Tuesday, May 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


VC’s petition referred to another Bench
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 1 — Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Professor Madan Mohan Puri’s petition for quashing the orders passed by the Chandigarh Housing Board cancelling the allotment of a dwelling unit to him was today referred to another Bench by Mr Justice K.K. Srivastava and Mr Justice J.S. Kheher.

The Housing Board had earlier cancelled the allotment, besides forfeiting the amount deposited by him, “for having concealed material facts”. Professor Puri, it may be recalled, was allotted the unit of the basis of an application made in June 1993. The final allotment was made on June 24, 1995.

A senior faculty member had, however, complained to the board alleging that Prof Puri had been allotted a residential flat and his affidavit had not mentioned the fact. The board had later held that a confirmation letter by the President of PUSHPAC Society had said Prof Puri had made the payment for the land.Back


Jain seeks leave extension again
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 1 — Mr N.K. Jain, against whom a case of corruption has been registered by the Special Cell of the Central Bureau of Investigation, has requested the Chandigarh Administration to extend his leave by 14 days. His earned leave ended today.

In a letter to the Chandigarh Administration, Mr Jain said since he was pursuing his Special Leave Petition against the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court rejecting his application for bail, he would like to extend his leave by two weeks. He also maintained that he was also not keeping good health.

Mr Jain is the first Home Secretary against whom a case of corruption has been registered after the Special Cell of the CBI conducted a raid at his official residence on April 7 and conducted a thorough search of the house on April 10 after it was found locked during the initial raid on April 7.

Mr Jain is yet to make himself available to the CBI for further questioning and investigations in the case. He has been on earned leave since March 11.Back


Fakhar Zaman talks of bridging boundaries through art
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 1 — For each one gathered in the hall of Punjab Kala Bhawan today it was an occasion for introspection — an occasion to sit back and think about what literature and theatre is all about and what, in the real sense, is the objective of art.

The thought process was triggered off by none less than the eminent Pakistani scholar, poet and polico-social activist, Mr Fakhar Zaman, who was today in town to deliver the 16th Balraj Sahni Memorial Lecture. He was coming straight from Delhi where he represented the Pakistani delegation at the SAARC Writers’ Conference.

Zaman spoke in a fashion quite unlike to the one of a conditioned scholar. His rhetoric exuded the freedom of his works and thoughts, notwithstanding the fact that he hails from a land where the movement of artistes is specially monitored. “I stand for art, and art, for me, is synonymous with liberation. You can’t shackle it; you can’t command it. Words cannot be chained,” said the writer who spoke of Balraj Sahni as a great promoter of art.

“Although I never had an occasion to meet him I was always impressed by his dignified bearing. In him I saw an underlying urge for achieving perfection in whatever he did — from walking to acting. He had the two great attributes which define a good artiste — commitment to work and integrity of character.”

Making a reference to bureaucratic hassles which literature has to face in Pakistan, Mr Zaman said: “There is a lot of monitoring back home. People operate in tandem. Nowadays we have something called the lifafa journalism in Pakistan. Its practitioners don’t mind grovelling if they have a certain task to be taken care of. Similarly, there are restrictions on art, but I have never surrendered to any such restriction.”

Mr Zaman’s lecture also touched upon the subject of contemporary literature. He said: “Today we have a new breed of writers who write in response to the voice of their conscience and who don’t believe in stagnation. Today’s technique is a cinematographic technique. More and more meaning has to be conveyed in less and less space and words. If I were to have my way, I would edit novels written in the past to about 95 per cent.”

Referring to the onslaught of western culture through the foreign channels, Mr Zaman said that we ought to make our own culture resistant to such onslaughts. “Moreover, there is no denying the fact that the bhangra beat is becoming increasingly popular througout the world due to its promoters like the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.”

Mr Zaman also stressed that a writer should always express in his mother tongue. Earlier, Mr Zaman conferred mementos, cash gifts and citations upon Mr Bhag Singh, Mr Tera Singh Chann, Mr Kwal Dhaliwal, Mr Devinder Daman and Mr Ajmer Singh Aulakh. Veteran Punjabi critic from Delhi University, Dr Satinder Singh Noor presided over the sessions which was organised by Punjab Kala Kender, Chandigarh, in collaboration with Bombay-based Punjab Kala Kender founded by the late Balraj Sahni.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were renowned Punjabi poet Surjit Pattar and H.S. Bhatty, secretary-general, Punjab Kala Kender.Back


Using Santiniketan finesse to experiment with eves
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 1 — There is a certain refineness in his works and each of his 54 creations on display in the Indus Ind Art Gallery highlight one common thing, that he has been minutely studying the female form and experimenting with it in the various media, terracota being his favourite.

Ask Basudeb Biswas and he shies off a little. “Yes, that’s right. Ever since my days in Andaman where I was born, I have been immensely inspired by femininty. In art, woman is a very powelrful subject. She symbolises strength and softness at the same time. Her looks, the flow of her hair, the glance of her eye — everything is so intoxicating. That’s how I started off with experiments in various forms of women.”

Basudeb, a graduate from Santiniketan Viswa Bharti, revels in terracota and so do his women. Bronze is another favourite medium for him wherein he has painted Ms Universe, ballet dancer, graceful lady, burning face, all with an equal zeal. The most eye-catching works are the “hungry grasshopper” (signifying the declining grass cover), family (comprising man, wife and child all in bronze), dynamic lady (the gymnast) and love 2K (reflecting the complications which envelope a man woman relationship).

Yet another section is termed “expressions”, wherein the artist is experimenting with the various moods of a woman : gloomy and vibrant. Basudeb is equally comfortable with marble, as seems from some of his works on display. Here too, the focus is on the female form. The hair of Basudeb’s subjects have been especially taken care of and curves and locks are all in place.

The interesting part is that Basudeb does all the casting himself and his passion is revealed in the finely casted and carved works. The effect is instantly magnetic, even for a layman.

There are seven panels in water colours, a stream quite different from the other two exhibited by the artist. In this section, it’s the nature which dominates the creator’s mind. With depth being a dominant feature, rivers, trees, mountains painted by the artist all beckon the viewer.

“Sensitivity is the key word and that is all I am trying to reflect. I am not rigid in description of my forms. I just let my hands go on and on without any inhibitions blocking my path,” says Basudeb, who tries to attract art lovers through an amazing combination of texture and structure.

The exhibition, which was inaugurated here today by Mr G.S. Cheema, Secretary for Cultural Affairs, Punjab, will be on till May 14. This is the first solo exhibition of the artist.Back

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