Narendra Modi & Mamata Banerjee’s One Crore painting


TMC leaders including Mamata have consistently denied or downplayed the party’s links with Sen and Saradha. (Reuters)
TMC leaders including Mamata have consistently denied or downplayed the party’s links with Sen and Saradha. (Reuters)

When the Saradha Group’s Bengali daily Sakalbela began publication, Mamata Banerjee sent her best wishes. It was more than a customary greeting. It was an impassioned message that seemed to have come from the chief minister’s heart. (Also read: SEBI digs deeper, chit scam gets bigger )

 

“We will have to pass the dark night to begin our journey in the light of dawn,” she said. “An alert conscience, right direction, truth and fearless news is what people like. Today, many papers have deviated from that principle, and news has assumed personal and commercial dimensions. Let Sakalbela fulfill the people’s aspirations.”

 

In his 18-page letter to the CBI, Saradha group CMD Sudipta Sen named two Trinamool Congress MPs who he alleged had “blackmailed” him, “forced” him to buy several publications that formed the once formidable bouquet of the group’s media businesses.

 

TMC leaders including Mamata have consistently denied or downplayed the party’s links with Sen and Saradha. But mounting evidence suggests that the TMC, and its ministers and leaders, had been working closely with the company even before coming to power in Kolkata.

 

The relationship only grew deeper with time. Evidence of patronage from the Trinamool — for Saradha and other chit fund companies who raised money from poor investors — formed the basis for the plea for a CBI inquiry in a PIL that came up for hearing in Calcutta High Court on Thursday.

 

* On her maiden visit to Junglemahal after assuming office in July 2011, Mamata took along some “presents” for the people: seven well-equipped ambulances fitted out with critical care units, 50 motorbikes, 1,050 bicycles. All were donated by the Saradha Group.

A Saradha executive called Manoj Nagel is learnt to have told police that these ambulances were later used to ferry “heaps” of cash collected from investors in East and West Midnapore to the company’s head office at Midland Park in Salt Lake, Kolkata.

Asked about these “gifts” recently, Mamata said: “We accepted the charity on good faith, and did not know that these were from ill-gotten money.”

 

* Around the same time, Mamata donated six trauma care ambulances to Kolkata Police. The vehicles were said to have been bought by the Saradha Group.

 

* Saradha Realty Private Ltd, the group’s real estate wing, raised money on the promise of ambitious 19-storey residential towers in Contai, East Midnapore. But local municipality rules did not allow more than 14 storeys. So Saradha, with its “deep” reach in the Trinamool government, got the plan sanctioned by the urban development department in Kolkata as a “special case”, a top TMC source said. The project has not started, and investors have ransacked its offices.

 

* Trinamool sources confirmed that Saradha CMD Sudipta Sen, as a gesture of goodwill, regularly bought Mamata’s paintings. According to one estimate, the group spent over Rs 1.86 crore on the paintings. The group was also a major donor to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

 

* Somnath Dutta, a vice-president of Saradha Printing and Publishing Pvt Ltd who is now being questioned by police, was seen with TMC MP and actress Shatabdi Roy during her Lok Sabha campaign in Birbhum. Trinamool sources said Saradha contributed heavily to Roy’s campaign, including paying for vehicles and hotels. Dutta declined to comment on the matter.

 

* In 2009, after the Trinamool’s success in the Lok Sabha elections, Madan Mitra, now the state sports minister, was seen on stage with Sudipta Sen. Sen had just purchased land to build a temple “as grand as Akshardham” in Bishnupur in South 24-Parganas, and Mitra, then MLA from Bishnupur West, showered his blessings on him.

“We are all one family,” Mitra said. “I pray that you grow so big that your next programme is at (Kolkata’s) Salt Lake Stadium where huge numbers of spectators can be accommodated.”

Contacted after Saradha went bust, Mitra said: “I went because I was invited (to the function). I went to also speak with workers. The group had constructed hospitals and resorts in the area. I was offered the post of president of the union, and I accepted because it was a union of investors.”

 

* At the end of August 2011, football superstar Lionel Messi visited Kolkata for a friendly. Madan Mitra was one of the key organisers of the event. The Saradha Group donated several crore for the match that failed to attract enough sponsors. Asked for a comment, Mitra said: “The match was organized by an event management group. It was not a government event, so it does not matter who funded it.”

 

 

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I denounce Derek O’ Brien and his party’s parochial and dictatorial attitude. Shri Narendra Modi has not been found guilty of any crime by SIT appointed by honourable Supreme Court. Instead of calling Modi “butcher of Gujarat…..” , Mamata Banerjee should come clean on Saradha Chit Fund Scam.

