Sunday, April 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Excavated artefacts in state of neglect
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Hundreds of priceless historic coins and seals excavated by the Ancient History Department of Panjab University continue to bite the dust in the corridors and dark corners because of paucity of space for a decent exhibition venue on the campus.

Nearly 90 per cent of the rare collection lie closed in the trunks. The shortage of space for storage and exhibition makes existence of the make-shift museum alien to majority of fertile academic minds on the campus. The history of the assembled material of archaeological interest dates back to the pre-Harappan period.

Far from the main departments, the museum lies buried in remote corners near the Music Department. Space shortage appears as lame excuse for keeping rare antiques and sculptures in the packed trunks and open corridors.

The excavated work has not been borrowed from any museums or government sources. The department scholars have done the actual fieldwork. Majority of the compiled works belongs to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

Prof A Agrawal, Head of the Department of Ancient History and Culture, said the majority of the excavated work pertained to Sugh (in present-day Yamunanagar district), Mitathan (Hissar), Mahorana (Sangrur), Singh Bhagwantpur (Ropar), Pallanpur (Ropar) and Sarangpur (Chandigarh).

A significant collection pertains to pottery during the pre-Harappa and the mediaeval period. The collection is also home to Kada coins. A PU team first discovered the rare specimen. The collection is also home to punch marked coins (500-200 BC), Indo-Greek coins (2 BC), Kushana and Yaudheya (1 AD to 4 AD) and bull and horseman coins (800 to 1200 AD), besides others.

Dr Agrawal said the department also had a wide range of seals, sealing, beads of semi-precious stones and terracotta works. Dr R.P. Bhardwaj, excavation assistant, and Dr Vipnesh Bhardwaj, a guest faculty, also highlighted the immense value of the rare collection.

Dr Agrawal showed the collection of seals and sealing. “These seals were used as identity cards and official stamps and during registration. There are different types, each signifying the related era”, he said. Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, the Governor of Punjab, paid a visit to the museum recently and was impressed with the collection.

The collection of beads shows a classic weaving up of semi-precious stones and the museum also treasures faience, copper bangles, terracotta figures, iron sickles and carved bricks.

Excavations have also been carried out in Hoshiarpur district, Naya Nangal and Daroli (both near Nangal), Nada and Jayanti Devi near Chandigarh have been the favourite haunts of the search of teams in the past.

Dr Agrawal said if a suitable place could be found for exhibition and storage of the treasure of old civilization, a written brochure would be prepared to provide ready information to visitors. The preserved material was worth a visit for those interested.

The team goes personally to possible areas. “We have to garner information from the locals and calculate all possibilities before taking up any excavation work,” Professor Agrawal added.


Cultural show marks ‘Shan-e-Himachal’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
‘We should look through our own eyes and not others to choose fields and build up our careers’.

This was said by Mr J.P. Nadda, Health Minister, Himachal Pradesh, while addressing ‘Shan-e-Himachal’, the annual cultural festival of the All Himachal Students’ Association, at Panjab University, here today.

Mr Nadda said, “Universities are springboards from where one can jump to desired heights of excellence.”

The delay of the minister’s arrival was made up by a cultural mix of items. The show began with ‘natti’ of Sirmaur which saw decent rhythmic dance paying obedience to Goddess Renuka.

Dance number by Ritambhra had the crowd swaying to the beats. Kasturba Thakur presented a ‘natti’. Dev Kumar and Yogesh featured in a song recital.

Mr Chet Ram Negi, Parliamentary Secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, presided over the function, Surat Negi, president of the ASHA, proposed a vote of thanks. Vinay Sharma, cultural secretary, conducted the stage.

Students excelling in academics, sports and cultural events were honoured on the occasion.


Release of grants
Minister’s assurance to private colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
A joint deputation of the Federation of the Management and Principals of non-government affiliated Colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh, comprising Principal Subhash Kumar, DAV College, Jalandhar, Principal P.S. Sangha, SGGS College Sector 26, Chandigarh, Principal S.S. Sodhi, Janta College, Samana, Principal J.S. Gill, GN College, Doraha, and Prof G.S. Sarna called on Master Mohan Lal, Minister, Higher Education, Punjab, and expressed serious concern over the non-release of the pending grants amounting to Rs 24 crore for the past two years and requested for an early release thereof to give relief to the non-government colleges.

