C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Prof Charanjit Chawla retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
A former Panjab University Senator and lecturer at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, Prof Charanjit Chawla, retired today after putting in over 30 years of service. He was given a warm farewell by the college management, staff and members of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union. Showering praise on Mr Chawla, speakers spoke about his contribution to furthering education and projecting the cause of the teachers at various fora as an office-bearer of the PCCTU.



Bar poll case adjourned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Mr S.K. Singla, Civil Judge (Junior Division), today adjourned till February 2 a case challenging the election of the vice-president of the District Bar Association (DBA).

Earlier, Mr Ashok Chauhan, DBA president, and Mr L.R. Chadha, returning officer, sought more time to file their replies. Mr Manjit Singh Chohan, a vice-presidential candidate, had moved the court alleging that his surname was not printed on the ballot paper which had contributed to his defeat.

On the other hand, Mr Rakesh Mohan Jain, a candidate for the post of the secretary, alleging irregularities in the counting process, prayed before the court that he should also be impleaded in the case.

Meanwhile, three days after the elections, irregularities have been alleged in the counting process. Counsel for Mr Chohan, Mr Arvind Thakur, alleged that 15 had not been accounted for in the counting for the vice-president’s post.

He alleged that out of the total 884 votes polled, seven votes were declared “invalid”. This way, 877 votes should have been polled among the vice-presidential candidates. However, after adding up the votes of the candidates, the total comes to only 862.

Refuting the allegations, Mr Chadha said the number of “invalid” votes varied for every post. Since the ballot paper was common for all five seats of the office-bearers, the total number of votes polled for a particular seat was different as some voters had not voted for certain candidates, he added.



Law Institute: HC reserves judgement again
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 31
Judgement in the PIL challenging the alleged irregular allotment of land to Chandigarh Law Institute Private Limited in Sector 38-A, Chandigarh, was today reserved by the Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

This is the second time that the judgement in the high-profile case has been reserved.

Today, when the hearing resumed, the Bench of Chief Justice Mr Justice BK Roy and Mr Justice Surya Kant was informed by counsel for the UT Administration that the opinion of Attorney-General of India regarding the allotment is still awaited.

On the last hearing, counsel for the UT Administration had informed the Bench that the Attorney-General had returned the file without his opinion as the same had not been routed through the Law Ministry. The file was then sent to him through the Law Ministry.

Today, in view of its orders last week that it would only wait till January 31 for the UT Administration to take the opinion of the Attorney-General, the Bench proceeded with the hearing. It, however, allowed the parties to place on record any fresh material before Monday next.

Advocate Ajay Kaushik, counsel for petitioner Neeraj Sharma, again reiterated his stand that his client had the locus standi to move the petition. He also prayed that the accountability of the officers responsible for having caused alleged loss to the state exchequer by allotting land to the company at throwaway prices be fixed and action be ordered to be initiated against them.

On being asked by the court if he also sought de-barring the company from any future auction process, if any, Mr Kaushik replied in the negative. He said that his client's stand was that the allotment was irregular but the company had the right to bid for the land if the allotment was struck down as illegal.



In quest of ethereal melodies

Aloke Das Gupta
Aloke Das Gupta

“The human ear can only hear sounds within a certain range. Beyond that range the universe is full of music and I am striving to perceive those musical reverberation," professes California-based wizard maestro of Sitar, Aloke Das Gupta.

Born and raised at Jamshedpur, the musicologist and performer has tutored scores of disciples in Indian classical music besides enchanting the music aficionados in the West after he got settled in California in 1981.

The sitar exponent, known for his in depth study of music, brilliant playing technique and passion for innovation has established a glorious repute with his commendable performances at prestigious venues like Lincoln Corner (NY) Ford Theatre (LA) , Pale the Bozurat (Belgium), Universal Studio ( Hollywood) apart from shows worldwide.

His CD's — Caress of the Sitar, Soul of raga, Tragic King, Acuistico, Jugalbandi-Ecstasy of Strings and 'An Integral'—are making waves.

