An Open Letter To FTII Alumna / Alumnus


2

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 18, 2015           00.30 A.M.

Dear Alumna / Alumnus of FTII, Pune !

I have already written 2 blogs about the FTII [ Film & Television Institute of India ] , Pune. 1st blog was written on March 28, 2010. It was about the declining and deteriorating standards of FTII. The 2nd one was written on October 28, 2012. It was about hubris and high-handed behaviour of students of FTII. Today I am forced to write 3rd blog about FTII.

I am reading in newspapers that alumnus of this so-called premier institute are agitated against Shri Gajendra Chauhan, the newly appointed FTII Chief. Nearly 150 students boycotted classes today and continued their protest for the 5th day.

According to Harishankar Nachimuthu, the President of Student’s Union of FTII, Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment is a conspiracy to saffronise this prestigious ( ? ) institute. He states that he is not going to accept Shri Gajendra Chauhan as Chief of FTII. May I demand to know, who is seeking his acceptance or concurrence?

I came to know that several past students [ who are jobless since time immemorial ] are holding meeting in Mumbai and threatening central government that they will fight against Shri Gajendra Chauhan, “a Narendra Modi stooge” till the end. According to them he lacks stature and administrative experience. May I demand to know, who the hell are they to decide, whether Shri Chauhan has the required stature or not?

In the past Mr. Shyam Benegal, Mr. Mrinal Sen, Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, Mr. Girish Karnad, Mr. Vinod Khanna, Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy and Mr. Saeed Mirza have served as Chairman of the Governing Council of FTII.  They were appointed by the government of the day. Shri Gajendra Chauhan is also appointed by present central government.

I fail to understand, how can students demand to have a say in the appointment of Chief of FTII. Moreover, what stake do past students have in the affairs of their Alma Mater? Why are they agitated? Why are they threatening to “fight till the end”?

Students and alumnus of this so-called prestigious institute should realize that their job is to get trained and not to decide about the governing council chief or other administrative matters of the institute. They must realize that the golden days of Shri Roshan Taneja are over. Their activism fails to produce a single actor of the calibre of ASHOK KUMAR, MOTI LAL, DILIP KUMAR, BALRAJ SAHNI, SANJEEV KUMAR, AMITABH BACHCHAN, SHAHRUKH KHAN, AMIR KHAN, HRITIK ROSHAN or RANBIR KAPOOR. None of the above mentioned actors are the alumnus of FTII. I also fail to find among your alumna, any actress of the stature of NARGIS, MEENA KUMARI, MADHUBALA, GEETA BALI, VYJAYANTIMALA, WAHEEDA REHMAN, REKHA or KAJOL. And you people are talking about the calibre of Gajendra Chauhan.

I appeal to the alumnus of FTII to first become a world-class actor and then try to be an activist. The most important FTII alumnus and your biggest inspiration NASEERUDDIN SHAH is busy doing “world-class” ( ? ) films like “Sona Spa” and ” Jackpot” and you people are pontificating on the calibre of Shri Gajendra Chauhan and threatening Shri Narendra Modi.

And now a word for failed ex students of FTII. You have no business to meddle in the affairs of your alma mater if you are still struggling to make a mark. No one needs your activism. You roam around in the alleys of Mumbai with stinking body, wilting faces, faded attires and dead and gloomy eyes. I pity your rancid existence and failed journey of life. The government of the day doesn’t need or seek your approval. Leave your hubris. You are not doing any favour to us or humanity if you are an ex students of FTII.

Let me make it clear that your agitation is politically motivated. All the right thinking people know it. If it is not so, why people like Anand Patwardhan and other known left-liberals are joining your band wagon? Why students of JNU [ Jawahar Lal Nehru University ] , a breeding ground of leftist and pseudo seculars, are joining your protest? What stake have they in the FTII?

