C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PEC students sore over hostel change
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
As many as 18 third year students of Electronics and Computer Sciences course at Punjab Engineering College (PEC) have been asked to vacate their hostel rooms and shift to juniors hostel. Reason, the hostellers have been “labeled” as students of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET).

Through a notice the students have been asked to vacate their rooms by Monday, failing which their rooms would be locked. Claiming that there was no logic behind shifting them from one hostel to another in the middle of a session, the students allege that they were being discriminated against by the college authorities for unknown reasons. “There has to be a sound reason to shift just 18 students”, maintain the students. Irritated over the move, the students are taking up the matter with the UT Administrator.

As a practice, the third and fourth year students are allotted Kurukshetra hostel and the first and second year students stay in Shivalik and Himalaya Hostels, respectively. “We were allotted rooms in Kurukshetra hostel in last July. The college authorities do not want us to interact with other batch mates from PEC”, claim the students.

The students told the Tribune that shifting to Himalaya hostel at this juncture would hamper their interaction with fellow students. The shifting has been ordered when their final examination was a just a month away. They demanded that if they were to be shifted it had been done at the end of the year.

They said they had met the Additional Chief Warden-cum-Chief Mess President, Assistant Professor V.P. Singh in this regard. “We were told that decision had come from higher authorities”. The Chief Warden, Dr Shiv Narayan, refused to comment and said he was not authorised to speak on the matter.

“Since the mess in the hostels were run on cooperative basis, elections were held among the students to appoint various secretaries. Since the Himalaya hostel has more second year students, the third year students would have to request their juniors to solve various problems”, added a student. The mess in Kurukshetra hostel is run for the third year and fourth year students.

The students lament that there was discrimination against them even in sports and academics activities. They state that it was wrong to label them as CCET students as the Chandigarh Administration had already given in writing in the court that they were students of PEC. The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has given approval to the absorption of the students in PEC, subject to certain conditions.

Moreover, some students of PEC have gone to court against decision of the AICTE and the Chandigarh Administration to regularise the students in PEC. “How can the college authorities label us as CCET students when the administration has regularised us and the matter is being heard in the Punjab and Haryana High Court ?”, asked the students.



Balmiki convention stresses on education
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 17
The National Balmiki Convention, organised by the Haryana Balmiki Mahasabha, was inaugurated today by the chairman of the National Balmiki Mahasabha and Chairman of the Federation of Cooperative Sugar Mills, Mr Banta Ram.

He exhorted the delegates, who had come from all over North India, to ensure that the members of the community were well educated for its overall development and for contributing towards nation building. “Education is the only hope for the uplift of the Backward Classes. We must follow the teachings of Dr B. R. Ambedkar, who had advocated that education was the only means for the Backward Classes to fight for equality,” he said.

The delegates from Haryana emphasised on the pro-Balmiki approach of the Indian National Lok Dal government and said besides providing employment opportunities, the government had allotted land in villages for ponds in Harijan bastis.

Discussions were also held on how the welfare schemes started for the community could benefit more members, so that the beneficiaries were not just from the top layer of the community. Mr Banarasi Dass, former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Haryana, and president of the Haryana Balmiki Sabha, also addressed the gathering.



13 NIFT students present cloth designs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 17
An impressive presentation of the collections prepared by students of the Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT) was made at glittering function organised here this evening.

As many as 13 students of the Fashion Design Clothing Technology course presented various collections in 10 different rounds with appropriate music and light effects.

The show started with “Vandana” presented by Divakar Goyal followed by rounds of collections based on different themes.

Creations based on the theme “The bold and the beautiful” designed by Suman and Raman transformed garments with bold looks and extraordinary belts. Focus of the collection golden colour in the second round “Glamslam”, designed by Karanjit, inviting the audience to the world of glamour and sheen.

The third round focussed on Sheena’s collections which were prepared by taking inspiration from Rajasthan. The rich and bright colours of the state were highlighted. The height and the depth of the mountains was highlighted in the collections designed by Nancy Sidharth. Andeep and Sharan worked on “Coffee on the rocks”, a collection inspired by a coffee bar, in which different shades of brown were highlighted.

Attitude of the younger generation was presented by Devanshu in the collection “Pop and rock”. The colours used were pink, green, blue, which represented the bold attitude of the present generation. Parul and Ranjana came up with the collection “Destroyed denim”, designed for people who had a different mindset.

The show was choreographed by Arun Benjamin.

Mr Sanjay Kumar, Secretary, Department of Industry and Commerce, Punjab, and Executive Director of NIIFT, presided over the function and distributed certificates to the students.



Teachers attend workshop
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 17
Education today has to be knowledge-based, skill-based and growth-based. The learning capacity of a child cannot be judged by his ability to cram the course curriculum and bring it out during the examination, but the assessment of a child has to be carved out throughout the year.

