LOS ANGELES, Ca., May 2nd: The Cultural Night presented by the Punjabi Artists from Southern California provided a rich feast in Punjabi exuberance and created in over 2000 spectators a deep sense of nostalgia. The program featured bhangra dance, gidha dance, songs, a Punjabi ballet “Bangan Da Vanjara”, dances by film actress Kajal Kiran and children’s items.

Dr. Jasbir Singh Mann, an Orthopedic surgeon put together a group of people who wanted to participate in the program. “More than that”, Mann told Sikh News, “we wanted to promote the culture of Punjab, bring unity to Sikh community and also wanted to appeal for humanitarian help for the victims on the sectarian violence in India that took place following the death of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. In a 60second appearance during the program, Mann made a passionate plea for help. “Just send a mere sum of $60 per year”, he appealed, “and that will be sufficient to pay for the education of a Sikh child”. He told the audience that there was a petition being circulated for signature. This petition will be submitted to the United Nations asking for its intervention to obtain release of Sardar Simranjit Singh Mann.

The darling of the evening was the film actress, Kajal Kiran whois visiting California these days. The charming and vivacious young lady nearly mesmerized her audience by her fast moving dances. Kirin often plays the role of a “spoiled brat” in Indian films. On the stage last Saturday, however, she was an electric fire, piercing the hearts of this ruggedly Punjabi crowd. Accompanying another young talent, Paramjit Pammi who is both a good singer and dancer. Kirin performed a dance on the music of “Long Gwacha”. Pammi sang several songs in addition to dances,

An added attraction of the evening was the presence of the famous music director of the Indian films, Sardul Kwatra who not only conducted the music for the entire program but enchanted the crowd with a song and excited people with a poem.

A large number of children under the direction of Dr. Rani Dargan gave good performance, although it seemed some of the children were included in the group merely to acknowledge their parents’ donations, A screening of talent could have done wonders to this program.

Kamlesh Chanhan performed an Opera along with Pammi. Gurdeep Grewal brought back the sweet memories of Punjabi fold songs by her rendition, “Lathe De Chadar Ute”.

A Punjab skit by Sukhbir Kang was hilarious. Dances by Soina, Roina Suman and Sumita were entertaining. the help should be sent directly to the victims and arrangements were there to sponsor a child which involves an obligation of only $60.00 a year.

He asked for addressing an appeal to the U.S. Congressmen, Senators, and the U.N. Secretary General for the release of S. Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Unified Akali Dal, who was being kept behind bars without any trial for over two years.

He also made a mention of the letter from Senator Alan Cranston which was personally delivered by his Public Relations in charge Mr. Sukhdev Singh Rye.

In a letter captioned “To my friends in the Punjabi Community”, Alan Cranston wrote: “Thank you for the invitation to be with you. I send along may best wishes as you celebrate Punjabi Cultural Night and my heartfelt thanks for your support in the past. With your help I have returned to the U.S. Senate for my 4th term as a Senator from California. I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many of your and look forward to working with you to ensure that the concerns of the Punjabi Community are understood and addressed by the US. Senate.

“Punjabis in California are an industrious and hardworking people with a rich cultural heritage. You add richness to California with your unique blend of culture, customs and language. Many of you are at the top of your fields in Medicine, and Engineering. Others are among the most productive farmers in the Central Valley and still others are successful small business owners building a future for you and your community. I am proud to know you and to be your Senator.” “I know that many of you are concerned with the conflict in Punjab. I understand that many issues remain unresolved and the tension between some residents of Punjab and the Central government in India has led to much violence. I deplore the violence and the bloodshed which has resulted. I have been a leader in the Senate in promoting greater commitment to human rights in foreign policy throughout the world. Please be assured that I will continue to follow events in Punjab closely and work with my colleagues in the Senate and in meetings with Indian government Officials to encourage a peaceful resolution to the tragic conflict there.

Sincerely, Alan Cranston”.

The proceeds from the show will be used for the care and education of the riot and otherwise affected Sikh children.

The motive behind sponsoring a Cultural Night, explained Dr. Mann, was to bring about greater cohesion among the Sikhs, promote Punjabi culture and to emotionally relate people to the Sikh struggle for freedom in Punjab.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 8, 1987