 

[ As stated earlier, I have taken the facts from The Financial Express article. Link of the article was posted by Shri Kanchan Gupta on his twitter-handle. I am indebted and express my gratitude. ]

VIDUR

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Vidur’s Film Diary – March 2014


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 04, 2014           11.55 P.M. 
March 2014 was a disastrous month for the Hindi film industry . Out of 13 films released this month , only 2 films ; ” Queen ” and ” Ragini MMS 2 “ were hits . Remaining 11 films were resounding flops . A sad state of affair for the industry .
For me , though , it was a significant month . Month started with much awaited film ” Gulaab Gang “ . This Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla starrer film has 2 students of mine . Tanvi Rao played an important part and Pawni Pandey sang a song in the film .
Month of March ended with 2 big films .  ” O Teri “ and ” Dishkiyaoon ” . ” O Teri ” has 3 students of mine . Pulkit Samrat and  Bilal Amrohi as actors and Alvira Agnihotri as co producer and costume designer .
My son Abhinav Chaturvedi made his debut as a lyricist with ” O Teri “ . His first ever song ” ………… Ummbakkum ………………. “ is a chart – buster .” Dishkiyaoon “ , though a flop , has 2 students of mine . Harman Baweja and a new comer Ayesha Khanna . They played male and female protagonist respectively .

 

Following links of Vidur Club News Video say my success story :

1 : ” Jai Ho ” :  http://youtu.be/cZzBa4sHXMQ

2 : ” One By Two ” :  http://youtu.be/0WCMfQiPdGI

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Obituary :

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Nanda : 

——————–

A very big star of yesteryear and epitome of Indian beauty , Nanda died on March 25, 2014 at the age of  75 .
Posting link of the blog , which I wrote about her :

Nanda : Pardesiyon Ko Hai Ik Din Jaanaa ….. http://wp.me/ptyXI-3kp


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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – March 07

————————————————

1 – Gulaab Gang ……………………………………… Tanvi Rao

…………………………………………………………… Pawni Pandey

2 – Total Siyapaa ……………………………………. X

3 – Queen ……………………………………………… X

 

Second Week – March 14

——————————————–——–

1 – Bewakoofiyaan …………………………………… Sonam Kapoor

…………………………………………………………….. Ashish Singh

2 – W …………………………………………………….. Danish Pandor

3 – Neighbours ……………………………………….. X

 

Third Week – March 21

————————————————-

1 – Ankhon Dekhi ……………………………………. X

2 – Gangs of Ghosts …………………………………. X

3 – Lakshmi ……………………………………………. Flora Saini

4 – Ragini MMS – 2 …………………………………… Divya Dutta

……………………………………………………………. Sonia Mehra

 

Fourth Week  – March 28
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1 – O Teri ………………………………………………. Pulkit Samrat

……………………………………………………………. Bilal Amrohi

…………………………………………………………… Alvira Agnihotri

…………………………………………………………… Abhinav Chaturvedi

2 – Dishkiyaoon ……………………………………… Harman Baweja

…………………………………………………………… Ayesha Khanna

3 – Youngistaan …………………………………….. X

 

In total …………… 13 …………….. films got released in March . Out of these ………….. 13 ………… released films ……….. 07 ………… films have …………… 14 ……………. artistes , who are trained by me .

 

Out of these ………. 14 ……… persons , ………… 10 ………. are actors . Among the rest ………. 04 ……. , Pawni Pandey is the singer of  ” Gulaab Gang “  . Ashish Singh is the Executive Producer of   ” Bewakoofiyaan ” . Alvira Agnihotri is the co-producer and costume designer of  ” O Teri “ and Abhinav Chaturvedi is the lyricist of the same film .

 

 

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TV Trivia & Me :

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1 – Vikas Manaktala is playing an important role in ” Main Na Bhoolungi “ on Sony TV .

2 – Maninder Singh is playing an important role in ” CID “ on Sony TV .


My ……………. 02 ……….. student in ………… 02 ……………. shows on TV .

 

As an acting trainer / acting tutor , though , it was not an important month , but still I am happy .  My 14 students appeared in 07 films , and 02 student in 02 TV serials . Thus total number of students working in the month of March comes to 16 .

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I congratulate my above mentioned 16 students .

VIDUR Editing Studio and VIDUR Club would also like to wish them well in their glorious journey ahead .

May they shine in their chosen field .

VIDUR

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Khushwant Singh : The Man In Bulb


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 02, 2014           00.15 A.M.

