Friday, September 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU teachers plan mass casual leave
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Members of the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) will proceed on mass casual leave on the first working Thursday of October to protest against the non-acceptance of their demands pertaining to social security, career advancement schemes and age of retirement.

The decision was taken at the general house of PUTA held at the Department of Chemistry, Panjab University, here today. While no teaching or research work would be carried out that day, members were in favour of involving non-teaching staff in the protest to bring the entire working of the university to a halt.

The general body decided that the executive of PUTA would prepare an action plan to intensify the agitation if the university authorities failed to give a positive response.

Agitated teachers were informed that the Vice Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, had told a delegation of PUTA to meet him after a few weeks on their demand. This, too, did not go down well with the teachers who said Panjab University was the only university in the region which was not giving pension to the teachers.

They claimed that in the absence of social security especially since the interest of provident fund had been reduced from 10.75 per cent to 7.5 per cent, teachers would prefer jobs in other universities.

Earlier, a senior activist of the PUTA, Prof I.M. Joshi, inaugurated the website of the association. 


Students awarded diplomas
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 18
About 40 students of the Canadian Institute for International Studies (CIIS) were today awarded diplomas at a function held at Forest Hill Resort on the outskirts of the city, which marked the first convocation and third founder’s day celebrations of the institute.

A high-level delegation from Georgian College, Canada, which is the partner of CIIS in India attended the function. The delegation comprised Ms Cheryl Simpson, vice-president, Academics, Mr John Bobbette, vice-president, Student and International Services, Ms Barbara Marshall, Dean, Business and Management, Ms Kate Beatty, Director, Career and Student Services and Ms Kimberly Gooderharm, a representative from the city of Barrie. Dr Yogna Swami Sundra Rajan, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University was the chief guest on the occasion.

Ms Cheryl Simpson, after according a warm welcome to students gave away diplomas and certificates to the students of different streams like the two-year cooperative diploma for computer programmer, three-year cooperative diploma for computer programmer analyst and bachelor’s degree in computer applications. She was accompanied by Mr Aarti Katoch, Academic Officer, CIIS, India, and Ms Barbara Marshall.

Special awards were given to students who excelled in academics as well as sports. Ms Poonam Dhillon was honoured as the “student of the year” while the scholarship award was given to Ms Jaspreet Saini for their outstanding performance in academics and extra-curricular activities.

A cultural show was presented by students. Starting with a traditional welcome dance, the students staged a skit portraying youngsters neglected by their busy parents and how they coped up with a stressful life. The CIIS band, Impulse, played peppy numbers. The cultural show concluded with a bhangra item.

An outdoor auto show was also organised by the CIIS in collaboration with the Canadian Automotive Institute.


Home Science College girls win 4 titles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Government Home Science College, Sector 10, celebrated Environment Week from September 15 to 17. The college has planted 300 odd saplings since the inception of the new session.

On September 15 a few more saplings were planted by the Principal, staff and students. On September 16 and 17, the college hosted a number of inter-college competitions like land-scape, poster-making and collage, flower arrangements, embroidery, floor decoration (rangoli) and paper reading. There was an over-whelming response in general whereas the paper reading contest saw an unprecedented participation. Home Science College won four of the contests.

Eleven colleges teams (comprising 35 odd students) vied for the coveted prizes. Dr A.S. Ahluwalia, Department of Botany, Panjab University and Dr (Mrs) Indu Tiwari, Department of Modern History, Panjab University, sat for almost four hours to judge the participants.

The principal, Dr Usha Dhawal, was the chief guest and Dr S.K. Sharma, President of Environment Society of India (Chandigarh Chapter) was the guest of honour.

The results: Land-scape — Harmanjit Kaur (GCE-20) 1; Kunal Kashyap (DAV-10) 2; Trishna (GPM-10) 3; Poster-making — Kamalinder (GCE-20) 1; Arshdeep Saini (DAV-10) 2, Nehal (H.Sc.-10) 3; Collage — Maninder Kaur (DSE-36) 1, Shewta Deep (GCE-20) 2, Saravjeet (GCE-20) 3; Flower arrangement (fresh) — Cheeri (H.Sc-10) 1, Tanu (H.Sc-10) 2, Neha (GCG-11) 3; Flower arrangement (dry) — Meenal (H.Sc-10) 1; Embroidery — Kanika Jindal (H.Sc-10) 1, Rati (H.Sc-10) 2, Maninder Kaur (DSE-36) 3; Rangoli (saw dust) — Vanita (H.Sc-10) 1, Manju (H.Sc-10) 2, Esha (DAV -10) 3; Rangoli (flowers) — Jasjeet Kaur (GCG-42) 1, Navneet Kaur (GCG-42) 2, Maninder (DSE-36) 3; Paper reading — Rimmy Bhardwaj (GSE-20) 1, Anjali Vashisht (GCG-11) and Lalit Jain (GCM-11) 2; Neha Nagpal (GPW-10) 3.

