Sunday, June 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU engineering results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Panjab University today declared results of a number of engineering courses conducted earlier this year, an official press release said.

The courses for which results were declared today included Bachelor of Engineering courses in agro processing (first, third and fifth semesters) and Civil (third, fifth, sixth and seventh semesters). Results of MA II (geography) was also declared. Copies of the result gazette will be available at the enquiry counter on all working days.



Summer workshop for kids
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 22
A summer workshop for children was organised at Gilly Flower School from May 22 to June 15. The workshop aimed at exploring the hidden talent in children.

Various activities included painting, pot painting, doll making, picture frame making, story telling and dance classes. A dance show was organised yesterday to exhibit what the children had learned during the workshop. A quiz was also held.



PO surrenders in court
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, June 22
An accused in a case of sedition, registered in 1992, surrendered in a local court here today.

Ramji Lal, an activist of a Hindu organisation, had been declared a proclaimed offender in connection with a case for promoting communal violence after the Babri Masjid demolition in December 1992.

The accused surrendered before the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal, who remanded him in the judicial custody. The magistrate also issued a notice to the UT police in connection with a bail application of the accused.

According to sources, the case against the accused was registered on December 14, 1992, under Sections 124-A and 153-A of the IPC, in the Sector 31 police station. The police had also booked a senior advocate and a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in similar cases at that time. However, most of these cases were later on cancelled by the UT police following a decision of the Union Government.

Ramji Lal, while claiming that he was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case, told the Chandigarh Tribune before surrendering that a false case had been registered against him after the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. He said the police had arrested many persons belonging to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and the Vishva Hindu Parishad in 1992, but cases against them were cancelled later on. He said he was under the impression that the UT police had withdrawn the case against him, too.

In his bail plea, Ramji Lal has maintained that he came to know about his being declared a proclaimed offender only on June 21 when the police came to his residence to arrest him.

The bail plea further states that the applicant is a social worker and has not absented himself with mala fide intentions and that’s why he has surrendered in the court. Claiming that he has been falsely implicated in the case, he has stated that initially a DDR was registered against him. But later on when a case was registered against him, it was on different grounds than those mentioned in the DDR. He, therefore, has claimed that the case against him was false.

He has further requested that he be granted a bail as no recovery was to be effected from him. He has said that he was ready to furnish a fresh bail bond binding himself to appear in the court, whenever required.


Forgery of SC orders: notice to CBI
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 22
A local court today issued a notice to the CBI to file a reply on July 1, acting on a bail plea moved by an accused advocate, Arun Madan, allegedly involved in a case of forgery of Supreme Court orders. The accused had already been remanded in judicial custody till July 3 by a local court on June 21.

The accused had stated in his bail plea that he had been falsely implicated and needed medical treatment from hospital as he was suffering from many diseases therefore he deserve the concession of bail.

As per CBI charge sheet, Arun Madan had been booked by the CBI under Sections 420, 466, 468 and 471 of IPC under the directions of the Supreme Court of India. The CBI had alleged that Arun Madan had either himself forged the orders of Supreme Court or had procured the forged orders from some other source. The CBI had submitted a charge sheet against the accused on December 12, 2001. Later the CBI had issued a notice to the accused a number of times but he had failed to appear before the CBI on one pretext or the other.

On December 12, 2001 the court had ordered for initiation of proclamation proceedings against the accused, Arun Madan, as he had been absconding from the court since February 1. The court also forfeited the surety amount as the city resident who had given surety of the accused had failed to produce the accused before the court despite the fact the court had issued a number of warrant against the accused number of times.

Bail granted

Sanjeev and Harsh, who were arrested by the UT police under the Copy Right Act for allegedly selling pirated video and audio company discs, have been granted bail by a local court. They were granted bail on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 10, 000. A team of Super Cassettes Industries Limited had raided the two shops in Sector 19 and Sector 20 on June 20 and claimed to have recovered the pirated compact discs of T-series. A case was later registered the police station in Sector 19.


International artistes’ body formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
One more artistes’ association was today added to the existing list of bodies formed by artistes of the region. Christened International Artistes Association, the body of over 100 performing artistes from North India as also abroad, has some fresh items on its agenda, to start with.

Although going by the fact that the association is still in its fledgling state and hence will take a long time before it realizes its ambitious agenda, its members looked quite confident about the way things were progressing. In fact, having formed this association with active support from Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr Harcharan Singh Barsat, its founder members feel that the body will go a long way in helping artistes of the region secure their rights to a fair extent.

In order to formally announce the formation of this organisation, a conference was also called at Hotel Monarch in Sector 35 today. Although some element of confusion kept looming large over the function which started long after the scheduled time of 1 pm, its latter part was more or less convincing in that it focussed on the needs of the artistes from the region, many of whom have not received their rightful due.

