Vidur Acting Institute Spreads Across India …… Almost !!


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 27, 2016           08.25 P.M.

Vidur Acting Institute Spreads Across India …….. Almost!! Is it narcissistic? Is it megalomania? Some will yell, yes! But here are the reason and facts.

Few days back, I was posting a greeting for the people of Mizoram on the occasion of Chapchar Kut. I always write, ” To all my students, friends & well-wishers ……. ” I suddenly realised that I have yet to get an acting student from Mizoram. I started counting. Then I realised that apart from Mizoram, I don’t have any student from Arunachal Pradesh either.

Political Map of India

Political Map of India

At this point of time there are 29 states in the Republic of India. They are : ANDHRA PRADESH //  ARUNACHAL PRADESH // ASSAM // BIHAR // CHHATTISGARH // GOA // GUJARAT // HARYANA // HIMACHAL PRADESH // JAMMU & KASHMIR // JHARKHAND // KARNATAKA // KERALA // MADHYA PRADESH // MAHARASHTRA // MANIPUR // MEGHALAYA // MIZORAM // NAGALAND // ODISHA // PUNJAB // RAJASTHAN // SIKKIM // TAMIL NADU // TELANGANA // TRIPURA // UTTAR PRADESH // UTTARAKHAND // WEST BENGAL

Out of 29 states of India, I have got and trained students from 27 states.  Only 2 states; ARUNACHAL PRADESH & MIZORAM are still out of my reach.

ONLY TWO [ 02 ] out of TWENTY NINE [ 29 ] !!

Therefore I titled the blog – “Vidur Acting Institute Spreads Across India …… Almost!!”

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Location of Arunachal Pradesh in the Map of India

Location of Arunachal Pradesh in the Map of India

ARUNACHAL PRADESH, one of the twenty-nine states of the Republic of India , borders Assam and Nagaland to the south, and shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Burma in the east and Tibet in the north. Itanagar is the capital of the state.

Formerly called the North-East Frontier Agency, [ NEFA ] , was ceded to Britain by the Tibetan government with the Simla Accord (1914).

NEFA was renamed as Arunachal Pradesh on 20 January 1972 and it became a Union Territory. Arunachal Pradesh became a state on 20 February 1987.

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Location of Mizoram in the Map of India

Location of Mizoram in the Map of India

MIZORAM is one of the 8 states of Northeast India, with Aizawl as its capital. It is the southern most landlocked state sharing borders with three of the Eight sister states, namely Tripura, Assam, Manipur. The state also shares a 722 kilometer border with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Like several other northeastern states of India, Mizoram was previously part of Assam until 1972, when it was carved out as a Union Territory. It became the 23rd state of India on 20 February 1987.

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Apart from 2 above mentioned states, I have yet to get students from 3 Union Territories. They are : DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI // DAMAN & DIU // LAKSHADWEEP

At this point of time there are 7 Union Territories in the  Republic of India. They are : ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS // CHANDIGARH // DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI // DAMAN & DIU // LAKSHADWEEP // NCR DELHI // PUDUCHERRY

I have trained actors from 4 of the 7 UTs. Only 3 remain. They are; DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI // DAMAN & DIU // LAKSHADWEEP

ONLY THREE [ 03 ] out of SEVEN [ 07 ] !!

Therefore I titled the blog – “Vidur Acting Institute Spreads Across India …… Almost!!”

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Location of Daman & Diu in the Map of India

Location of Daman & Diu in the Map of India

DAMAN & DIU : For over 450 years, the coastal enclaves of Daman (Portuguese: Damão) and Diu on the Arabian Sea coast were part of Portuguese India, along with Goa and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Goa, Daman and Diu were incorporated into the Republic of India on December 19, 1961, by military conquest. Portugal did not recognise the Indian annexation of these territories until 1974.

The territory of “Goa, Daman and Diu” was administered as a single union territory until 1987. Then Goa was granted statehood, leaving Daman and Diu as a separate union territory.

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Location of Dadra & Nagar Haveli in the Map of India

Location of Dadra & Nagar Haveli in the Map of India

DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI is a Union Territory in Western India. Nagar Haveli is wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat, whereas Dadra is an enclave surrounded by Gujarat. The shared capital is Silvassa.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli map in pink colour depicting the Gujarati enclave village of Maghval in grey colour.

Maghval is a small enclave village belonging to Gujarat that is located within Nagar Haveli, just south of Silvassa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

The Portuguese occupied Nagar Haveli on 10 June 1783 on the basis of Friendship Treaty executed on 17 December 1779 as compensation towards damage to the Portuguese frigate by Maratha Navy. Then, in 1785 the Portuguese purchased Dadra.

Under the Portuguese rule or the Estado da Índia (Portuguese State of India) Dadra & Nagar Haveli formed a single concelho (municipality), named “Nagar Haveli”, with its head in Darará until 1885 and, after that, with its head in the town of Silvassa.

After India attained Independence in 1947, the residents of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, with the help of volunteers of organisations, subtracted the territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli from Portuguese India in 1954.

In 1961 when Indian forces took over Goa, Daman, and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli was also merged with the Republic of India.

