C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Create victim compensation boards: Justice Garewal
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Mr Justice K.S. Garewal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today called for the creation of victim compensation boards at the state level to ensure the giving out of fair and adequate compensation to victims of human rights violations.

Mr Justice Garewal was delivering the valedictory address during the conclusion of the two-day conference on ‘Human Rights Education’ organised by the UGC at Panjab University here today.

Mr Justice Garewal pointed out that both Punjab and Haryana had in their kitty over Rs 35 crore collected as fines ordered by the court and such amounts can be used to create a corpus for these boards. He said he had prepared a module for a legal outreach programme of the legal service authority. “Similarly, human rights education should have a module of community outreach and generate awareness against female foeticide, dowry menace, rain water harvesting and environment, education, drugs de-addiction and rural indebtedness,” he said.

He said in the next 10 years an all -India Human Rights Service should also be in place on the lines of the International Human Rights Service. Stressing on following an inter-disciplinary approach in human rights education. Mr Justice Garewal suggested that economists, doctors, nutritionists and environmentalists should be associated with human rights education programmes.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr VK Sibal, a former member of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, said human rights were as old as the time when man-the animal evolved into man-the human. He said while efforts had been made to protect the rights of man, a sustained effort in this direction was still a formidable challenge.

Giving an example of the appalling extent of human rights violations, Mr Sibal said a father once approached the human rights commission stating that his daughter had been gang raped. “He said the accused had promised to pay him Rs 10000 to not to press proceedings in the case which he had done but the accused had not paid him the promised money. He wanted to know if the commission could help him get that promised amount. This is the state of human rights,” he said.

Critically analysing the functioning of human rights commissions, Mr Sibal said commissions worked on the presumption that the citizen had to be protected against the state alone. “If there is a complaint against a government servant they will take it up, but in other cases they will not act. Also the judicial and non-judicial members of the commission do not work together which results in contradictory orders and perceptions,” he said, adding that those working in human rights commissions are also not necessarily qualified in the area of human rights.

Earlier, the recommendations made for human rights education for the 11th plan generated during the deliberations of the conference were announced.

These included an emphasis on an inter-disciplinary approach in human rights education, inclusion of empirical and filed work, translation of reference material in national and vernacular local languages, inclusion of exclusion centers in the gambit of education, creation of counselling centers, human rights chairs and nodal centres.



Create culture of human rights: Ex-CJ
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Former Chief Justice of India and Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University Justice A.M. Ahmadi yesterday called for the creation of a culture of human rights through education. Justice Ahmadi was delivering the inaugural address of a two-day conference on human rights education: the right approach, organised by the Department of Laws, Panjab University here yesterday.

He stated that the subject of human rights was important as it touched every human being across the world. Justice Ahmadi pointed out the need was not just to create awareness of human rights but to create a culture that harmonised conflicting social realities.

He said while various international declarations of human rights that had been adopted by the Indian Constitution reaffirmed faith in the dignity of man, these remained largely unimplemented.

“We have not been able to create a culture of human rights in India. Every day we hear of instances of police brutality where human rights are violated. Now we even have instances of violation of human rights in courts,” he said.

“Why cannot we, as an experiment take away the lathi from the policeman,” he said. While delivering the keynote address the Vice-Chairman of the UGC, Prof Mool Chand Sharma, said human rights education should be a part of the society’s ethos.

“Compartmentalisation of education in primary secondary and higher education is acceptable at a technocratic level but for human rights education a holistic approach is needed, he said.

Stating that no other movement in history has been as strong as the human rights movement Prof Sharma added that the human rights philosophy had influenced cultures through the various generations of human rights. “but this journey of one generation of human rights starting from civil and political, to social, economic and cultural rights and then group rights is a continuum of a journey and very soon we will be faced with the fourth generation of human rights,” he said.

He added that the unique situation caused by globalisation will pose a challenge to all generations of human rights. The foundation of human rights is based on caring, sharing and loving.

Presiding over the inaugural ceremony, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Retd) stressed the need to practice human rights in daily life. He exhorted those present to learn from the school called life.

Mr Justice M.M. Kumar and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta also graced the occasion. Earlier the PU Vice-Chancellor, Prof R.C. Sobti, welcomed the guests and the Dean, University Instruction, Dr S.K. Kulkarni proposed a vote of thanks.



Syllabus out of tune: students

Chandigarh, February 4
Ten days have passed. There is no reply to a memorandum of Government College of Arts students from the UT Home Secretary or the college head of department.

The students, mostly of third year, find the present syllabus out of tune with market demands. The syllabus was updated last in 1976. That year computer graphics was introduced in the college.

The students have pointed out that the staff to teach the present syllabus was far from adequate. There is no lecturer of ‘History of Art’ for the past two years. The subject of ‘Geometry and Perspective’ is being taught by a studio assistant.

They feel handicapped as there aren’t computers in every classroom; the machines in the graphic section are often out of order and photography studios need to be upgraded. Frustration is simmering among the students which might burst out anytime. — TNS



‘Once Upon A Tiger’ drives home its point
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
We might be miles away from the Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary, the Gir National Park or any other forest for that matter but the roar of the fast depleting number of our national animal, tiger, could well be heard here when ‘Working Title’, a theatre group from Bombay staged their play titled, ‘Once Upon A Tiger’ today in Tagore Theatre.

With an aim to create awareness about the swift extinction of tigers, the plot of the play was weaved around the same. Hitting at those politicians who for there own vested interests do not mind tampering with our ecosystem.

The play starts when a minister with his z-plus security guards along with his wife and daughter goes in the forest to count the number of tigers there. Another family of a businessman and his two kids accompanies them in order to strike a business deal with the minister.

In a bid to find tigers, the families walk around the entire forest only to return empty handed. Due to the absence of tigers, the disheartened kids turn to the forest guard who explains to them that how poachers and hunters kill the tigers and their cubs for their skin. people flaunt the articles made by tiger’s skin. Armed with the knowledge, the kids take to task their fathers for not showing due concern to nature.

In between, the play also evokes a good humour with the politician repeating his tagline ‘when nothing works out, then compromise’. Written and directed by Jaimini Pathak, the play saw some superb performances by Sonal Khale in the role of Gauri as the daughter of the businessman and Jagdish Rajpurohit as the politician.

All in all, the play with its fun-filled format, humour, music, songs and dance was able to deliver the message on environment conservation and ecology. All children present vowed not to take colas and promised to show their concern towards the environment.



‘Erik Truffaz’ group regales music lovers
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, February 4
After a grand Celtic rock performance by Merzhin band yesterday, another French ensemble , the ‘Erik Truffaz’ group regaled the music lovers in a jazz concert held at Tagore Theatre here yesterday. The unique instrumental music bonanza was organised by the Alliance Francaise and the French Embassy. They also featured the local maestros in captivating 'jugalbandis'.

The concert began with a soulful composition titled ' Arroyo' after the name of a small river in France. With an amazing mastery over the trumpet, Eric depicted his perception of life with its transient phases through the tranquil flow of the river, its ziz-zag ways, its fury of floods and its role to bring prosperity by making the lands fertile. The love song 'Akiko' is an ode to the love of a girl in Tokyo. 'The Dawn' and 'Bending new corners' had the potent melodic structure ably executed with the support of the ace drummer Marc Erbetta, Bass guitarist Christopher Chambet and master Pianist and Synthesizer player Malcolm Braff.

The concert achieved an inevitable climax as the promising tabla maestro Avirbhav Verma played a thrilling 'jugalbandi' with Marc who provided a perfect melody and rhythmic execution for Verma's complex patterns.

The noted flautist Vevel Sharma and Sarangi exponent Vinod Pawar too joined in which captivated the audience. The French and Indian artists won lofty applause for the spontaneous synchronisation and musical skills as every one attempted to marvel the other to display his individual traits and specialisation in the realm of music.



Jaspal Bhatti on BBC Radio
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Chandigarh 'spoker-faced comedian Jaspal Bhatti has moved to radio. Bhatti was part of a prestigious team for the adaptation of Satyajit Ray’s play in English on the BBC radio.

In a special BBC World Service dramatisation of "Feluda-the Golden Fortress", Jaspal Bhatti plays the role of Gurbachan Singh, a rib-tickling taxi driver. The play is to be aired on February 10.

Among the cast are some of Bollywood’s well-known names- Rahul Bose who plays the title role of the Bengali detective Feluda and Anupam Kher who plays his sidekick. Anang Desai and Ameen Sayani are also part of the play.

Bhatti said the experience of working on the BBC was enjoyable.



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