Holding allegiance to the 'Maihar gharana' of Ustad Allaudin Khan, young Aloke assimilated the finernuances of other gharanas to evolve as an accomplished sitarist.

Never being complacent, he studied music at the San Diego state university obtaining a master's degree in Ethnomusicology, which he feels will help in his pursuit of excellence in realm of musical arts of all traditions.

But practising and living the Indian classical musical traditions is the solitary path to attain spiritual perfection as the mystic musician Nikhil Banerjee was blessed to accomplish, believes Aloke Das.

Aloke Das Gupta disclosed to the Chandigarh Tribune that Indian music, especially the Sitar, has gained immense popularity with the Americans and they learn it religiously in his school 'Raaga Ranjani'.

Besides, he is running three music centres of the Pracheen Kala Kendra at Los Angles, Portland (Oregon) and Washington. His wife Sanjugta Gupta, a versatile vocalist, assists him in running these ventures of love.

Various institutions, run by American artistes, also teach Indian classical dances and music but very few of them are the performers.

"Sitar, Samosa and Gulab Jamun are the admired words there," laughs Gupta.

"As regards the patronage for organising programmes or performances, the Indian artistes are better paid. But the high profile rich or moderate Indian citizens are very discouraging as compared to Americans who donate liberally," rues Gupta.

"All this I owe to my revered Guru Ustad Ali Akbar Khan who along with the most marveled maestro Pandit Ravi Shanker had visited my 'Raga Ranjani' and his blessed words 'Aloke has done me proud' rejuvenate my resolve to meditate musical arts," sighs off Aloke.



Raj Babbar back to his roots

Raj Babbbar, who started his career with Punjabi films and then made it big in Bollywood with hits like Prem Geet, Insaaf ka Tarazu. Maya Memsaab, Umrao Jaan and Barasat, talks about his life. The actor turned parliamentarian says: “Acting is my identity and I do it to keep myself alive and throbbing. Politics is my social commitment and my responsibility.”

Here is a man who always heeds to his conscious. After 25 years in the industry, he is back to his roots, all set to take Punjabi cinema to new heights.

His Punjabi films include Naseebo, Aasra Pyar Da, Long Da Lishkara and Shaheed Udham Singh among others. He has done many negative roles that have left a deep impact on the audience.

He is in the city to shoot for Punjabi film “Yaaran Naal Bharan”. He is playing the character the father of the main lead.

When it comes to films, the films made during the sixties hold a special place in his heart. An admirer of Guru Dutt, V. Shanta Ram and Raj Kapoor, he says he wants to carry on the tradition they established.

He has many other projects in hand, including “Paanch Din”, “Bunty aur Bubbly”, and “Haseena”.

Talking about the generation gap he says: “There are lot of change taking place which are difficult to accept. But we elders need to be more understanding.” OC



Kashmiri handicrafts on display

An exhibition of the best of Kashmiri handicrafts from pashmina to paper machie items, walnut wood items to embroidered wall hangings, is now on at Panchayat Bhavan, Sector 18.

The Mughal Handicrafts Cooperative Society, a government supervised undertaking, from Srinagar, has brought the choicest embroideries on shawls, bedcovers, cushion covers among others.

Being held annually in the city since 1989, the society has on sale colourful paper machie table lamps, frames, bells, boxes, vases and plates which are reasonably priced from Rs 120 onwards.

Also available are crewelwork double and single bed covers in matching colour schemes as also wall hangings and cushion covers in chain stitch in eye-catching combinations.

While plain pashmina shawls are on sale from Rs 5,500 onwards, embroidered shawls cost Rs 10,000 and above. Shawls in semi-pashmina and wool are also on display along with namdahs, suits, phirans, jackets and stoles.

The exhibition, on till February 11, boasts of intricately carved walnut wood lamp stands and tables in different shapes and sizes.

Show pieces in walnut wood have also been exhibited. In leather goods, the exhibition-cum-sale has a collection of bags, purses, wallets and gloves. — TNS


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