C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MoU with Canadian college signed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
An international industry academia meet was held at GGDSD College here today. The keynote address was delivered by Mr H.A. Bassford, President, UCFV, British Colombia, Canada.

Mr Bassford promised a fruitful relationship between SD College and UCFV in areas of curriculum development, teaching learning practices and research.

He also favoured liberalisation of higher education sector by the Government of India which has facilitated the exchange programmes between educational institutions of India and Canada, both at faculty and students level.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between Shalimar Infonet Private Limited and the college.

Mr Ajay Sharma, organising secretary of the conference, said that MoUs with Tally and NIIT are in the pipeline.

Dignitaries from industry were present for the talk during the technical session.

Mr Sofi Zahoor, Senior HRD Manager, Quark Media, discussed growth and employment opportunities in the area of Information Technology. Mr Prem Ojha, Business Head, HFCL Infotel, suggested ways to enhance student employability.

Mr Abrol Punit Kumar, Chairman, ICSI Northern Region, stressed on the introduction of practical aspects in academics and the need to provide practical training.



Spirited performance by children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The annual function at St Anne’s Convent School , Sector 32-D, concluded with a spirited and colourful prayer dance performance.

Talented actors showed remarkable confidence while enacting the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Melodious songs mesmerised the audience.

Angad, strumming on the guitar, regaled all with Melodic Toccata. Thematic plays like ‘Paradise Reclaimed’, ‘God’s Unconditional Love and ‘Disha’ impressed everybody. Topics like female foeticide, deforestation, career options and the Biblical play with a moral was much appreciated.

The chief guest on the occasion was Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary, Chandigarh Administration. Manager Fr. Ambrose, Principal Sr. Felicia presided over the cultural evening. Compering by Dhruv and Shreyika was appreciated.

Stepping Stones function

Students from pre-nursery to Class III of Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School , Sector 37 and 38, today celebrated their 23rd annual day sports meet at the Sports Complex in Sector 7 here today .

The children exhibited their sporting skills in various drills, gymnastics, aerobics and karate. Children from class pre-nursery to Class III also participated in relay races. Dandia dance and the Arabian dance stole the show. Certificates were given to the students with 100 per cent attendance in classes. Ms Bhupinder Banta Singh was the guest of honour. She gave away the prizes to the winners.


PU Notes
Experts present different facets of Punjabi history
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Dr Nazar Singh, Punjabi University, presented a critique on major historical works on Sikhism, which appeared from 1865 to 1925 during the second day of the national seminar on “Trends in Modern Historiography on Punjab”, which was organised by the Department of History.

Prof Joginder Singh, GNDU, said that a majority of early writers perceived Sikhism in monotheistic terms and the Sikh community as a homogenous entity, so that sects like Udasis, Nirmalas, Nirankaris and Namdharis have almost been ignored.

Mr Sumail Singh Sidhu, JNU, said that the political stance of various phases of the Sikh movement offer a better vantage point of looking at the Sikh identity.

Prof Sukhdev Singh Sohal, GNDU, presented a critique on the writings of British administrative scholars, who showed much concern with land rights and indebtedness.

Ms Manpreet Kaur, DAV College, Chandigarh, examined Christian missionary writings with reference to women’s work in households during the late 19th century.

Dr Raj Kumar Hans, MS University, Baroda, highlighted the exclusion of Dalit writers from historiographies of Punjabi literature with reference to the contribution of Sandhu Daya Singh Arif.

Prof Kamlesh Mohan, PU, criticised the principle of idealisation that dominated the thinking of scholars who interrogated the question of gender relations in colonial Punjab, but approved of the more sophisticated works in recent times.

Dr Sucheta Mahajan, JNU, focussed on the misplaced preoccupation of the histories of Partition with communal violence.

In his paper, Dr Bodh Prakash, Delhi University, said that the communal divide of the late colonial period was not reflected in Punjabi and Urdu fiction on both sides of the border.

Prof Aditya Mukherjee, Chairman, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, examined the repeated revival of colonial position on India’s economic development and emphasised on Punjab’s decisive breaks from colonial legacy.


The 72nd Orientation Course for College and University teachers was inaugurated by Prof G.K. Chadha, former Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University and presently the Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister yesterday.

In his inaugural address, he emphasised on the importance of the role of Indian teachers in the globalised society today. He said it was the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that the Indian education system does not become an Achilles heel in India becoming a part and parcel of the global society.

Prof R.C. Sobti, VC, PU, and Chairperson of the Academic Staff College, said the triangle between the parent-the teacher-and the taught was necessary to bring about any improvement in the education system.

