C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU Mass Comm Dept in for a facelift
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Known for churning out journalists of repute, the Department of Mass Communication at Panjab University is finally in for the much-awaited facelift. The department has been allocated new premises, where it will have triple the space it already has and will also have more facilities like a committee room, studio and media lab.

The new premises have been allocated in the newly constructed Arts Block No. 7 near the Law Department. The department will have the complete first and second floors to itself apart from one room on the ground floor. According to Chairperson Jayanth Pethkar, the department had been asking for more space for long and its demand was finally met before the summer vacation this year.

On the anvil is a state-of-the-art studio fitted with latest cameras and lightings. “The electronic media is the in thing and we do need to upgrade our department on that front,” says Mr Pethkar.

The new premises will also have a committee room where students can make power-point presentations.

Also proposed is the expansion of the computer room. The department plans to increase the number of computers from 15 to 25.

Though the university authorities have allocated the premises, the department will have to fund the new equipment. “We are hoping the department’s alumni will help us here with donations,” says Mr Pethkar.

The department is expected to shift within two months. “We have a few things still left to do; the furniture has to be placed and also the equipment has to be bought. However, as of now the faculty and students are just happy that they will all be finally under the same roof, unlike their present premises where the classes of the second-year students are held in another building away from the rest of the department, due to lack of space,” he says.

The Department of Journalism was founded in 1941 when Panjab University was in Lahore. After Partition, the department was revived in Delhi in 1948 and it shifted to Chandigarh in July 1962. It is now called the Department of Mass Communication.

The one-year postgraduate diploma course in journalism, which the university had been offering from 1941, was upgraded to the Bachelor of Journalism course in 1968. From the academic year 1979-1980, the degree awarded was the Bachelor of Mass Communication. From 1991-92, the department is offering the degree of Master of Mass Communication.

Besides training in print journalism, the department provides basic training in key mass communication areas of broadcast journalism, public relations and advertising. Currently the department has 40 students on its rolls in the first year.



Story-telling session at JB Modern School
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Students of JB Modern School, Sector 27, held a story-telling session here today. Students of Class III presented a tableau on Tamil Nadu and Kashmir. Traditional dances of these states were also presented by them.

Students of Classes IV and V enthralled the audience by their acting skills that they showed through one-act plays. Mythological, humorous and contemporary plays were also presented.

Senior Citizens’ Day: Senior Citizens’ Day was observed and a peace march organised by students of Classes XI and XII of Government Girls Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

The students accompanied by the Principal of the school, Ms K.D. Yadav, and some teachers interacted with senior citizens at the Old Age Home, Arya Samaj Mandir, Sector 7. Ms Kaushalya Devi (aged above 100), Ms Raj Suri, Mr Suresh Kumar Kher (aged around 60), Dr Prem Nath, shared their experiences with the students.

Government Model Secondary School, Sector 44, also organised a function to mark Senior Citizens’ Day on Saturday. The chief guests, Dr A.S. Ahluwalia and Dr Veena Parmar, highlighted the old age related problems and made the senior citizens aware of the importance of their required diet.

Ms Jiwan Lata Kaushal, Principal of the school, interacted with senior citizens.

Prominent among the senior citizens present on the occasion were Col S.S. Jhaj, Mr Ujagar Singh, Mr S.S. Bhati etc.

A cultural programme was also presented by the students.

Distributed: Government Model Middle School, Sector 23, organised a function to distribute free stationery to the poor students of the school.

Mr Arora, president of the Kusam Arora Trust, was the chief guest. Seventy students were given stationery.

Mr Bahadur Singh, Headmaster of the school, said the very poor students were being helped by various organisations time to time.

Mr K.D. Arora announced two scholarship of Rs 300 each for meritorious students of the school.



MBA courses launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
The Directorate of Distance Education of Pondicherry University has launched MBA degree programme in four streams — marketing, finance, international business and human resource management.

The two-year master degree programme will enable the students to understand the concepts of management and the perspectives associated with the 21st century economics. The four-semester degree programme consists of 20 theory papers and a project work.

