Mahamana Malaviya – A Giant Among Dwarfs


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DEORIA – UTTAR PRADESH – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 20, 2014           11.55 P.M.

MAHAMANA MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA

MAHAMANA PANDIT MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA

 

 Born December 25 , 1861 , Allahabad , India

Died November 12 , 1946 , Allahabad , India

The President of the Indian National Congress on four occasions [ 1909 / 1918 / 1930 / 1932 ]

The founding member of the Hindu Mahasabha [ 1906 ]

The President of Hindu Mahasabha [ 1923 ]

The founder of Banaras Hindu University , the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world , at Varanasi in 1916

The Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University [ 1919 - 1938 ]

One of the founders of Scouting in India [ 1918 ]

The founder of English-newspaper , The Leader, published from Allahabad [ 1909 ]

The Chairman of Hindustan Times  [ 1924 to 1946 ]

Instrumental in the launch of Hindustan , the Hindi edition [ 1936 ]

Member of the Imperial Legislative Council [ 1912 - 1919 ]

Member of the Central Legislative Assembly [ 1919 - 1926 ]

Above mentioned facts about Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya are known to all because these are continuously highlighted . You can find some more information about his Congress background on various internet postings . But his views on Hinduism and his pain and anguish on the sufferings of Hindus are not widely mentioned or chronicled . That , apart from being the president of Indian National Congress on 4 occasions , he was one of the founders of Hindu Mahasabha and was the president of Hindu Mahasabha in 1923 , is now almost forgotten .

It is widely known and well chronicled that in 1886, Mahamana Malaviya attended the 2nd session of Indian National Congress in Calcutta [ now Kolkata ] and he became the President of the Indian National Congress in 1909, 1918, 1930 and 1932 . But it is forgotten that as a leader of Indian National Congress he opposed the separate electorates for Muslims under the Lucknow Pact of 1916 . In protest against the Communal Award , which sought to provide separate electorates for minorities ,  Mahamana Malaviya along with Madhav Shrihari Aney left the Congress and started the Congress Nationalist Party . The party contested 1934 central legislature elections and won 12 seats . Some so – called secular historians try to hide this facet of Mahamana’s life .

Mahamana was fiercely opposed to the politics of appeasement of Muslims and other minorities and the participation of Congress in the Khilafat Movement . Again this fact is not so widely mentioned in his biographies .

The effort is on to obfuscate nationalist views of Mahamana and to hide his pro Hindu views from the youngsters . Therefore I thought it proper to write about his views on the issues which are surprisingly relevant even today . In the Gaya session of Hindu Mahasabha in 1923 , he expressed his views on untouchability , Hindu – Muslim problems and re – conversions of non – Hindus . When I read his presidential address , I was shocked . He had mentioned about the communal riots of Muzaffarnagar in 1923 . And you all know , even after 91 years , Muzaffarnagar is still burning .

To illuminate the nationalist image of Mahamana , I am quoting from the presidential address , which he delivered at the Gaya session of Hindu Mahasabha in 1923 . Words are ominous and they are as relevant today as they were in 1923 .

 

Mahamana on Hindu – Muslim Problem :

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” The relations between Hindus and Mahomedans have not been as happy and cordial as they ought to be . During the Bengal Partition days the Government were inciting Mahomedans to attack Hindus . In 1916 in Eastern Bengal inhuman , brutal , unparalleled atrocities were perpetrated on Hindus . Hindu women were outraged by fanatic Mahomedans and many Hindu women had to take shelter in rivers and tanks to protect their honour .

Then came the Great War in 1914 . In 1914 in the frontier districts , particularly Muzaffarnagar , Hindu houses were regularly looted and Hindu women dishonoured , but Indian patriots preached not to heed them . By Mahatma Gandhi’s advice Hindus worked with Mahomedans and helped them in the Khilafat cause , not because the former wanted something in return , but because they were for the liberty and freedom of every nation and also because of their sympathy for fellow Muslim brothers .

Again in 1920 brutal and inhuman atrocities were perpetrated on Hindus by Moplahs in Malabar . Hindu houses were looted , women were outraged , male and female butchered with the greatest cruelty for refusing to embrace Islam and many were forced into Islam at the point of the sword . It is better to die than to see women’s modesty outraged , temples attacked and burnt and idols broken . The whole of India was severely pained and afflicted at these horrible inhumanities . Due to tolerance we patiently bore all this and drank the bitter dose simply with anxiety and desire that no ill-feeling and differences be created between the two sister communities .

At Multan temples were burnt down and women’s chastity was outraged . Burnt Geeta and Granth Saheb and broken temple idols were found . Next an appeal was issued to maintain unity and peace on Bakrid day , but riots occurred at several places . Our ladies do not consider they are as safe as 50 years ago . Amritsar Hindu women do not come out of houses so frequently and abruptly as they used to do formerly . Every moment they fear of being dishonoured . Everybody knows what happened at Panipat and at Ajmer . Temples were broken and burnt and idols destroyed .

In such circumstances it is our individual and social duty to increase our strength . It is most deplorable that Hindus are so fallen that a handful of foreigners can be ruling over us . Shame on the Hindus who live to see the breaking of temples and the outrage of women . Miss Ellis was kidnapped and the vibration pervaded the whole British Empire . Behind English girls and women there is national strength which protects them wherever they go . So also with Mahomedan women . There was a time when Hindu ladies had also such national backings behind them . Unless we have such strength , we cannot continue among strong nations of the world . The main reason of the present disunity is that Hindus are comparatively weak and cannot protect their religion and women . Unity and good-will can exist only between two equally strong parties . When the irresponsible element of Muslims will realize that we can react to the policy of tit for tat they would never venture to attack us . “

Mahamana on Re-Conversion :

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Referring to the Shuddhi movement Pandit Malaviya said ,  ” there are forty-eight crores of Muslims in India of whom not more than fifty lakhs are those who might have come from outside . The rests were converted from Hinduism . Theirs is a proselytizing religion while our religion has closed the doors for those who wish to come in our fold . Mullas have recently prepared an expansive scheme for reconversion of Hindus on a grand active scale in their private very confidential meeting and have scrupulously given no publication to this resolution and they have also collected fifty lakhs , but you will be surprised to know that it has not been scrupulously kept secret . Hindus are converted by dupes . In Gujarat some Mussalmans with notices bearing prints of ‘Om preach Kalauki incarnation is H.H. Aga Khan’ say that they should join that sect . Within three years one lakh of Hindus have been converted by Khojas .

‘Is there no prayashchitta for those who unknowingly took anything touched by non-Hindus . Malkanas ought to be taken into Hinduism. He then referred to a verse in Dharmshastra Mahaprabandha which lays down that those who had been converted to other religion either by force or willingly can be taken back to the Hindu religion if they so desire . He asked the audience to decide this question.

Replying to those who say that we should not care for our numerical strength and that those who have already been converted should not be taken into Hinduism , Mahamana said : ‘When now we are so badly treated with a numerical strength of 22 crores , what would be our condition in future with a much reduced Hindu population , if we allow this rate of conversion from Hinduism and do not allow reconversion into Hinduism ? “

Mahamana on Untouchability :

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With tears in his eyes , he took out the turban from his head during presidential address and said , ” Why should I not place my turban at the feet of my untouchable brothers who follows the Hindu religion ? Why should I not allow my untouchable brothers to have darshan in temples ? Full of sins as I am , what right have I to stop my untouchable brothers from entering temples ?’
Addressing the orthodox pandits, he then said with folded hands : ‘Oh, learned Pandits, for God’s sake do not prevent these brothers from having darshan in temples’.
Referring to permission to untouchables for drawing water from wells he said that Christians and Mahomedans are asking untouchables to embrace their religion . So long as they remain Hindu they are not allowed to draw water from wells and if they accept their faith , they will not be so outcasted , insulted, and disallowed . This exactly happened at Panipat . But this is to be remembered that these untouchables who are so outcasted by high caste people were the first to come to defend the Hindu temple at Panipat when it was attacked by Mahomedans .
Pertinently remarked Pandit Malaviya : ‘An untouchable comes under the hottest sun from your labour and is extremely thirsty . I ask what true Hindu is there who will so cruelly prevent these untouchables from drawing water from wells while they do not object untouchables’ entry in houses when their services are required.”
Mahamana’s views on above mentioned 3 topics are so true even today. A man of this prophetic vision is needed even today . We celebrated his 150th anniversary in 2011. We paid lip service to him. Government of India issued coins in his honour.
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But thats all. He adorns the wall of our parliament, but not our hearts. Today as I sit in my ancestral house and go through the pages of our recent history and remember recent incidents in Uttar Pradesh, I thought it proper to write this blog to bring out the feelings of a nationalist like MAHAMANA MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA on today’s burning topics. I offer my tribute to the true son of Bharat Mata , to the staunch Hindu and a visionary !

