Saturday, June 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Training in personality development
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 8
The tiny tots are being given training on personality development, creativity, dance and computers in the ongoing “jump start club” at Silver Oak School, Sector 32.

The camp comprises various fun-filled activities for kids between the age group of three to 15 years. The camp is being organised from June 1 and will conclude on June 30. The second batch starts on June 15.

The programmes under the personality development are English speaking, theatre workshop, yoga and recycle waste items.

The group discussion is another activity which helps build up confidence among the kids. Meditation is another highlight of the programme.

In the dance workshop professional dancers are engaged to teach modern western dance and traditional Indian dances. The school has got imported software and the computer courses are designed in accordance with the grasping power and learning abilities specific to age groups of three to 15 years.

The camp will not be limited to the summers but will continue throughout the year.


Deepak heads Sheikh Baba Farid Chair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh has quit the post of the Dean College Development Council in Panjab University following his appointment as the Chair Professor in the Sheikh Baba Farid Chair of Medieval Indian Literature.

Dr Deepak has been the Honorary Dean since November 1997. Prof Ramesh Kapoor of the chemistry department will take the new charge.

The matter of appointment of Dean Colleges had featured in the last Senate meeting. The house unanimously resolved that Dr Deepak Manmohan be allowed to continue in the chair. He is scheduled to retire in October.

In a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Deepak Manmohan said, “After having joined as Professor in the Sheikh Baba Farid Chair of Medieval Indian Literature from May 28, I have been reflecting about demands of my new responsibilities. After careful consideration of all aspects, I think it would be proper that I seek to be relieved of the charge of the Dean College Development Council. Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh has been a member of the university Syndicate 15 times. He is a member of the Senate since 1976.

Dr Deepak Manmohan is a member of the Academic Council, Board of Finance and the Board of Studies (all languages). He has also been the president of the Panjab University Students Union.

An MA in Punjabi and Psychology, he is in the teaching profession since 1969 when he began his academic career in DAV College. He has been the organiser of world Punjabi conferences in Canada, Thailand and the USA among other places. He is also a member of the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademy and the Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy.

‘Effect of partition on Punjabi literature’ and ‘Kam Kamna te Shiv Kav’ are his noted publications.


Beant case may take a decade to conclude
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, June 8
Though almost six years have gone by since the former Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Beant Singh, was assassinated while coming out of his office in the Civil Secretariat, the case has still not concluded. So far 128 witnesses have been examined by the prosecution and another 300 are yet to be deposed before the court.

Lawyers say that at the present pace of the trial, the case may take almost a decade to conclude. One of reasons for the tardy pace is that the court is held only three to four times in a month at Modern Jail in Burail village instead of seven to 10 sittings as directed by the High Court. The High Court had also directed the trial court to expedite the trial and conclude it as soon as possible.

Admitting delay in the trial, counsel of the CBI, Mr S.N. Saxena, said that. “He was helpless because the accused were deliberately delaying the trial. They disturbed the proceedings a number of times, thereby delaying the trial. In the last three days, proceedings were held up because some of the accused had raised slogans and disrupted these.”

One of the counsel for the accused, Mr Amar Singh Chahal, claimed that the “legal procedure was taking its time. He said that soon the case would be shifting to the UT Special Court of the CBI and hopefully the trial would move fast.”

The nine persons Jagtar Singh Hawara — Jagtar Singh Tara, Paramjit Singh, Shamsher Singh, Balwant Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Nasib Singh and Navjot Singh — were facing trial for their alleged role in the assassination of the former Punjab Chief Minister. The cases against the accused were registered for murder, attempt to murder, and criminal conspiracy and under Sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Explosive Substance Act. After the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court the separate makeshift jail room was made at the Modern Jail in Burail. In February, 1999, the High Court had dismissed the bail plea moved by them.


* Beant Singh assassination on August 31, 1995

* Main suspect arrested in the September, 1995

* Trial of the case began in 1996

* Total number of witnesses examined until now 128

* Balwant Singh and Jagtar Singh Tara had confessed their involvement in the assassination on January 25 and September 3, 1998

* Now the case has adjourned till July 2, 2001.


Mini bus permit set aside
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Allowing a writ petition, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside a permit granted by the State Transport Commissioner to a Gurdaspur resident for plying a mini bus on the Gurdaspur-Rudiana route.

Pronouncing the orders, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Ms Justice Bakhshish Kaur, directed: “Keeping in view the circumstances and particularly the fact that the respondent is a widow, it is, however, directed that her application for the grant of permit on an alternate route, or another route from Gurdaspur to Rudiana for a shorter stretch, shall be considered within two months”.

Challenging the orders issued by the State Transport Commissioner granting “regular stage carriage mini bus permit for plying four return trips on the Gurdaspur-Rudiana route”, the mini bus operators of Gurdaspur had earlier stated that the same was in violation of the scheme prepared by the State Government.

Giving details, the petitioners had claimed that the lenght of the route was over 25 km and such permit for plying a mini bus could not be granted. During the proceedings, counsel for the STC agreed that the length of the route was 31.3 km. After hearing the arguments, the Bench set aside the order issued on October 6 last year.

Allotment of LPG dealership

Issuing notice to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Dealer Selection Board and another respondent on a petition against the allotment of LPG dealership to a Pathankot resident in Gurdaspur district, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the respondents to produce a copy of the selection criteria on the next date of hearing.

In her petition before the Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice J.S. Narang, Renu Chaudhary of Pathankot had earlier sought the quashing of the decision taken by the respondents regarding the allotment of dealership to Ms Asha Rani for distribution of LPG in Dhinanagar town.

Her counsel had stated that the dealership was allotted to the respondent by declaring her number one on the merit list. This, he added, was done after wrongly interpreting a clause.

Giving details, counsel had added that the respondent could not be equated with the petitioner as the latter was more qualified. After hearing the arguments, the Bench fixed September 18 as the next date of hearing in the case.


Guest house owner gets bail
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 8
A local court today granted bail to Parsuram Gupta, who was arrested by city police for illegally detaining a 16-year-old boy in his guest house. The accused was granted bail on the furnishing a bond of Rs 10,000. The police had registered a case under Sections 342 and 506 of the IPC against the guest house owner.

The boy was rescued by the police on June 7 after being illegally confined by the owner of a guest house for nine days. He was thus punished because his cousin, an employee in the guest house, had allegedly duped the owner of Rs 4000.

It was alleged that Umesh Singh, a resident of Kumaon, was kept in confinement by the owner of Indian Guest House in Sector 18 by Mr Parsuram Gupta from May 29 till June 6. The unsuspecting teenager had come here for assistance from his cousin, Gopal, an employee in the guest house.

Bail plea dismissed
The UT Additional Sessions Judge today dismissed the bail plea moved by the former sarpanch of Khuda Ali Sher, Pal Singh, in a case of murder. The accused had moved a bail plea under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code.


Musical extravaganza awaits Siri Fort
Lashkara Punjabi music awards ceremony
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
With the closing of nominations for the Lashkara Punjabi Music Awards, the stage is set for the presentation of the prestigious awards at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi on June 22.

According to a spokesman of the channel, a musical extravaganza awaits over 1,900 special invitees at the Siri Fort where top names in the music world, including Hans Raj Hans, Udit Narayan and Anamika will regale the audience. The show, to be anchored by Pankaj Dheer (Karan of Mahabharta fame) and Shikha Swaroop (of Chanderkanta fame), will be telecast live to the UK, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and the South East Asia.

Claiming to have received over 225 nominations from the music companies and unprecedented response from the public, the spokesman said five entries had been shortlisted for the awards in each of the 11 categories. These entries will be judged by an eminent jury comprising ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh, bhajan samrat Anup Jalota, lyricists Dev Kohli and Naqsh Lyallpuri, and music director, Anand Raj Anand. Besides this, “Lashkara lifetime achievement award, Lashkara viewers choice award and award for best ragi will also be presented on June 22.

Sufi singer-turned pop star Hans Raj Hans gets two nominations for the best vocalist for his songs, “Chorni” and “Dil chori sada ho gaya”. Jasbir Jassi for the song “Nishani yaar di” and Babbu Mann for the number “Needran” are the other nominees. Ustab Ahmed Hussain and Mohammad Hussain also find nomination for the number “Sada chidyan da chamba” number.

For the best female crooner, Shazia Mansoor (“ghar aaja sohneya”), Jaspinder Narula (“munda tu hai Punjabi sohna”), Dolly Singh (“udeekan”), Anamika (“sona dis da”) and Mona Singh (“ve mundeya”) get nominations.

An interesting feature of the five top nominations is the absence of bhangra stars Gurdas Mann and Malkit Singh in any of the categories. Daler Mehndi (twice) and Sardool Sikandar (once) also figure in the nominations. but not in the best vocalist’s category.

The best music director category has Jaidev Kumar figuring thrice. He has been nominated for “nishani yaar di”, “akhha akkha vich” and “o ho”. Bally Jaspal for “ghar aaja soneya” and Palvinder Dhami and Babloo Mahendra for “kya baat hai” are the other contenders in this category.

Hans scores over the others in the best video category also with two nominations (“chorni” and “dil chori sada ho gaya”). Shazia’s “ghar aaja soneya”, Faiz Ali’s “ranjna rakhley sada ley mainu kol” and Daler’s “ek dana” will also fight it out for honours in this section.

Farah Khan (“ek dana”) Ganesh Acharya (“koka”), Vaibhavi Merchant (“ghar aaja soneya”),Toby (“nishani yaar di”) and Remo (o ho) are the nominees for the best choreographer. And for best video director Bobby Khan (“silli silli”), Amiroze Mann (“Mirza), Shorobi Saigal (“ghar aaja soneya”), Bobby Khan (“lala lala lala”) and Deepak Singh (“Ranjna rakhley sada ley mainu kol”) had been shortlisted.

The sad songs dominate in best lyricist section with Babu Singh Mann (“pyar bhare khat”), Amardeep Singh Gill (“silli silli”) and H Kang (“ruthe te manave kaun) being nominated. Babu Singh Mann (“nishani yaar di”) and Shyam Balkar (“dil chori sada ho gaya”), also figure in this category. However, there are only two nominations for the best Sufi singer with Wadali Brothers (“tere naal preeta pakkiyan”) and Hakam Sufi (“kar de rab mel”) making the grade.

Similarly, the best folk singer nominations include Hans (‘silli silli”), Harbhajan Mann (“Mirza”), Karmjit Anmol (“chithhian”), Ali Haider (“mahi”) and Ustad Ahmed Hussain and Mohammad Hussain (“allad ballad bawe da”)

Dolly Singh (“udeekan”), Dolly Gularia (“Amritsar de papad”) and Mona Singh (“ve mundeya”) will compete for the best debutante female singer. For the male debutante singer, Kulbir (“ja ja ve tenu dil dita”), Heer Kamal (“kamli), Rajinder Malhar (“aaj Ranjhe wangun lutiya gaya”), Karren Jasbir (“dhai lakh di”) and Punjabi Munde (“mahi mahi”) will slog it out for the top position.


With elan and passion for theatre
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
When Ashwatthama J.D. presented a theatrical narration of the jehad in front of a Hindu audience at Bhilwara, the remark he received in appraisal was: “You are narrating the final truth which I wish we knew more about the greatness of Muslim saints and their struggle to spread peace.” The statement carried weight, coming as it was from a die-hard Hindu for whom the Vishwa Hindu Parishad is a way of life. The wave of appreciation for this NSD graduate’s one-act play “Ek katra khoon” (a rendition of Ismat Chughtai’s novelette by the same name) has travelled far and wide, even as wide as Aligarh Muslim University where 900 people attended Ashwatthama’s show.

What binds the audience to the script is Ashwatthama’s powerful narration and his absolute command over the history of the Holy War of Karbala which he tries to narrate through the medium of theatre. After presenting his shows in 10 Indian cities, the actor-director is now in town to work out the details of his programme to be held in the city towards the end of July. JD has been roped in by the Department of Culture, Haryana, to present this play.

During an hour-long talk, the celebrated past of Ashwatthama came to the fore. With an impressive resume at hand and nothing less than a working experience of seven years as a teenager with Safdar Hashmi’s Jan Natya Manch, it’s difficult to dismiss the man and his makings. Passion for theatre drips from every word Ashwatthama speaks, and it is this passion which brought him to the Department of Indian Theatre, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Said the actor, who hails from Jodhpur, “It was important to hone the skills. I wanted to assimilate all possible elements of theatre.” After a post-graduate degree in sociology, followed by a graduation in law and one year diploma in dramatics from Rajasthan University, Ashwatthama was in Chandigarh for another post graduation. The ultimate feather in his cap came in the form of the three-year graduation he took from the National School of Drama.

The prowess of the man becomes evident from the fact that in his very first project (Ek katra khoon), Ashwatthama had mentors like Naseeruddin Shah, Khalid Tyabjee, Rashin Ansari and Anamika Haksar. Said JD, “As a man of theatre my concern has been the revival of theatre culture. After I completed my course from NSD, I decided to take a year off for apprenticeship. While I was struggling to find out the theme for my project, the magic of Sufism dawned upon me.”

Interestingly, this Hindu actor read up everything possible on Sufism and the jehad. “It was Asif Naqvi who suggested that a theme devoted to the pious past of Muslims could be worked upon.” Finally, taking a lead from the life and achievements of Maulana Rumo (a Sufi saint), Ashwatthama went on to study the life of Prophet Mohammad, followed by the struggle of his grandson Imam Hussain against Yazid. What evolved out of this assimilation of literature was ‘Ek katra khoon’ (based on Ishmat Chughtai’s novelette), a dramatic piece conceived, designed, directed by Ashwatthama. The text by the novelist is further padded with poetry of radical Punjabi poets like Paash, Sahir Ludhianavi and Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Marsiyas (dirges) by Meer Anees further add substance to the text.

Years of labour have made Ashwatthama comfortable and friendly to the medium. So much so, that he is now tying up with the Government of Rajasthan to reform prisoners through the medium of theatre. He is already working with 12 prisoners of Jodhpur Central Jail.


Sa Re Ga Ma shooting in city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 8
It took endless amount of patience for the crew, participants and audience to sit through the final episodes of Sa Re Ga Ma Punjabi which were being shot at Tagore Theatre here today.

The theatre, which had been buzzing with activities since June 4 with the crew of Sa Re Ga Ma Punjabi converting it into a makeshift studio for shootings of 14 episodes came to a climax with the announcement of two winners, Baby Banga in the female category and Amrik Bawa in the male category.

As the four finalists, Madan Lal, Baby Banga, Amrik Bawa and Mehnaz Akhtar looked ill at ease facing the camera and introducing themselves through various re-takes, Sardool Sikander’s funny anecdotes came as refreshing breaks for the audience. Sardool was the anchor person for the entire show.

What they lacked in presentation, the participants made up with their versatile performances from soul- searching melodies to peppy numbers. For all these four participants except for one are properly trained in music with Mehnaz being a gold medallist in an all-India ghazal competition.

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