Last date for applying is October 31and the admission centre in the city is at DAV School, Sector 15. More information can be obtained from www.pondiuni.org.



Freshers’ party at GGS College
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
GGS College of Modern Technology, Kharar, on Saturday organised a freshers party for the first batch of MBA students at Hotel Maya Palace in Chandigarh. Shreysi was adjudged as the Miss Fresher while Balraj was chosen Mr Fresher. Dr D.S. Taneja, Principal, welcomed the students. A cultural programme was the highlight of the function. Mr S.P.S. Sachdeva, vice-chairman and Mr J.S. Sudan, training and placement officer, also addressed the students.



PU Prof to present paper in Czech
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Prof Arun D. Ahluwalia of the Geology Department, Panjab University, will present a paper on "Ethical audit of tsunami fiasco: challenge before leaders, media and scientists" later this month at Pribram in Czech Republic.

In a communication to the department, Dr Zdenka Marcinikova (symposium secretary) and Dr Vaclav Nemec, CSc., (convenor of the International Section Geoethics and Association of Geoscientists for International Development AGID), has stated, “We have included this very interesting and actual contribution into the programme of the international section on Geoethics,” adding, “We have also decided to ask Professor Ahluwalia for co-chairing one of the sessions.”



Gian Jyoti Institute ranked 62nd in India
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 1
The Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology (GJ-IMT) has been ranked 62nd in the country by a survey carried out by the Business World. This was stated by Mr J.S. Bedi, Chairman, GJ-IMT, at a press conference here on Wednesday. He said Business World, in its issue on October 3, had published a list of top 100 managements institutes of India. The ranking were derived after careful analysis of different parameters like infrastructure, faculty, research and consultancy, admission and delivery process, networking with industry and placements Experts, appointed by Business World, visited different institutes and carried out personal verification of the data submitted to them.

Mr Bedi said it was a big achievement for the seven-year-old institute which was rated 82nd during the survey carried out last year. 



Pre-arrest bail for coloniser
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
A local court today came to the rescue of coloniser Amba Prashad, who was booked by the UT police for violating various Sections of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, and allowed the bail application filed by him.

“The petitioner has been able to make out a prima facie case for the grant of anticipatory bail. However, the petitioner shall comply with the directions, which were given by me in the interim order dated September 27,” Additional Sessions Judge M.M. Sharma said in his order.

The order came after complainant Anil Kumar deposed that “no threat was given to him by Amba Prashad at any point in time”. Another complainant, R.K. Rana, said two telephone calls were received from the accused around four days ago only and he was told that “he should not go against them (Amba Prashad and other accused)”.

The UT police had registered a case under Sections 420 and 120-B, IPC, and Section 12 of the periphery Act on September 16 against Amba Prashad and other colonisers.



HC moved against periphery (control) Act
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 1
A petition challenging the validity and applicability of the Punjab New Capital Periphery (Control) Act, 1952 has been filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The petitioners, Mr Didar Singh, chairman, Panchayat Samiti, Chandigarh, and others, have appealed that the Act should be declared to be no longer applicable to the Union Territory of Chandigarh and it should be quashed.

The petitioners have claimed that the Act ceased to be applicable in Punjab and Haryana as also Chandigarh by virtue of the provisions of the Punjab Re-Organisation Act, 1966. Saying that while the Governments of Punjab and Haryana adopted the Re-Organisation Act with certain modifications, the Central Government, which administers Chandigarh, did not adopt it, the petitioners have stated that even Parliament, has never enacted the law.

Also, all notifications issued by the undivided state of Punjab under the Re-Organisation Act ceased to be in operation in the areas comprising Chandigarh.

They have also stated that no area can be declared as controlled area and any area already declared as controlled area in 1952 can no longer be controlled.

Yesterday, after hearing advocate Ashwani Kumar Chopra, counsel for the petitioners, the Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Mr Justice, D.K. Jain and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta issued notice of motion for November 7.