Instead of protesting against Gajendra Chauhan, try to check the deterioration in the quality of the institute. May I demand to know why “for a 3 year programme, there have been students floating around the campus since 2008? May be they will graduate only when their creative juices start flowing.[ verbatim quote from Hindustan Times – Dated June 17, 2015 – Page 11 / also read the editorial ” The World’s not a stage at the FTII – Page 12]

You resist every change and want to run the institute as per your whims and fancies. When UPA appointed committee suggested running the institute on public-private partnership, you people protested. When UPA tried to make the syllabus more contemporary, you started indefinite strike. UPA government headed by Congress was not saffronising the institute. So it is clear that protests and strikes are in your DNA.

Dear alumnus, if you feel or suspect that the appointment of Shri Gajendra Chauhan is a conspiracy to saffronise FTII, I suggest that you should learn to live with it as soon as possible. It will be better for your future, your health and your well-being.

We have seen enough of your hubris. We have tolerated enough of your pseudo intellectual hypocrisy. It is time to say, ” ENOUGH IS ENOUGH “.

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I denounce you for your hypocrisy, needless hubris and uncalled for activism.

 

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Mr. Karnad’s Speech at Lit-Fest , Mumbai


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 07 , 2012           11.45 P.M.

This is the text of GIRISH KARNAD‘s speech at the Mumbai Literature Festival, as compiled by Outlookindia.com from various sources.

 

English: Girish Karnad visited Cornell Univers...

Girish Karnad visited Cornell University in Ithaca New York for screening one of his old movies – Kanakapurandhara on October 29, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On Friday afternoon at the Tata Literature Live! festival in Mumbai, playwright Girish Karnad surprised audiences with an unexpected and spirited critique of Nobel laureate Vidia Naipaul. Naipaul was awarded the Landmark and Literature Alive’s Lifetime Achievement Award on October 31. Karnad was originally supposed to talk about “his life in theatre” in his session, but instead launched into a scathing critique of Naipaul and the conferring of the award to him

This is what he said at the festival, as reported by Sify:

At the Mumbai Literature Festival this year, Landmark and Literature Alive have jointly given the  Lifetime’s Achievement Award to Sir Vidia Naipaul.

The award ceremony held on the 31st of October at the National Centre of the Performing Arts coyly failed to mention that Naipaul was not an Indian and has never claimed to be one. But at no point was the question raised.

The words Shashi Deshpande, the novelist, had used to describe the Neemrana Festival conducted by the ICCR in 2002 perfectly fitted the present event: “it was a celebration of a Nobel Laureate…whom  India, hopefully, even sycophantically, considered an Indian.”

Apart from his novels, only two of which take place in India and are abysmal,  Naipaul has written three books on India and the books are brilliantly written—he is certainly among the great  English writers of our generation.

They have been hailed as a continued exploration of India’s journey into modernity, but what strikes one from the very first book—A Wounded Civilization—is their rabid antipathy to the Indian Muslim.

The ‘wound’ in the title is the one inflicted on India by Babar’s invasion. Since then, Naipaul has never missed a chance to weigh in against the ‘invaders’, accusing them of having savaged India for five centuries, of having brought, among other dreadful things, poverty into it and destroyed the glorious ancient Hindu culture .

A point that strikes one immediately about these books is that there is not a single word in any of them on Indian music.

Given that music defines our daily existence… you find it in the streets, in the restaurants and so on… you would expect an exploration of India to comment on that. Now Mr Naipaul has written three books on India, three very big books… and not one of them contains any reference to music. He has gone through the whole of India without responding to Indian music.

Now I think this only means he is tone-deaf. That’s my reading of the situation but then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be tone-deaf. It is a constitutional right we all have. But what happens is that if you don’t understand music, if you don’t respond to music, you can’t respond to Indian history because the real development of Indian culture has been through music. This explains his insensitivity  to the intricate  interweaving of  Hindu and Muslim creativities, through the Bhakti and Sufi movements, that gave us this extraordinary  heritage, alive in the heart of every Indian  home.

What Naipaul’s virulence against Indian Islam conceals is that he has borrowed his model of the history of Indian culture from the British musicologists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, like William Jones. These scholars were acquainted with many other ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptian, the Greek and the Roman. But they were mystified by the fact that while the musical traditions of these civilizations were entirely lost, the Indian musical tradition was alive and thriving.

They decided that this once pure-and-glorious music must have been, at some point during the course of its long history, corrupted and mauled—and they found the villain in the invading Muslim. So, according to them, once upon a time  there was a pristine Indian musical culture, which the  Muslims had disfigured. They therefore ignored the music that was being performed around them and went in search of the true Hindu music.

The foreigners come, they look at Indian culture, they see pristine Hindu culture, they see that it’s corrupted and it’s corrupted by Muslims. So you see, anyone who has read Naipaul’s book will immediately recognise this matrix, which actually he claims that he arrived at through himself but it is already there in any Indological study long before.

In his analysis of Indian culture Naipaul simply borrows this line of argument and reemploys it—as his original perception. And not for the first time.

Naipaul accuses R.K. Narayan of being indifferent to the destruction and death symbolized by the ruins of Vijayanagar, which to him was a bastion of Hindu culture destroyed by the marauding Muslims. But again he gets this interpretation of the history of Vijayanagar  readymade from a book by Robert Sewell called  A Forgotten Empire, published in 1900.

Naipaul, as always in awe  of his colonial sources, simply accepts this picture as the unadorned truth and recycles it wholesale as his own. That historians and archaeologists working on the site during the last century have proved the situation to be much more complex and have shown that religion had little role to play in the conflict is irrelevant to him.

Now again, what he says is predictable, which is that the Muslims destroyed Indian architecture, that everything went to pot. They were the raiders, they were the destroyers, and you have to look at any building to see what happened during the Muslim regime. And here is what he said about the Taj when people argued with him: “The Taj is so wasteful, so decadent and in the end so cruel that I found it painful to be there for very long. This is an extravagance that speaks about the blood of the people

None of us, if we were at the Taj, would think of the extravagance that speaks about the blood of the people! That’s why you get a Nobel Prize, you know.

He brushes off historian Romila Thapar’s argument that the Mughal era saw a rich efflorescence of the mixture of Hindu and Muslim styles, by attributing her judgment to her Marxist bias  and says, ‘The correct truth is the way the invaders look at their actions, They were conquering. They were subjugating.’

To Naipaul, the Indian Muslim remains an invader for ever, forever condemned to be condemned, because some of them had invaders as their ancestors. It is a usage would yield some strange results if applied to the USA.

As for Naipaul’s journalistic exploration of modern India,  mainly in the form of a series of interviews conducted  with Indians right across the board, one must confess they are supremely well written and that he is a master in drawing sharp and precise visuals of the people he talks to and of the places he visits.

What begins to bother one after a while however, is that he  invariably seems to meet brilliant interviewees whose answers to his questions are expressed with a wit and elegance that match his own mastery of the language. Even half-literate interviewees suffer from no diffidence in their expression.

How reliable are the conversations he records?

In a well-known essay Naipaul describes his visit to the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, where he stayed with his friend, Ashoke Chatterjee, the Director of the Institute.

In a recent email to me, Mr Chatterjee said, that Naipaul’s essay was “a scenario that could have been, but was not what he actually saw. Fragments of reality, selected and put together, into a collage of pure fantasy.”

Chatterjee’s friendship with Naipaul came to an abrupt end when Chatterjee told Naipaul that his book, A Wounded Civilization, should be classified as fiction.

In a recent book, Naipaul takes up for examination the autobiography of Munshi Rahman Khan, who emigrated to Suriname at the end of the nineteenth  century, and contrasts it with Gandhi’s.

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, the historian, has reviewed the essay in the London Review of Books and it doesn’t take him much effort to establish that Naipaul could only have read a third-hand, truncated translation of the text: “It is as if a reader in Gorakhpur was reading Naipaul in Maithili after the text had passed through a Japanese translation.”

That doesn’t prevent Naipaul from commenting even on the style and linguistic usage of Rahman Khan.

The question surely is by giving him the Lifetime Achievement Award, what statement is being made by the award-givers?

As a journalist what he writes about India is his business. No one can question his right to be ignorant or to prevaricate.

But the Nobel Prize has given him a sudden authority and his use of it needs to be looked at.