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my regards to the staunch Hindu MAHAMANA MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA.

May his soul awaken us and lead us to the goal of becoming a proud Indian!

VIDUR

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A Tribute To J. V. Raman, Doordarshan’s News Reader


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DEORIA – UTTAR PRADESH – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 19, 2014           11.45 P. M.

Doordarshan News Reader J. V. Raman

Doordarshan News Reader J. V. Raman

It is sad that news of the demise of J. V. Raman reached me late. For numerous television watchers of this generation, the name J. V. Raman does not carry any familiarity. But for generation of my age, he was a household name. Unlike the cacophony and know-all news anchors of today, JV Raman was one of the sober voices in the news industry.

He died of kidney failure on August 7, 2014 at Sant Parmanand Hospital in Civil Lines, New Delhi. He was 68. Prayer meeting was held on August 19 at the Freemasons Hall, down a small bylane of Janpath market. Among those who attended were his family members, friends and colleagues from DD as well as Rajdhani College, Delhi University, where he taught Economics for over 44 years.

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Raman started his TV career after a friend advised him to go for an audition that fetched him a place in DD as an English news reader. Soon, he switched to Hindi news reading, and continued the freelance assignment until the late 90s. His impeccable diction never betrayed the fact that he was from Andhra Pradesh.

Shammi Narang, who read news with him for about 20 years or so, remembers Raman as a guide and mentor. “When I read my first bulletin in 1982, he said, ‘Narang, you should be thankful that you are associated with Hindi.

A thorough professional, he would often work with his producers to improvise on the script and style. Sarla Maheshwari, a colleague and news reader, who remembers watching Raman’s bulletins as a child, found an understanding friend in him when she started working with DD. She recalls how Raman volunteered to fill up for her for one of her bulletins as Maheshwari was away for her father-in-law’s operation.

Ved Prakash, another news reader who still freelances with DD, was often told that he copied Raman’s style. “He was my guru, so I followed him,” says Prakash, “An era of TV news has ended with his demise.”

But news reading was not Raman’s only passion. He was involved with a theatre group Abhiyan until last year.

A bachelor, Raman lived in a joint family in Delhi. During his last days, his sister JV Lakshmi Kalyani was with him.

At a time when viewers couldn’t switch channels because there was only one, when the infuriating ” ……..Rookawat ke liye khed hai …….” was the most common one-liner on the small screen and when streets were deserted on Sunday because everybody was watching the evening movie, he read out news on Doordarshan.

He was from the older, less aggressive breed; much like family friend who dropped by for a fireside chat every night. When he read out news, it was like he was shaking hands with you.

Apart from J. V. Raman, Tejeshwar Singh, Salma Sultan, Neethi Ravindran, Shammi Narang, Manjari Joshi, Rini Khanna, Komal GB Singh, Usha Albuquerque, Ramu Damodaran, Sunit Tandon, Gitanjali Aiyar, Minu were the other famous news readers of that bygone golden era. Every newsreader had a distinctive style. You could close your eyes and make out who was reading the news.

In those days, in Spoken English classes, students would be instructed to listen, and if possible record on tape, the English news read out by Tejeshwar Singh, Neethi Ravindran and others. “Listen to their diction. Try to speak the same way,” teachers said. Students obeyed.

The pay packet wasn’t much. But DD news readers were among the most recognisable faces in the country.

In the early Nineties, with the onset of satellite television, Doordarshan lost its exclusivity. With competition, it was time to evolve. By the late Nineties, the news readers were required to upgrade themselves as news anchors. Their new job profile required them to be on the ball with national and international politics. “Not everybody was able to adapt. Consequently, some fell through the cracks. Others had by then developed new pursuits.

In the early 1970s, news readers had as many followers as their counterparts now. Perhaps more, as the uncluttered news screens — without the persistent ticker — had more space for news anchors. J. V. Raman belonged to that era. That era ends with his demise.

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of J. V. Raman.

May God bless them with peace and give them strength to bear the loss.

 

[ Some portions of this blog is taken from THE DOORDARSHAN DIVAS - The Times of India - January 06, 2008 by Avijit Ghosh & A TRIBUTE TO DOORDARSHAN'S J. V. RAMAN - Indian Express - August 20, 2014. I express my gratitude.  ]

 

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Vidur’s Film Diary – August 2014


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 02, 2014           01.15 A.M.

[ DECLARATION : In my diary, since May 2014, I have started mentioning names of only those students, who respect me as their teacher and accept my contribution in their journey of life. All the other students, who worked this month but are not mentioned, are free from any obligation from my side. GOD BLESS THEM ! ]

May 2014 and June 2014 were bad for my career. Number of students trained by me plummeted drastically. But it again became rosy and sky-rocketed to the earlier position from July 2014. The reason is stated above.

I am posting links of the 05 videos. You can watch them for the full understanding of my body of work in 2013 – 2014 .
1 : ” Jai Ho ” :  http://youtu.be/cZzBa4sHXMQ
2 : ” One By Two ” :  http://youtu.be/0WCMfQiPdGI
3 – ” O Teri ” & ” Main Tera Hero ” : 
4 – ” Khatron Ke Khiladi – 5 ” : 
5 – ARMAAN JAIN : 

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Obituary :

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Dharmesh Tiwari  : 

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The man who would always be known as Kripacharya of B. R. Chopra’s epic serial ” Mahabharat “ , Dharmesh Tiwari, died on August 06, 2014 in Chandigarh at the age of 63.

He was General Secretary of CINTAA [ Cine & TV Artistes Association ] at the time of his death. He was also President of FWICE [ Federation of Western India Cine Employees.

 

Rajendra Ojha :

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Publisher of ” Screen World “ , a Film Directory of 33 years of standing and a former employee of Rajshri Productions, Rajendra Ojha died on July 26, 2014 at the age of 67 years. He was suffering from throat cancer.
He also wrote ” 100 Years of Cinema “, a highly acclaimed book about Hindi films from 1913 to 2013.
Sushilarani Patel :
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Basically a classical singer, who acted and sang in two films, Sushilarani Patel died on July 24, 2014 at the age of 96.
Posting link of the blog, which I wrote about her :

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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – August 01

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1 – Lateef : The King Of Crime …………………………….. X

 

 

Second Week – August 08

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1 – Entertainment …………………………………………….. Sonu Sood

……………………………………………………………………… Krushna Abhishek

……………………………………………………………………… Dhaval Gada

 

Third Week – August 15

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1 – Singham Returns ………………………………………… Kareena Kapoor

 

Fourth Week  – August 22
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1 – Mad About Dance ………………………………………. Amrit Maghera

2 – Mardaani ………………………………………………….. X

3 – Mumbai Connection …………………………………… X

4 – Life Is Beautiful ! ……………………………………….. X

5 – Katiyabaaz ……………………………………………….. X

 

 

Fifth Week  – August 29
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1 – Identity Card …………………………………………….. X

2 – Raja Natwarlal …………………………………………… Emraan Hashmi

……………………………………………………………………. Shweta Pandit

3 – Trip To Bhangarh ……………………………………….. X

 

 

In total …………… 11 …………….. films got released in August . Out of these ………….. 11 ………… released films ……….. 04 ………… films have …………… 07 ……………. artistes , who are trained by me .

Out of these ………. 07 ……… persons , ………. 05 ……… are actors . Among the rest …………. 02 ………… Shweta Pandit is the singer and she sang a song in ” Entertainment “. And Dhaval Gada is the co-producer of  ” Raja Natwarlal ” .

 

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New Regional Films & Me :

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1 – Marathi : Milind Gawali  is doing prominent role in  ” Samarthya “.

2 – Punjabi : Jimmy Sheirgill is doing lead role in ” Aa Gaye Munde U.K. De”.

3 – Bengali : Dev is doing lead role in ” Bindaas “.

4 – Bengali : Dev is doing lead role in ” Buno Haansh “.

 

My ………….. 03 ……………. students in ……….. 04 ………….. regional films .

 

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TV Trivia & Me :

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1 – Sonali Bendre is the Narrator of a   ” Mission Sapne “ on Zee TV.

2 – Vatsal Sheth is playing an important role in ” Ek Hasina Thi “ on Star Plus.

3 – Mishal Raheja is doing ” Encounter “ on MTV.

4 – Sai Deodhar is playing an important role in ” Udann – Sapnon Ki ” on Colors TV.

 

 

 

My ……………. 04 ……….. students in ………… 04 ……………. shows on TV .

 

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Theatre & Me :

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1 – Kalki Koechlin  is playing lead in the play  ” Colour Blind “.

2 – Kalki Koechlin is playing lead in the play ” Trivial Disasters “.

3 – Eijaz Khan is doing lead in a play ” Bollywood Dreams “.

 

My …………. 02 ………….. students in ………… 03 …………. plays .

 

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Commercials & Me :

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1 – Vivek Oberoi  is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Zeel Rainwear ” .

2 – Amit Sadh is the Brand Ambassador of ” Wildstone Deo “.

3 – Saif Ali Khan is the Brand Ambassador of ” Sansui “.

4 – Kareena Kapoor is the Brand Ambassador of ” I Ball “.

 

 

My ………….. 04 …………… students in …………… 04 …………… commercial campaigns .

 

As an acting trainer my 07 students appeared in 04 films , 04 students in 04 TV serials , 03 students in 04 regional films , 02 students in 03 plays and 04 students appeared in 04 Ads also . Thus total number of students working in the month of August comes to 20. It was 27 in July 2014. And as I have stated earlier, I have mentioned names of only those students, who respect me and accept my contribution in their journey of life.

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I congratulate my above mentioned 20 students .

May God bless them and they shine in their chosen field .

 

VIDUR

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Adieu Sir Richard Attenborough !


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 26, 2014           11.55 P.M.

Sir Richard Attenborough

Sir Richard Attenborough

Richard Samuel Attenborough

29 August 1923 – 24 August 2014

Last night when I was watching the evening news, I came to know about the demise of Richard Attenborough at the age of 90. Though it was expected because of his failing health and advancing age, still I felt sad when I saw the news of his death.

Long before he became famous in India and became a household name among cinema lovers of our country, I became a fan of Richard Attenborough, the actor, after watching Satyajit Ray directed first Hindi film ” Shatranj Ke Khilari  ” [ 1977 ]. He played Lt. General Outram in that film and played it so beautifully and with such elan that even a novice like me could not miss the finer points.

Then came Gandhi  ” [ 1982 ] and it permanently changed the scenario for him. From a little-known actor of ” Shatranj Ke Khilari  ” [ 1977 ], Richard Attenborough, as I have already written , became a household name in India. He produced and directed the Academy Award winning film  Gandhi  ” [ 1982 ]

Richard Attenborough with Oscars

Richard Attenborough with Oscars

Later on I watched him as an actor in Steven Spielberg‘s Jurassic Park ” [ 1993 ] and the film’s sequel, The Lost World : Jurassic Park ” [ 1997 ]. In Jurassic Park ” [ 1993 ] and ” The Lost World : Jurassic Park ” [ 1997 ] he appeared as the eccentric developer John Hammond.

As a film director and producer, he won two Academy Awards for Gandhi in 1983. He also won four BAFTA Awards and four Golden Globe Awards. As an actor, he is perhaps best known for his roles in ” Brighton Rock “, ” The Great Escape “, ” 10 Rillington Place “, ” Miracle on 34th Street ” and ” Jurassic Park “.

He was the President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

In the late 1950s, Attenborough formed a production company, Beaver Films, with Bryan Forbes and began to build a profile as a producer on projects including ” The League of Gentlemen ” [ 1959 ] , The Angry Silence ” [ 1960] and ”  Whistle Down the Wind ” [ 1961 ], appearing in the cast of the first two films.

His feature film directorial debut was the all-star screen version of the hit musical Oh! What a Lovely War ” [ 1969 ] . He later directed two epic period films : Young Winston ” [ 1972 ], based on the early life of Winston Churchill, and A Bridge Too Far ” [ 1977 ], an all-star account of Operation Market Garden in World War II.

Richard Attenborough also directed the screen version of the musical A Chorus Line ” [ 1985 ] and the anti-apartheid drama Cry Freedom ” [ 1987 ], based on the life and death of prominent anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko and the experiences of Donald Woods. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director for both films.

His most recent films as director and producer include Chaplin ” [ 1992 ] starring Robert Downey, Jr., as Charlie Chaplin and Shadowlands ” [ 1993 ], based on the relationship between C. S. Lewis and Joy Gresham , the star of the latter was Anthony Hopkins.

Between 2006-07, he spent time in Belfast, working on his last film as director and producer, Closing the Ring ” [ 2007 ] , a love story set in Belfast during the Second World War and starring Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer and Pete Postlethwaite.

His acting career started with ” In Which We Serve ” [ 1942 ] and it ended with Closing the Ring ” [ 2007 ] . He was an actor in his first film and a producer and director in his last film. It was a fascinating 65 year-long career.

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my condolences.

Farewell sir! India will always remember you as the maker of a masterpiece film called Gandhi  ” [ 1982 ] .

[ Information about Sir Richard Attenborough and the list of his films is taken from Wikipedia. I express my gratitude. ]

 

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Elizabeth Taylor First , Lauren Bacall Now


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 18, 2014           00.05 A.M.

Lauren Bacall

September 16, 1924 – August 12, 2014

Lauren Bacall in Her Iconic Pose

Lauren Bacall in Her Iconic Pose

When Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23, 2011, I wrote a blog and posted it on April 02, 2011. She was my first Hollywood favourite. Elizabeth Taylor made her debut with ” National Velvet ” [ 1944 ] . Lauren Bacall, who died on August 12, 2014 at the age of 89,  also made her debut in the same year, with Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not [ 1944 ].

In the library of my Deoria home, I have a book about all the great heroes and heroines of Hollywood. I first noticed Lauren Bacall in that book. Her typical posture, for which she was so famous, caught my fancy. ” THE LOOK ” , for which she was immortalized, was a seductive pose where she lowered her head and glanced up suggestively. I was hooked and my fancy remained intact even after her withdrawal from the limelight.

As stated earlier, she made her film debut with Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not [ 1944 ] . In this film she made sexy query to Humphrey Bogart , ” You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together – and blow.” With these innocuous lines she created history and found a permanent place in Hollywood echelon. She had another memorable line in the film, ” Anybody got a match?”.

Lauren Bacall in Her Famous Inviting Look

Lauren Bacall in Her Famous Inviting Look

She was known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks. One more thing, which attracted me to her is the fact that she worked in many films with Humphrey Bogart and later on became his wife. Needless to say that I am a great Humphrey Bogart fan.

Lauren Bacall with Her Husband Humphrey Bogart

Lauren Bacall with Her Husband Humphrey Bogart

She first appeared as a leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not (1944) and continued on in the film noir genre, with appearances in Bogart movies The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), as well as comedic roles in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck.

Lauren Bacall worked on Broadway in musicals, earning Tony Awards for Applause in 1970 and Woman of the Year in 1981. Her performance in the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.

In 1999, Bacall was ranked 20th out of the 25 actresses on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars list by the American Film Institute.

 

Lauren Bacall with Honourary Oscar

Lauren Bacall with honorary Oscar

In 2009, she was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Academy Honorary Award “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my condolences.

[ Information about Lauren Bacall and the list of her films is taken from Wikipedia. I express my gratitude. ]

 

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Remembering Sushilarani Patel


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 15, 2014           11.45 P.M.

 

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Sushilarani Patel, a classical singer par excellence, but an almost forgotten classical singer, died on July 24, 2014 in Mumbai at the age of 96.

 

SUSHILARANI PATEL

SUSHILARANI PATEL

 

The name Sushilarani Patel is not going to evoke any memories.

The name Baburao Patel is also not going to evoke even faint recognition.

The name of a magazine called ” Filmindia “ is almost forgotten.

Film ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ] does not exist for this generation.

Film ” Gwalan ” [ 1946 ] is unknown even to die-hard film connoisseurs.

The song ” … LAGAT NAZAR TORI CHHALAIYA … ” is a distant memory.

So why I am writing this obituary ?

Let me unravel the mystery one by one.

I am writing this blog to pay my obeisance to Sushilarani Patel, a classical singer par excellence. It is sad irony of fate that she is relatively unknown compared to her other illustrious colleague Kishori Amonkar, though they both are disciples of the same teacher.