Supriya from the host college was given a special prize in the paper reading contest.


Exhibition on aviation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
School students of the city got a glimpse into the world of aviation at an exhibition organised by the Aeronautical Society of India here. The exhibition is being held to commemorate 100 years of aviation.

The exhibition has been divided into five parts, which cover history, military aviation, civilian flying and the aviation scenario in India. A separate section displaying prize-winning entries of painting competitions organised by the society for schoolchildren has also been put up. A total of 45 posters, formed by merging over 300 photographs and illustrations, have been displayed.

A caption contest has also been organised. Visitors are required to give a caption for one of the posters displayed at the exhibition. While the morning session is reserved for students, the exhibition is open to the public in the afternoon.

The three-day event was inaugurated by the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr R.S. Gujral. He also released a book on aviation, “Flight : The Basic Book”, written by a city-based retired IAF officer, Wg-Cdr D.P. Sabharwal. The book deals with all aspects of aviation, tracing the history of flight, milestones, and the present future scenario in military as well as civilian fields. The well-illustrated book also deals with the technical aspects of flying.


Interactive session at PEC

Chandigarh, September 18
The NSS unit and the Rotaract Club of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, is organising an interactive session, 2003, on September 19 at 5.30 p.m. in the college auditorium. The Principal, Mr Baljeet Singh Kapoor, head of various departments and faculty members will be present. TNS


District courts
Ex-Superintendent seeks anticipatory bail
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 18
Retired Superintendent of UT Administration, K.B. Goyal, who was earlier booked by the CBI in a corruption case along with the former UT Home Secretary, Mr N.K Jain, today moved an anticipatory plea apprehending that he might be arrested by the UT Vigilance Department in another corruption case. Pleading that he was innocent, and had nothing to do with the case as claimed by the Vigilance Department recently, he had moved an anticipatory bail in the local court.

5-yr RI for three

Three city youth — Ramesh Arora, Surinder Arora and Navneet Arora — who had assaulted a student of Panjab University on the eve of New Year in 2000 were today sentenced to five-year rigorous imprisonment by a local court.

A fine of Rs 1000 each was also imposed on the three by the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr J.S Klar, in an attempt to murder case.

The complainant, Mr Harmeet Singh, had complained that on December 31, 1991, he was coming back to PU along with friends after a party at a club in Sector 36. He added that while they were crossing Gate Number-2 of PU, a car overtook by hitting their car.

Later, they were stopped by the three accused who were in the car and after some altercation with them he left the place. Giving details the complainant added that after leaving his friend in Hostel Number-5, when he was on his way to Sector 36. He was attacked by the accused who were armed with baseball bat, stick.

The complainant alleged that the three had hit him on his head with an intention to kill him and a blow from broken baseball bat had penetrated his right eye. As a result of that, he had lost his right eye.


Corruption case against Bhattal 
Anand gets nod to represent Punjab
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, September 18
A Member of Parliament and Supreme Court advocate, Mr A.K Anand, has been given green signal by the UT Administration to appear on behalf of the Punjab Government in a corruption case pending against Agriculture Minister and former Chief Minister of Punjab Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, in Chandigarh District Court.

The corruption case against Ms Bhattal will come up for hearing in the court of UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr R.S Baswana, tomorrow. Mr Anand was asked by the UT court to produce UT Administration notification to appear in this case.

Sources in the UT Administration informed that the latest notification has been issued taking note of the Punjab Government's plea seeking the appointment of Mr A.K Anand as Special Public Prosecutor in Bhattal's case.

Being one of the most high profile cases involving top politicians, the case has been attracting a lot of media attention.

The interest in the case has increased as apart from the involvement of top Punjab politicians, renowned legal luminaries, including Mr A.K. Anand, Mr P.N. Lekhi and Mr Vijay Singla, will be seen in action in the court.

It was following the objection raised by the District Court, that Mr Anand's appointment should be made by the UT Administration and not the Punjab Government that the matter was finally sorted out.

Mr Anand was appointed by the Punjab Government to appear on behalf of the Punjab State against Ms Bhattal in a case of corruption registered against Ms Bhattal, by the Punjab Vigilance Department. But during the hearing of Ms Bhattal's case on September 12, when Mr Anand informed the court that he was a senior Supreme Court advocate and had been appointed as Special Public Prosecutor by Punjab Government to argue the case, the court objected to his appearance. Thereafter, Mr Anand had been asked by the Judge that he required UT Administration’s notification regarding his appointment as Public Prosecutor to appear in the case and not the Punjab Government order.