On 31 December 1974 a treaty was signed between India and Portugal on recognition of India’s sovereignty over Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

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Location of Lakshadweep in the Map of India

Location of Lakshadweep in the Map of India

LAKSHADWEEP : formerly known as the Laccadive, Minicoy, and Aminidivi Islands is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 kilometres off the south-western coast of India. The archipelago is a Union Territory and is governed by the Union Government of India. The islands form the smallest Union Territory of India: their total surface area is just 32 km2 (12 sq mi). Kavaratti serves as the capital of the Union Territory and the region comes under the jurisdiction of Kerala High Court.

In the 16th century the Portuguese took control of the archipelago but the islanders expelled them in 1545. In the 17th century, the islands came under the rule of Ali Rajahs /Arakkal Bheevi of Kannur, who received them as a gift from the Kolathiris.

The Aminidivi group of islands (Androth, Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlath and Bitra) came under the rule of Tipu Sultan in 1787. They passed to British control after the Third Anglo-Mysore War and were attached to South Canara. The rest of the islands came under the suzerainty of the Arakkal family of Cannanore in return for a payment of annual tribute. The British took over the administration of those islands for non-payment of arrears. These islands were attached to the Malabar district of the Madras Presidency during the British Raj.

In 1956, during the reorganization of Indian states, the Lakshadweep islands were organized into a separate union territory for administrative purposes.

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Political Map of India

Political Map of India

It is a proud moment for me. It is very satisfying for any acting institute. I feel blessed that out of 36 states and Union Territories of my country, I have trained students from 31. Only 05 still remain out of my reach.

STATES : ONLY TWO [ 02 ] remain out of TWENTY NINE [ 29 ] !! [ ARUNACHAL PRADESH & MIZORAM ]

UNION TERRITORIES : ONLY THREE [ 03 ] remain out of SEVEN [ 07 ] !! [ DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI // DAMAN & DIU // LAKSHADWEEP ]

INDIA : ONLY FIVE [ 05 ] remain out of THIRTY SIX [ 36 ] !!

Therefore I titled the blog – “Vidur Acting Institute Spreads Across India …… Almost!!”

 

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[  Information about states & Union Territories have been taken from Wikipedia. I express gratitude. ]

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Nagaland Peace Accord & Narendra Modi


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In a remarkable move the officials of government of India signed a peace agreement with a  major Naga tribal group, waging a guerrilla war with the central government for over past six decades. The agreement besides restoring peace in the region also attempts to build institutions bestowing greater autonomy to Naga tribes. The peace pact reached between the government of India and the largest militant faction of the North East, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), NSCN (IM) can significantly bring down the insurgent insurrection. While the finer details of the accord and the mechanisms of its execution are still under wraps the move is welcomed by all political parties. Modi recalling it as a major triumph under the flag of Act East Policy reiterated that restoring peace, economic and social progression of North East has been his utmost priority.

To appreciate the crux of the issue, it is worth recapitulating the genesis and epic-proportions of the Naga insurgency tale. The undivided Goalpara district or the Assam province which was under the control of the Ahom rulers of Burma became part of the Bengal Subah of the Mughal Empire after conflicts. Subsequently in 1765 it fell into the hands of East India Company along with Bengal and became part of the special administrative region of North-Eastern parts of Rangpur. After a series of Anglo- Burmese wars and enforcement of Doctrine of Lapse the entire region of Assam was annexed to British India by 1833 (1). British later on captured several Naga territories and consolidated them under the Naga Hills district in Assam. Actually each Naga village was sovereign and ruled by tribal heads and Naga tribes had no common identity. British guilefully permitted the penetration of Christian Missionaries into the region and inadvertently religion fostered unity between Naga tribes.

Nagas were recruited by British during World War I as labour corps and sent to France. But they were alienated from rest of the British Indian troops and this alienation promoted unity between them. Upon returning to their homeland Nagas with few British officials formed the Naga Club in 1918.  Under the government act of 1919 British declared Naga Hill district as backward tract and treated it as separate entity. In 1928 Naga club submitted a memorandum to Simon Commission requesting that Nagas be allowed to have right to self-determination after their departure from India. In 1930’s the Naga tribes under the leader of Haipou Jadonang and Rani Gaidinliu rebelled against British. As per Government Act of India 1935, the Naga Hill district was declared as an Excluded area administered by Governor of Assam.

In 1945 C. R. Pawsney formed a Naga Hills District Tribal Race which evolved into Nagaland National Council (NNC) under the leadership of Angami Zapi Phizo. Phizo considered as Father of Nagas led an armed secessionist revolution and campaigned for a sovereign Naga nation. On August 14th 1947, a day before India’s independence Phizo declared the independence of Nagaland. Anticipating a stiff opposition from the insurgent group of Nagas prior to declaration of independence in June, 1947 the governor of Assam Sir Akbar Hyderi initiated peace talks. He signed a 9-point agreement with moderate members of NNC. The Hyderi accord agreed to grant judicial, executive and legislative powers and autonomy in land related matters. But the constituent assembly failed to ratify the accord that envisioned Naga demand for a sovereign state with India as a Guardian power for 10 years.  Instead they were granted district autonomy within Indian constitution.