Film Review
A virtuoso performance
Rama Sharma

In a canvas larger than life, “Maine Gandhi ko Nahin Maara” spans history. It encompasses the true freedom fighter’s spirit.

Additionally, a daughter clamouring for her father’s well-being is depicted wonderfully.

Anupam Kher as a debilitating professor with failing memory is to be commended at every step. Master Kher’s acting career spans many notable films, but here he hits a goldmine.

Urmila deserves credit for maintaining viewers’ interest through a plethora of upheavals. As a daughter of celebrated writer and professor, gripped by dementia, she does justice to the script benevolently. Leaving aside all her traumas, she engages herself in saving the father.

The script has its crests and troughs, which curves through the quagmire to some sort of authenticity. It wends its way to the climax with dexterity.

A childhood incident in the professor’s life sparks memories which lead to a trail of mental derangement incidents. He believes that he is being awarded punishment for killing Mahatma Gandhi.

The idea initially seems frivolous, but it sinks into you rather gradually.

The court drama, enacted towards the end to make the professor’s conscience guilt-free, caps the essence. That Gandhiji is a decoration piece at political functions and offices. But he is no more welcome in our hearts. Gandhiji, narrated through a mental derelict, comes across as one who is afflicted with the problems of modern India. Alongside, the director’s attempt to make it appear lifelike, which he does so admirably in the first half, collapses. Here he loses grip and theatre takes over.

The dialogues are simple and precise.

Bearing no semblance of history, it is director Jahnu Barua’s version of 2005 nationalism which, however, has limited appeal. — TNS



Khadi spirit symbolises simplicity: Faizal Khan
Gayatri Rajwade

He minces no words when he speaks, for the simplicity of his thoughts reflects in his expression. Seventy-year-old Faizal Khan rotates the charkha with the ease of a seasoned practitioner spouting wisdom and age-old truths. “Nothing is difficult in life, everything can be observed and picked up, except for studies,” says Khan giving a toothy grin.

To celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 136th birth anniversary tomorrow and to commemorate and celebrate the spirit of khadi and the charkha, Fabindia has organised this session with Khan for its customers to try their hand at learning to spin the wheel. Says Fabindia’s Manager, Diltaj Grewal, “This is to bring us back to our roots and remind us of our great handloom and hand weave tradition.”

Khan is the ‘protagonist’ of the session and as he sits in front of his charkha turning the wheel and spinning fine yarn from soft, downy cotton balls, he seems well ensconced now for the next one week.

Gandhiji once said, “If we have the khadi spirit in us, we would surround ourselves with simplicity in every walk of life. The khadi spirit means illimitable patience.” Khan epitomises the Mahatma’s words for he has been spinning the charkha since he was a child.

“I did a course in 1962 from the Punjab Khadi Ashram. One needs to do a course to keep abreast of changes, for no other reason. Tell me is there another reason?” His questions are pertinent for he seems to belong to a timeless age when materialism did not matter. “Even if I have torn shoes, I will live with that. Fashion is all for show with nothing going into the belly. One should live within what one gets.”

How does he feel being here with so many gawking novices around? Ask a silly question and get an acerbic reply! “What is the point of asking me how I feel? A city is a city and a village a village. Wherever your life is good for you, then that place seems just fine!”

Life constitutes eking out a living and although he spins his charkha, it is at weaving durries that he finds his happiness. “Everyone in our village at Kotvilla spins the charkha but you need to earn a living and durries bring in good money.”

For his ‘august’ presence at Fabindia, he is getting paid Rs. 150 a day along with Rs. 30 for travelling back and forth. “It costs me Rs. 19 from my village to the Sector 17 bus-stand, that is how far I live.”

Any last words on khadi? “The weaving process interlaces the yarn to create a fabric that breathes, So the material is ideal for summer when it is cooling to wear khadi and warm in winters.” And yes, all our ill health is generated from the synthetic stuff we wear! TNS



Zulfi Sayeed upbeat over ‘Taj Mahal’
Aditi Tandon

Presented by top models, Tommy Hilfiger’s winter collection made an impressive statement this evening.