 

SUSHILARANI PATEL

SUSHILARANI PATEL

 

Baburao Patel was a Member of Parliament. But primarily he was a film critic and editor of a very popular film magazine called ” Filmindia “. Sushilarani Patel was married to him. She was his third wife. ” Filmindia “ was dreaded by the film industry folks of bygone era. It is infamous for its acerbic editorials. Just go through the views of Baburao Patel published in the magazine  ” Filmindia “ about ” Jwar Bhata ” [ 1944 ] , the debut film of Dilip Kumar :

Dilip Kumar, the new hero of Bombay Talkies is an anaemic addition to our film artistes. He needs lots of vitamins and a prolonged treatment of proteins before another picture can be risked with him. He looks gaunt and famished and strikes as a long ill-treated convict, who has escaped from a jail. His appearance on the screen creates both laughter and disappointment. His acting efforts in this picture amounts to nill. “

Can it be considered a critical analysis of a debut making young actor’s acting calibre? Do you think it is decent, sensible and appropriate to comment on looks and physicality of an artiste? But Baburao Patel was known for his scathing, acerbic and derogatory personal comments. And Sushilarani Patel was his wife, third wife. It is alleged that he was jealous of her. It is also rumoured that Baburao Patel was very possessive of extremely beautiful and young Sushilarani. So, it was natural that she starred and sang just in two films and then faded into oblivion. And the two films were directed by Baburao Patel himself. The two films in question were ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ] and Gwalan ” [ 1946 ]. These films tanked at the box office without any trace and Sushilarani’s career got an untimely and abrupt end.

 

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Draupadi

 

SUSHILARANI as DRAUPADI in Vastra Haran Scene of DRAUPADI

SUSHILARANI as DRAUPADI in Vastra Haran Scene of DRAUPADI

 

Any print of the film or any link of the songs she sang in ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ] is not available today. I copied the above picture of Sushilarani in ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ]  from the internet and posted it above.

” Gwalan ” [ 1946 ] , second film of Sushilarani Patel was also produced and directed by Baburao Patel. And Sushilarani Patel sang a duet in this film with legendary play back singer Mukesh. The song in question was tuned by Hansraj Bahl and lyrics were written by Indra Chandra. For lovers of old Hindi film songs ” …………………….. LAGAT NAZAR TORI CHHALAIYA ……………………. ” is a gem. Fortunately the song is available on YouTube. I am providing YouTube link of the song :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgcrVFUZLXE

Just two films ; ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ] and ” Gwalan ” [ 1946 ] and that is all. That heralded the end. A sad end of a talented singer-actor. A talented artiste’s talent was allegedly crushed under the ego, obsessiveness, jealousy and whims of her husband. Sushilarani’s nephew and some of her students have confirmed these allegations in their interviews.

I think now you have all the answers of the questions , which I put forward in the beginning.

Baburao Patel died in 1982. And Sushilarani Patel could properly start her career only after her husband’s death. But at that time she was 62. Her prime was gone. Her other peer Kishori Amonkar became a legend in her own life time. They both started learning classical music from legendary Moghubai Kurdikar. Incidentally Moghubai was the mother of  Kishori Amonkar.

My student Alvira Khan, who is Salman Khan’s sister, was a student of Sushilarani Patel. So I know Sushilarani in a way. I empathized with her and after her demise, I am saddened.

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my condolences.


[ Information about Sushilarani Patel and Baburao Patel is taken from several newspapers, YouTube and also from Wikipedia. I express my gratitude. ]

 

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Chacha Choudhary Is No More !


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 13, 2014           11.55 P.M.

 

If I mention that Pran Kumar Sharma died on August 05, 2014, only few will take notice. But if I mention that creator of CHACHA CHOUDHARY died in Gurgaon on August 05, 2014 at the age of 75, thousands will mourn.When I read about the sad demise of creator of CHACHA CHOUDHARY, I felt a personal loss. He was suffering from Colon cancer.

Pran began his career in 1960 as a cartoonist for the Delhi based newspaper Milap with comic strip Daabu. Apart from Daabu, Indian comics scenario was largely based on reprints of The Phantom and Superman. In 1969, Pran sketched Chacha Chaudhary for the Hindi magazine Lotpot, which made him famous. Pran has also created other cartoon characters like Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman, Channi Chachi and others, which are regularly published in Indian magazines. Pran reached lakhs of Kannadigas through his Putti, Raman that were published in Kannada daily Prajavani and Shrimathi which publishes in Kannada magazine Sudha.

He was included in People of the Year 1995 by Limca Book of Records for popularizing comics in India. In 1983, the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi released Pran’s comics “Raman – Ham Ek Hain” which promoted national integration. Pran received a Lifetime Achievement Award 2001, from Indian Institute of Cartoonists. Pran has also given lessons in cartooning at the Pran’s Media Institute, run by his son Nikhil.

Maurice Horn notes that Pran has been given the title of “Walt Disney of India” in The World Encyclopedia of Comics. The Chacha Chaudhary strips find permanent place in International Museum of Cartoon Art, USA.