In 1948 an agreement was reached between NCN and Government of India recognising Naga people right to self-determination (3). But NNC under the leadership of Phizo intensified their demand to establish a sovereign Naga state. He conducted a referendum in 1951 wherein nearly 99% voted for an independent Nagaland. Phizo has called for boycott of general elections in 1952 and launched violent secessionist movement. He also met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951 and 1952 with a petition for sovereign status and separate electorate for Nagas but was refused. He was later in Burma arrested for illegal entry. Phizo then created an underground government, Naga Federal Government (NFG) and Naga Federal Army (NFA) on March 22nd 1956 (4). To quell the raising insurgency, government inducted Armed Forces and enforced Armed Forced (Special Powers) Act in 1958. Phizo escaped to East Pakistan in 1956 and lived in exile till death in London.

In the meanwhile government of India placed Naga Hills District under the tribal districts “Part A” category as per the sixth schedule of constitution, as an autonomous district governed by Governor of Assam with a limited representation in Assam state legislative assembly and Indian Parliament. This arrangement was refused by the Naga leaders. Hence along Tuensang division it was placed in “Part B” category as an area in the North East Frontier Agency under the administrative authority of Ministry of External Affairs in 1957. Following negotiations with secessionists the region was later converted into a full-fledged state of Nagaland in 1963, December 1st.

Government constituted a peace mission consisting of Jaya Prakash Narain, Assam chief minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha and Rev Michael Scott that signed an Agreement for Suspension of Operation (AGSOP) with insurgent groups in April, 1964. But relentless violations by NNC and NFG continued to rock the state in spite of the six rounds of peace negotiations. The peace mission was abandoned in 1967. In 1972 government launched a massive counter-insurgency operation and banned the NNC and NFG under the unlawful associations act. Situation was brought under control by 1975 and a section of the NNC and NFG on November 11th 1975 signed the famous Shillong Accord. Consequently the Naga rebels accepted the supremacy of Indian constitution, renounced arms and demand for secession of Nagaland from India (5).

But peace still eluded this region as nearly 150 rebels who were away in China and Burma for training during the signing of agreement refused to accept the final settlement with Indian government. Among them the trio of Isak Chisi Swu, Thuingaleng Muviah and S, Khaplang blatantly rejected the agreement and in the next five years parted from ways with NNC and created National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) in 1980. This group quickly emerged as a strong rebel contingent and NNC-NFG became less active. But by 1988 the rebellion within the group resulted in splintering of the unit into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) and the names of factions denote the rebel leaders heading them. In 1990 after death of Phizo, NNC split into NNC (A) led by Phizo’s daughter Adino and NNC (K) headed by Vice-president Khodao Yanthan. NNC (K) later merged with NSCN (IM) (6). Each of the splinter groups represents different tribes. Konyaks group is led by S. Khaplang of NSCN (K), a Hemie Naga from Myanmar. Tangkhuls led by Isak, a Sema from Nagaland and Muivah a Tangkhul from Ukhrul district of Manipur.

Irrespective of the tribes they represent, the ultimate aspiration of the Naga leaders has been to merge the contiguous areas of the Naga territories and create a greater Nagaland or Nagalim, four times the size of Nagaland. The putative Naga territory encompasses districts in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. Hence each of these states is wily of such a demand. This desire for Nagalim is so entrenched that even the elected representatives of the Nagaland assembly still continue to pass the resolution on the need for carving out Nagalim. India signed cease-fire agreements with NSCN (IM) in 1997 and with NSCN (K) in 2001. While NSCN (IM) has climbed down on their demand for a sovereign state for Nagas, they are particular about the creation of Nagalim. During the ceasefire period violent conflicts erupted between these two rival factions of NSCN.  Government of India held as many as 80 negotiations through interlocutors and monitored by the ceasefire commission with these factions. It emerged that NSCN (IM) has been sincere in its commitment.

NSCN (K) violated ceasefire agreement in March 2015, drawing support from ULFA, Bodos and Manipur militants it surfaced as United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia. It executed an attack on Indian Army which resulted in the death of 18 jawans in Manipur on June 4th 2015. The present accord is termed historic as government clinched an agreement with the largest Naga groups which in turn can pave way for bringing other minor Naga factions on board. Prime Minister Modi is believed to have effectively utilised the good will created by Atal Bihari Vajpayee who wooed Nagas with his immaculate gestures and open confessions. He was the only Prime Minister fondly remembered by people of Nagaland for appreciating and recognising their unique history and frankly admitting the failures of Indian government that left trails of blood in the state (7).

According the interlocutor RN Ravi, the ground work for the accord has been done under the UPA government but the indecisive leadership frittered away the opportunity for a major breakthrough in 2012. Perhaps, the recent ceasefire violations by NSCN (K) propelled central leadership into swift action and spurred them to clinch an agreement with its rival faction NSCN (IM). But for the collaborative action of Ajit Doval, interlocutor RN Ravi, Nagaland governor PB Acharya and the Naga People’s front leader TR Zeliang this mission couldn’t have been achieved.

While the details of the initial framework agreement are sketchy, it is believed that since government of India will not compromise on the sovereignty and integrity of the country, redrawing of state boundaries may be ruled out. But the accord might have entailed upon greater autonomy to the Naga dominated regions in the various states. While article 371 (A)   already accords special status to Nagaland, government might consider strengthening it further (8).

The accord signed by Modi is truly iconic as it comes after a long duration of unrelenting parley of peace negotiations with promise of restoring the peace in the region marred with violence. The pact epitomizes the exemplary statesmanship of Modi and his steadfast commitment to make North East region more inclusive. The true test for the government lies in carefully dealing with different state governments of the region, in decommissioning arms of rebels and their absorption into mainstream and chalking out a robust long-term development projects for the North East.

[ For this article I am indebted to Mr. Ramaharitha Pusarla . He published the article on August 06, 2015 under the title of “Historic Naga Accord” in the website MyIndMakers. I am posting verbatim that very article and I express my deep gratitude and indebtedness to Mr. Pusarla. ]

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Longest Serving Chief Ministers of India


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 30 , 2012           11.57 P.M.

After Narendra Modi‘s emphatic and 3rd consecutive electoral victory in 2012 Gujarat assembly elections , I came across a very startling fact through news papers . Times of India reported that including Narendra Modi , at present we have 6 serving Chief Ministers in various states of India , who have won 3 consecutive terms .

Corrected few errors.

Map of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is the list of 6 serving Chief Ministers , who have won 3 consecutive terms .

1 – Sheila Dikshit = Delhi – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 1998 – to date ]

2 – Manik Sarkar = Tripura – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 1998 – to date ]

3 – Naveen Patnaik = Odisha – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 2000 – to date ]

4 – Tarun Gogoi = Assam – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 2001 – to date ]

5 – Okram Ibobi Singh = Manipur – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 2002 – to date ]

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6 – Narendra Modi = Gujarat – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 2002 – to date ]

It is very interesting to note that out of these 6 Chief Ministers ; 3 belong to Congress [ Indian National Congress ] , and 1 each to CPM [ Communist Party of India – Marxist ] , BJD [ Biju Janata Dal ] & BJP [ Bharatiya Janata Party ] .

Till date , there are only 13 Chief Ministers , who could win 3 or more than 3 terms consecutively . Here is the list :

1 – Jyoti Basu = West Bengal – 5 Consecutive Terms [ 1977 – 2000 ]

2 – Mohanlal Sukhadia = Rajasthan – 4 Consecutive Terms [ 1954 – 1971 ]

3 – Gegong Apang = Arunachal Pradesh – 4 Consecutive Terms [ 1980 – 1999 ]

4 – B. C. Roy = West Bengal – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 1948 – 1962 ]

5 – K. Kamaraj = Tamil Nadu – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 1954 – 1963 ]

6 – Vasantrao Naik = Maharashtra – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 1963 – 1975 ]

7 – M.G. Ramachandran = Tamil Nadu – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 1977 – 1987 ]

8 – Sheila Dikshit = Delhi – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 1998 – to date ]

9 – Manik Sarkar = Tripura – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 1998 – to date ]

10 – Naveen Patnaik = Odisha – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 2000 – to date ]

11 – Tarun Gogoi = Assam – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 2001 – to date ]

12 – Okram Ibobi Singh = Manipur – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 2002 – to date ]

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13 – Narendra Modi = Gujarat – 3 Consecutive Terms [ 2002 – to date ]

If you dissect the list further , out of these 13 Chief Ministers ; 8 belong to Congress [ Indian National Congress ] , 2 belong to CPM [ Communist Party of India – Marxist ] and 1 each to AIADMK [ All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam ] , BJD [ Biju Janata Dal ] and BJP [ Bharatiya Janata Party ] .

I think in next assembly elections due in 2013 , this scenario is definitely going to change . 2 more BJP Chief Ministers are poised to win their 3rd consecutive term . They are , Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Raman Singh , the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh respectively .

2013 assembly elections are going to unfold interesting chapter in the history of India .

It would be an interesting political story to share with my acting students of my acting institute  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

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50 Years of Chinese Invasion of India


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 31 , 2012           08.00 P.M.

As I have stated in my blog about Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 , the year 1962 in general and month of October in particular is permanently etched in my memory . Chinese invasion in October 1962 was not just an attack on India , it was not just an invasion , it was humiliation of a gigantic proportion .

Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru (Photo credit: Phillie Casablanca)

According to me the root cause for this humiliation was Jawahar Lal Nehru . The 1st Prime Minister of India and his utopian and non – pragmatic policies brought shame to our nation . Fabian Socialism propagated by the 1st Prime Minister of India , Jawahar Lal Nehru was highly romantic dogma in the world of cunning politics . It is difficult to understand Nehru’s fascination and admiration for China and Chinese culture . He propounded a utopian idea of PANCHASHEEL . He coined an emotive slogan of  ” Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai ” . But it all was in vain . China never reciprocated his utopian feelings of friendship and brotherhood .

His party , Indian National Congress and its leaders were forced to subjugation by Nehru . He , along with his friend Krishna Menon , who was Minister of Defence in the Government of India , lulled everyone to sleep and forced the nation to believe that everything is fine and China and Chinese people are our great friend .

Chinese incursions and hostile activities in the Aksai Chin area of Ladakh were brought to Nehru’s notice but he suppressed the information , sat on the dossiers and lied to even his peers and colleagues . He even kept his cabinet ministers in dark and everyone was forced to accept his lies .

The Disputed Territory : Shown in green is Kas...

Shown in green is Kashmiri region under Pakistani control. The orange-brown region represents Indian Jammu and Kashmir while the Aksai Chin is under Chinese occupation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A Locator map of North East Frontier ...

A Locator map of North East Frontier Agency in 1961. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

China and India shared a long border, sectioned into three stretches by Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan, which follows the Himalayas between Burma and what was then West Pakistan. A number of disputed regions lie along this border. At its western end is the Aksai Chin region, an area the size of Switzerland, that sits between the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang and Tibet (which China declared as an autonomous region in 1965). The eastern border, between Burma and Bhutan, comprises the present Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh (formerly the North East Frontier Agency). Both of these regions were overrun by China in the 1962 conflict.

Chinese launched simultaneous offensives in Ladakh and across the McMahon Line on 20 October 1962, coinciding with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Chinese troops advanced over Indian forces in both theatres, capturing Rezang la in Chushul in the western theatre, as well as Tawang in the eastern theatre. The war ended when the Chinese declared a ceasefire on 20 November 1962, and simultaneously announced its withdrawal from the disputed area.

Brazenly attacking India , capturing Indian territory and then declaring unilateral ceasefire was a calculated step by China to humiliate India . Nehru’s romanticism , his doctrine of PANCHASHEEL , his ” Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai ” slogan and his dream of becoming a world leader was shattered beyond repair . His humiliation was complete and total . But even after bringing shame to the nation , he was shamelessly glued to his chair .

I vividly remember those days of night curfew and blackouts . Whole nation was frightened . Nations morale was in shambles . Indian Army was battered . Prestige of India was defaced and defiled . But our ruling party Indian National Congress was unapologetic and Nehru clan shamelessly refused to take responsibility and continued to lead us to some other inglorious future .

This October we are again remembering this shameful chapter of our not so distant past . Sitting in the office of my Acting Institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I am remembering those embarrassing days and would like to forget the agony , the shame and utter humiliation , which we faced because of  the 1st Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru and his party Indian National Congress .

Let us take a resolve that never again we should blindly believe the lies of the Congress and its leaders . Let us make efforts to bring nationalist forces to power and make our country strong and powerful .

[ Some facts and figures have been taken from Wikipedia . I express my gratitude . ]

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25 Years of Statehood of Arunachal Pradesh


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 29 , 2012           10.45 P.M.

During my childhood , I had known a part my country , which was called NEFA . It came to national prominence during the India – China War of 1962 . Nathu La Pass and NEFA [ North East Frontier Agency ] became household names and our concern for this far off and neglected part of India was so great that we felt that we all are resident of NEFA . This erstwhile NEFA is now known as Arunachal Pradesh .

English: A Locator map of North East Frontier ...

A Locator map of North East Frontier Agency in 1961. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before India – China war , I used to know only one province of North East India and it was Assam . Assam was a huge state of India in 1950 . Barring Manipur and Tripura , all the other provinces of present day North East India including NEFA were part of Assam . Map posted below bears testimony to this .

Political boundary of Assam in the 1950s.

Map of Assam in 1950

During British era this whole region was rules as a part of Bengal Presidency . Province of Assam came into being in 1874 . NEFA came into being in 1955 , though it was part of Assam .  It ceases to exist now . NEFA is now re-christened as Arunachal Pradesh and came into being on February 20 , 1987 as a state of India . Itanagar is the state capital .

Map of India showing location of Arunachal Pradesh

Location of Arunachal Pradesh in the Map of India

ITANAGAR ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Itanagar – Capital of Arunachal Pradesh

So in a nutshell from 1954 to 1972 NEFA was part of Assam . On January 20 , 1972 it was separated from Assam and became Union Territory . On February 20 , 1987  it became a state of India . So it completed 33 years as Union Territory and it now completes 25 years as a state .

Present day Arunachal Pradesh is divided into 17 districts for administrative purposes .

English: Tawang Town with monastery in backgro...

Tawang Town with The Monastery

Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is the Buddhist religious place and is the birth place of HH 6th Dalai Lama .

The birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama (Urgellin...

The Birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama

Simla Agreement between British and Tibet in 1913 – 1914 established the boundary line between present day Arunachal Pradesh of India and Tibet . Sir Henry MacMohan drew up 890 km long MacMohan Line as the border between British India and Outer Tibet . Chinese representative had no problem at that time but now China refuses to accept MacMohan Line and claims all of Arunachal Pradesh as her own province .

 

English: Map of the British Indian Empire from...

Map of the British Indian Empire from Imperial Gazetteer of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Survey of India had published a map in 1937 showing MacMohan Line as the official boundary . Even if you try to forget all the mythological links of present day Arunachal Pradesh with Mahabharat and it being the abode of MahaRishi Parashuram and it being the mythical kingdom of Kundinpur , which belonged to Rukmini’s father and it being the place , where Krishna Bhagwan came and married Rukmini , still the fact remains that from 1937 to 2012 , Arunachal Pradesh has 75 years of existence with India . If you consider the signing of Simla Accord between British India and Tibet in 1913 – 1914 , then this existence extends to 99 years .

In February 2012 , Arunachal Pradesh completed 25 years as a province of India . Irrespective of what China says , Arunachal has its links with India since Mahabharat days . And God willing next year Arunachal Pradesh will complete 100 years of its existence with India .

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Jarawa Tribe of Andaman & Pan – Indian Mentality


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 17 , 2012           02.40 A.M.

Apart from Hindus , Muslims , Christians , Jews and Parsis India has a sizable chunk of animist tribal population also . Andaman & Nicobar Islands have a large tribal population , some of them are even pre – historic . Some of these aboriginal tribes have been declared endangered . It means they are on the verge of extinction .

English: Map of the Nicobar and Andaman Islands.

Map of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Jarawa tribe is one of the most endangered tribes of Andaman & Nicobar Islands . There are just 240 Jarawas left . That is the reason Administration of Andaman & Nicobar Islands has declared them endangered tribes and have initiated several welfare schemes for the preservation of their identity and culture .

Map of Andaman and Nicobar Islands showing loc...

Map of India Showing Location of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Last week  some tourists filmed a video , which showed that Jarawa women are dancing for food . When the news became public there was tremendous public outcry . Several mainstream channels carried the clippings and they were indignant that Jarawas were degraded by this dance – for – food act  and that  filming of the act was inhuman and insensitive . Demands for inquiry were raised and the administration of Andaman & Nicobar Islands promptly ordered  the inquiry .

Blurred Vision of Jarawa Dance Video Shown on Times Now

Blurred Vision of Jarawa Dance for Food

Andaman & Nicobar Islands are enchantingly beautiful . Azure sea , breath – taking greenery and primitive surroundings are beyond words .

Andaman Islands

Sunset and Sunrise also attract tourists . This pristine and virgin beauty has to be preserved from senseless urbanization . These eco – sensitive and fragile beauty can’t be open for unbridled modernization . Pre – historic jungles shouldn’t be allowed to become a concrete jungle .

Sunset in Andaman

A Seashore of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

We have a policy for tribals . It calls for their protection and for the preservation of their tradition and culture . This issue of preserving tribal culture is so vexed that initially I was swayed by the views of various anchors of news channels . In the Times of India of January 15 , 2012 , I read a column ” Swaminomics ”  , written by columnist Mr. Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar . Thanks to Mr. Aiyar’s column , my views on this issue is clear now .

We do need to preserve our tribal culture . We should and must try to protect our endangered tribal population . But keeping them in quarantined atmosphere is not preservation . I am posting few photos of the Jarawa tribals . Watch these Jarawa men and women and then decide :

A Jarawa

A Jarawa

Jarawas

According to me our tribal population should be allowed to mix with the mainstream . They should be encouraged to study , to live a decent life . They are entitled to proper medication and they have every right to have all the modern amenities . Just look at the photograph of Port Blair , the capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands :

A Market of Port Blair

Main Road of Port Blair

Port Blair is not a metropolitan city .It is not like New Delhi , Mumbai or Bengaluru . But definitely it is a bustling town with all the modern amenities . Now compare this with the condition of the tribal population of Andaman & Nicobar Islands :

A Jarawa Family

A Jarawa Couple

Is it not inhuman to keep our tribals in the primitive condition of pre – historic days ? It is argued that exposing them to civil society will be injurious for their existence . Total land area of Andaman & Nicobar Islands is 6,496 km. Total population , as per recent census statistics of 2011 is 3,79,944 .There are only 5 tribes in Andaman Islands . They are ; Great Andamanese , Jarawa , Jangil , Onge and Sentinelese . Their total number is 7,000 . There are only 2 tribes in Nicobar Islands . They are ; Nicobarese and Shompens .Some of Nicobarese are educated and have been exposed to modern civilization ;

Tribal Population of Nicobar Islands

Out of all the 572 islands , only  38 are inhabited . Out of these 38 islands less than a dozen have some kind of tribal population . Can’t we keep watch on them and protect them from exploitation ? Tribals of North – East India are well – educated . They have been exposed to modern culture . They live in cities with all the modern trappings . They didn’t disappear and become extinct . In fact they are more rooted and still preserve their identity and thriving ethnic culture . Tribal People of Arunachal Pradesh , Nagaland , Manipur , Meghalaya , Mizoram and Tripura are modern , well – educated and city – centric . They don’t live in their pre – historic primitive conditions . Yet their tribal culture is intact , in fact it is more strong .

So the bogey of losing tribal culture is misplaced . If we insist that tribals of Andaman & Nicobar Islands should be kept in virgin and primitive preservation , we are treating then as animals of a zoo . I totally agree with Mr. Swaminathan Ankalesaria Aiyar that this zoo mentality should not be allowed to continue . Our constitution gives us right to work , right to vote and right to education . By keeping these trbals in a ghetto and trying to keep them away from modern civilization is depriving them of their fundamental rights . Sure , making them dance for food and filming the act is inhuman . But can any one answer why these Jarawas could be tantalized for food ? A well – fed population can’t be lured for food . So it is clear these Jarawas are deprived . They are famished . And thus were lured by tourists .

A Jarawa Child

A Jarawa Girl Child

A Jarawa Man

The Jarawas

Tribals in A Natural Habitat

Above posted photos tells everything . These tribals lack basic amenities . They are poor and famished . They must be craving for two decent meals a day and they are not getting that . So they gave in when tempted by the tourists . Can any one lure a Naga , a Khasi , a Garo , a Jayantia or a Mizo from the North – East India for food  ?Everyone knows the answer . It’s a firm no .

So same treatment will be beneficial for the tribals of Andaman & Nicobar Island also . We need a modern , well – educated , well – fed tribal population , who are well – integrated with the mainstream . We do need to preserve distinct tribal identity and not a quarantined , secluded and ghettoized existence. Definitely tribals of Andaman & Nicobar Islands could be another Naga , Mizo , Khasi or Jayantia .

Tribals of Andamans

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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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You Too Left Us Bhupen Da ……. !!!


bhupen

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA          NOVEMBER  09, 2011           03 .45 P.M.

Today in the morning Bhupen Da’s mortal remains were consigned to flames . I was watching live telecast of Bhupen Hazarika’s cremation from Guwahati , I was choked with emotions . When his footprints were taken and were shown to grieving millions , I too , sitting in the hall of my apartment , paid my obeisance . Bard of North – East is gone . Ballade singer of mighty Brahmaputra is silenced forever . The greatest icon of Assam is no longer with us .

Guwahati was supposed to bid farewell to Bhupen Hazarika on Tuesday . But his funeral was differed by one more day , so that unending stream of people  could pay respect to the departed icon . More than 1 million turned to the Judges Field , where his body was kept in glass casket , to pay respect . There were three km. long serpentine queues of grieving people , willing to stand for hours , for the last darshan of the most famous Indian of Assam . Shops and other business establishments were closed as mark of respect for Bhupen Da . Since buses and other modes of transport were not plying on roads of Guwahati  ,  people walked several km. to reach Judges Field for the last glimpse of Bhupen Da .

All the roads of Guwahati were full of grieving people since Monday morning. His hearse took seven hours to cover 30 km . distance before it could reach his ancestral home from Guwahati airport .

Bhupen Da died on November 05 , 2011 , at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital , Mumbai due to Pneumonia and multiple organ failure. He was 85 years old at the time of his death . His mortal remains were flown to Guwahati on Monday and cremation took place today . Government of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have declared State mourning and closure of offices for the day . Assam government decided to cremate him with full state honours .

Born on September 08 , 1926 in Sadiya , Assam ,  Bhupen Da sang his first song , ”  BISHVO BIJOY NOJAWAN …………..  ” in Jyoti Prasad Agarwala’s film ” Indramalati ” , at the age of 12 in 1939 . He also acted in the film and thus made his debut as a child actor at the age of 12 years .

After completing his intermediate from Cotton College , Assam in 1942 , he went to Benaras Hindu University for Graduation and Post – Graduation . In 1949 , he moved to New York for his PhD and got his degree in 1952 .

While in New York , Bhupen Da became close friends with Afro – American singer and civil rights activist Paul Robesan . Bhupen Da was greatly influenced by Black Pride movement of Robeson and Robeson’s song ” Ole Man River ” made lasting impression on him . And years later Bhupen Da created his own ode to river Ganga ; ” BISTIRNO PARORE ”  in Assamese and ” O GANGA BEHTI HO KYON ”  in Hindi .

In 1956 Bhupen Da moved to Mumbai to work in IPTA [ Indian Peoples’ Theatre Association ] and worked with Balraj Sahni and other Communist comrades.

He produced , directed , gave music and sung for numerous Assamese films like ;Era Bator Sur ” [ 1956 ] , ” Mahut Bandhu Re ” [ 1958 ] , ” Shakuntala ” [ 1960 ] , ” Pratishwani ” [ 1964 ] , ” Ka Swariti ” [ 1964 ] , ” Loti Ghoti ” [ 1967 ] , and ” Chick Mick Bijuli ” [ 1971 ] . For ” Shakuntala ” , ” Pratidhwani ” and ” Lotighoti ” , he won National Award also for music .

He directed a colour Documentary, ” For Whom The Sun Shines ” [ 1974 ] on Tribal Folk Music and Dance of Arunachal Pradesh . He also produced , directed and composed music for ” Mera Dharam Meri Maa ” [ 1977 ] , first Hindi colour feature film of Arunachal Pradesh .

He produced and composed music for critically acclaimed Hindi feature film ;  ” Ek Pal ” [ 1986 ] ,  Later on he composed music for films like ; ” Rudali ” [ 1993 ] , ” Darmiyan ” [ 1997 ] , ” Saaz ” [ 1998 ] , ” Gaja Gamini ” [ 2000 ]  , ” Daman ” [ 2001 ] and ” Kyon ” [ 2003 ] .

During his earlier years , he edited two magazines in Assamese ; ” Amar Pratinidhi ” and  ”  Pratidhwani  ”  .

He was member of Legislative Council of Assam [ MLC ] from 1967 to 1972 and President of Sangeet Natak Academy from 1999 to 2004. He even contested Lok Sabha election on BJP ticket in 2004 .

He got Padma Shree in 1977 , Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1993 , Padma Bhushan in 2003 and Asom Ratna in 2009 .He was awarded Muktijoddha Padak , Highest Civilian Award of Bangladesh , posthumously in 2011 .

His last song was for the film ” Gandhi To Hitler ” [ 2011 ]  , where he sang ” Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye …… ” .

I am extremely fortunate that I met him once . In early 90s , I went to meet Ms. Kalpana Lajmi for some work in her under – production film . There I saw a man , who was looking very similar to Bhupen Da . I said , ” Sir , aap Bhupen Da jaise dikhte hain . ” To my utter shock and amazement that man smiled and said , ” Beta , Main Bhupen Da hi hoon . ” He kept on smiling and looked at me very tenderly . I was petrified . I stood up immediately and prostrated in front of him and touched his feet . I apologized profusely . He simply said , ” koi baat nahin . ”  Any other person in his place would have felt offended . But Bhupen Da was kindness personified . I consider myself fortunate that I got his blessings .

He wrote and sang more than 1000 songs . Of all his songs , I like ” SAMAY O DHEERE CHALO … DOOB GAYI RAH KEE NAO …. DOOR HAI PEE KA GAON ” ,  ” DIL HUM HUM KARE ……… ” , ” DOLA RE DOLA ……. ” , ” MANUSH MANUSHER JANYE ….. ” , ” AAMI EK JAJABOR …… ”  and his immortal ode to river Ganga ” O GANGA BEHTI HO KYON ……… ” and its Bengali and Assamese versions ” BISTEERNO DUPARE ……. ” .

You have to listen to his Immortal ode to Ganga to know the impact it created throughout Assam and entire North East region . I am giving below the lyrics :

विस्तार है अपार, प्रजा दोनो पार, करे हाहाकार, निःशब्द सदा, ओ गंगा तुम, ओ गंगा तुम          ओ गंगा… बहती हो क्यूँ ..

  • नैतिकता नष्ट हुई, मानवता भ्रष्ट हुई, निर्लज्ज भाव से बहती हो क्यूँ. . . .

    इतिहास की पुकार, करे हुंकार, ओ गंगा की धार, निर्बल जन को सबल संग्रामी, समग्रगामी. . बनाती नही हो क्यूँ. . . .

    विस्तार है अपार, प्रजा दोनो पार, करे हाहाकार, निःशब्द सदा, ओ गंगा तुम, ओ गंगा तुम. .. ओ गंगा… बहती हो क्यूँ . ..

  • अनपढ़ जन अक्षरहीन अनगिन जन खाद्यविहीन निद्रवीन देख मौन हो क्यूँ ?

    व्यक्ति रहित व्यक्ति केन्द्रित सकल समाज व्यक्तित्व रहित निष्प्राण समाज को छोडती न क्यूँ ?

    रुतस्विनी क्यूँ न रही ? तुम निश्चय चितन नहीं प्राणों में प्रेरणा प्रेरती न क्यूँ ?

    उन्मद अवनी कुरुक्षेत्र बनी गंगे जननी नव भारत में भीष्म रूपी सूत समरजयी जनती नहीं

  • Bhupen Hazarika
  • Much is said about his leftist leanings . If a person is writing odes to Mother Ganga and bemoaning about fate of current India and clamours for the rebirth of a warrior like Bhishma Pitamah , can he be called a leftist ? Bhupen Da was a true nationalist and Communists simply tried to appropriate his legacy but failed . During Chinese attack on India in 1962 , he sang KATO JAWANOR MRITYU HOL …… ( so many soldiers have died ) and bemoaned about shatrur poshuttwo ( barbarity of enemy ) . Can he be called a communist ? No way !
  • Even ULFA [ United Liberation Front of Asom ] tried to appropriate him . Bhupen Da sang during Quit India movement ” AGNIJUGOR FIRINGOTI MOI……… ” ( I am a spark in the age of fire … ) . and later on SURYODAY JODI LAKKHYA  AMAR , SURYASTOR PINEY DHABOMAN KIYO ……… ( if sunrise is what we seek , then why are we reacting towards sunset ) . Can he be called ULFA sympathiser because rising sun is ULFA symbol ? Then , rising sun is the symbol of Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam also . Does it mean that Bhupen Da was a DMK sympathiser or card – holder ? Utter nonsense .

  • In June my wife was admitted in ICU of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Bhupen Da was in the adjacent room. That was the last I saw him .

Farewell Bhupen Da ! Your mortal remains are gone but through your songs and music , you shall always be with us . There shall never be another Bhpen Hazarika ever .

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