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Punjab school board staff stage protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 29
The on-going agitation of the Punjab School Education Board (Non-Teaching) Employees Association came down to the roads when employees and officials organised a protest march here today.

The march, in which employees and officials of the rank of Deputy Secretaries participated, started from the board office in Phase VIII and went on till the Phase VII traffic lights in protest against the amendments carried out by the Punjab Government in the Act of the board. The protesters demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Ordinance which was issued in connection with the amendments in the board Act.

Vehicular traffic on the main road got disrupted as hundreds of employees moved in the form of a procession.

Mr Bhagwan Singh Bedi, general secretary of the association, said officials and employees had taken leave for two hours to take part in the march. He said the protest was organised at the head office of the board for the past 31 days. But today employees of text book depots at the district headquarters in the state and the staff of the nine Adarsh schools also participated by holding rallies in various areas. They had gone in for mass casual leave to take part in the protest. 



Science, technology & society discussed
Tribune News Service

Prof Jaytilak Guha addresses a conference on “Science, technology and society” at the Public Administration Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Thursday
Prof Jaytilak Guha addresses a conference on “Science, technology and society” at the Public Administration Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Thursday.—  A Tribune photograph.

Chandigarh, September 29
The Department of Public Administration, Panjab University, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Public Administration (Regional Branch for Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh) organised a regional conference on “Science, technology and society”, here today.

Prof. Jaytilak Guha Roy, Professor of political science, Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) said science and technology were the greatest allies of society. He said after independence, the nation had vigorously pursued a comprehensive programme of employing modern science and technology for national development and societal transformation.

According to him, developments in science and technology have helped the country in areas of food and agricultural security, water security, health security, energy security and disaster management.

Prof B.S. Ghuman, while participating in the discussion, said developments in science and technology during the colonial rule were guided by profit consideration. A similar trend was emerging in the sphere of science and technology during the post-globalisation phase.

He said MNCs, by importing technology, had been reaping the benefits of high growth and simultaneously resulting in declining job opportunities.

He suggested that the science and technology policy of the government should help in achieving the twin objectives, of economic growth and social justice.

Mr D.V.Bhatia, Secretary, acknowledged the role of Sam Pitroda in ushering the telecommunication revolution.

Prof Shital Prakash said science and technology in India had not succeeded in meeting all societal needs, particularly relating to socially disadvantaged groups.



Fruit day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The junior wing of St Joan's Public School, Lohgarh, near Zirakpur, celebrated fruit day on Wednesday with great enthusiasm.
Students of playway, nursery, LKG and UKG classes wore dresses matching with the colour of the fruits they had brought.

The picture of the fruit were also pasted on their dresses. Songs were also sung on the importance of having fruits. A banana race and an apple game were also played on the occasion.



Order on Hawara’s bail plea reserved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ms Neerja Kulwant Kalson, today reserved order on the bail application of Jagtar Singh Hawara, alleged chief of the Babbar Khalsa International and main accused in the Burail jailbreak case, till tomorrow.

Appearing before the court, counsel for Hawara contended that since the prosecution had failed to file a challan within 60 days of the arrest of the alleged militant under Section 167(2) of the CrPC, the bail should be granted as a matter of right.

However, the prosecution claimed that as Hawara was a dreaded militant, the bail should be granted at the discretion of the court. A supplementary challan was being filed against the accused, the prosecution added.

Defence counsel had filed a bail application for Hawara yesterday. While dropping the sedition charges, the former Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, had already released certain accused in the Burail jailbreak case on bail.

Hawara was arrested by a team of the Delhi Police on July 7 this year from outside the Punjabi University campus.



CAT ultimatum to UT on pension benefits
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today gave one-month time to the Chandigarh Administration to comply with its orders regarding payment of pension benefits on the basis of notional pay fixed on the basis of the Punjab pattern to the UT employees, who retired between January, 1986, and March 1991, failing which a senior level officer of the administration will have to explain the lapse.

Passing the orders on a contempt application moved by around 54 applicants, the tribunal fixed the next date of hearing on November 10. The applicants had stated that despite the sanction given by the Central Government, the UT Finance Department was not releasing the payment.

