C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Set standards for newspapers, Dua asks English teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 6
“English teachers should try and bridge the divide between students who are conversant with English and those who are not,” said Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, here today.

Mr Dua was addressing a group of college teachers this morning as part of a week-long seminar for English lecturers on “Revisiting pedagogic concerns” being organised by the Regional Institute of English.

Mr Dua traced the evolution of English to being a link language and then moving on to ascertain its position as the global language. “Having been ruled by the British for over 200 years, at the time of Independence we had an advantage, though willy-nilly, over other nations in the language. However, after Independence we frittered away that advantage, mainly due to the language chauvinism that gripped various states,” he said.

Pointing out that an entire generation of students suffered at the hands of this language chauvinism in West Bengal and Gujarat, and some Hindi-speaking states, Mr Dua added that most states had now realised the importance of English as an international language. “It is not about giving up of what is old and ours but to ensure that our students have the same opportunities as everyone else,” he said.

Knowledge of English not only facilitated communication with the rest of the world, but also helped in accessing ideas from across the world, he added.

He appreciated the scientific temper displayed by leaders of modern India, who at a time when controversies surrounded the three-language formula, set up institutes like the Central Institute of English (Hyderabad) and the Regional Institute of English (Chandigarh, Bangalore) to enrich Indian students.

In the process of gaining a hold over other languages, English has also been instrumental in inspiring people to invest in science and technology. During the interactive session with participants, Mr Dua apprised the participants of the opportunities for the youth in the field of print journalism. In order to hone reading and writing skills of students, he suggested that the teachers should try and put up wallpapers in colleges to showcase their creative works.

Stating that teachers of English should be setting standards for English newspapers, he, however, counselled them to work towards bringing an end to the divide among English-knowing students and those who had no training in the language. “While it is important to ensure that those who know English should not suffer from a superiority complex, turning into snobs, you should put additional efforts and help students who suffer from complexes if they are not good in English,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Sharda Kaushik, Director, Regional Institute of English, apprised Mr Dua of the deliberations of the participants attending the seminar on the standards of improving English in India.



He is a master illustrator
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 6
The shock of white hair, the green beads around his neck and the effervescent sprays of energy all add to the alluring magic of celebrated French illustrator-comic artist Edmond Baudoin. For every line he draws is an act of music and dance and every sketch a song that sings to him.

In the city to conduct workshops for students from the Government College of Art, Sector 10 and the Fine Arts Department, Panjab University, at the behest of Alliance Française de Chandigarh (Sector 36) and the French Embassy, he believes that drawing is all about finding that sweet music within to succeed.

His own melody came to him at the age of three.

Born in April 1942, in an isolated village in Nice in the south of France, Baudoin spent most of his childhood drawing with his older brother Piero. However, his parents could not afford to send him to school (and he was terrible at studies too, he insists) and he started to train as an accountant while just in his teens.

It was much later, when he turned a respectable 33, that he decided that he must go back to his first love. “When you abandon everything to draw, that is true passion, especially since art was not considered to be a paying profession,” he smiles.

It was not easy to begin again. “The first time when I saw the drawing sheet in front of me, I felt empty in my head. I spent weeks searching for some sort of inspiration to strike,” he explains. Finally, two poems did the trick, one on a rainbow and the other written by poet Pablo Neruda. The illustration that followed had his image of the poet with a rainbow.

However, probe further and he declares that his motivation since then has been his own life.

After giving up accountancy, Baudoin started working on illustrations for various French magazines like ‘Circus’, ‘Pilote’ and ‘L’Echo des Savanes’. His first book was published in 1981 and he has since then illustrated more than 60 books. It was at this time that he also discovered contemporary dance which in turn had a tremendous influence on his work, bringing to the fore the rhythm within illustrations.

“The music of any two images is never the same and that is important. The blank spaces are silence and the lines constitute the sounds but you need to work on that silence to make music,” he says. Edmond Baudoin will conduct a workshop for students of S D College and the Government College of Art, Sector 10 at S D College, Sector 32.



College introduces course on human rights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 6
Dr A.N. Garg, Principal, Government College, Sector 11, here inaugurated the UGC-sponsored foundation course in human rights at the college yesterday. Dr Garg released a newsletter especially brought out by the departments of English, history, political science and sociology.

Dr Garg applauded this multi-disciplinary endeavour. He said the need of the hour was to reconcile rights and duties function smoothly. Dr Garg said the college was the first one in the region to be allotted this course in human rights.

The Principal on this occasion, congratulated the staff especially Principal Bhupinder Singh, for bringing this course to the college by writing to UGC in time. Dr K.S. Saluja, Vice-Principal appreciated the staff and the UGC for the introduction of the course.