One of the first things Naipaul did on receiving the Nobel Prize was to visit the office of the BJP in Delhi. He who had earlier declared that he was not political, “that to have a political view is to be programmed”, now declared that he was happy to be politically “appropriated”.

It was then that he made his most infamous remark: “Ayodhya”, he said, “is a sort of passion. Any passion is creative. Passion leads to creativity.”

Salman Rushdie’s response was that Naipaul was behaving like “a fellow-traveller of Fascism and [that he] disgraces the Noble Prize.”

In the wake of Ayodhya close to 1500 Muslims were slaughtered in the streets of Bombay alone. I was attending a Film Festival in New Delhi when the riots broke out  and received anguished  calls from my friends in Bombay to say Muslims were being pulled out of their homes or stopped in the streets to be killed.

I rang my Muslim editor to say he and his family could use my flat, in a predominantly Parsi building, until the situation became safe.

The great Marathi actress, Fayyaz, whom I finally located after a week in a corner in Pune where she had fled in distress from Mumbai, described how Shiv Sainiks had thrown fire bombs into Muslim slums and how, when the inmates of the houses rushed out in terror, they were shot down by the police as trouble-makers.

Seven years later, in cold blood, Naipaul was glamorising  these  events as “passion”, as “a creative act”.

It is significant that this part of Naipaul’s sociologising was not mentioned in the citation of the Award, or by Farrukh Dhondy, who while  interviewing him, mentioned the book, Among the Believers and then quickly moved to a long-winded account of how he had helped Sir Vidia adopt a cat which thirteen years later was put to sleep lying on his lap—giving  Naipaul another chance to burst into sentimental tears.

Presumably Dhondy was trying to prove how ‘human’ Naipaul was.

But Landmark and Literature Alive who have announced this Award have a responsibility to explain to us where exactly they stand with regard to these remarks by Naipaul.

Naipaul is a foreigner and can make pronouncements as he wishes. But do they mean to valorise Naipaul’s stand that Indian Muslims are raiders and marauders? Are they supporting his continued insistence on  Muslim buildings in India being  monuments to rape and loot? Or are they by their silence suggesting  that these views do not matter?

The Award givers have much to answer for.

 

English: English:An image of most famous India...

An image of most famous Indian Muslims (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

[ I have taken this entire piece from the blog of Mr. Shivam Vij dated November 03 , 2012 . It was posted on http://www.kafila.org . I repost the entire speech of Mr. Girish Karnad for the friends and students of my Acting Institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , who visit my blog space . I express my gratitude to the writer and kafila.org . ]

Mr. Girish Karnad : Denunciation Continues


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 06 , 2012          05.30 P.M.

English: Girish Karnad visited Cornell Univers...

Girish Karnad visited Cornell University in Ithaca New York for screening one of his old movies – Kanakapurandhara on October 29, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today while sitting in the office of  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , my Acting Institute in Mumbai , I checked my twitter handle as usual . Mr. Kiran KS , whose twitter handle I follow , has posted 12 tweets dedicated to the V. S. Naipaul and Girish Karnad controversy . I was amazed because of the information I got .

These tweets are based on the article of Mr. Pratap Simha in today’s Kannada Prabha , a leading Kannada daily . Mr. Kiran KS has translated the information in English for the sake of non – Kannadigas and tweeted them .

View summary

1) A brilliant article in Kannada Prabha by @mepratap . For the sake of non-Kannadigas, will tweet excerpts now. #Karnad and Naipaul topic.

2) #Karnad calls Naipaul a Muslim virodhi, because of A Wounded Civilization book. The book explains the 5 centuries of invader atrocities.

3) So Mr. #Karnad , what’s wrong in Naipaul telling about the “wound” on a Hindu civilization caused by invaders Ghazni, Ghori, Babur etc?

4) Mr. Girish #Karnad , if Babur cared so much about his birth country Uzbekistan, he could have “developed” that instead of India. Right?

5) In “Thoughts on Pakistan” book, Dr. Ambedkar talks about Muslim mentality,like Naipaul. Will #Karnad oppose Bharat Ratna to Ambedkar too?