Pran Kumar Sharma with His Creation CHACHA CHOUDHARY

Pran Kumar Sharma with His Creation CHACHA CHOUDHARY

 

Since my childhood days in Deoria, I was a huge fan of Mandrake The Magician and Phantom. Both the comic strips used to be published daily in a popular Hindi daily of those days ” AAJ “. Mandrake became Mandareek and Phantom became Van Bhairav in Hindi. My day never began unless I read these two syndicated comic strips in ” AAJ “.

 

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Mandrake the Magician is a syndicated newspaper comic strip, created by Lee Falk . Its publication began June 11, 1934. Phil Davis soon took over as the strip’s illustrator, while Falk continued to script. The strip is distributed by King Features Syndicate.

Davis worked on the strip until his death in 1964, when Falk recruited current artist Fred Fredericks. With Falk’s death in 1999, Fredericks became both writer and artist. The Sunday Mandrake strip ended December 29, 2002. The daily strip ended mid-story on July 6, 2013 when Fred Fredericks retired,

 

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After hugely popular Mandrake the MagicianLee Falk , created another adventure comic strip , The Phantom . A popular feature adapted into many media, including television, film and video games, it stars a costumed crime fighter operating from the fictional African country Bangalla.

 

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The Phantom is the 21st in a line of crime fighters that originated in 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was killed during a pirate attack. Swearing an oath on the skull of his father’s murderer to fight evil, Christopher started the legacy of the Phantom that would be passed from father to son, leaving people to give the mysterious figure nicknames such as The Ghost Who Walks”, “The Man Who Cannot Die” and “Guardian of the Eastern Dark”, believing him to be immortal.

 

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Unlike many fictional costumed heroes, the Phantom does not have any superpowers, and relies on his strength, intelligence, and fearsome reputation of being an immortal ghost to defeat his foes. The 21st Phantom is married to Diana Palmer, whom he met while studying in the United States; they have two children, Kit and Heloise. Like all previous Phantoms, he lives in the ancient Skull Cave, and has a trained wolf, Devil, and a horse named Hero.

The series began with a daily newspaper strip on February 17, 1936, followed by a color Sunday strip on May 28, 1939; both are still running as of 2014. At the peak of its popularity, the strip was read by over 100 million people each day.

Lee Falk continued work on The Phantom until his death in 1999. Today the comic strip is produced by writer Tony DePaul and artists Paul Ryan (Monday-Saturday) and Terry Beatty (Sunday).

New Phantom stories are published in comic books in different parts of the world, among them by Dynamite Entertainment in the United States, Egmont in Sweden, Norway and Finland, and Frew Publications in Australia.

The Phantom was the first fictional hero to wear the skin-tight costume that has now become a hallmark of comic book superheroes, and was also the first shown wearing a mask with no visible pupils, another superhero standard.

 

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Being a fan of above mentioned two comic strip heroes; Mandrake The Magician and Phantom, I was skeptical , rather dismissive when I read about cartoonist Pran and his Desi Comic strip hero CHACHA CHOUDHARY. What can a mustachioed elderly man do in front of such powerful heroes like Mandrake and Phantom? But I was wrong.

CHACHA CHOUDHARY As We All Know

CHACHA CHOUDHARY As We All Know

When I read adventures of CHACHA CHOUDHARY in Diamond Comics , I became a life-long fan.The bond with CHACHA CHOUDHARY, BINNI CHACHI and SABU is unbreakable. I still remember and will always remember the famous tagline “…….. Chacha Choudhary ka dimag, computer se bhi tez chalta hai ………”.

CHACHA CHOUDHARY and SABU

CHACHA CHOUDHARY and SABU

 

According to a Diamond Comics press release, the Indian kids in the age group 10–13 years ranked Chacha Chaudhary as their most recognizable comic book character.

He has also been featured as a guest in other Diamond Comics series, with Billoo, Pinki and Lucky.

With the sad demise of cartoonist Pran, CHACHA CHOUDHARY wont be same again. May be he will also die soon.One more part of my adolescent , growing years is lost forever.

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my condolences.

CHACHA CHOUDHARY is a part of my growing years. His memory is firmly etched in my psyche.

[ Information about Mandrake The Magician, Phantom and their creator Lee Falk is taken from Wikipedia. I express my gratitude. ]

 

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Arun Shanbhag

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