Friday, March 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Ignou to have six TV channels
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, March 21
The Minister of Human Resources Development, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, announced that the Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) would have six television channels within the next one year.

Speaking at the 13th Convocation of Ignou, Dr Joshi affirmed that Ignou had developed the capabilities of Gyan Darshan II after the successful operation of Gyan Darshan, India’s first 24-hour education channel.

Dr Joshi also announced that Gyan Vani Cooperative of 40 radio stations across the country would also be made operational. The network when established will have a 60 per cent of coverage of the students’ population. These radio stations together will have 3.75 lakh hours of broadcast a year.

In his address, Dr Joshi said, “It seems to me that that distant education is the mantra for the present and near future. In this context, the country looks forward to greater efforts from the open university system to meet the need for larger students intake into higher education.”

He added that education after the end of formative years stands on four factors: quality education, value education, need-based education and equity in education.

Ignou Vice-Chancellor Prof. H.P. Dikshit informed that the focus of the soon-to-be-launched educational programmes would be on National Network for Open and Distance Education (N-NODE). This, he said, will serve to meet the objectives of tele-counselling, tele-collaborations, strategic matters with state open universities and also regional centres, as well as online results and admissions.

Prof. Dikshit said that the Ignou was now offering professional as well as other degree programmes in 21 countries as well as to a large expatriate and non-resident Indians.

Ignou has more than eight lakh students enrolled for 72 academic programmes being coordinated by 46 regional centres and 765 study centres.

In the convocation ceremony that took place in the Capital today, 78,000 students were adjudged degrees, diplomas and certificates. The convocation was held through teleconferencing at 21 regional centres simultaneously. Thirty-one students were awarded gold medals.



Lawyers’ strike hits HC work
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
The call for a one-day token strike by the Delhi Bar Association affected the functioning of the Delhi High Court today. The bar association called for a strike in protest against the recent Delhi Government notification enhancing the court’s pecuniary jurisdiction of the original side from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

The hearings in some benches were conducted partially while in others, cases were postponed to later dates.

The notification — Delhi High Court Amendment Act — would to come into effect from April 1, Bar Association President A. S. Chandhiok said. The executive committee of the bar, in a meeting on Wednesday, unanimously said that the amendment was against the litigating public and the bar and interests of both had been sacrificed by the National Capital Region of Delhi Government and called for the withdrawal or recall of the amendment forthwith.

It alleged that the Delhi Government, on one hand, had miserably failed in removing congestion and creating better facilities in the district courts and, on the other, had enhanced its jurisdiction which would be further prejudicial to the interest of the litigating public and put them to greater hardship.

There was also a proposal to apply the raised limit not only to future civil suits but also to the existing ones. 



Durga is benign and Luv Kush, a symbol of force
Rana A Siddiqui

A painting by Anand Panchal.
A painting by Anand Panchal.

If you ask Anand Panchal, a Maharashtra-born painter and a first class graduate from JJ School of Arts, Mumbai, why does he paint goddess Durga, the symbol of energy, as a calm, serene and cool divine entity, instead of portraying her in a powerful mould, he would smile and say, “because she is also a mother.” Anand’s paintings are on show at Gallery Om with the joint effort of Mumbai’s Gallery Beyond from March 22nd till April 5, 2002.

A young Anand’s painting captivates you for two reasons: his portrayal of village children of impressionable age and mythological figures in their different best.

Though the artist attempts to display an ever-charged and active life of village in brightest possible colours of red, yellow and blue, his faces narrate a different tale.

Tales of woes and worries – of a lack of academic environs, hard labour that goes unrewarded every day and ever-waiting eyes – for a light that would illuminate their lives some day..

Anand paints children with love and associate with them symbols like tree for life, home for protection and the sun for energy.

Having witnessed these village children and their determination to achieve something in life despite being bereft of even bare necessities from close quarters, he cannot but help impart an innocent yet firm looks to the paintings.

He even paints the mythological Luv and Kush as symbol of force in children. To make his point, he shows them fighting with ‘Ashwamedh’, the horse. Interestingly, he does not paint horse as symbolising force, but as a symbol of peace.

Anand firmly believes that the lesser children of God are not unprotected. There is goddess Durga, as a mother, who protects them everywhere. Hence, the goddess in his paintings is not enveloped in stark reds and blues, but in serene yellow and shades of black. A visit to his work may help one unveil the philosophy behind his paintings.

Documentary on temple oracles

A view from the documentary Kshurasya Dhara.

‘Kshurasya Dhara,’ a documentary film on performing arts of temple oracles of Kerala, has won the ‘National Jury Award’ at the International Film Festival’ held in Mumbai recently. The film is directed by a young Vipin Vinay.

The oracles are chief religious practitioners, who possess supernatural powers, commune with spirits of nature-accompanied trance, drumming and chanting, as the director tells you. In the film, on one hand, he looks for an archetypal mother image, on the other, he traces the evidences of blood rites and rituals, ionic associations, oracular states, folklore and a lot more.




Reviving Hindustani classical music 

Ghulam Sadiq Khan agrees that classical music needs to be simplified.
Ghulam Sadiq Khan agrees that classical music needs to be simplified.

Most of us know Punjab as the land of five rivers. Others associate it with the thrilling Bhangras and Giddha dance that is often seen as one of its most important cultural heritage.

But there is a lot more about the land of ‘sarson ka saag’ that we ought to know—- most importantly, its traditional music.

The music lovers in the Capital had their share of rendezvous with Punjabi music when the Punjabi Academy organized a `Festival of Traditional Music of Punjab’ recently at the academy itself.

The audience had the opportunity to listen to Hindustani classical music by some of the most eminent Punjabi artists.

Here, Mrs Premila Puri of Patiala Gharana presented Raag Pooriya as Khayal Bandish while Shanno Khurana of Rampur Sahaswan Gharana and Pandit Laxman Krishnarao kept the audience spell bound with Tappa and Rag Bhopali.

The ex-officio of the academy, the Delhi Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, inaugurated the festival.

Making music for the masses

Abhijit Banerji: Since classical music has a firm root, it can’t be uprooted.
Abhijit Banerji: Since classical music has a firm root, it can’t be uprooted.

The music habits of people have undergone a sea change in the past few years. And it is not only the pop music that has incorporated changes in its style but even classical music has started accepting `new manifestations’ as the wizards like to put it.

Hence, as the times are changing, so are the demands of music lovers. Interestingly, most classical geniuses have accepted it gracefully. They agree that its time classical music was redefined.

“The change is welcome,” says Ustad Sadiq Khan of Sahaswan/ Gwalior Gharana, who is amongst India’s few artists of `pucca khayal gayaki.’

“If the traditional but complex style of music is being simplified by bestowing on it some contemporary style, it is absolutely unobjectionable. For example, Rag Darbari and Malkaus, if given simple, modern finishes, it not only enhance its aesthetic beauty but also caters to the masses, who otherwise have difficulty enjoying the crude form of music,” he adds.

“The change does not distort the ragas as their complexity and originality remains intact, informs Abaas Khan, a classical vocalist.

Biswajit Roy Choudhury, an ace Sarod player, echoes a similar opinion. “Classical music is beyond time and space, nothing can overshadow it. But to hold ground, it must see some modifications. Presenting it in new form will not only increase its mass appeal but also educate the people about the importance of our rich musical legacy.”

Even instrumentalists favour the change. Abhijit Bannerjee, a Calcutta-based outstanding tabla player, who recently stole the show from many other instrumentalist at Shri Ram Centre, says, “Since classical music has a firm root, it can’t be uprooted. If it was Dhrupad first, and now it is Khayal. Though Khayal is light in nature, it sounds so beautiful. Change is the need of the hour. Classical ragas broadens once you modify it, otherwise, it will stagnate, resulting in only few takers,” he asserts.

Will these changes adversely affect the future of classical music? “No,” asserts, Roy, “When it has survived for over 1000 years, why not another 15 years,” he throws a rhetoric.

However, the music mix does not get everyone’s consent. Some feel that redefining ragas in light classical forms will only add to its popularity, not class. Ghulam Sabir Khan, a well-known qawwal and a descendents of Hazrat Nizamuddin gives an example from qawaali. “Qawwali is sung by those who cannot sing classical well. Though qawwali is also constituted by ragas, their manifestation takes an entirely different form from other classical singing. Unless its real form is promoted, it will take a very bad shape as even knowledgeable people might fall into its trap.”

He sites an example. “I went to see the recently held Jahan-e-Khusro by Muzaffar Ali. It was a fantastic representation but to my surprise, the director did not invite even one qawwal who knows the real Khusro gayaki and who hails from that gharana. This gharana has seven `aastans’ (offshoots) that has 32 qawwals all over Delhi. But none was contacted for this purpose. How can you celebrate Jahan-e-Khusro without treating the audience with the real Sufi gayaki that Amir Khusro spelled? A mixmusic might result in several such mistakes by ignorance,” he worries. However, he accepts that due to shortage of sponsorships for the classical form of musical, he too resorts to ‘enjoyable qawwali’ that has no association with its real form. The changes incorporated in them has helped him draw the attention of the masses. However, only time will tell whether this ongoing transformation in music is good or bad for those associate with it.

Rana A. Siddiqui


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |