Mrinal Sen – The Last of the Triumvirate


Mrinal Sen

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           January 03, 2019           06.30 P.M. 

Mrinal Sen

[ 14 May 1923 – 30 December 2018 ]

Mrinal Sen was a Bengali filmmaker based in Kolkata. Along with his contemporaries Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, he was often considered to be one of the greatest ambassadors of Bengali parallel cinema on the global stage. Like the works of Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, his cinema was known for its artistic depiction of social reality. The three directors were ardent admirers of each other’s work, and in so doing, they charted the independent trajectory of parallel cinema, as a counterpoint to the mainstream fare of Hindi cinema in India.

Minal Sen first feature film, Raat Bhore  [ 1955 ] featured Uttam Kumar who was not yet the Major star of Bengali cinema that he became. The movie was a let-down. His next film, Neel Akasher Neechey  [ 1958) ] earned him local recognition, while his third film, Baishey Shravan [ 1960 ] was the first film that gave him international exposure.

After making five more films, he made a film with a shoestring budget provided by the Government of India. This film, Bhuvan Shome  [ 1969 ] finally launched him as a major filmmaker, both nationally and internationally. Bhuvan Shome also initiated the “New Cinema” film movement in India.

Mrinal Sen had been suffering from age related ailments for many years. He died on 30 December 2018 at the age of 95 at his home in Bhawanipore, Kolkata.

 

Funeral Procession of Mrinal Sen

I came to know about him when his film Bhuvan Shome [ 1969 ] was released. It was the year when I just finished intermediate from Government Inter College , Allahabad [ now PRAYAGRAJ ] and took admission in Allahabad University. I was curious about the film but I could not watch it. I became aware of Mrinal Sen because of the buzz around the film.

Poster of BHUVAN SHOME

After  Bhuvan Shome , other gems like Interview [ 1971 ] , Ek Adhuri Kahani  [ 1971 ] , Calcutta 71  [ 1972 ] , Padatik [ 1973 ] , Chorus [ 1974 ] and Mrigayaa [ 1976 ] were released in quick succession.

 

Poster of MRIGAYAA

Mrigayaa [ 1976 ] became talk of the town . It introduced a naxalite as the protagonist. His name was Mithun Chakraborty. He got national award for the best actor for the film and soon became a sensation and later on came to be known as poor man’s Amitabh Bachchan.

Mrinal Sen was an ardent follower of Marxist philosophy. This is precisely the reason , I avoided watching his films. Till date I have watched none of his films . Neither Bhuvan Shome nor even Mrigayaa .

After his demise , I am thinking of watching all his films. List of awards , which his films won , tell us about his craft and his greatness.

 

National awards

National Film Award for Best Feature Film

National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali

National Film Award for Best Direction

International awards 

Moscow International Film Festival – Silver Prize
1975 Chorus[13]
1979 Parashuram[14]
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival – Special Jury Prize
1977 Oka Oori Katha
Berlin International Film Festival
Interfilm Award
1979 Parashuram
1981 Akaler Sandhane
Grand Jury Prize[15]
1981 Akaler Sandhane
Cannes Film Festival – Jury Prize
1983 Kharij
Valladolid International Film Festival – Golden Spike
1983 Kharij
Chicago International Film Festival – Gold Hugo
1984 Khandhar
Montreal World Film Festival – Special Prize of the Jury
1984 Khandhar
Venice Film Festival – OCIC Award – Honorable Mention
1989 Ek Din Achanak
Cairo International Film Festival – Silver Pyramid for Best Director
2002 Aamar Bhuban

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my condolences and tribute. It is sad that because of the aversion of Marxism , I refrained from watching his films .

[ Basic information about Mrinal Sen has been taken from Wikipedia . His photo posted here is from Google,  I express gratitude .]

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Peter O’Toole : An Icon Passes Away


 

English: Cropped screenshot of Peter O'Toole f...

Peter O’Toole in the film Lawrence of Arabia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peter James O’Toole

 2 August 1932 – 14 December 2013

 

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           December 08, 2018           03.30 P.M. 

 

Peter James O’Tool aka Peter O’Tool was a British stage and film actor of Irish and Scottish descent. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company before making his film debut in 1959.

He achieved international recognition playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which he received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for this award another seven times – for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man(1980), My Favorite Year (1982), and Venus (2006) – and holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations for acting without a win. In 2002, O’Toole was awarded the Academy Honorary Award for his career achievements. He was additionally the recipient of four Golden Globe Awards, one British Academy Film Award and one Primetime Emmy Award.

Peter O’Tool with Richard Burton in ” BECKET “

I came to know about him in 1973. I was studying in Prayagraj [ then known as Allahabad ] , Uttar Pradesh. A Hindi film ” NAMAK HARAM ” was released in 1973 in Vishwambhar cinema hall. I, along with my friends, went to swatch it. It was huge hit and everyone was praising Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna’s acting. One day I read an article about ” NAMAK HARAM ” in Northern India Patrika, a popular daily of those days. It was written that this film is based on the iconic Hollywood film ” BECKET ” and how Richard Burton and Peter O’Tool were so brilliant. Richard Burton’s role was played by Rajesh Khanna and Peter O’Tool’s role was essayed by Amitabh Bachchan.

Soon ”  Becket ” was re-released in cinema halls and I saw the film. I had already watched many films of Richard Burton but this was my first brush with Peter O’Tool. I was awe-struck. Later on I watched his first film ”  Lawrence of Arabia “. My admiration for his craft grew manifold.

After completing my studies I left Prayagraj [ then named as Allahabad ] , and after spending 15 years in my native town Deoria, I settled in Mumbai [ then know as Bombay ] . Here in 1990 I watched his film ” THE LAST EMPEROR ” ( 1987 ) . One day while roaming around Hutatma Chowk, [ earlier known as Flora Fountain ] , I got his biography in a road side bookstore. After reading it , I became a life-long admirer.

So when I read about his death, I felt a vacuum in my life. Life is cruel. I got to know about Peter O’Tool in 1973. And in December 2013, I was reading his obituary. A relationship of 40 years came to a sudden end.

Movie business will go on. Many stars will come and fade away. But stars like Peter O’Tool are rare. As is the saying, they don’t make people like him any more.

Peter O’Tool in his sunset years

Peter O’Toole will never return to enthrall us by his histrionics in cinema. There will be many great actors but there will never be another Peter O’Tool.

[ Some personal information and nuggets about his career is taken from Wikipedia. I express my gratitude. ]

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

 

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50 Years of A Friendship


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 24, 2016           11.00 P.M.

With My Friend Mohd. Masood Saheb at His Lucknow Residence

With My Friend Mohd. Masood Saheb at His Lucknow Residence

 

After a month-long wet and rainy monsoon season in Mumbai, sky is clear today. Warmth of July sun, after a month-long continuous rain, is pleasant.

As I sit in my study watching sunrays slowly and victoriously taking over the Mumbai skyline from hovering clouds, my mind takes me back to my Allahabad days. 50 years back it was same bright, sunny July in 1967. The place was Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.

In that year after passing High School, I left my native place Deoria, Uttar Pradesh and reached Allahabad to take admission in the Government Inter College. I got admission in the college and was lucky to find a place in the hostel too, which was in the same campus.

Shy and reticent as I was in those days, it took some time before I got acquainted with my class-mates. PRAMOD VAJPAYEE, MOHD. MASOOD & SHEEL BHADRA DIKSHIT were few names, which are still there with me. Of the three, SHEEL BHADRA DIKSHIT died before he could complete intermediate. PRAMOD VAJPAYEE, MOHD. MASOOD and myself passed intermediate and went to Allahabad University. We took English Literature as our subject so our friendship continued.

After completing graduation in 1972, I came to Mumbai [ then Bombay ] . After spending one year in Mumbai, I returned to Allahabad and completed post graduation in English Literature. Before I could embark on my new journey, my father died. I returned to Deoria.

When I returned from Allahabad after my father’s demise, I thought that now I have lost forever all the friends and acquaintances from Allahabad. SHEEL BHADRA DIKSHIT gone to his eternal journey, PRAMOD VAJPAYEE untraceable and now MASSOD Saheb will also be lost on the long, tortuous, unknown and speedy highways of life.

One day door-bell of my Deoria residence rang. I came out and to my utter surprise, I saw Masood Saheb standing there. He was getting married and his would be wife’s family lived in Deoria.

Destiny! ………………….. O Destiny!! …………………. Unknown are thy ways!!!

I attended his marriage and since he used to come to Deoria quite often, our friendship continued. Whenever I used to visit Lucknow, I always used to go to his Aminabad office and used to have chat with him over a cup of tea.

In October 1989, I left Deoria again and came to Mumbai. Masood Saheb visited Mumbai once and we met.

I go to my native place Deoria once or twice in a year. These days I take Mumbai – Lucknow flight and then take a taxi to Deoria. My younger brother and sister are based in Lucknow so I stay there for few days. Since Masood Saheb is now retired and settled in Lucknow, it has become a habit to visit him too.

This year in May, when I paid a visit to his house, he reminded me that we first met in July 1967 and that July 2016 is the 50th year of our friendship.

When I revisit our 50 long year association, I find very few similarities between us. I was a right-winger Hindu nationalist and Masood Saheb was a left-winger Muslim nationalist. We both are same even now. So where is the meeting point?

As I try to find out, our meeting points are HUMAN VALUES, RATIONAL NATIONALISM, LOVE for URDU LANGUAGE & LITERATURE and RESPECT for EACH OTHER’S CORE VALUES.

I remember, I used to write him letters in Urdu on RSS letterhead. And he used to send Urdu newspaper AZAYEM from Lucknow to Mumbai for me.

And so, our friendship endured all the bygone 50 years. As I said earlier I met him this year in May 2016 in Lucknow. He was frail as usual but his indomitable spirit is still there. And his love for books , literature and Urdu language still continues. And yes, he is still a LEFT-WINGER MUSLIM NATIONALIST.

May God permit him to be so!!!

May God give him a long, happy and active life!!!

Amen!!!!

 

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Vidur’s Film Diary – November 2015


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 06 , 2015           12.35 P.M.

[ MILESTONE : Vidur’s Film Diary completed 6th year of its existence in May 2015. June 2015 marks the beginning of its journey in the 7th year. ]

As an ACTING TRAINER my success rate was 40% in the year 2013 – 2014 . It jumps to 55% in 2014 – 2015. This is unprecedented for any ACTING INSTITUTE or ACTING TRAINER. I am continuously writing Vidur’s Film Diary since 6 years. And to my utter surprise I am noticing that there were no lean months in these 6 years. It never happened that a month came and there were no student in any of the 5 fields of entertainment, which my diary covers. There were more than a dozen working students every month.

For the full understanding of my body of work in 2013 – 2014 & 2014 – 2015, please watch the 05 videos posted below :

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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Saeed Jaffrey :

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Born on January 08, 1929 at Malerkotla, Punjab, Saeed Jaffrey died on November 15, 2015 at the age of 86 in London.

In a career spanning over 60 years, he worked in more than 150 films. Apart from Hindi and American films, he worked in several British films and TV serials. He was inseparable part of Merchant Ivory Production films such as “The Guru” [ 1969 ] , “Hullabaloo Over Georgie And Bonnie’s Pictures” [ 1978 ] , ” The Courtesans Of Bombay” [ 1983 ] and “The Deceivers” [ 1988 ].

He made debut in Hindi films with Satyajit Ray’s “Shatranj Ke Khilari” [ 1977 ]. He fortified in position in Hindi film industry with films like ” Chashme Buddoor” [ 1981 ], “Ram Teri Ganga Maili” [ 1985 ] and “Henna” [ 1991 ].

He won Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for “Shatranj Ke Khilari”, “Ram Teri Ganga Maili” and “Henna”.

He also penned his autobiography, “Saeed : An Actor’s Journey”.

Saeed Jaffrey spent major part of his early years in Gorakhpur and Allahabad, two cities I am also associated with.

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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – November 06

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1 – Charlie Ke Chakkar Mein ……………………………………………………….. X

2 – Four Pillars Of Basement ……………………………………………………….. X

3 – Prithipal Singh ….. A Story ……………………………………………………… X

4 – Ranbanka ……………………………………………………………………………….. X

5 – Yaara Silly Silly ………………………………………………………………………. X

 

Second Week – November 12

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1 – Prem Ratan Dhan Payo ………………………………………. Sonam Kapoor

…………………………………………………………………………… Neil Nitin Mukesh

2 – Run Bhuumi ………………………………………………………………………….. X

 

Third Week – November 20
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1 -X : Past Is Present …………………………………………………………………… X

 

Fourth Week  – November 27
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1 – Tamasha …………………………………………………………….. Ranbir Kapoor

2 – Yeh Ishq Sarfira ……………………………………………………………………. X

 

In total ………..……… 10 ………..….. films got released in November. Out of these ……………..….. 10 …………………… released films ………………….. 02 ……………………… films have …………… 03 ……………. artistes , who are trained by me .


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Theatre & Me :

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1 – Saunil Daru  is playing a role in  ” No Exit “.

2 – Smilie Suri is playing a role in ” Double Trouble “.

 

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

 

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Commercials & Me :

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1 – Ranbir Kapoor is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Lenovo Vibe ” .

2 – Khalid is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Jhandu Kesari Jeewan ” .

3 – Priyanka Chopra is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Schmitten Luxury Chocolates ” .

4 – Priyanka Chopra is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Colgate Active Salt ” .