Interactive session

Ms Geetika Kalha, IAS, Principal Secretary, Defence Services Welfare and Tourism, Government of Punjab, had an interactive session with the students of the Centre for Defence and National Security Studies, Panjab University.

She enumerated the facilities provided by the Punjab Government to soldiers, ex-servicemen, widows, disabled soldiers and their wards. She also answered various queries of the students regarding employment in defence services.

She shared her experiences as Home Secretary, Punjab Government, during the turbulent days of Punjab and the role and contribution of women in combating terrorism in the state.



Dazzling display of talent at Carmel’s annual fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Pranav Guglani of Class VIII bagged the Ashok Lakhera Memorial Rolling Trophy for the highest aggregate marks in Science and Maths (Classes VIIII to X on the 20th Annual Day-cum-Founder’s Day of Mount Carmel School, Sector 47-B, here today.

The Aparna Chakraborty Rolling Trophy for the highest aggregate marks in Science and Maths was clinched by Himansh Bagga and Avinash Kumar for their performance in the CBSE Examination conducted in March 2006

The Mrs Poonam Bhatt Rolling Trophy for the best student of the school was bagged by Jeremy Ben Thomas of Class VI-A.

The Mrs Surinder Bala Gupt Memorial Rolling Trophy for the best student of the school in cultural activities (Seniors) was awarded to Shreya Joshi of Class IX-C.

The Jefferson Samuel Charles Rolling Trophy for the best student of the school in cultural activities (juniors) was bagged by Khushboo Dhiman of Class IV-A.

The Rolling Trophy for the Best House in athletics was awarded to Shakespeare House.

Around 1,200 students of Classes Pre-Nursery to XI of the Chandigarh School as well as the Mohali Branch School presented an enthralling display of drills and dances.

The programme commenced with unfurling of the school flag. The Chief Guest, Mr D.R. Yadava, Regional Officer, Central Board of Secondary Education, Chandigarh Region, was awarded a Guard of Honour.

It was followed by a display of colourful and rhythmic drills and dances performed by the students of Pre-Nursery to Class XI.

Then came the heart-throbbing Bhangra- 'Punjab Di Dharkan' performed by the students of Classes VI to XI and The Awesome Nature, a North Indian Dance by the students of Classes VI to Classes X.

The students of the school also put up a mind-boggling Karate show titled 'The Dare Devils'.

The highlight of the show was the riding of a motorcycle over a student of Class XI of the school. After the prize distribution, the girls of Classes VII to XI presented a scintillating dance 'The Bengali Dainties'.

The programme came to a close with 'Save the Childhood'- a depiction on childhood by the students of Classes VI to XI of the Chandigarh School and the singing of the National Anthem.

Rolling Trophy for the most-disciplined class was awarded to :-

a) Junior Block- Chandigarh School: Class II-B

b) Senior Block- Chandigarh School: Class X-A

Mohali Branch School:

Classes K.G & VI

Rolling Trophy for the Best- Dressed class was bagged by:

a) Junior Block- Chandigarh School: Class I-B

b) Senior Block- Chandigarh School: Class IX-B

Mohali Branch School: Classes K.G. & VII

Rolling Trophy for the Best-Kept class was awarded to:

a) Junior Block- Chandigarh School: Class IV-A

b) Senior Block- Chandigarh School: Class VII-C

Mohali Branch School: Classes I and VI



2 students likely to suffer due to panel’s faux pas
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
Two students will suffer due to the carelessness of the Haryana Staff Selection Commission which has committed a faux pas in the despatch of letters for the written test of teachers to be conducted on December 10.

In a letter addressed to Anju Prashar, a resident of Ambala City, they have sent the roll number and venue meant for Ruchi Sharma, another candidate for the same examination, with a different address.

“We have given them a copy of the letter they have sent to us by mistake. I hope they rectify it at the earliest and don’t put our patience to test. Also, the other applicant would be equally worried about her roll number. So, we have submitted a copy to them, asking for immediate redressal,” the applicant said.



Annual Day celebrated at Smart Kids
Tribune News Service

Students of Smart Kids celebrate their annual day in Mohali on Saturday.
Students of Smart Kids celebrate their annual day in Mohali on Saturday.

Mohali, December 2
Students of a kindergarten school, Smart Kids, Phase X, here celebrated Annual Day today.

Children gave colourful performances during the function.

Educative performances regarding the proper use of modern technology like computers and mobile phones were also presented by the children.




Navtej Toor is new Bar Council chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Advocates Navtej Singh Toor and Balbir Singh Billing were elected the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, respectively.

Both the Bar Council members were elected unanimously in the polls held here today.

The Bar Council has also decided to start crash courses for candidates taking law entrance examinations for admission to reputed universities and law colleges.

It would also organise legal seminars for guiding young advocates. These seminars would be addressed by the Supreme Court and High Court Judges.

The council's Honorary Secretary added that the Bar Council would approach the Chandigarh Administration for allotment of land for establishing law college.

The decisions were taken during general body meeting held on Friday.

Practising at the Jalandhar district courts, Mr Toor did his law from Panjab University here.

Mr Billing, on the other hand, is practising at the Patiala district courts.

Addressing the Bar Council members, they both assured the lawyers that they would put in full efforts for the welfare of the fraternity.



When art becomes poetry
Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Sometimes art resembles a poetic composition more than it resembles itself. That’s when it becomes eternal, lending itself to impressions that one can behold forever.

Sanjay Kumbhkarni’s photographs have that very poetic element — one that liberates them from the trammel of idioms and techniques and places them somewhere higher, where a picture becomes a prayer and the process of viewing it becomes meditation.

So it was today, when the very talented photo-artist opened another of his exhibitions at the Punjab Kala Bhavan Art Gallery in Sector 16.

As always, his photographs told nostalgic tales about nature and its endless manifestations.

As you stood close to the magical mélange of images inspired by God, you actually felt the pulse of the moments passing by.

Next came the urge to cling to them and revel in their glory, lest the magic of the moment be lost.

Even if it is lost, the beauty is that you could retrace it to another of Kumbhkarni's frames that invokes the nature’s core with sheer abandon.

The show is aptly titled, “Have Heart” and all its components almost force you to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Also, it is difficult to term these pictures as pictures. They stand out in poetic folds, as was even observed by Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, who inaugurated the show this evening.

Smitten by the artworks, he said: “These are not photographic works. They are poetry. And I will come back to read them.”

Everyone visiting the gallery offered a similar response, underlining the worth of Kumbhkarni's frames which can be viewed at the gallery till December 8.

As for the themes of compositions, they are as immense as nature itself. Each work bares the best in nature.

From the pear tree in full bloom at the Rirkmar Forest Rest House in Kangra and the dead root of Umbu bush bobbing in the rivers waters to the grasslands around village Godiyara in Mandi and the wildflowers sitting next to a puddle in Mastrang Forests — the show mirrors the many wonders of existence.

The best of all frames traces its roots to Sikander Dhar forests in Mandi. It captures the setting sun in the backdrop of a pine tree. Its caption reads — “Nothing short of love-making — such intimacy between the sun and the pine tree; Believe me, I made this picture with a camera, a film and a pounding heart”.

Each frame inspires; each composition enraptures. You feel as though nature is singing out to you in hushed, romantic tones and in many different ways you have never experienced before.



Comedians hit at govt in new music album
Sarbjit Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Latest musical comedy by Bhalla-Bala duo is a loaded with sharp satire on the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre and the Punjab Government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh in the state. Satirical attack on politicians, the police and other departments of the state is incisive. Its contents will come handy for the Opposition in the coming Assembly elections.

It appears Jaswinder Singh Bhalla and Bal Mukand Sharma have not forgotten the humiliation they were subjected to by a senior officer in the Punjab Secretariat a few years ago. Bhalla recalls the moment: Loka nu jo hasse vanda se, Uh ve barkata, nal Bala ve do vang lishkata (Bhalla, who used to make people laugh, was beaten black and blue. And his accompanist Bala was also taken to task).

Making a telling comment on the Manmohan Singh government, Bhalla says it is a government whose brakes are in the hands of Lalu Prasad Yadav, signal in the hands of Left parties and track changer in the hands of Sadhu Yadav. Neither the Prime Minister can take the government's train to the left or to the right. He is to move the train on a track laid down before him by Ms Sonia Gandhi.

Another biting comment is on the award that was given by a weekly magazine to Capt Amarinder Singh declaring Punjab as the best state because of its performance in certain areas. While unemployed youths are beaten up by the police, farmers are committing suicide, pulses are selling at Rs 70 per kg, and poor people are unable to buy atta, the state and farmers are caught in vicious circle of debt, the government says" our state is a prosperous one. Bhalla says: Karje ch fasia vall-vall ai, award sanu milia, sanu patta sada suba khushal hai". In fact rising prices, unemployment, power failure, police excesses, suicides by farmers figure prominently in the album.

In fact, the police is at the receiving end in the latest album-Chhankata 2006- of Chacha and Batija duo. Excesses by the police on girl students at Punjab Agricultural University at Ludhiana figure prominently in the album produced to celebrate the silver jubilee of Chhankata numbers by Jaswinder Singh Bhalla, who is famous as Chacha and Bal Mukand Sharma, who is popular as Bhatija.