Ms Saagiri Thapar, Head of the Postgraduate Department of English, welcomed the guests and said human rights mean so much in the present day world where the poor and the downtrodden were suffering. This foundation course would help the undergraduate students to understand the social, legal, constitutional and international aspects of human rights.



DAV-8 celebrates silver jubilee
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 6
The silver jubilee of DAV School, Sector 8, was celebrated with a cultural extravaganza here today. Decked up with flowers and colourful lights, the school wore a festive look.

Students put up an entertaining show which started with a Saraswati vandana. A lesson on the importance of preserving environment. Students of Classes V to VII depicted the danger of losing forests and animals in an action song. The action song was written, choreographed and directed by Mrs Anjana Sood, one of the teachers of the school.

Students of Classes II, XI-XII presented a dance drama "Harmony" depicting their views on unity in diversity, female foeticide and portrayed that they had the courage to fight all evils that came their way.

The Hindi play "Nav Chetna" depicted the sad state of the youth leading a direction-less life and also showed the ways in which they could be helped out. Students of Jagriti, a parallel school of children who hail from the underprivileged section of society, enacted a play "jagriti".

The school report was read out by Ms Santosh Bhandari, Principal, who apprised the audience of the progress made by the school in the past 25 years. She also spoke of the vision she holds for the school. The Principal also honoured the patrons of DAV institutions Mr Mohan Lalji, Justice Amarjit Chaudhry, Justice Bahri, Ms Suddha Poddar, Mrs Marriya and Mr R. Talwar.

The chief guest on the occasion was Mrs Asha Hooda, wife of the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda. She congratulated the students on their brilliant performance and gave away the prizes.



Teen education programme at KV
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 6
A five-day national workshop on adolescent education programme begun at KV-2, Chandimandir, yesterday. Col Sunil Kala, Chairman, VMC, inaugurated the workshop.

The aim is to encourage students to present their problems to master trainers. Special co-curricular activities would be planned to educate students in this regard.

Delegates from various KVs of the Chandigarh region are participating and were welcomed by Principal of host school, Ms Alka Gupta, and Ms N. Mohini, Principal of KV-1, Chandimandir.



Singing odes to Shirdi Sai Baba
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 6
Led by faith, Manhar Udhas has come a very long way. And behind him, he has left the charms of high life — one where happiness is measured in bank accounts and success in the number of appearances you make at launch parties.

Not that Manhar didn’t have such dates; he just didn’t want to keep them. This despite the offers he got after the golden rendition of “Lute koi man ka nagar” — the “Abhimaan” blockbuster for which he partnered Lata Mangeshkar.

What followed was an era of indulgence, marked by glamour and fame and everything else we, quite mundanely, associate with joy. But somewhere in his heart, Manhar Udhas was not content. He was craving for an unknown bounty, which came to him years later in 1986 when K. Razdan, a devout Shirdi Sai Baba follower and a public relations officer in Bollywood, said something to him that changed his life.

“He said he had had an instruction from Sai Baba. As per the instruction, I was to sing Sai bhajans and dedicate them to people. Something about Razdan was so convincing that I immediately conceded to the request. We recorded our first Sai bhajan album that year. It was titled “Sai Arpan”. It was the first instalment of the reward I had been looking for,” said Udhas, now a staunch Sai Baba follower.

In Chandigarh today, he spent an entire evening regaling Sai Baba devotees with his bhajans. The occasion was the 11th “Murti Sthapana Divas” celebrations of Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Sector 29. As he sang, he inspired a range emotions, the most common being tears. The singer himself was overwhelmed as he rendered one bhajan after another.

Bound by faith, he says he has had many real-life experiences with Sai Baba. “He comes to me in different forms, at different times. Sometimes I feel him in the fragrance when no incense has been lighted in the house; sometimes I see him in the saint at my doorstep when none would have been allowed in a high-security building. Sai Baba has said in his lifetime that he comes on the devotee’s call. And he always comes.”

No wonder, Udhas has never looked back on his film days with regret. He is happier in his new world, where the love of devotion is the sole guiding force for life.

And Udhas’s passion shines through his 15 Sai Baba albums which, in turn, drive millions of followers across the world. Such is the acceptance of Udhas’s style of rendition that his first album “Sai Arpan” is available in the markets even 20 years after it was recorded. Same is true of all 15 albums.

“For many reasons”, says Manhar, “I want to continue singing devotional Sai Baba songs. You wouldn’t believe but it’s a fact that Sai Baba has redeemed us from all situations. I have experienced his presence very often and have got his approval on situations whenever I have sought one. There’s no reason why I should regret any losses of any kind.”

But he does not fail to record ghazals. He has an album titled “Teen Mausam” with brother Pankaj Udhas. The two still travel together for concerts. “But not if Sai Baba desires otherwise”, the devotee rushes to mention.



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