The minister, in the presence of the Education Commissioner, Mr G.P.S. Sahi, and DPI, Colleges Punjab, Gulzar Singh, assured the deputation that the backlog of grants would be cleared very shortly.

Welcoming the part payment of the arrears amounting to Rs 26.5 crore following the revision of pay scales, the deputation requested for an early release of the remaining amount. The minister assured that the arrears would be released soon as these were received from the Government of India.

It was pointed out that the senior scale of Rs 17300-Rs 22400 for the college principals had to be released yet. The deputation requested the government to release the scale of principals on the pattern done in Haryana for principals. The deputation was apprised of the fact that this case was already sent to the Finance Department on December 16, 2000 for approval.

The deputation expressed resentment over the delay in the implementation of the Pension cum Gratuity Act as approved by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. DPI Colleges, Gulzar Singh pointed out that the data in this regard the management’s share of the employees’ Provident Fund was being consolidated and as soon as this exercise was over, the file would be sent to the minister and other officials of the department.


Two convicted for murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Holding trial court orders to be erroneous, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has sentenced two Rewari district residents to life imprisonment after convicting them for murder.

Allowing an appeal filed by the state of Haryana against the orders of Rewari’s Additional District and Sessions Judge convicting the two for causing injuries under Section 325 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, Mr Justice H.S. Bedi and Mr Justice A.S. Garg also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 each.

The two — Bhup Singh and Bhagmal of Bariyawas village — were earlier booked by the Haryana Police under Section 302 of the IPC after Prem Singh of the same village succumbed to his injuries at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Rohtak.

According to the prosecution, Prem Singh had sustained injuries after he was attacked by the two on June 25, 1995. The two had accused the victim of abusing them.

The trial court, after going through the evidence and hearing the arguments, had concluded that offence proved against the two accused was punishable only under Section 325 and 34 of the IPC.

Pronouncing the orders on the appeal, the judges observed: “The doctor has expressed the opinion that the head injury was sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of nature. The trial court, however, concluded that a case under Section 325 and 34 of the IPC alone was made out. We are of the opinion that this finding is erroneous”.

The judges concluded: “We have absolutely no doubt that the injury on the head of Prem Singh was inflicted by Bhup Singh with the intention of causing death in furtherance of common intention with co-accused Bhagmal.”

Paddy procurement

On a petition seeking probe into the conduct of state functionaries and other procurement agencies at the time of purchasing paddy, a Division Bench of the High Court on Saturday issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab and other respondents for July 11.

In their petition, Vishab Kisan Kalyan Parishad and two others had earlier alleged that the farmers were being defrauded by the state functionaries and procurement agencies. Giving details, the petitioner had stated that instead of “Form-J”, the commission agents were issuing “kuccha” slips to the farmers to save tax.

Arguing before Mr Justice R.S. Mongia and Mr Justice K.C. Gupta of the High Court, their counsel had added that even the payments were being made to the farmers after deducting Rs 50 to Rs 100 per quintal.


Detail and precision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The IndusInd Bank Art gallery today came alive with the soulful creations of Ram Kumar Sharma. The collection of 17 works not just attracts the eye for its amazing appeal, but also leaves an impression on the heart.

The inspiration for the works stems from the artist’s reminisces of his 18-year stay in Nigeria. He had been sent on a special assignment to Africa by the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi. In the ensemble are works on a variety of themes. While most of the works reflect the African way of life, with a clear-cut focus on the people, their customs, their jewellery, and their leaders. there are other mundane themes on the display as well.

The most enchanting of all works is the one titled Motherhood, where the artist brings out the generous spirit of the Mother Earth, who is guarding its teeming millions with care and affection. Then there is another work tiled Effort, which shows man’s incessant struggle towards success. the artist draws the ladder of life and symbolises pathos very powerfully.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Mayor Raj Kumar Goyal, who arrived about an hour late than the scheduled time. The works can be viewed till April 30 between 11 am and 6 pm.

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