Models like Zulfi Sayeed travelled all the way from Mumbai to endorse its new sportswear and denim collection that hit the stands today. Deeply into denim, Sayeed spoke at length about his stylistic trespasses that hitch have more to do with comfort than anything else.

“Comfort comes first. So I prefer jeans and shirts and everything else that facilitates movement of mind and body,” said the model.

In his kind of profession where stress level runs high, the statement makes a lot of sense. More so after he has given himself a chance for the big screen where comfort zones are all the more important lest acting skills should take a beating.

Last seen in the “not-so-hot” flick “Chupke Se”, Zulfi Sayeed will now feature in Akbar Khan’s “Taj Mahal”. Cast opposite a Pak-French actress (who’s singer Noorjehan’s descendant) already being raved about for her beauty, Sayeed is keeping his fingers crossed.

He says, “This is the biggest break I could have expected. The film is historical and has been shot on a massive platform. We are spanning ages in one film which is essentially devoted to love. In between there are odes to the Taj Mahal — the monument that gave India so much.”

Challenging though the assignment was, Sayeed quite enjoyed it.

“I am wishing for the audience’s exclusive attention this time. I have worked very hard on my acting prowess,” said Sayeed whose affair with the ramp continues as he remains upbeat about the way Indian fashion is evolving itself for global markets.

Aditya Bal, another model kid on the block, also agrees, “Our designers are going places and it feels great to be associated with them. Everyone has managed to lend class to his/her styles.”

A Sanawarian, Bal has been in the modelling circuit long enough to make a transition to Bollywood. And yes, he also has a film lined up and it is called “Rangeen”.

For female models Sonalika Oberoi and Monikangana Datta, who added value to Hilfiger collection this evening, there is still some time to go before Bollywood becomes a permanent stop.

Till then, ramp is a good place to hit! TNS



Play on Ranjit Singh to be staged in London
Harvinder Khetal

Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the ruler of current Punjab and Kashmir, not only came to be known as the symbol of national integrity and genuine promoter of education, but also defeated the ambitions of British till he was alive. His life and times, his outlook towards society and his acts of bravery will be staged in London shortly.

Born in 1780 at Gujranwala, Maharaja Ranjit Singh won his first war at the age of 11. Rising above the common social problems of the society like religious fanaticism and class differences, he had Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in his court and he used to fast with Muslims during Ramzan and celebrate Holi and Diwali with Hindus. It was only after his death on June 27, 1839, that the British could spread their rule over the entire country.

London-based NRI T.P. Singh has taken the bold step to stage the magnum opus based on the life and times of the great ruler. Hailing from Attari, a town near Amritsar, (the place from where Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army chief Shyam Singh Attriwala came) T.P. Singh, who is producing the play under his banner Punjabi Theatre Academy, will also direct it. He has earlier produced a Punjabi film “Dard Pardesaan De”.

Says he, “I am in Mumbai to make arrangements for this mega project, ‘Last Emperor of India’. I plan to shoot certain war sequences in Mumbai and Punjab. This play will also be staged in London schools as part of the Sikh Heritage project. As a ruler, Maharaja Ranjit Singh befits today’s times and his views on the social and religious problems are also inspirational.”

Well-known Bollywood stars like Raj Babbar, Gulshan Grover, Sushant Singh and Nirmal Pandey are being considered for major characters. After finishing his education in Amritsar, T.P.Singh settled in England. Through Punjabi Theatre Academy, he wants to spread the Punjabi culture throughout the world. His efforts have been lauded by Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Daljit Rana and Lord Navneet Dolhika.

The ‘Last Emperor of India’ will be staged in London in English. He plans to stage 25 shows in London. Later, the show will move to the USA, Canada, Mumbai and other Indian cities. Maharaja Ranjit Singh will also be staged in Chandigarh with local artistes. TNS


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