The applicants, who were present in large numbers in the tribunal, lamented that they were being harassed by the dilly-dallying tactics of the administration.

It may be mentioned that the Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, had given sanction to pay pension benefits on the basis of notional pay fixed on the basis of the Punjab pattern to the UT employees, who retired between January, 1986 and March, 1991.

The tribunal while hearing a bunch of applications in the past few years had ordered the Chandigarh Administration to pay the pension benefits to the employees. While in some cases the relief was given, the administration refused to pay the relief in other cases and the applicants filed contempt cases in the tribunal against the Finance Secretary, Chandigarh, Mr S.K.Sandhu.

There were around 200 employees of Chandigarh Administration, who retired between January, 1986, and March 1991.

In a previous hearing, the Finance Secretary through an affidavit had stated that the Chandigarh Administration had no powers to extend such benefit and it was the Central Government which could grant the sanction as done in H.S.Dogra’s case. He stated that the Ministry of Finance vide letter dated January 11, 2005, had advised that in such judgments writ petitions
be filed.

The applicants stated that now the Union Government had given the sanction, but the same was not being released by the Administration.



Life term for four in Sachin kidnap case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 29
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr J R Chauhan, today awarded life imprisonment to the four youths accused in the sensational Sachin Garg kidnapping case.

The judge has awarded life imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine on charges of kidnapping, and one year’s additional punishment in case of default in the payment of fine. On charges of robbery, the accused have been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, Rs 5000 fine and an additional six months in case of default in the payment of fine. The accused have been sentenced to life imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine on charges of criminal conspiracy. All sentences are to run concurrently.

Sachin Garg, son of top industrialist and philanthropist, Mahesh Garg, was kidnapped in April 2003 and released after a ransom of Rs 1 crore was paid by his family. The court held the accused — Gaurav Bhalla, his cousin Munish Bhalla, Gaurav Mani and Sanjay Nai alias Sanju — guilty three days ago, after the prosecution said they had recovered Rs 97 lakh cash and valuables like mobiles and a swanky mobike worth Rs 2. 20 lakh from the accused.

Three other accused in the case— Pankaj Bansal, Amit Verma and Govind — were discharged of the charges by the court last year.

Gaurav Bhalla was the mastermind behind the kidnapping. He had earlier befriended a close relative of victim Sachin Garg. It was through this relative that he gained information about Sachin and then masterminded the kidnapping. The victim was kidnapped for ransom on April 1, 2003. The family had paid the Rs 1 crore as ransom amount in the PGI, Chandigarh, following which Sachin was let off by his captors on the night of April 2, 2003. 



Poetry purest form of written word
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
For Kamla K. Kapur, poet and writer living in India and the USA, poetry represents the expression, the language of the soul. “It is the purest form of the written word.” In the city for the release of her anthology of poems, ‘As a Fountain in a Garden,’ this eloquent lady speaks from her heart with an earnestness that is enchanting.

‘As a Fountain in a Garden’ was written over a period of four years after the suicide of her husband, poet Donald Dean Powell, in 1993. “I had to write them or I would have destroyed myself. One has to make that journey into the very depths of human experience before coming out at the other end.”

Beautiful, powerful and moving, the poems flow from one to the other, broaching a difficult subject with purity, reflecting her inner turmoil and the deep bond of a deep personal relationship.

The title is from a poem penned by her husband Donald Dean Powell and was changed from “The Gift of Grief. “The fountain in the garden is concrete image which symbolises something that flows and cleanses and continues to do so and garden is a central metaphor to the whole poem.”

Her first book of poetry, ‘Radha Sings’, was published in 1987 and comprised erotic love poems; love songs to a modern day Krishna, a juxtaposition of romantic and realistic love.”

Writing began very early in life for Kamla. “When I was at boarding school in Welham in Dehra Dun, I was sick and lying in the dormitory and I wrote my first poem to my journal!” This journey of writing has transcended all genre-plays, novels, short stories and of course poems.

She is currently completing her first novel, ‘An Autobiography of Saint Padma, the Whore’— ”a woman’s search for love and freedom.”