Khushwant Singh's Iconic Image on Editor's Page of The Illustrated Weekly of India

Khushwant Singh’s Iconic Image on Editor’s Page of The Illustrated Weekly of India

This obituary is a much delayed blog post . I wanted to write it immediately after sad demise of Shri Khushwant Singh ji . He died on March 20, 2014 at the age of 99 . But due to work pressure of my acting institute , I was , unfortunately , not able to do that .

Khushwant Singh : In The Winter of His Life

Khushwant Singh : In The Winter of His Life

I came to know about him in 1969  . In my life , 1967 is a watershed year . I left Deoria , my home town in Uttar Pradesh and landed in Allahabad for higher studies . In the hostel of Government Inter College , Allahabad , I was introduced to new horizons , unknown vistas and leading Indian luminaries .

In 1969 , after completing intermediate , I took admission in Allahabad University . I started living in Sir Ganga Nath Jha Hostel . There I got to know about Khushwant Singh , who shot into fame because of the unprecedented success of   The Illustrated Weekly of India  . In the reading room of my hostel , for the first time , I had a chance to glance the above mentioned weekly magazine . A bearded Sardar ji sitting in a light bulb with volumes of books , bottles of booze and photos of buxom beauties , attracted my attention . I read his editorial page week after week and became a life – long fan . As I started knowing  him more , my admiration for him grew .

Khushwant Singh I Know

Khushwant Singh , I Know

Just look at the startling facts of his fascinating life :

+  In 1938 he started his professional career as a practising lawyer . He worked at Lahore Court for eight years.

+ In 1947 he entered Indian Foreign Service . He started as Information Officer of the Government of India in Toronto, Canada . He was Press Attaché and Public Officer for the Indian High Commission for four years in London and Ottawa .

+ In 1951 he joined the All India Radio as a journalist .

+ Between 1954 and 1956 he worked in Department of Mass Communication of UNESCO at Paris .

+ From 1956 he turned editor. He had edited Yojana , an Indian government journal ; The Illustrated Weekly of India , a newsweekly ; and two major Indian newspapers , The National Herald and the Hindustan Times . During his tenure, The Illustrated Weekly became India’s pre-eminent newsweekly, with its circulation raising from 65,000 to 400000 .

I still have some old , dog – eared and pale copies of  The Illustrated Weekly of India   in the study of my Deoria house . I felt sad , when I read that one day on 25 July 1978 , a week before he was to retire, the management asked him to leave ” with immediate effect ” . He was the editor of the magazine for 9 years , from 1969 to 1978 precisely . The circulation rose to 4,00,000 from the previous 65,000 . After his departure it plummeted again .

I read that he woke up at 4.00 AM each day to write his columns by hand . His works ranged from political commentary and contemporary satire to translations of Sikh religious texts and Urdu poetry . He also wrote his highly popular column  ” With Malice Towards One and All “ regularly . It was widely syndicated in all the famous news papers .

Collage of Books

Books of Khushwant Singh :

Short story collections

  • The Mark of Vishnu and Other Stories. London, Saturn Press, 1950.
  • The Voice of God and Other Stories. Bombay, Jaico, 1957.
  • A Bride for the Sahib and Other Stories. New Delhi, Hind, 1967.
  • Black Jasmine. Bombay, Jaico, 1971
  • The Collected Stories. N.p., Ravi Dayal, 1989.
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • The Strain
  • Success Mantra
  • A Love Affair In London
  • ना काहू से दोस्‍ती ना काहू से बैर

Play

Television Documentary: Third World—Free Press (also presenter; Third Eye series), 1983 (UK).

 

Book - 1

I am his admirer and shall always be that , till I am alive . It is strange that he attracted large number of people , who became life – long fan . Though he was a Gandhi – Nehru sympathiser , still he had my unflinching admiration . Even Shri Lal Krishna Advani is an admirer , whom he vehemently criticized for his role in Ram Janma Bhoomi Movement of Ayodhya .

Shri Lal Krishna Advani - A Lifelong Admirer

Shri Lal Krishna Advani – A Lifelong Admirer

It is strange , as well as unique . I am baffled and amazed .

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I offer my condolences to the family and legions of admirers of Khushwant Singh ji.

VIDUR Editing Studio , and VIDUR Club also pray for the departed soul .

May you REST IN PEACE Sir ! I , a believer and idol worshipper , will always miss an unapologetic atheist and crusader iconoclast like you .

 

[ Acknowledgment : I have taken some facts of his life and information about his books from Wikipedia . I have copied the list from Wikipedia and posted it here . Expressing gratitude . ]

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