6) Naipaul calls Taj Mahal a symbol of invasion. Pooh-pooh’s Romila Thapar’s Hindu Muslim “bhai-bhai” symbol talk. #Karnad , is that wrong?

7) Tell us Mr. #Karnad , fanatic Aurangzeb ordering destruction of Kashi Vishwanath temple in 1699.. was it Hindu-Muslim “bhai-bhai” event?

8) Tell us Jnanapeethi #Karnad, fanatic Aurangzeb ordering Jaziya tax on Hindus… was it Hindu-Muslim “bhai-bhai” event? Why blame Naipaul?

9) #Karnad says Naipaul failed to grasp India as books didn’t cover Indian music. So Karnad, why your books didn’t cover Indian Shilpa-Kala?

10) #Karnad, u criticize Naipaul (not born in India) of not grasping Indian samskriti. But ur book Anju Mallige is about sister-brother sex!

11) Mr. #Karnad ,you got to fame directing SL Bhyrappa’s stories. But once he exposed your Tipu “facts”, you termed SLB books as “ordinary”!

12) When VS Naipaul got nobel, #Karnad termed him the “greatest living literateur of Indian origin”. Now suddenly he’s a Muslim-virodhi??

1st edition (publ. André Deutsch)

1st edition (publ. André Deutsch) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr. Naipaul’s book ” India : A Wounded Civilization “ is now very much in focus . Mr. Kiran KS has given enough logic in favour of the book and Sir Vidia’s viewpoint . I don’t have any more logic . And I think I don’t have anything new to say about Mr. Girish Karnad and Sir Vidia controversy . I have already posted a blog about it :

Shame On You , Mr. Girish Karnad http://wp.me/ptyXI-2rQ

I , amazingly , got many responses for my blog . Some were in support and some were harsh . Few were very balanced . It’s wonderful to get connected to so many people having such diverse views .

[ I have re – tweeted from the twitter handle of Mr. Kiran KS . These tweets are based on the article of Mr. Pratap Simha published in a leading Kanada daily Kannada Prabha . I express my gratitude to all of them . ]

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Shame On You , Mr. Girish Karnad


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA          NOVEMBER 05 , 2012           01.00 A.M.

English: Girish Karnad visited Cornell Univers...

Girish Karnad visited Cornell University in Ithaca New York for screening one of his old movies – Kanakapurandhara on October 29, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In recently held Mumbai Literary Festival , Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul a.k.a. Sir V. S. Naipaul got Lifetime Achievement Award . And then in the same festival he was attacked by Mr. Girish Karnad for being a right – winger and for propagating a skewed interpretation of Indian History . According to Mr. Karnad , Sir Vidia’s view of history is biased , twisted and un Indian .

mayaro, easter 2007 109.jpg

mayaro, easter 2007 109.jpg (Photo credit: vicarsh)

It was shocking and totally unwarranted . Mr. Girish Karnad was invited to speak on his life in theatre . Instead , he went off – topic and criticised Sir Vidia S. Naipaul for being anti muslim . According to Girish Karnad , Sir Vidia is blind to architecture and deaf to music . For being blind to architecture , he quoted Sir Vidia , ” …….. Taj Mahal conjured the toil , sweat and blood that had gone into this vain construction , a monument to death and the memory of a tyrant . “

If this is the cause of lampooning Sir Vidia , then what is Mr. Girish Karnad’s opinion about Sahir Ludhianvi ? Sahir , a Urdu literary figure , wrote a very disparaging nazm about Taj Mahal . I am quoting the nazm with the help of my fading memory .

Sahir Ludhianvi

Sahir Ludhianvi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ताज तेरे लिए इक मजहर – ए – उल्फत ही सही ,

मुझ को इस वादी – ए – रंगीं से अकीदत ही सही ,

मेरी महबूब कहीं और मिला कर मुझ से ।

बज़्म – ए – शाही में ग़रीबों का गुज़र क्या मानी ,

सब्त जिस राह में हों सतवत – ए – शाही के निशाँ ,

उस पे उल्फत भरी रूहों का सफ़र क्या मानी ?

