September 2, 2021 1:42:30 am
‘A Festschrift for Inderjit Kaur Sandhu: An Inspiring Story’, edited and compiled by senior journalist Roopinder Singh was launched in Chandigarh during a virtual session on Wednesday — the 98th birthday of Inderjit Kaur Sandhu.
Sandhu had been a celebrated academician and the first woman vice chancellor of Panjabi University and the first woman chairperson of the Staff Selection Commission, New Delhi.
Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, in his special message of greetings on her birthday, wrote that the book has weaved, “A phulkari that is an enriching mosaic of vignettes of her life. Not many know that she was among the first batch of Punjabi MA students and helped edit Giani Ji’s famous ‘Mera Pind’, to whom she was married.”
The editor of the book, senior journalist, Roopinder Singh said, “My mother had a long and distinguished career. As you know, she was the vice chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala (1975 to 1977), and the first chairperson of Staff Selection Commission, New Delhi (1980 to 1985). She was educated in Lahore and became the first woman vice chancellor, of a university in northern India, representing the country in various international academic fora.”
With a forward from Gursharan Kaur, wife of the former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, there are contributions in English and Punjabi. Some of the eminent people who have written in English are Prof HS Gill, Prof Emeritus, Jawaharlal University; Dr Nikky Guninder Kaur Singh of Colby College, Maine, USA; Dr Ashok Vohra of Delhi University; theatre director, Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, and Supreme Court Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan. Archival material written by the publisher, Ashok Chopra, and humourist, Late Suba Singh, also help provide a snapshot of the times. Personal accounts of younger people— authors Ranjit Powar and Aradhika Sharma, journalist Madhusudan Srinivas, administrator Radhey Pratap Singh, and Deputy Advocate General, Daldeep Singh, as well as Inderjit Kaur’s grandchildren provide different perspectives.
The Punjabi section has articles by the author Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana; historian Dr Kirpal Singh, university administrator Tirath Singh; literary critic Dr Kuldip Singh Dhir, and journalist Narinder Singh Sathi.
Educationist Harcharan Kaur, former MP Tarlochan Singh, university administrator Dalip Singh Uppal, and linguist Dr Bhupinder Singh Khaira bring out different aspects of the life of Inderjit Kaur. Also included in this section are archival articles by Rajinder Kaur and Balwinder Kaur.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and there are many photographs that portray the life of Inderjit Kaur. “An inspiring journey, indeed. She has been an inspiration and role model, and ahead of her time, as close associates,” summed up Singh.
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