There are no preferences to what she writes. “I do not choose subjects, subjects possess me,” she smiles. 



New Releases
Gandhi and his legacy

Curtain Call Co’s “Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara”, a small-budget flick, will be released today worldwide on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti. Produced by actor-turned-producer Anupam Kher, the film has been directed by nine-time National Award winner Jahnu Barua.

It stars Anupam Kher in key role along with Urmila Matandkar and Boman Irani. The movie also stars Rajit Kapoor, Raju Kher, Waheeda Rehman, Sudhir Joshi, Prem Chopra and introduces Aditya Singh Rajput a.k.a. Addy.

The buzz is that the film will kick up a debate on how we perceive the legacy left by the Father of the National Mahatama Gandhi today. The film opens at Fun Republic, Mani Majra.

The film has screenplay by Sanjay Chohan, cinematography by Raaj A. Chakravarti and music by Bappi Lahiri.

The film conveys a strong message about the existence and relevance of Gandhiji in the modern India.

Anupam Kher plays a challenging role of a retired man. Watch this refreshingly original and hard-hitting film, which promises something different in a season of action, comedy and romantic musicals.


“Meri Biwi Ka Jawab Nahin” is one of those delayed projects that is now ready to hit Batra, Chandigarh, today. Akshay Kumar and Sridevi are in lead roles.

This is a film by S.M. Iqbal who is trying his luck in Bollywood with another action-oriented comedy.

The film has hardly made news as publicity has been far too visible and has failed to create excitement among viewers.

Anupam Kher, Gulshan Grover and Johny Lever support the lead stars.

In all, the flick is likely to go unnoticed.


Archana Media Pvt Ltd’s “Kasak”, which has been directed by Rajiv Babbar, is a film based on human relationship where every aspect of life as well as the creator of life can be seen.

The film opens today at Fun Republic, Mani Majra. Sensational Pakistani actress Meera makes her second venture after much-hyped “Nazas”.

Singer-turned-actor Lucky Ali makes solo appearance.

Sameer has penned the lyrics for music composer M.M. Kareem who has shown his class once again in this film that promises to entice the audiences as it comes out with tag line “The other side of a relationship.....”


“Siskiyan” starring Neha Dhupia, Sonu Sood and Sachin Khedekar also opens today at Kiran, Chandigarh.

Produced by Guddu Dhanoa, Sunil Saini and Deepak Sharma, it has been directed by Ashwini Chaudhary. It is a bold film with Neha Dhupia has a challenging role. — D.P.



Om Puri, four others felicitated
S.D. Sharma

Punjab Kala Bhavan bore a festive look on Thursday as the annual awards ceremony of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi was held to felicitate five maestros from different realms of the folk and classical-art. Artistes, while lauding the gesture of the akademi, shared their appreciation and grouse with those at the helm of affairs in the government.

Recipient of the akademi award for films, versatile actor Om Puri, credited with over 150 films, who was represented by Naresh Kaushal, Editor Dainik Tribune, sent in a written message. The actor rued that despite many national and international honours, including the Maharashtra Rattan, his native state had not cared to encourage many leading artistes who had an admirable contribution to the Punjabi culture. In an emotional gesture to his mentor, he contributed the prize money of Rs 31,000 to the Harpal Tiwana Foundation, formed after the great thespian of Punjab.

Similarly, Devinder Daman, conferred with the akademi award for theatre, averred that only artistes were promoted and not art. Pammi Bai, ace folksinger and dancer, was more articulate in demanding a cultural policy, pension for veteran artistes and a platform for budding artistes. Ustad Lachhman Singh Seen, classical maestro, and Baba Kashi Nath Ranatoo shared their views on preservation and promotion of the rich cultural legacy.

Earlier, welcoming the chief guest, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, Punjab Minister of Cultural Affairs, akademi president Jaspal Bhatti highlighted the achievements of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi despite financial constraints.

Jaspal Bhatti and secretary Rajpal Singh expressed gratitude to US-based NRI Jasvir Singh of Virsa Systems for providing the total prize money. The award carried a citation, a memento and a cash prize of Rs 31,000.

The minister lauded the efforts of the akademi in propagating the rich cultural heritage of Punjab and agreed with the suggestions of the artistes. He assured full support of the government and offered to bear the prize money for the next-year awards. Pammi Bai and Baba Kashi Nath gave musical performances. Prof Rajpal Singh conducted the proceedings.



Juhi, Manmohan give final touches to “Yaaran Naal Baharaan” show
Aditi Tandon

Juhi Babbar
Juhi Babbar

It’s time for Juhi Babbar to spill her magic on screen. A trained theatre actress, who has been well groomed under the care of her mother and mentor Nadira Babbar, she is naturally excited about the unpredictable audience responses to her role in “Yaaran Naal Baharaan” - her first Punjabi feature film.

In Chandigarh on the eve of a promotional show of the film, Juhi spent the day rehearsing her moves at Kalagram, which will come alive with frentic activity on Friday.

Religiously practising her dance sessions which will also feature Jimmy Shergill, Juhi was barely seen resting. All she had to say about the film was, “It is a youthful film that explores the aspirations of students. In the backdrop runs the parents-children’s conflict that seeks urgent resolution.”

As for films, Juhi is not a tad apprehensive about her skills. Theatre has helped her hone them to near perfection. Also, there is Hardly any actor who can go wrong under the able guidance of cinematographer-turned-director Manmohan Singh.

Also present at Kalagram on Thursday evening, Manmohan Singh kept busy giving final touches to the show which will also be attended by all singers who have lent their voices in the film. The melodious numbers (directed by Jaidev) have been rendered by famous Punjabi singers like Sardool Sikander, Arvinder Singh, Amarinder Gill and Feroze. They will all be present at the venue tomorrow to sing the numbers that feature in the film.

For Manmohan Singh, the film is a clean diversion from the past. His earlier films have been well rated for his professionalism and unique ability to address the sensitive overseas Indians issue. Both “Jee Aaya Nu” and “Asan Nu Maan Watna Da”, did exceptionally well in this category.

Now is Manmohan Singh’s time to experiment with other realms, and what can be a better topic for the purpose than “struggles of students”?

Set in Panjab University, the film, to be released on October 7, features Juhi Babbar and Jimmy Shergill in the role of each other’s love interests. Truly Punjabi, the film also looks at the conflict that defines, what we call, a generation gap. Supported by unadulterated Punjabi melodies and breathtakingly aesthetic scenes from Kulu and Manali, the film is expected to do well at the box office.

It has been primarily shot in Chandigarh, with the crew shifting to Manali and Kulu only to shoot the songs. An added attraction at the promotional event to be organised tomorrow will be the presence of Raj Babbar, who is playing Jimmy father in “Yaaran Naal Baharaan”.

Earlier, expected though, Anupam Kher will not be able to make it to the show as his film “Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara” is releasing on Friday. TNS



Enigma - 2005 begins

Enigma-2005, a two-day cultural festival organised by associations of paramedical scientists, students and resident doctors, commenced with a classical kathak dance recital by Kamini Puri, a disciple of danseuse Samira Koser.

After Vishnu vandana, Kamini attempted to delineate the fundamental ingredients of the dance like aamad, thaat, tode, tukde and parans before moving on to a thumri, “Mohe chhedo naa..” depicting the erotic pranks of Lord Krishna. Vinod Sood and Narinder Kumar accompanied her on vocal and tabla.

Students of laboratory technology presented a medley of Punjabi songs, dances and many other items. A singing completion, Limbo dance troupe performance, twisted movies, choreography, treasure hunt, Mr and Ms Enigmatic and a frenzy dance party were the other attractions of the festival.

Earlier, SPIC-MACAY featured Senia Gharana sarangi maestro Kamal Sabri at the same venue. The young ustad opened up the concert with an elaborate alaap, jod alaap of evening raga Vachaspati. He bared the melody of the raga in alaap as well as in the bandish set to teen taal, both in madhya and drut laya. Kamal displayed an adroit mastery over the instrument bringing out the essence of the raga.

A matching accompaniment by Pandit Kishore Banerjee augmented the presentation. Dr K.K. Talwar, Director, PGIMER, inaugurated the festival. OC


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