मेरी महबूब पस – ए – पर्दा – ए – तश्हीर – ए – वफ़ा ,

तूने सतवत के निशानों को तो देखा होता ,

मुर्दा शाहों के मकाबिर से बहलने वाली ,

अपने तारीक मकानों तो देखा होता ।

अनगिनत लोगों ने दुनिया में मुहब्बत की है ,

कौन कहता है कि सादिक न थे जज्बे उनके ,

लेकिन उन के लिए तश्हीर का सामान नहीं ,

क्योंकि वो लोग भी मेरी ही तरह मुफलिस थे ।

मेरी महबूब उन्हें भी तो मुहब्बत होगी ,

जिन की सन्नाई ने बख्शी है इसे शक्ल – ए – जमील ,

उन के प्यारों के मकाबिर रहे बे नाम – ओ – नुमूद

आज तक उन पे जलाई न किसी ने किंदील ।

ये चमनज़ार , ये जमना का किनारा , ये महल ,

ये मुनक्क़श दर – ओ – दीवार , ये मेहराब ये ताक़ ,

इक शहंशाह ने दौलत का सहारा ले कर ,

हम ग़रीबों की मुहब्बत का उड़ाया है मज़ाक़ ।।

Sahir was a known left – winger and himself a muslim . And he was more strident in criticising Taj Mahal . Mr. Karnad never felt any need to condemn Sahir . But he fired his salvos towards Sir Vidia . Therefore I am forced to believe that it is not for the love of Taj Mahal , but it is sheer jealousy and inferiority complex of Mr. Karnad . Or should I say , it is appeasement of worst order .

Mr. Karnad’s another contention is that Sir Vidia is deaf to music . No one can deny the contribution of muslim singers and musicians in the field of classical music . But along with many muslim classical singers , there are others also like ; Pandit Ravi Shankar , Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia , Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma , Pandit Panna Lal Ghosh , Pandit Jasraj , Pandit Onkar Nath Thakur , Pandit Bhimsen Joshi , Kishori Amonkar , Shobha Gurtu , Rajan Mishra , Sajan Mishra , Jagjit Singh and above all the etherial Lata Mangeshkar and M. S. Subbulakshmi .

If I appreciate the above mentioned singers and artistes , I can’t automatically become a right – winger or a chauvinist or a Muslim – hater .

I denounce Mr. Girish Karnad for being a left – winger . I denounce him for being anti national . I denounce him for being a pseudo – secular and crypto – marxist . I denounce him for being anti – Hindu , and that too unnecessarily . He is himself an okay writer and a third – rate actor . All his Hindi films are testimony to this contention . It is sheer jealousy that he criticized a Nobel Laureate Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul .

He should know that his leftist leaning is exposed . His bias and appeasement is now known to all . His pseudo – secular credentials are condemned .

On behalf of me and my Acting Institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I denounce him in strongest terms .

Shame on you Mr. Karnad !

VIDUR

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Verghese Kurien : ” Utterly Butterly …. ” Milkman


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 17 , 2012           00.40 A.M.

It is a unique example . It is very rare . It doesn’t happen very often that the man who created the brand was eclipsed by it . Amul became more famous than its creator Dr. Verghese Kurien . Amul baby became a part and parcel of our lives .

Amul Milk

Amul Milk (Photo credit: Artiii)

An Amul butter ad on Pakistan's Kargil War fia...

An Amul butter ad on Pakistan’s Kargil War fiasco. The image shows the “Amul baby” in between George Fernandes and Atal Behari Vajpayee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Known as Milkman of India , Dr. Verghese Kurien , died on September 09 , 2012 at the age of 90 . He was father of The White Revolution in India . He was the initiator of the Operation Flood and he founded the largest milk cooperative movement in the world , known as Amul . It is considered World’s Biggest agricultural Development Programme . He is solely responsible in making India the largest milk producer country of the world , though few years before his advent , India was a milk deficient nation . After his arrival on the scene , India even surpassed United States of America in milk production .