Ms Bhattal was allegedly involved in a case pertaining to corruption and embezzlement of Rs 20 lakh from the Chief Minister's relief fund in 1996. The FIR in this case was registered against Ms Bhattal on May 22, last year at bureau's police in Ferozepore Range on the complaint of Mr Balwant Singh Dhillon.


Understanding theatre as democratic art
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Despite having held various government positions as a senior bureaucrat all his life, Daya Prakash Sinha remains a bitter critic of the system’s flawed policies that have caused the degeneration of arts, particularly theatre, in India. Himself having observed the functioning of government agencies as Secretary Culture, Uttar Pradesh, and earlier as founder-secretary of the Sahitya Kala Parishad, Sinha is a strong votary of the cultural administration sans government interference.

A quintessential dramatist, with 13 published plays and a Sangeet Natak Akademi award for 2003 behind him, the retired bureaucrat has always been roped in for prime postings for his ability to set things on the right track. Currently handling twin charges as the national convener, BJP Cultural Cell and also vice-president, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Sinha is labouring hard to revive theatre in whatever little way he can. He, however, declares that selective patronage practised on the part of the government all these years has virtually led to declining theatre standards in India.

“India has no theatre tradition worth the name or standing. Theatre groups simply get permission to perform and share whatever they have to. Had theatre succeeded in transcending the mundane by reflecting aspirations of the people, we would have been waiting in line to buy tickets for classic theatre shows. But that has not happened. Thanks to government interference, theatre remains in its nascent state in India.”

In Chandigarh to overview the arrangements for the presentation of his play, “Mere bhai mere dost” at Tagore Theatre, the playwright-director reasoned that the government’s support to performing arts should be restricted to the realm of infrastructure. “They should not bother about the final product. Artistes should be left with the freedom to create.”

As chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sinha, worked a great deal in Lucknow where he provided for small and big auditoriums to attract creative people from all strata. Born in Allahabad during the times when litterateurs like Mahadevi Verma, Sumitra Nandan Pant and others were enriching the social milieu, Sinha could not remain untouched by the high tides of creativity. He began his career in performing arts as an actor in a Lakshmi Narayan Lal play, “Taj Mahal ke aanso”. From there he went on to author 13 celebrated plays, the most acclaimed being “Katha ek kans ki,” which has even been prescribed in the courses of five universities across India, including Delhi University.

Sinha’s most recent play, “Itihaas”, has also earned rave reviews for its massive historical and emotional base. The play recalls the freedom struggle and reminds the rudderless youth of its outstanding obligations towards the nation.

Known for the stage worthiness and literary quality of his works, Sinha was also very vocal in his criticism of the so-called experimental brigade in theatre. He said, “The Natya Shastra clearly hails all theatre as ‘prayoga’ or experiment. So what are some people doing by practising vague things on stage and then claiming that it is classic and experimental? We must understand that theatre is a democratic art and unless we reflect the aspirations of common people, it will never impact anyone.”


Let peace prevail!
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Overemphasis on emotion is a good thing, but only when it is absolutely indispensable to the content and form of the presentation. In a reverse case, it can boomerang, causing damage to an otherwise well-worked-out and well-conceptualised script. Something similar occasionally happened on the stage of Tagore Theatre this evening.

Much awaited for its strong patriotic base, Daya Prakash Sinha’s play, “Mere Bhai Mere Dost” raised the most relevant of questions and managed to hold the attention of the audience for a good two hours. However, sometimes it lost out on giving a professional presentation. Set in the backdrop of the post-Partition days, which had Pakistan itching to devastate a progressive India, the play touched the heart, but for some faltering by the actors, which spoilt the harmony of a sensitively woven script.

To talk of unity in these times surrendered to strife is not easy, but playwright-director Daya Prakash Sinha emphasises peace against all odds. The story rests on the conflict between order and discord, symbolised by a character divided between the expectations of two worlds.

As a Pakistani, Yaseen has been indoctrinated with propaganda against India. Such is the impact of divisive forces on him that he conveniently walks over his past which had his father sacrifice life at the altar of freedom. Feigning affection, he returns to India to live with his uncle, Dr Mirza (played by Vijay Singh), who is a Muslim wedded to peace. The schemes are well-defined for him and the strategy clear — to reinforce violence in India and bring disaster upon it.