They are accompanied by Neelu, a woman artiste and there is a special appearance by Sardool Sikander, Saroop Parinda, Surinder Shinda, Balkar Sidhu, Sukhwinder Sukhi, Hardev Mahinangal and Hardeep Deepi in the latest album due to be released this week. How the police has been treating unemployed trained teachers, pharmacists, Aganwari workers, farmers and others at the Matka Chowk in Chandigarh finds mention in the album. Making fun of free power to farmers, the duo says when the power is not available most of the time in the rural areas, there is no harm in claiming it is given free of cost to the farmers.



Special children mesmerise at Plaza Carnival
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, December 2
"Shakhon se toot jayen vo patte nahin hain hum, Andhi se koi kehde ke aukaat mein rhe...” was a veritable summation of the courage, conviction and cultural bonanza put up by the 140 special children on the eve of the World Disabled Day at the Plaza here today.

Disablement of any type was no deterrent, as with the guidance and blessings of their teachers and sponsors, they did not seem at all to be the children of lesser God. Be it the handicapped children from Saket home like Nisha, with paralysis of both lower limbs, performing a dance number “dhoom” or Sunil and Rahul — with both upper limbs amputated — playing synthesiser with feet. Likewise, paralytic Suman gave vocal performance.

A large audience watched the special mega event, organised by the Centre for Carnival Arts and Chandigarh Tourism, supported by the Rotary Club of Chandigarh Midtown with The Tribune group of newspapers as the media sponsor.

After the carnival, president Manki Deep described the significance of the “World Disabled Day”. Students of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology gave a serene start to the programme, with Lalit presenting a devotional dhun on flute. Malti, Gagandeep and Harjinder sang film and folk songs. Students of the Institute for Blind took the centrestage to present Qawalli, group and Pahadi songs. Students from the Jai Durga Foundation of the deaf excelled in Gidha, bhangra and solo dances, while the Vatika School of Deaf and Dumb staged a harvest dance.

Teachers and students of the Government Institute for Mentally Retarded stole the credit for their live performance, which really moved the crowd. Principals, teachers and students of the above institutes graced the live show, ably conducted by Jaineder Singh of the AIR.



Purulia Chhau-abandoned but resilient
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Tarapad Rajak is devotion personified. Wedded to Purulia Chhau - an enchanting dance tradition that has fallen on bad days - he spends most of his time nurturing his group, one of the few that can dance this exotic form.

And in between the rigorous dance sessions that typify Chhau, Rajak visits his paddy fields regularly. His survival depends solely on the success of his crop. Chhau is simply a passion which brings no money.

But like a smitten lover who knows no reason, Rajak fancies his form, best known for the abandon of its masks. Unlike Mayurbhanj and Saraeikella Chhau, which convey a variety of themes and moods with music and expression, Purulia Chhau has a singular message - triumph of good over evil. It is this message which the mask serves to enhance. No wonder its creation is an industry unto itself and highly skilled artistes are engaged in the production.

But not all is well with the mask industry - once a part of West Bengal’s cultural landscape. The production of masks has been falling for obvious reasons. The masks are expensive, each one costing around Rs 2000 and neither the Government of India nor the Government of West Bengal is ready to support preservation efforts. The dance form is thus under tremendous stress and is crying for patronage.

But Rajak knows that's asking for too much. Although a regular on the international festival circuit, he says: "Purulia Chhau is a highly misunderstood form, one of the reasons being its mysterious nature. Due to lack of documents leading to its origins, it is associated more to imagination than anything else. Although we believe it emerged from the Parikhand martial art system - the one Parikhand soldiers practiced several hundreds of years ago - we are not sure."

And then there is the crucial element of theatre which distinguishes Purulia Chhau from the other two. More than a dance system, it is a form of non-verbal theatre which has no vocal element. The story contained in each number in Purulia Chhau is thus not narrated in words but shown by way of gestures and dance movements. To compensate the absence of the verbal element the dance has developed a stylised mimetic language and a well-knit grammar, says Rajak.

Even the musical patterns used in Purulia Chhau, as witnessed in the concert held at 3 BRD under SPIC MACAY’s umbrella today, are predominantly instrumental. Percussion is the king, with the musical texture coming from a range of folk instruments like dhol, dhumsa, pepti (a cousin of shehnai) and janjh.

In many ways then, Purulia Chhau is not just about classicism. It is equally a folk art form. In Rajak's words: "It is a blend of classical and folk motifs." The blend was visible in the piece which Rajak and his team presented. Titled "Mahishasur Mardini", it featured 15 Chhau artistes.



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