English: Entrance of AMUL factory, Anand

Entrance of AMUL factory, Anand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Amul Plant at Anand featuring the Hig...

Amul Plant at Anand featuring the High capacity Milk Silos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation was owned and managed by farmers and run by professions . As the founding chairman of the GCMMF , Kurien was instrumental in creation and success of the Amul brand of dairy product .

English: Amul has spurred the White Revolution...

Amul has spurred the White Revolution of India, which has made India the largest producer of milk and milk products in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I came to know about his work when I saw ” Manthan ” [ 1976 ] , a film directed by Shyam Benegal . It was a novel experience . In stead of a regular producer , this film was funded by the 5 Lakh members of the GCMMF . They each contributed INR 2.00 each and thus funded the film . It won critical acclaim and even won 3 National Awards . It had brilliant performances by Naseeruddin Shah , Smita Patil , Girish Karnad , Amrish Puri and Anant Nag . I , for the first time , noticed the performance of Kulbhushan Kharbanda in the film . Film’s title song ” Mero Gaam Kathaparey ……………” , sung by Preeti Sagar , still haunts me . In 1976 it was the official entry of India for the Academy Awards .

Manthan

Manthan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Verghese Kurien was awarded Padma Shri in 1965 , Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Padma Vibhushan in 1999 by the government of India .

It is sad that during his last years Dr. Kurien was ousted from the organisation , which he founded and nurtured ,  by a unscupulous colleague . In 2006 he was forced to quit the post of  Chairman of GCMMF . He resigned and retired .

I deeply mourn his death . Farewell milkman ! You changed the definition of our quintessential milkman .

 

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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Curtain Call for Pandit Satyadev Dubey


Pandit Satyadev Dubey

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER  28, 2011           02.30 A.M.

I never ever thought that in the last quarter of 2011 I would be writing so many tributes to the departed stalwarts of the field of art  , music and literature . I have already written obituary on Bhupen Hazarika , Shammi Kapoor , Dev Anand , Mario Miranda and Christopher Hitchens . Obituary of Jagjit Singh and Steve Jobs are half – written and yet to be posted . And now comes the news of the sad demise of Pandit Satyadev Dubey .

Pandit Satyadev Dubey

On December 25 , 2011 , when the world was celebrating birth of Jesus Christ , an eminent theater personality Pandit Satyadev Dubey bid adieu . Curtain finally came down and stage went empty . A stalwart , who bestrode the theatre world of Mumbai for 5 decades , Pandit Satyadev Dubey  finally left the stage at the age of 75 . He was sitting in Prithvi Cafe on September 19 , 2011 , when he slipped into coma and was rushed to the hospital . He never came back .

Born in Bilaspur , Chhattisgarh in 1936 , Dubey ji , as he was fondly called , came to Mumbai to become a cricketer . While studying in St. Xavier’s College Mumbai , he came into contact with Vijay Anand , who introduced him to Ebrahim Alkazi . Thus began Dubey ji’s life – long association with theatre . He also learnt from Marathi theatre guru Parshwanath Aaltekar , who taught him articulation and proper pronunciation . Dubey ji used to lisp in his younger days . Theatre Guru Aaltekar taught him how to overcome this short coming .

Dubey ji in His Younger Days

In his 5 decades long career Pandit Satyadev Dubey produced and directed plays like ; ” Yayati ” and ” Hayavadana ” written by Girish Karnad ; ” Aadhe Adhure ” written by Mohan Rakesh ; ” Gidhade ” , ” Shantata ! Court Chalu Aahe ” and ” Baby ” written by Vijay Tendulkar ; ” Evam Indrajit ” and ” Pagla Ghoda ” written by Badal Sarkar ; ” Raktapushpa ” written by Mahesh Elkunchwar ; ” Savlya ” written by Chetan Datar and ” Antigone ” written by Jean Anouilh . He also staged and directed a play ” Andha Yug “ written by Dharamvir Bharti for radio . He wrote and directed plays like ; ” Sambhog Se Sanyas Tak ” , ” Inshallah ” ” Ada Chautal ” and ” Bramha Vishnu Mahesh “ . In the career span of 50 years , he wrote , produced and directed more than 100 plays in Hindi , Marathi and English .

Apart from stage , his first love , he wrote screenplay and dialogues of films like ; ” Ankur ”  [ Screenplay – Dialogue ]” Nishant ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Bhumika “ [ Screenplay – Dialogue ] , ” Hira Aur Patthar ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Vishwasghat ” [ Screenplay – Dialogue ] , ” Junoon ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Kalyug ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Akrosh ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Vijeta ” [ Story – Screenplay – Dialogue ] and ” Mandi “ [ Screenplay – Dialogue ] .

Poster of Ankur

Poster of Nishant

Poster of Bhumika

Poster of Kalyug

Poster of Mandi

Dubey ji made 2 short films ; ” Aparichay Ka Vindhyachal ” and ” Tongue In Cheek ” .

Apart from staging play and writing scripts for films , he donned the avatar of a trainer and groomed many actors . He believed in natural dialogue delivery and discarded highly theatrical and loud dialogue delivery , which was in vogue before his advent . Amrish Puri , Naseeruddin Shah and Amol Palekar are some of his most famous disciples . Amrish Puri was so indebted to Dubey ji that he would often say that , ” I can leave a film project for Dubey ji’s play , if I ever get a call ” .

A Young Amrish Puri in Dubey ji's Play

Young Naseeruddin Shah

Dubey ji With Ratna Pathak Shah

Naseeruddin Shah & Ratna Pathak Shah in Dubey ji's Last Play "Antigone"

Dubey ji got Madhya Pradesh government’s Shikhar Samman and Kalidas Samman . In 1971 he got prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award . In 2008 Prithvi Theatre paid tribute to him on completion of 50 years in theatre . Dubey ji received Padma Bhushan in January 2011 .

Prithvi Theatre's Tribute to Dubey ji in 2008

Receiving Padma Bhushan by President Pratibha Patil

He won 1978 National Film Award for Best Screenplay for ” Bhumika “ . In 1980 he got Filmfare Award for Best dialogue for ” Junoon ” .

Poster of Bhumika

During his later years he did many workshops for aspiring actors and people nick – named these workshops as NSD [ National school of Dubey ] .

When I first came to Mumbai in 1972 , I went to meet him at Tejpal Auditorium , Grant Road – West . He was busy staging his play ” Aadhe Adhure ” But still gave me time and told me to watch the play . He kindly gave me ticket also . Amrish Puri played main protagonist and if my memory is not failing me , Sulabha Deshpande was the female protagonist . I was stunned to watch their brilliant portrayals . Unfortunately I had to go to Allahabad to complete my post – graduation and lost the opportunity to work with him .

I came again in 1989 and went to meet him at his apartment at Phularani building in Sahitya Sahawas Colony , Bandra  – East . He told me to come to Karnataka Sangh , Matunga and watch his play ; ” Sambhog Se Sanyas Tak ” . Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah were playing the main protagonists . I was simply mesmerized by the sheer brilliance of Dubey ji’s writing and the acting of the main protagonists . I remember that I reached late for the play and was gently reprimanded by Dubey ji for that .

Later on I bumped into him several times at Prithvi Theatre .

He was maverick . He was eccentric . He was controversial . But he was definitely a genius and was dedicated to theatre .

He was a great acting Guru . Very strict , very disciplined and ruthless . I must admit that I imbibed some facets of Dubey ji as an acting trainer . I am strict . I am disciplined and I am ruthless . He loved natural acting and I also try to inculcate this thing in the psyche of my students .

But unlike him , I am not eccentric . I am not a maverick and I don’t use colourful language like him . But I am indebted to him and I openly express my gratitude for imbibing few facets of his personality as an acting trainer .

I won’t say Rest In Peace Dubey ji . It’s a custom to clap when the curtain comes down after a play . I would like to stand up and would love to clap at the final curtain call of Pandit Satyadev Dubey .

Thanks for the lovely plays Dubey ji . You will be sorely missed .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

 

 

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