


Screening of vulgar movie alleged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Mr Vijay Pal Singh “Dimpy”, a former general secretary of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, today alleged that Mr Santosh was showing a vulgar English movie on cable in Sector 40. He claimed that he immediately went to the residences of the Inspector-General of Police, SSP and DSP, South, of Chandigarh. He claimed that he also spoke to the SHO of the Sector 39 police station, who deputed a police party led by a sub inspector.

Mr Vijay Pal Singh alleged that he went to the house of Mr Santosh. The sub inspector remained closed in a room with Mr Santosh for more than 20 minutes and asked him to wait outside. After about 20 minutes, the sub-inspector came to him along with Mr Santosh. He further alleged that all of them went to the controlroom.

They knocked at the door of the controlroom and an employee of the control room came out. He apprehended that the cassette of the movie was removed from the control room in connivance with the sub-inspector.

He urged the Inspector-General of Police to take action against Mr Santosh.


Tribune employee retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Mr Mool Chand, Rotary Shift-in-Charge of The Tribune Trust Publications retired today after putting in 32 years of service. He joined the institution on December 1, 1969. He was given farewell party by his colleagues at which Mr R.N. Gupta, General Manager of The Tribune Trust lauded his services.


Uniformity sought in disability relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The All India Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association alleged today that disabled personnel of three forces had been discriminated against vis-a-vis commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

A press note issued by Mr Bhim Sen Sehgal, chairman of the association, said other ranks of the forces with the same disabilities as those suffered by commissioned offiicers were getting step-motherly treatment at the hands of the Central Government. Explaining his viewpoint Mr Sehgal said a commissioned officer or honorary officers got Rs 2,600 per month while junior commissioned officers got Rs 1900 per month. In the case of other ranks, the compensation was only Rs 1500 per month.

The association demanded that all disabled soldiers of three forces, irrespective of rank, should be given the same pension with 100 per cent disability.


3,722 clear physical test
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
As many as 3,722 candidates have cleared the physical measurement test for the posts of constable in the Chandigarh Police. The complete physical test of these candidates will now be held from August 20 to 29.


Scooterist hits 10-year-old boy
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
A 10-year-old boy Neeraj was seriously injured when he was hit by a scooter near kerosene oil pump in Sector 45 here yesterday. The boy was admitted to the Government College and Hospital, Sector 32.

A case under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the IPC has been registered against the scooterist, Raman Sood, a resident of Sector 43. Raman was arrested and later released on bail.

Three injured

Three persons on two bicycles were injured and admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, after they were hit by a Fiat car near the traffic light points of Sectors 29 and 30 here yesterday. The car driver reportedly fled from the spot.

Those injured were Mr Sunny Kumar, Mr Jasbir Kumar and Mr Sukhwinder Singh. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Man assulted

Mr Pushpinder Singh, a resident of Attawa, village, reported to the police that Vivek Sharma, a resident of Sector 42, along with two other persons, assaulted him and caused injury to him here yesterday. A case under Sections 325 and 34 of the IPC has been registered. Vivek Sharma was arrested and later released on bail.

Theft reported

Mr Rajesh Kumar of SCO 1100-01 in Sector 22 reported that a food processor, eight containers, receipt book and some other items were stolen from the shop sometime between June 27 and 29 here. The complainant was out of station during these days. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Kinetic stolen

Mr Akifar Rehman, resident of Mani Majra, reported that his Kinetic Honda (HR-03-C-6938) was stolen from his residence here yesterday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Burglary attempt

Mr Om Prakash, medical officer with the Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12, reported that burglary was attempted at the dispensary of the college here yesterday. A case under Sections 457 and 511 of the IPC has been registered.


Husband held

The police arrested Sulakhan Singh, husband of Gurnam Kaur of Behra village, who allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan on the night of June 17.

Parents of the deceased had complained to the police that Gurnam Kaur’s in-laws had forced her to bring dowry, following which she committed the suicide.

According to sources, Sulakhan Singh was absconding from the day of the incident. The other accused — Fauja Singh, Nishan Singh, Baldev Singh and Sucha Singh — were still at large. The police had registered a case against the accused under the Dowry Act.


Siau murder accused remanded
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 30
Mrs Harinder Sidhu, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, today remanded two accused — Swarn Singh and Surmukh Singh — in police custody till July 1 who were arrested by the Sohana police in the Siau murder case.

The prosecution pleaded for police remand on the plea that clothes of the accused they were wearing when they committed this crime were yet to be taken into possession.


Computer centre inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
A NICT-run computer centre was inaugurated by Lion K.K. Sawhney, past multiple council chairman, in the premises of the Vocational Training Centre, Sector 30, here today. The Lions Club Chandigarh Greater which celebrated its Charter Nite here today is all for providing free computer education to the physically handicapped, identified by the club along with the regular students.

Earlier, a reading room for the aged was also inaugurated by Lion Darshan Monga, Vice-District Governor ( elect).

Delivering his presidential address, Lion Sushil Kapoor said the club, which came into existence in 1977, has been working for the upliftment of the poor and the downtrodden in the city. He further affirmed that the club has been a front runner in joining hands with the UT Administration in the wake of various national calamities and this year too the club had contributed Rs 60,000 and 60 blankets for the victims of Gujarat earthquake.

Highlighting the activities of the club ever since its inception, Lion Kapoor pointed out that the club is already running a weekly free clinic at Karsan multipurpose project. The poor and needy patients are provided free treatment and medicines, besides facilities for X-ray, blood test and ECG. The club is also running sewing classes at the centre for the benefit of the women. Diploma courses in sewing and embroidery are offered in collaboration with Usha International.

Eye operation camps and blood donation camps have also been regular annual features of the club. The club also took part in the pulse polio programme in collaboration with the health authorities.


Beopar Mandal poll today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
A keen contest is on the cards for the post of president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal(CBM), elections to which are scheduled to be held here tomorrow.

With both the candidates — Mr Charanjiv Singh and Mr Jagdish Arora — claiming majority support, the contest is seen as toughest-ever. There are 135 eligible members of the CBM and one member is reported to be out of the country.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the CBM, Mr Joginder Singh Sawhney, who is also the returning officer for the poll, has appealed to the members to vote according to their conscience as the CBM was a “non-political” body. Meanwhile, a “welcome function” organised for Mr Jagdish Arora, today by traders of Sector 17, 7, 26, Grain Market and Motor Market, NAC Market Mani Majra.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |