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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George Orwell & Bihar Connection


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 03 , 2012           11.59 P.M.

In today’s newspaper I read an innocuous article about my favourite writer George Orwell . It was about his birthplace in Motihari , Bihar . I always knew that he was born in Bihar but I was shocked to see the dilapidated building where George Orwell was born and spent some of his earlier years . Rooftop tiles are caving in and its neglected existence is precariously waiting for a calamity .

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Compare the above structure with Orwell’s well maintained house in London . You can see the difference .

George Orwell's House, Portobello Road - London.

George Orwell’s House, Portobello Road – London. (Photo credit: Jim Linwood)

Even his house in Burma , where he stayed for few years ,  is well maintained compared to the Motihari , Bihar house where he was born .

The house George Orwell stayed in while in Kat...

The house George Orwell stayed in while in Katha, Burma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar – Chief Minister , Bihar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bihar government headed by Nitish Kumar is doing nothing to preserve the historic structure . Nitish Kumar has time to visit Pakistan and sing paeans in praise of present – day rulers of Pakistan . He has enough time to criticize Narendra Modi and still maintaining relationship with Bharatiya Janata Party but he or his government has no time for preservation of George Orwell’s birthplace . I doubt majority of present – day dispensation in Bihar is oblivious of Orwell’s importance . For them demonizing Narendra Modi is more important .

[ To make Nitish Kumar and his ministers – in – crime aware of George Orwell’s importance , I am reproducing some fact about his literary genius from Wikipedia . ]

English: George Orwell in Hampstead On the cor...

George Orwell in Hampstead On the corner of Pond Street and South End Road, opposite the Royal Free Hospital. The bookshop has long gone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eric Arthur Blair

(25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950)

Eric Arthur Blair , known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and journalist.

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945), which together have sold more copies than any two books by any other 20th-century author.

His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″.

Cover of

Cover of Animal Farm: Centennial Edition

Category:George Orwell Category:Nineteen Eight...

George Orwell, 1984. This self-made image is based on a picture that appears in an old acreditation for the BNUJ.) Picture of George Orwell taken from File:GeoreOrwell.jpg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian—descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices—has entered the vernacular with several of his neologisms, such as doublethink, thoughtcrime, Big Brother and thought police.

It is sad that his birthplace is so neglected and is on the verge of extinction . I am a huge fan of George Orwell and during my Allahabad days , have read his above mentioned books , ” Animal Form ” and ” 1984 ” . I remember many dull and dusty summer afternoons and long , cold and wintry winter nights of Allahabad , when sitting in my room of Sir Ganga Nath Jha Hostel , I used to discuss these books with my friends and seniors . Orwell had huge fan following among my generation .

My generation used to hero – worship George Orwell . I am extremely sad and I know that every one of my generation will be feeling the same .

I , on behalf of myself and all the students and staff of my acting institute  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , denounce Bihar government in strongest term and urge them to shed their apathy . George Orwell is too important a literary giant to get this treatment .

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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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Jasmine Revolution in Burma [ Myanmar ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 21, 2012           01.00 A.M.

2011 will be known in the world history as the year of Jasmine Revolutions . It started with Tunisia .The despotic ruler of Tunisia , Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to quit his post after 24 years of tyrannical rule .

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia

Egypt was the second nation to be engulfed by the Jasmine Revolution . After having an iron grip on Egypt for 30 long years , Hosni Mubarak was thrown out of power by the rampaging masses .

Hosni Mubarak of Egypt

Soon the revolution reached at the door – step of Muammar al – Gaddafi . After fierce resistance of few months , Gaddafi was thrown out of power and was subsequently killed . His despotic and tyrannical rule lasted for 42 long years .

Muammar al - Gaddafi of Libya

Soon after Libya , Jasmine Revolution reached at the doors of other despotic rulers of Syria , Yemen and China . Syria’s Bashar al – Assad is currently facing the brunt of the masses . 10 years of Bashar al – Assad and 30 years of his father Hafez al – Assad‘s rule is now deeply resented .

Bashar al - Assad of Syria

Yemen is another country , ruled by a totalitarian ruler , Ali Abdullah Saleh. His 21 year – old rule is going to end soon . Jasmine Revolution is furiously knocking at his door .

Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen

At present China is trying to control the Jasmine Revolution . But the question remains , will she be able to check the marching footsteps of the disgruntled masses ?

It is very surprising that in the last quarter of 2011 , Burma [ Also Known as Myanmar ] got rid of  the military rule of 49 years , but the world is slow to react to the new reality . Many in India don’t know much about our eastern neighbour .

Than Shwe , The Military Ruler of Burma

To know about Burma , we should look at the map of British Indian Empire . Map of British India is very interesting . In comprises present day India , Pakistan , Bangladesh , Burma [ Present Day Myanmar ] and Ceylon [ Present Day Sri Lanka ] . People know that West Pakistan [ Now Pakistan ] and East Pakistan [ Now Bangladesh ] were part of India before 1947 . But today’s generation do not know that Burma [ Now Myanmar ] , and Ceylon [ Now Sri Lanka ] , were also part of British Indian Empire .

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

IMap of British Indian Empire

1864 Johnson's Map of India (Hindostan or Brit...

Map of British India

At the time of Independence of India in 1947 , British rulers divided the Indian Empire into 4 free and sovereign states . India , Pakistan , Burma and Ceylon became 4 independent states .

Britain's holdings on the Indian subcontinent ...

Proposed Divisions of British Indian Empire

India and Pakistan became two independent states in 1947 . Burma became independent on January 04 , 1948 . Burma is the 40th largest country in the world and 2nd largest country in South East Asia . Burma is also the 24th most populous country in the world .

Political Map of Burma

Locator map showing India and Burma

Location Map Showing India & Burma

After independence in 1948 , Burma was a democratic country for 14 years but unfortunately , on March 02 , 1962 military ousted civilian rulers in a coup . Military junta ruled Burma till 2011 . Then junta was dissolved and a civilian government was installed again .

The 14 states and regions of Burma

14 Provinces of Burma

During it’s 49 year rule military junta changed many things in Burma . The name of country was changed to Myanmar . Though it is not recognised by the world community and the majority population of Burma . Name of the capital Rangoon was also changed to Yangon . Later on capital was shifted to Naypyidaw in Mandalay province .

Aung San Suu Kyi

After 15 years of detention , Burma’s pro – democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released on November 13 , 2010 . In October 2011 many political prisoners were freed and trade unions were legalised . Jasmine revolution seems to be booming in Burma and the country is on the verge of democratic rule .

I have a childhood fascination for Burma . My maternal grand-uncle and maternal grand-aunt lived in Rangoon , Burma during 2nd World War . They used to tell many thrilling stories about Burma . Their stay in Rangoon was also full of very interesting anecdotes . Whenever I used to visit their place along with my mother , I used to sit with them and used to hear their stories of Burma . Now I know that many stories were fabricated but they kindled my fascination about Rangoon and Burma and my childhood fascination still continues .

When I started my studies , I read about Bahadur Shah Zafar and about his imprisonment and his subsequent death in Rangoon . Then I read about Lokmanya Tilak’s infamous jail term and 6 years [ 1908 – 1914 ] that he spent in Mandalay jail . My relationship with Burma was fortified in my mind .

A Hindi film song of ” Patanga ” [ 1949 ] also helped to build up the Burmese fascination . The song MERE PIYA GAYE RANGOON ; WAHAN SE KIYA HAI TELEPHONE , TUMHARI YAAD SATATI HAI …….. still reverbarates in the corridors of my sub – conscious . I haven’t seen this Shyam , Nigar Sultana , Yakub , Gope and Cuckoo starrer , which was directed by H. S. Rawail . But whenever I used to hear C. Ramchandra’s immortal song , specially its lines ; TUM BURMA KI GALIYON ME HO , AUR PHIROON MAIN DEHRADUN ………. TUMHARI YAD SATATI HAI …… I used to feel that I am also roaming in the lanes and by – lanes of Rangoon and Burma .

Another Hindi film ” Burmah Road ” [ 1962 ] again inflamed my imagination about Burma . This Ashok Kumar and Kumkum starrer film was forgettable but a song DAGHABAZ HO , BANKE PIYA KAHO NA , DAGHABAZ HO ……. is still fresh in my memory . Lata Mangeshkar’s voice made this song immortal and Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics were set to tune by Chitragupta .

Since the country is on the road to democracy , I hope to visit Burma one day and would love to roam around in the lanes and by – lanes of Rangoon . May be this will happen soon , may be very soon .or may be in far distant future . I would love to visit Burma , visit Rangoon and would love to meet Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi .

Long live Aung San Suu Kyi !!!

Aung San Suu Kyi

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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