Tuesday, September 11, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘History can’t be written with preconceived notions’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
“History is ruthless and fiercely objective, it has no idols, no darlings. The only idol of history is truth and to seek that truth, to scrutinise and analyse it objectively is the biggest challenge facing students and teachers of history today.” This was stated by Prof V.N. Datta, a well-known historian, in a lecture organised in the Department of History, Panjab University, here today.

Talking on ‘Challenges before history’, Prof Datta said, “The students and the teachers of history need to cultivate a spirit of questioning, to go back to primary sources and be fiercely objective about their dialogue with the past.”

Prof Datta explained that for a historian, it’s very important that he constantly questions the past. “You have to love the past to write history but this love doesn’t have to be blind. True love understands and only relentless questioning can lead to understanding.”

Giving an example of a couplet of Iqbal, Prof Dutta explained, “Shakti bhi Shanti Bhi, bhakton ke geet mein hai, dharti ke vasiyon ki mukti preet mein hai,” was in fact the essence of the Bhagavadgita. And it required a restlessness in me to be able to figure out what Iqbal meant.”

A similar restlessness to find out the truth came about when Prof Dutta wrote to Amartya Sen disagreeing with the lecture he delivered at the Indian History Congress early this year at Kolkata. “Mr Sen said that during Mahabharata, what Arjuna was saying was right since war has never achieved anything. But I disagreed. What Krishna told Arjuna that day was right. That war set an example and acted as a deterrent,” he said.

Emphasising before the students that reading primary sources was essential to write history, Prof Datta gave example of Gandhi and his works. “The more I read Gandhi, I realise that I do not approve of his politics. But then I am also looking at Gandhi from the quality of his mind and I will not rest till clarity dawns.”

Prof Datta also touched upon the unfortunate precedent of governments fiddling with history textbooks for students. “I feel it’s a failure on my part and my generation of historians to have not been able to provide textbooks to our students to read. But then no government should have any claim to write history textbooks.”

Projecting before the students his scientific approach towards the writing of history, Prof Datta said, “History can never be written with some pre-conceived notions, it has to be a scientific, holistic, independent enquiry into the past. The historian has to cleanse himself of all his biases and then undertake the task of writing history.”

Talking about the role of ideology in history, Prof Datta said that there is no fixed rule for history. “History is never the final word for anything, its an interim report. Any new piece of information can reorient our entire understanding of the past.”

Concluding his lecture in a highly encouraging vein, Prof Datta exhorted the students to depend on themselves to find out the truth. “Do not depend on anyone. Governments are no help when it comes to research.”

He ended by quoting Iqbal,

Khuda tujhe kisi toofan se ashna kar de,

ke tere behar ki maujon mein istarab nahin

Kitaab se mumkin nahin firaag

ki tu kitabkhan hai, magar sahibe kitaab nahin. 


Moral values stressed upon at seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A teacher must inculcate moral values in her life first and only then will he or she be in a position to help others build and strengthen moral values among students. This was stated by Ms Swadesh Sharma, secretary, Dev Samaj, while delivering the keynote address at the one-day seminar-cum-workshop on moral values for educators of Dev Samaj institutions held at the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, here today.

The seminar commenced with a prayer of Dev Samaj. Mr Vikas Dev, former secretary, Dev Samaj, who was the chief guest at the seminar, ignited the sacred lamps. The Principal, Ms Satinder Dhillon, welcomed the guests and participants. She emphasised that only a proficient teacher who himself imbibed moral values could provide value-oriented education to students.

Mr Vikas Dev delivered the presidential address. He spoke on value education, quoting examples of the scams in India due to lack of values and love for materialism.

Kumari Satyawati, chairperson, Dev Samaj College Managing Committee, also spoke and appreciated the motion of the seminar on value education.

During the sessions held later in the day, a distinguished galaxy of educationists presented their papers. Mr Bodh Priya Bharti stressed that one should live in the company of men with high values and implement those values. Dr D.R.Vij emphasised the need to inculcate values among teachers.

Mr Amarnath presented a paper on the teachings of Bhagwan Dev Atma. Mr K.L.Vohra discussed the role of the management in inculcating values. Mr Sudarshan told the participants to treat children with love and affection. Dr Satinder Dhillon discussed the role of a principal of an institution in the inculcation of moral values.

Ms Jolly, Principal, Dev Samaj School, New Delhi, pointed out that values can be ingrained in children by asking them each day of the various good deeds they had done.

The third session of the workshop was coordinated by Dr D.R. Vij. 


Course in Sanskrit concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A refresher course in Sanskrit for college and university teachers organised and sponsored by Academic Staff College, Panjab University, concluded in the ICSSR complex here today.

Delivering the valedictory address, the chief guest, Prof Kapil Kapoor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, motivated the teachers of Sanskrit to actively participate in the ongoing debate of the teaching of Sanskrit and other traditional subjects.

He said that the scholars in Sanskrit being well-versed in ancient scriptures were in a better position to discuss the whole issue. He also emphasised the need of using computers and Internet as tools in teaching Sanskrit.

Prof Anirudh Joshi of the Department of Sanskrit and course coordinator, highlighted the salient features of the 21-day course in which the lecturers were exposed to a wide range of themes. Dr Vikram Kumar, chairman of the department, also presented his views.

As many as 25 teachers of the language from Uttaranchal, UP, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh participated in the course.


Best recipe contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The two-day long best recipe contest started at the Food Craft Institute, Sector 42, here today.

Organised by the institution in collaboration with Nestle, the students were given a product of the company to prepare dishes which were later displayed and judged for taste, quality and presentation.

As many as 42 students participated in the contest today which had Milkmaid as its main ingredient.

These 42 dishes were then judged by Ms Nirupama Marwaha, lecturer in Home Science College, Sector 10, Mr Vinod Sidhu from Polka and Mr Sanjeev Verma from Khyber.

A tipsy cake baked by Paras, a student of the institute’s cookery department, fetched the first prize, while Charanjit Kaur, another student of the institute’s bakery won the second prize with a preparation of chocolate cookies.

Nimrita won the third prize with a preparation of strawberry tarts. The consolation prize was given to Rao Khushnood Ali Khan for his chocolate cake.

These students will be given prizes tomorrow at the institute after the days competitions using Maggi noodles as the main ingredient.


8 teachers honoured
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 10
Eight teachers from different schools were honoured by the Lions Club Chandigarh Rose in the Sector 33 Government Model Senior Secondary School here today.

The president of the club, Ms Kailash Sethi, said: ‘’The teachers play the role of lighthouses who impart education to the students. They help in raising overall development of mind and soul of the children.’’

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramshekhar, who was the chief guest, lauded the role played by the teachers in the uplift of society. He appreciated the Lions Club Rose for honouring the teachers.


8 students get scholarships
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 10
Eight city students were awarded National Talent Search scholarships by the State Institute of Education, Sector 32.

The institute had organised a seven-day training programme to prepare students for taking the written examination of the National Talent Search Scholarship. According to a press note issued here today, all the students qualified in this examination. Preparatory classes for providing guidance for appearing in interview were also arranged.

The selected students are: Gyanda Sachdeva, Kusha Goyal and Priyanka Khandelwal — all from Sacred Heart Convent School, Sector 26, Gunjit Singh, Hardeep Singh Guru, and Pratyush Deb — all from St John High School, Sector 26, Gaurav Mittal and Raman Preet — both from Shishu Niketan Senior Secondary School, Sector 22.


E-commerce quiz at MCM DAV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
An e-commerce quiz was held in the MCM DAV College, Sector 36, here today. The college has formed a quiz club and this was its first organising effort. Thirtythree teams of two members each participated in the written preliminary round. The team of Priya Verma and Deepti Sagar got the first prize, second prize was won by the team of Palka Sahni and Nimi Kaur. The team of Abha and Bhawna came third.


Declamation contest 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The English literary society of Government College, Sector 46, organised an inter-class declamation contest in the college here today.

The topics varied from music to female foeticide, inefficiency of the government, etc. The college principal, Mr D.P. Singh, presided over the function and later gave away prizes to the winners. While Rajesh won the first prize in the contest, Deepti came second and Suksham third.

Last week, the NSS volunteers of the college had launched a cleanliness drive under the dignity of labour programme. As many as 145 volunteers participated in the drive and undertook cleanliness in the college and its surroundings. 


Vigilance Jt Director summoned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Taking up a petition alleging supply of old books in new covers to government schools in Punjab at higher rates, Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked Joint Director of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau to be appear in court along with the record on September 28.

The directions were issued after counsel for the petitioner alleged that the Chairman of the Purchase Committee, the prime accused in the case, had been let off. During the proceedings, Punjab’s Additional Advocate-General stated that a case had been registered against the delinquent officers on the basis of a report submitted by the Vigilance Bureau.

Taking up a petition filed by Jalandhar-based Nav Sahitya Parkashan against the state of Punjab and 10 other respondents, the Judges, on the last date of hearing, had directed the state Vigilance Department to conduct a thorough probe into the allegations and submit a report in court.

The Bench, in its detailed order, had also directed the department to “look into the purchase of books, maps, etc to find out if the rates as charged were exorbitant or whether these were in conformity with the prescribed norms”.

It had further asked the department to inquire into the “petitioner’s allegation that the old books had been supplied to schools by merely changing the covers”.

In their petition, Nav Sahitya Parkashan had sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the “scandal in the purchase of the library books for the government schools in Punjab at considerably higher rates and not associating the approved source of purchase — the book branch of the office of the DPI (Schools)”.

Firm directors get three months’ jail

Convicting two directors of a company in a contempt of court case, Mr Justice R.L. Anand of the High Court on Monday sentenced them to simple imprisonment for three months.

Seeking the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Gulshan Gupta and Rakesh Jain, Mr Jai Parkash of Patiala had alleged that the respondents had wilfully disobeyed the orders pronounced by Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar of the High Court on January 23, 1999, by not making the payment in accordance with an undertaking. Giving details, counsel for the petitioner had stated that respondents had failed to pay Rs 45,000.

After hearing arguments, Mr Justice Anand observed: “I am of the considered opinion that the respondents have violated court orders. I convict them under Section 2-C of the Contempt of Court Act and sentence them to simple imprisonment for three months”.

HPSC told to dispose of case in a month

Issuing directions to the Haryana Public Service Commission to dispose of within a month the promotion case of a Sub Divisional Officer, if the same was pending, Mr Justice R.L. Anand of the High Court today ordered the HPSC Secretary to appear in person in case the order was not passed by the commission. The case will now come up for hearing on October 24.

Pronouncing the orders on petition filed by Mr Jai Kanwar Jain, seeking the initiation of contempt of court proceedings, Mr Justice Anand observed: “The grievance of the petitioner is that the directions, dated January 8, 1996, have not been complied with by the respondent authorities in spite of the fact that he has been knocking the door of the respondents. On the contrary, counsel for the respondents submits that the case of the petitioner for promotion to the post of Sub Divisional Engineer has been sent to the HPSC for approval”.

The Judge concluded: “It is a matter of regret that the petitioner’s case is not being considered though the order was passed in 1996. It is the concern of the government to get the requisite order from the commission. The petitioner cannot be penalised for the inaction of the government or the HPSC”.

Notice in MLA murder case

On a petition filed by the son-in-law of murdered MLA Relu Ram Punia seeking the grant of anticipatory bail, Mr Justice R.C. Kathuria of the High Court today issued notice of motion for September 29.

Apprehending implication in the murder case, Sanjeev Kumar had earlier claimed that his wife, Sonia, had been arrested by the police for the murder of her father and as such he might also be roped in by the police. Claiming to be innocent, he had added that he was not present at the spot when the offence took place. Moreover, his name was not mentioned in the first information report registered at Uklana police station in Hisar district.

A case was registered on August 24 under Sections 302, 309 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. According to the prosecution, the MLA and others were murdered due to dispute among the children regarding partition of property.


Consumer court to rescue of Golden Forest investors
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, September 10
A consumer court has come to the rescue of the investors in various schemes floated by Golden Forest. The court has issued a notice to the chairman and managing director of the company, R. K. Syal, in connection with 44 cases filed against him for November 29 and in connection with a few cases for October 29.

A large number of investors from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh had filed cases against Golden Forest of India through the Superintendent of Burail jail. They had filed complaints under sections of the Consumer Protection Act for deficiency in services.

Sources informed that about 30 lakh depositors from all over India had invested Rs 4,000 crore in various schemes of Golden Forest. The company had invested the money in various projects and purchased agricultural land, buildings, including shop-cum offices, and commercial sites at different places.

The investors had prayed before the court that their complaint be allowed with relief and the company be directed to refund the maturity amount with interest and compensation for mental harassment suffered by them and non-utilisation of invested amount. They also prayed that the company be directed to pay costs of litigation to the investors.

Some investors had alleged that they had approached the company head office after their deposits matured after three-and-a-half years, but it had refused to pay the matured amount. Others had alleged that the cheques issued by the company had bounced.

Mr Bahadur Singh, a resident of Una district in Himachal Pradesh, had filed a complaint that he had invested and after five years the company had to pay him Rs 20,000, which he had not been paid. Mr Balwant Singh of Patiala district, had filed a complaint that he had deposited Rs 27,000 with the company in 1996, but the company had failed to pay him Rs 37,000 .

Mr Naresh Kumar of Badheri village had filed a complaint that he had deposited Rs 9,600 and he had approached the company after the deposit matured for payment Ms Bhupinder Kaur of Khuda Jassu village had filed a complaint that she had deposited Rs 9,000 with Golden Forest for three-and-a-half years and added that the company had paid only Rs 9,281, refusing to pay the rest of the amount Rs 8,719. 


Punjab meets West in Sardool’s album
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Punjabi singer Sardool Sikandar was at the Press Club today for the promotion of his album ‘Haiya Ho’.

At a press conference organised on the occasion, Sardool said the album had been released by T-Series more than two months ago. He said he had been in the USA when T-Series had informed him about the release.

Haiya Ho is confluence of western orchestration and traditional Punjabi folk with music by Jaidev Kumar. The songs retain the ethnic flavour because of simple style and lyrics.

The other numbers like ‘Khat Tukre Tukre’ and ‘Hai Meri Jaan, Naa Kar Arrian’ are for those in love. Folk number ‘Lekh Ne Khote’ penned by Baboo Singh Mann has soulful lyrics.

‘Akh Lardi Lardi’ is a teasing number, whereas, ‘Chandra Jahaj’ is about the pain of a village whose son has gone abroad.

To promote ‘Haiya Ho’ here, T-Series got Harmeet Singh to give the music and Jagmeet Bal to sing the title track. The video is already on all popular channels and T-Series is planning to launch a follow-up video.

Sardool said he had begun by learning classical music as his family was musicians’ family. He said his father had been once honoured by Partap Singh Kairon, the then Chief Minister of Punjab.


Punjabi song album
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Preet Brar, an upcoming Punjabi singer, today released his first Punjabi eight-song album, Nachdi Nachdi Aa, at the Chandigarh Press Club.

Nachdi Nachdi Aa captures the essence of the full album, which is pure pulsating Punjabi music.

Hailing from an agriculturist’s family of Ganganagar in Rajasthan, Preet underwent training from Avtaar Chamak in Bathinda. Known in rural Punjab for impressive stage shows, he had earlier lent his voice for a hit assortment and also recorded another regional album.

Addressing a press conference, Preet said that he abandoned his study at the class XI level. He was influenced by Chamkila, a prominent singer. He said he was trained by Gurtej Kabal.

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