Present on the occasion were Sardool Sikander, president of International Artistes Association, Bhagwant Mann, Kuldeep Manak and Mohammad Siddique. Present along with the members was Mr Harcharan Singh Barsat, who kept confirming active government support to the association.

To begin with Bhagwant Mann introduced the association and laid out its objectives. ‘‘We, as artistes, were concerned about offering our bit to the society. Also, we thought it was about time one solid organisation voicing a unanimous opinion of Punjabi artistes all over, was formed. This association is the result of merger of two bodies which have existed for seven years or so.’’

Interestingly, members said that they deliberately did not call the association a Punjabi association because Punjabi, by itself, is international in appeal.

Mann talked about the anti-corruption campaign of the Punjab Government and said that all artistes appreciated the CM’s efforts. He then went on to state the major objectives of the association, which include: Giving a unified colour to the segregated world of Punjabi music and theatre, seeking government support in order to help artistes get their routine official works done, and forming a fund whereby those artistes of Punjab, who are now in a state of destitution, could be helped as far as possible.

Mann added, ‘‘There are many organisations but the important part is whether they all stand up for the cause of each other. Through our body we aim to help the lesser known artistes who have to undergo a lot of trouble to get minor government tasks done. We have requested the government to help artistes with mundane jobs which can otherwise take days for completion. Moreover, we are also looking at helping many languishing artistes of Punjab, who despite having contributed immensely to the enrichment of Punjabi culture, are facing utter neglect these days. We will all contribute on a monthly basis, raise a helping fund so that such artistes don’t have to while away their lives just like that.’’

The members also requested the Punjab Government to create employment and training opportunities for people with talent in performing arts. Bhagwant Mann said, ‘‘Just as the government offers subsidies to many private organisations, it should build up some institutions to help hone the talent of Punjabi youth.’’ The idea is to stop talent from draining. A reference was also made to how singers like Harbhajan, Gursewak Mann, found fame when they returned to India. At the same time it was sad that talent from our own land was hankering after going abroad in search of greener pastures.

Mohammad Siddique, also present on the occasion, made a valid point by saying that the artistes should not be projected as demi-gods. ‘‘We request you not to see us independent of the society. We are very much a part of the social stream and we would like to be projected in that manner. We have seen how undue publicity harms. It is important to strike a balance so that the artiste does not think he is above the society.’’

Sardool Sikander, in his capacity as president, said that the society would work selflessly to promote the cause of artistes. He was seconded by Mr Barsat, who said that the government would offer full support to artistes, who mirror the social system.



‘Chhankatta-2002’ a satire on social issues
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 22
The name ‘Chhankatta’ is not something new for the Punjabi audience. So good news for those who have been waiting to get their funny bone tickled by this longest Punjabi audio comedy series as the ‘Chhankatta trio’ has come out with their 22nd volume, titled “Chhankatta 2002”, which was released at the Press Club here today.

‘Chhankatta 2002’, fully equipped with a video format which is being done for the first time, is a satire on multi issues, ranging from corruption to communal violence to Indo-Pak relations to inadequacy of our national leaders. “Though the main purpose of Chhankatta has always been pure entertainment, we also like to give out meaningful messages to society in a comic way,” said Jaswinder Bhalla, who plays the role of an uncle in the Chhankatta series.

The album has one more attraction, two songs, one of which was sung by famous Punjabi singer Sukhinder Sukhi and another by Jaswinder Bhalla himself, both bordering onto comedy. “Comedy is a tough job to maintain,” said Bal Mukund Sharma, who plays the role of a nephew in the series. “Every time there has to be something new to attract the audience and with no readymade script to work on, the entire success or failure of the album depends on us”, he added.

However, ever since its inception in 1988, Chhankatta has been riding in the crest of popularity. “When we recorded our first album in 1988, it had a tough competition from Malkit Singh’s “Tutak Tutak Tutia” album, but even then we managed to sell 4 lakh albums that year,” said Bal Mukand Sharma.

Inspired by Punjab rural folk comedians popularly known as ‘Bhand’, Jaswinder Bhalla and Bal Mukund Sharma had started a stage comedy when they both were studying at Punjab Agriculture University in Ludhiana. Later it took a professional angle when they decided to record their first Chhankatta and launched at Professor Mohan Singh Mela at Ludhiana in 1988 for the first time. The third artiste Neelu joined the group in 1996.

The trio who has made the Chhankatta series the longest Punjabi comedy series are highly successful in their respective profession. Jaswinder Bhalla is an associate Professor in PAU, Bal Mukand Sharma is serving as a Deputy Chief Manager in Markfed, Chandigarh, and Neelu is an advocate practicing in Ludhiana.