This was stated by Mr Partho, a leading exponent of alternative education in the country. Earlier, he was head of Mirambika School in Delhi, which is a flagship of alternative education programme implementation in the country. He was addressing a one day workshop on alternative education at The Mango Grove School, a local centre for alternative education.

Mr Partho said a number of schools were trying to break from the stereotype system of imparting education. He added that the workshop for teachers was a must to apprise them of the alternative system, and for creating innovative thinking in education. A number of teachers from various Kendriya Vidyalayas, Yadvindra Public School, Mohali, St Soldier International School, Chandigarh, participated in the workshop.

Lt Col Karan Thandi, Chairman of The Mango Grove School, said as facilitators of learning it was essential for educators to become pro-achiever. 



Roster issue: Bar writes to CJI, expresses dismay
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 17
The issue of change in roster of Judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court by Chief Justice B.K. Roy is fast snowballing into a major controversy, with even the High Court Bar Association raising the issue.

In his order, issued in the last week of August, Mr Justice Roy effected some changes in the judicial work of Judges of the High Court.

Inequitable distribution of judicial work among Judges has led to a peculiar situation. While some Benches, particularly those dealing with civil cases, don't manage even to hear urgent writs listed before them for the day, others have only a few cases listed before them.

Incidentally, the three senior-most Judges after Mr Chief Justice - Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi, Mr Justice V.K. Bali and Mr Justice H.S. Bedi - head Benches which have the least work. All three head criminal Division Benches.

Forced to intervene in the matter following a large number of representations by the members, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association has also written to the Chief Justice, expressing its strong resentment for not having been consulted prior to the change of roster.

The letter, a copy of which is in possession of The Tribune, says that lawyers are concerned at the fact that the turn of their cases for hearing does not come due to the rush.

"The Executive Committee has repeatedly requested Your Lordship to take the representatives of the Bar in confidence whenever such decisions are taken," the letter says.

The association has also informed the Chief Justice that there is a lot of resentment among its members due to frequent changes in the roster.

"Even though there is shortage of Judges, work is being done without any major hassles. But, now in some Benches, even all the urgent cases are not heard, what to talk of ordinary motion petitions and regular cases. Clients don't understand why their cases are not being taken up. Something will have to be done," says a senior advocate.

According to sources, following the letter, a team of association office-bearers met Chief Justice Roy and asked him to settle the issue.



Symposium on K.L. Saigal today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
As part of the K.L. Saigal birth centenary celebrations, the Environment Society of India will hold a symposium “Ek Sham K.L. Saigal Ke Naam” at the auditorium of the Government Museum, Sector 10, Chandigarh, from 3.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. today. It is being sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Haryana and will be inaugurated by Haryana Governor A.R. Kidwai.

Mr Pran Nevile, a former Ambassador and distinguished writer, will deliver the keynote address on K.L. Saigal: An artist and a man”. Besides, renowned singers from New Delhi will sing ghazals. This was stated in a press note issued by the society.



Social turmoil sparks the theatre man in him
Aditi Tandon

FIVE years ago when Mushtaq Kak took over as Director, Sriram Centre for Arts, Delhi, he was clear about his targets. Years of engagement with theatre had armed him with fresh perspectives on burning issues. It was his time to make a difference.

And he proved his point in style. In the five years that Kak has been Director, the plays of the centre have been bagging the best-production awards at the Bhartendu Natya Utsav organised annually in Delhi. In the first year of his assignment, two productions of Sriram repertoire were awarded, Utpal Dutt’s “Turp ka Patta” and Parmanand’s “Mahabrahmin.”

The status of a celebrity thus came naturally to Kak, whose strength lies in the creation of plays in regional languages, especially Punjabi, which he speaks with ease. Kak’s association with Punjabi dates back to his schooldays when he acted in a Punjabi play, “Bhukh hi Bhukh.” “I enjoyed the vigour of the language and I continued using it on stage,” said Kak, who was in Chandigarh to stage a play at Tagore Theatre.

But even as he experiments with languages, placing the actor at the heart of his quests, he remains a quintessential Kashmiri. Among his best productions is “Nagar Udas”, a play that bares the trauma of the paradise, as reflected by Kalhan in “Rajtarangini”. Kak explains, “We picked up 120 shlokas from the Rajtarangini, which portray Kashmir in a state of turmoil as we see today. It was exciting to trace the valley’s chequered history, which has repeated itself. There was an exodus centuries ago. It has happened again. The commonality between the two is striking, despite the separation in time and space.” Another play Kak created in Kashmiri was “Natak Truchh (three plays)”.

Currently he is working on many new plays. As he says, “I wonder why directors complain about a dearth of scripts. There is so much waiting to be explored. I feel people are apprehensive of using fresh scripts. It can get risky at times, as it turned out when I directed my first play, ‘Aadhi Raat ke Baad’.”