Gaurav Srivastava as Yaseen manages to do justice to the highly contradictory character, but is unable to hold the audience’s interest at times. The play of emotions between members of the family which has reunited after a long spell of pain is understandable, but not so well-enacted. The play, however, progresses well, unravelling the nefarious designs of Yaseen and his friend, Harish, who are agents of the Pakistani intelligence in India.

The irony of the situation is reflected when Yaseen, who starts off by feigning love for Dr Mirza’s daughter, ends up falling in love with her. As love makes room in a heart fed by hatred, the role reversal begins. All roads to evil suddenly seem to go nowhere. As Yaseen begins to feel the unbearable pain which his baggage of hatred causes, he cows in to his moorings.

As he throws away all secessionist schemes to embrace his roots, the power of love suddenly surfaces. It makes Yaseen surrender in the interest of goodness and unity. Some errors in presentation notwithstanding, the play made an overall impact on the conscience.

It is relevant in current times, when India is beginning to resemble its old cast-ridden and ethnically-marooned image. The playwright has used his art to suggest means of taming the tempest of communalism.


New Releases
A story of underworld dons

“Boom” will be released at KC, Chandigarh, and KC, Panchkula, on Friday. The film is written and directed by Kaizad Gustav for producer Ayesha Shroff. Bombay Boys’ was the first English film in Indian Cinema and Kaizad was the pioneer. With Quest Films’ Rs 20-crore project “Boom”, he is ready to take the centrestage again.

It is the first Indian film to be promoted at Cannes and also the first to be co-promoted by Fashion Channel (FTV) across the world. Three international models and six fashion designers have worked for the film that revolves around a trio of underworld dons. Amitabh Bachchan plays Bade Miyan, the richest crook in the world, Gulshan Grover plays medium miyan and Jackie Shroff plays Chhote miyan. Javed Jaffri, Madhu Sapray, Salman Rushdie’s on-off girlfriend Padma Lakshmi, Katreena Kaif, Seema Biswas, Zeenat Aman and Hollywood beauty Bo Derek also star in the film.

Shot in sync sound in Mumbai, Dubai and a luxurious resort in Sri Lanka in 63 days, “Boom” has been made with an international crew of technicians. Cinematography by Himman Dhamaija, costumes by Anna Singh, music by Talvin Singh and Sandeep Chowta are other major credits. Sanjay Jumani and Mel D’ Souza are the executive producers.

* * *

Murder mystery

Suresh Sharma, assistant director to Anil Sharma, is coming this week at Batra, Chandigarh, with his film “Miss India - The Mystery” as a producer. It is a murder mystery set in the backdrop of Miss India contest that exposes the ugly side of beauty. It is all about the world of glitz and glamour in which new comers Inder Kochar, Manoj Varma, Prashant, Surya, Nafisa, Dolly, Barkha Khandelwal, Mallika Nayyar, Saher play the lead roles.

Made under the banner of Rukmanie Arts, the film is directed by Pradeep Maini, a theatre artiste from Benaras. Anand Milind has composed the music.



‘Big Indian’: with a big aim
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Ayush Maheshwari “Lose weight?” asks Ayush Maheshwari, a US-trained IT professional-turned-pop singer in mock surprise. “If I lose weight, I will feel like an actress without make up,” he quips with a wink.

Weighing 200 kg, he has turned his biggest handicap into his biggest asset. “I gave up all attempts to lose weight long ago even when I was the butt of an unending stream of jokes and jibes. Instead, I began to concentrate on what I wanted from life,” he recalled in an interview with TNS here today. And he was not disappointed. At the age of just 26 years, he has been able to achieve what many others would have taken a lifetime to achieve.

In the city to launch his pop music album, “Big Indian” as Ayush is known to his friends and colleages in the USA, he outlined his philosophy of life to TNS. He was born in Kolkata in 1977 into a very successful business family that believed in hard work as a way of life.

His schooling was completed in Kolkata, and he graduated in Information Technology from Marquette University in the USA in a record three years for a course that takes four years to complete.

A highly energetic personality and his passionate involvement in everything he does, made Ayush a hit in his personal and professional life. While as a student, he had a successful internship at GE Medical Systems and also at Goodwill Industries in the USA.

He became one of the youngest directors to work at Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Inc. USA, a Fortune 200 company. “Big Indian’s” biggest assets are his larger than life personality, down to earth nature and ability to connect with people.

He recalls that his search for a medium to take his message across to the people of India evolved with a chance meeting with Virgin Records. Music and its power to influence people coupled with “Big Indian’s” desire to reach out to people saw them come together, and spend more than 18-20 hours a day in making the album a reality in such a short time span.

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