Environment-based songs of golden era enthral
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 22
The golden era of Hindi music was once again revived at Punjab Kala Bhavan today. Several amateur singers captured the magic of Mukesh, K L Sehgal and others of that period. The Environment Society of India organised this musical treat on the occasion of World Music Day. The highlight of the concert was that all the songs and ghazals sung today were related to the environment.

“Music has an eternal relationship with environment”, said S.K. Sharma, president of Environment Society of India, elaborating that the basic seven ‘sus’ of indian classical music owe their origin to nature and her creations. And since people these days are deviating from nature even in music and songs, Mr. Sharma organised the singers who still believe in the magic of the bygone era for this purpose.

The programme included R S Chopra’s K L Sehgal’s ‘Ai Phool Haskay bagh Main’ from ‘Parwana’ and Mukesh’s ‘Baharon nay jise chhera’ along with a few duets with his wife Radha Chopra like “Badariyan Baras Gaye Us Paar.” Bhupinder Singh, another well known singer of the city sang another K L sehgal song “Kisne yeh sab khel rachaya,” from the film “Dharti Mata.”

While Rama Sharma described the colours of spring in her composition “Pratham Bhandhan”, another singer Rajinder Singh captured the people’s imagination in his ghazal “Dhup nikle hai to badal ki rida mangte ho.” Madhbala who also participated in the programme rendered a few of her compositions related to environment.

Earlier, an “antakshari” competition was organised for the students of NIIT in which about 150 students from different branches of NIIT took part. The participants were divided into six groups. The competition was won by NIIT Mohan team followed by Sector 36 NIIT as first runners-up. The team from NIIT of Sector 11 was declared the second runners-up. The programme was anchored by Radhika.


Audience dances to Aashoo’s tunes
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 22
Bhangra beats echoed against the decked-up walls of a Sector 17 showroom as Punjabi pop artist Aashoo Punjabi crooned some of his latest songs in this evening today.

Aashoo Punjabi was in city in connection with the launch of his music album “Yaara Chakdoom”. He has composed, sung and written all eight tracks in the album.

A renowned name in performing circles of Delhi, Aashoo has recorded many jingles, has sung as a playback artiste for TV serials and telefilms. He has also performed at a number of stage shows and private gatherings. As a music director and a composer, he has lent his finesse to various projects undertaken by the Doordarshan and the local entertainment channels.

A large number of persons — the young and the not-so-young — gathered to hear the “new kid on the scene”. As he crooned some of his favourite numbers, the audience could be seen not only dancing to the wild beat of bhangra music, but also singing along with the “new sensation”.



‘Joyride’ no joy for the audience
Rajiv Kaplish

WHEN Lewis Thomas (Paul Walker), his brother, Fuller (Steve Jahn), and the girlfriend of Thomas, Venna (Leelee Sobieski) played a practical joke on a lonely truck driver over a Citizens’ Band Radio on a cross-country road trip, they did not know it was a game they would not play. The game would play them.

They thought that it would be a journey of joy, but never imagined it would turn out to be a ride of horror — their highway to the private hell of a psychopath who had war on mind and terror on wheels. Soon, the road would ring with their screams and shrieks.

“Joyride”, say the blurbs of the thrill-a-minute John Dahn movie . They should have called it “Terrorride”, given its propensity to make both its protagonists as well as the audience ride a rollercoaster of relentless psychological torment. As the layers of the deranged trucker’s pathological fascination for the macabre unfold, the screen becomes a battleground between the hunter and the hunted.

But whereas this tormentor-from-hell syndrome might have been lapped up in a big way by audiences abroad, back home it has hardly any takers as is evident from the near-empty houses to which it is running. The fatal flaw seems to be that while the fast pace keeps you riveted to the seat, the robotic performances of the main players deprive it of the cutting edge.

Steve Jahn and Paul Walker look more startled than terrified by the turn of events. The director has relied more on terrifying images and slick camera work than developing the characters of the little-known lead players. Incongruities like the psychopath picking up a friend of the lead actress and traumatising her in his captivty without even knowing anything about her are also not lost on the viewers.

But then, won’t it be too much to expect the lead players not to play a second fiddle to a narrative imbued with hues which are essentially dark and disturbing.



Dance contest held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Tagore Theatre was a site of hectic activity today, with Chandigarh Art Theatre holding a special dance contest under the title of ‘Masti Punjab Di’. The contest featured participants of various age groups.

As for the theme and nature of dances to be presented, the organisers had invited entries for Punjabi folk and pop dance contests, so there were participants dancing away on the most happening songs in the world of popular music. Awards of honour were presented on the occasion to Anish Kumar (best male dancer), Jassimrat Kaur (best female dancer), Brahm Kumar (best choreographer) and Vilas Malhotra (best anchor).

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