Thursday, September 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


GNEC students on strike 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — The B.Tech, first and second year students of Guru Nanak Engineering College have gone on strike in protest against a new rule formulated by the Punjab Technical University. While the first year students went on strike yesterday, the second year students joined the strike today after attending morning classes.

As per the new rule, the students can appear for supplementary examination after a gap of one year as against the old rule according to which the students could appear for these examinations every semester.

However, the Vice Chancellor of the Punjab Technical University, Dr H.S. Gurm, said that the new rule was likely to be reviewed by the council in view of the agitation by the students.

According to Dr Gurm, ‘‘The new rule formulated by the academic council stated that the students can re-appear for the odd semester in the next odd semester and for the even semester in the next even semester. This rule has been made so that teaching can go for 180 days per year. When the examinations are conducted every semester, it results in loss of atleast 70 days.’’


SD students celebrate function  
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — The students, staff and the management of Sanatan Dharam Senior Secondary School celebrated annual prize distribution function on the campus of Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College here today.

The function which began with Saraswati vandana was followed by qawwali. Then students of classes XI and XII presented Naga dance, in which one student acted as kabile ka sardar who has to feed his family and, therefore, goes out in the forest for hunting.

There was a raslila played by gopis and Krishna and a group song Zindagi mein sada muskurate raho. This was followed by a play Ek nadi ansuon bhari. The most attractive item was the ballet dance. In the end, the students presented gidha and bhangra


Pay retired scientist, HC directs PAU  
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — In a recent order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University to pay superannuary benefits to a senior scientist of the university, along with penal interest at the rate of 18 per cent .

According to sources, the scientist, Dr Bhag Singh Sohi, retired as entomologist from the Department of Horticulture of the university on September 30, 1998, on attaining the age of superannuation. As per rules, Dr Sohi should have been paid all the retirement benefits, including gratuity, leave encashment and provident fund, within three months of his retirement. However, despite numerous representations to the authorities, including the Comptroller and the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sohi was only given Rs 1.57 lakh in the form of leave encashment in August 1999.

Eventually, being left with no option, Dr Sohi, filed a writ petition, in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in November 1999, praying that the outstanding dues of provident fund, pension, gratuity and arrears of the revised pay scales, amounting to nearly Rs 22.5 lakh, be paid to him with penal interest at the rate of 18 per cent. Dr Sohi also pleaded that the Comptroller and the head of the Department of Horticulture, who (according to Dr Sohi) withheld the payment of retirement benefits, be asked to pay damages of Rs 50,000 each.

A Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice, V.M. Jain and Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi, recently directed the Vice-Chancellor of the PAU to pay all the retiral benefits, including gratuity and PF, to the pensioner within three months, alongwith interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum with effect from October 1, 1998, till the date of payment.

A few months ago, the High Court had directed the university authorities to pay dues Mr Kamal Mohan Chopra, who had sought premature retirement from the university as press manager, with penal interest.


Chhou dance, a visual treat 
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — Chhou dance performance was held at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police Public School, here today, under Virasat 2000 sponsored by the Ludhiana chapter of the SPIC MACAY. Chhou dance is from Purulia district of Chhota Nagpur Division. The Sitalpur Ganesh Chhou dance party presented a most beautiful colourful dance. This dance forms a cultural activity of Purulia district. It is mainly a mask dance and believed to be 100 years old and essential part of the ritual of the festival of Shiva.

The dancers are generally farmers, who perform this dance at night. The theme of the dance was taken from the Shiva Puran. It was titled Mahisasur Vadh. Mahisasur was the king of asuras (demons). His father was killed by Lord Indra, the King of the Gods. Bent upon avenging the assassination of his father, he went to the Himalayas and did severe penance. Pleased with his penance, Lord Brahma offered him the boon that he would be invincible in war and no male person would be able to vanquish him on three worlds. And his death would finally come at the hand of a female.

All Gods and Goddesses were roaming about homeless because Mahisarus had driven them away from their houses by his brutal force. The Gods and Goddesses performed vigorously and beautifully their sorrow and anger at their humiliating defeat. Before the dance started, the musicians came on the stage. Two persons played on shenai, two played on dhol and two on ddhamsa, all indigenous to the district of Purulia. The music sounded from far away distant ages and was very appealing.

The elephant faced Ganesh, the eldest son of Mahamaya, came on the stage with a beautiful mask and a huge colourful head gear. He danced remarkably well and charmed the audience. Unfortunately, in his encounter with Mahisasur, he was defeated. Then came Kartik on peacock. Kartik, dressed in a very colourful attire, danced in unison with his peacock and two of them presented a most delightful sight. Unfortunately, he was also vanquished.

Exasperated at the defeat and humiliation of her sons, Mahamaya sent her white lion to scare him. The lion was very graceful. In fact there were two people under the garb of the lion. Lord Shiva also appeared and performed Tandav dance.

Finally, Mahamaya challenged Mahisasur and he created maya (illusion) and seemed to take different forms. But Mahamaya had no difficulty in shattering the maya of Mahisasur. Finally, Mahisasur appeared before her in the guise of a buffalo and pray to her to kill him. Finally, Mahamaya killed him.

The whole dance-drama took the audience way back to thousands of years and one was glad that this form of masked dance was being kept alive by the old troupes of Purulia. All female characters were also played by the male members of the cast. The dance provided a unique and a traditional mythological story in a very colourful and interesting way. The students were mesmerised by the stage craft musical instruments and their presentation. Every Chhou dance has a particular scheme which transcends the limitations of the mask.

The chief guest, Mrs H.K. Dhillon, Chief Medical Officer, Police Academy, Phillaur, said: "We thank this group for letting the children know of our old mythological tales, as the mothers and the grandmothers do not have time to tell folk stories."

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