Kak admits the play crashed miserably, but adds, “Had it not been for that setback, I would not have been here today. I took the challenge to heart and pursued perfection almost religiously. Then came good productions that now define my repertory. These include Dr Dharamvir Bharati’s ‘Andha Yug’, ‘Alla Afsar’, Yogesh Tripathi’s ‘Mujhe Amrita Chahiye’ and another Punjabi play by Dr Atmajit who has beautifully explored the dynamics of displacement.”

A Sahitya Kala Parishad awardee, Kak is currently working on several scripts. But he still yearns to work with children, as he did years ago when he was selected under a special scheme of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. “Those were the years when my romance with theatre was just beginning. I was one of the five directors selected from the North to work on a project with children. The production, ‘Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja’ was very successful. That was the first reassurance I got as an actor.”

There has been no looking back.



A thought for a child’s pain

UNUSUALLY brief though, Mushtaq Kak’s production “Dharamputra” leaves a lasting impact on the mind. A scathing comment on the social system that creates unbearably painful situations for children, the play works at various levels.

Subtly, it mocks at those parents who treat their children no better than objects meant to be possessed and exploited to will. Strongly, it develops an argument in favour of children and their long-abused rights in contemporary India.

Written by Mahesh Alkenchwar, the story is loaded with strident remarks against parents who set their own standards of morals and values for children, distressing them to death.

The symbols used by Kak are striking. He plays around with the two central characters (man and wife) that are portrayed in several shades. The story revolves around a child traumatised by domineering parents who want him to follow their diktats like the will of God.

For every rule that the child bends, there is severe reprimand – his tongue is sliced when he sings songs his parents label as “offensive”; he is blinded if he glances over images they consider vulgar; and he faces castration as a remedy to the sexual disorder his parents fear he might develop someday.

Though visually jarring at times, the play perturbs the mind no end as it bares the truth in all its ugliness. Nothing is left to the imagination of the casual observer who leaves the hall with a heavy heart. It is this anxiety which underlines the director’s worth. As Kak says, “All that is ugly in the world deserves an ugly portrayal. I have talked about the rights of children who are the most neglected sections in our society.”

The play indeed raises vital issues like allowing children a space in which they can build their own responses to the environment; in which they can hone their own ability to sift the chaff from the essential; in which they can find their own ways of bettering themselves and of making their worlds vibrant. TNS



Military band strikes soulful melodies

AFTER displaying their acrobatic skills on the motor cycles day before yesterday, it was time for the members of the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment band to strike soulful melodies. Performing with passion, the musicians charmed the visitors to Sector 17 Plaza this evening. The show was a sequel to the military motor cycle display and the dog show organised by the Chandigarh Administration at Sports Complex, Sector 7, recently.

Members of the oldest band in the country played 14 tunes, getting better with every presentation. They offered a virtual treat to the listeners who got the taste of varied musical forms from the same platform.

Among the most soulful tunes which members of the 250-year-old regiment band played were the devotional “De Shiva var mohe” and “Raag shivranjini”. Nearly 35 musicians then played tunes with woodwind brass, percussion and some modern musical instruments.

The band, which is nationally and internationally acclaimed, was awarded for the best performance during the 1995 Republic Day parade. It also had the credit of performing with the United Nations Emergency Force in Ghaza. TNS



Sizzlers to tickle your palate
Harvinder Khetal

THE smoky delicacies that come sizzling on the thick heavy platter are fast appealing to the taste buds of residents of City Beautiful. Cashing in on this love for sizzlers and also in an endeavour to promote this culinary art, Blue Ice, Sector 17, Chandigarh, today started the Sizzler Food Festival.

The chef has a number of uncommon items, specially in the non-veg category, lined up to entice the guests. If variety and experimentation is your cup of tea, you are in for a wide choice. But, money should be no constraint as you might have to shell out a hefty sum for a dish. The attractive part is the drink that comes free of cost with every order of a sizzler.

Stoking your sense of gastronomic adventure is the Chinese roast turkey, roasted duck that are brought sizzling hot in the company of steamed vegetables dipped in barbeque sauce. The tandoori quail (bater) also sounds interesting.

The menu even boasts of rabbit that is served in your choice of sauce.

For seafood freaks, the hiss of burning fat on pieces of prawns and fish is enough to send you on a gastronomic adventure. They come in such alluring forms as prawn steak, grilled fish in lemon butter sauce and tomato fish sizzlers.

In case you would rather tread the tried and tested path, you have the comparatively low priced and affordable delights studded with bits of flesh of cheesey chicken, braised lamb and pork chops.

The vegetarians can have a pick of green shaslik sizzler or the healthy cheese and corn or mushroom.

Complemented by portions of rice or pasta with generous helpings of steamed diced vegetables and small potatoes covered in herbs and spices, the smoky platters are a meal by themselves.

But as one waits for the order, the pealing plaster on the wall jars your sense of aesthetics. It seems to scream for a fresh coat of paint and the sound deafens the hiss of the sizzler. In fact, you look around and feel that silver-tinted pillars too give a stale look. Also missing is the special festooned ambience usually created for a rounded festive feel.


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