 

  My ………….. 03 …………… students in …………… 04 …………… commercial campaigns .

 

My 03 students appeared in 02 films, 02 student in 02 plays and 03 students appeared in 04 Ads .

Thus total number of students working in the month of November 2015 comes to 08

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I congratulate my above mentioned 08 students .

May God bless them for making me proud and they shine in their chosen field .

[ List of released films,  dates and other information have been taken from http://www.bollywoodhungama.com . I express gratitude. ]

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19 Indian Origin MPs In Canadian Parliament


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 23, 2015           00.45 A.M.

I follow Shri Tarun Chugh on Twitter. He is a BJP leader from Punjab and is in-charge of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He tweeted about victory of 19 PIOs [ Persons of Indian Origin ] in the 2015 parliamentary elections of Canada. Results were declared on October 19, 2015. Out of these 19 MPs, there are 5 Punjabi females, 5 Sikhs, 7 mona Punjabis and remaining 2 are others. There is one Ms. Anju Dhillon, who created history by winning from Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada.

I felt proud and happy.

 

19 Indian-Canadian MPs

 

My knowledge of Canada began when I read about the 1914 episode of Komagata Maru in history chapters. But my earliest personal memory of Canada dates back to 1968, when Pierre Trudeau, riding on the unprecedented wave called “TRUDEAUMANIA” , won the Canadian parliamentary elections and became the prime minister. I had left my native place Deoria, Uttar Pradesh in 1967 and got admitted in the Government Inter College, Allahabad. I had already started taking interest in world affairs. So Pierre Trudeau and Trudeaumania was a new revelation for me. Trudeau was prime minister till 1984. Barring a brief interruption, he was prime minister for unprecedented 16 years. He lost the elections because of his wife Margaret. I still remember article about him in DINAMAN, a popular political weekly of those days [ Trudeau ki Triya : Wife of Trudeau ] After his defeat I got entangled in my personal affair and lost touch. My 1st honeymoon with Canada ended with Pierre Trudeau’s departure.

 

Political Map of Canada

Political Map of Canada

 

My 2nd affair with Canada started when I came Mumbai in 1989 and started my life as an acting trainer. I have 4 students from Canada till date. My 1st student is MIA EVONNE UYEDA, a French origin Canadian. Then I have 3 other students, Canada nationals of Indian origin. They are : AVNEET GILL, PAMMI BRAR & SAPNA SEHRAVAT.

My 3rd honeymoon with Canada started this year with the highly successful tour of our prime minister Narendra Modi. I watched his community reception in RICOH COLISEUM, TORONTO on April 15, 2015. I was enthralled by the vigour and energy of the Indian diaspora. I felt proud. I thought its going to be the last Canadian chapter in my life. But history plays unknown, unpredictable games with us.

I never knew that Pierre Trudeau will visit my life one more time. He will visit rather pretty soon. And as I stated in the beginning, I came to know about 19 victorious MPs of Indian origin in recently concluded parliamentary elections. When I read the victorious leader’s name, I just smiled. Its none other than Justin Trudeau, the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau. 31 year after Trudeau senior’s retirement, his son returns as the triumphant leader of his father’s Liberal party. He trounced and ended a decade long rule of Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader. New Democratic Party, the eternally 3rd NDP remains 3rd.

I remembered Justin Trudeau and hid daughter’s picture with our prime minister Narendra Modi.

Modi with Justin Trudeau - The New Prime Minister of Canada & His Daughter

Modi with Justin Trudeau – The New Prime Minister of Canada & His Daughter

While writing this blog, I am smiling and remembering Pierre Trudeau, who apart from Comagata Maru, was my 1st interest in Canadian history. And now his elder son Justin Trudeau makes me a fan because he leads a parliament, which has 19 MPs of Indian origin.

Modi with Justin Trudeau

Modi with Justin Trudeau

Long Live Indo-Canada friendship !!

Flag of India & Canada

Flag of India & Canada

Indian Canadians are just 3% of Canada’s population. But they are 8.15% of the 184 victorious Liberal MPs.

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I congratulate 19 victorious Canadian MPs of Indian origin.

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Father’s Day & My Brothers-In-Law


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 21, 2015           11.55 P.M.

 

For me Sunday is the day of reading and writing. As I am sitting in my study in Mumbai and watching rain water caressing window panes of my study, I started pondering about the subject of my blog. As it is the 1st International Yoga Day today, the obvious choice seems to be the 1st International Yoga Day.

But I suddenly realise that it is FATHER’S DAY also and today youngsters are celebrating it with gusto. So I think it is better to write about it.

In India is there any need for a day like this? A country which since time immemorial pronounced :

पिता स्वर्ग , पिता धर्म , पिता ही परमंतपो ,
पितोरि प्रीतिमापन्ने , प्रीयन्ते सर्व देवता ॥

[ Father is like heaven, father is like religion, father is like supreme penance / meditation. If your father is pleased with you, all the Gods are pleased with you automatically. ]

यः प्रीणयेत् सुचरितैः पितरं स पुत्रो ॥

[ They are the worthy sons, who please their fathers with their good conducts. ]

So where is the need for this obnoxious FATHER’S DAY?

But these days youngsters celebrate just one day as FATHER’S DAY, because their father and mother don’t exist for them for the rest of 364 days.

Today as I write this blog about FATHER’S DAY, I remember my two brothers-in-law, Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla and Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi. I have never seen such devout father worshippers in my life. They never criticise their respective fathers. They never crib about some imaginary short-comings of their fathers. Their fathers must have made few mistakes in their lives. But I have never heard them complaining about that. They belong to rich and respectable families. Still their fathers were unable to provide them fancy cars, private jet planes and a personal / private islands for vacation. But they don’t complain. They were not sent to foreign countries for so-called better education but they don’t accuse their fathers for that.

They are always full of gratitude because they know that their fathers had made supreme sacrifices for their education and upbringing. Their fathers did everything which they could. And which they couldn’t do, they are not blamed, insulted or cursed for that.

For such people every day is FATHER’S DAY. Because gratitude and respect is in their DNA. I always respect Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla and Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi from the bottom of my heart. I know that my sisters are married to good human beings and that they will live a secure and satisfied life till their end. Whenever death will knock at my door, I will die a satisfied death fully knowing that after I am gone my sisters won’t face any difficulties in their marital lives because they have such good-hearted men as their spouses.

With Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla

With Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla

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With Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi [ Extreme Left ] & My Brother Devesh [ Middle ]

With Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi [ Extreme Left ] & My Brother Devesh [ Middle ]

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I don’t know I am a good son or not. But whenever I think about my father, I feel that I never betrayed him. I may not be a good son but he was a good father. He took extremely good care of me. He did everything what he could do for my well-being. He supported me with the kind of money which was genuinely required. He bought me a Herculis Cycle. I still cherish the gift. And I don’t blame him that he was unable to provide me fancy cars, sport bikes and that he never send me abroad for holidaying. I wore normal clothes and Bata shoes. We had no fridge, cooler or radiograme at home, which were common in those days. But I have no grudge against him for these things. He sent me to Allahabad for higher studies. I still feel indebted for that. I don’t blame him that he couldn’t dole out money for me to get admitted in Oxford or Cambridge.

My Father Late Shri Lakshmi Kant Chaturvedi

My Father Late Shri Lakshmi Kant Chaturvedi

 

He did everything which he could do. I am happy that I never pestered him with unnecessary requests. I never forced him to take loan to give me a life of so-called luxury. In fact my two other brothers and two sister have the same feelings for him. We don’t blame our father for anything.

He died on February 27, 1974 due to heart failure. I was 22 and studying at Allahabad. I was not there at the time of his death. I have a regret. I was not able to help him in his old age. I couldn’t do anything for him, though he did everything for me. My younger brother Atul was more fortunate. He was always at his side. He was there when he died. He served him well and I couldn’t. I still regret it but …………………

 

इस जीवन की चादर में , साँसों के ताने – बाने हैं ,
दुःख की थोड़ी सी सलवट है , सुख के कुछ फूल सुहाने हैं ,
क्यों सोचें आगे क्या होगा , अब कल के कौन ठिकाने हैं ,
ऊपर बैठा वो बाज़ीगर , जाने क्या मन में ठाने है ,
चाहे जितना भी जतन करें , भरने का दामन तारों से ,
झोली  में वो ही आएंगे , जो तेरे नाम के दाने हैं ……

 

As I ponder on my life this night, I don’t find any reason to blame my father for anything. I am myself responsible for my failures, short-comings and misfortunes, if there are any. I don’t need my father as a scapegoat for my wretched life.

A new day of my life starts tomorrow. When all my friends, even my younger brother Devesh, have retired, I am preparing for a 18-hour-working-schedule at the age of 63. Death will knock at my door any day. Though I regret that I wasn’t able to serve my father but I will leave this world with extreme satisfaction that I have no complaint against my father. I don’t blame him for anything.

For this simple reason I don’t need a FATHER’S DAY. My father is always with me. He will remain there till my last day on earth, till my last breath.

 

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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

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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