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Winter fest showed some hope in week goneby

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Chanku

Majority of the plays failed to appeal to the spectators for one reason or another

Shimla -In the yet another week of the ongoing 23 days long, Winter Play Festival organized by the Gaiety Dramatic Society at the Historic Gaiety Theater, the Mall, Shimla, majority of productions failed to appeal the spectators for some reason or the other though after staging of “Billiya” on November 24 filled people with some hope but except for productions – “Gao ka Lambardaar”; “The Swan Song” and “God sees the Truth but waits” rest all again ended on a disappointing note.

From November 25 to December 1, plays – “Ek Tha Gadha urf Allahdad” by Smanvaya Theatre Group Shimla; “Chanku Ram” by Amar Joyati Group Pahal Shimla; “Khudkushi” by Sufi Theatre Group Shimla; “Gao ka Lambardaar” by Brijeshwar Kala Manch Shimla; “Coffee House me intzaar” by Abhilasha Theatre Group Shimla; “The Swan Song” by Abhiney Darpan Theatre Group Shimla and “God sees the Truth but waits” by The Beginner Theatre Group Shimla; have been staged.

Ek tha turned out to be yet another disappointing production one of the spectators said, “We people enjoyed the comedy beyond the script. The Nwaab Saheib was too pathetic I really feel sorry for the poor actors as most of them belonged to places where they couldn’t get much exposure.”

On other hand we saw Chanku based on famous Kreyala – folk theater form, which very well known and respected in Himachal, filled people with disgust considering the height of toilet humour used on stage. While commenting on the play one of the spectators said, “There is a proper costumes and other technical things that are must for any performing this art form but here nothing was considered. We don’t find characters dressed as hip hoppers like in this play. It was a total waste of time.” Considering the stiff body language of the actor playing female character made his look like the third gender.

Other than that in Chanku’s set calendar of 2011 was used as stage property how much would have a current years calendar coasted for participating in Winter Play Festival 2012 is something worth a thought. For both the above stated plays, we can say it’s good to have team members as your spectators to give audience queue as per when to applaud or laugh. Khudkushi depicting story of a lover trying to commit suicide for not being allowed to marry his beloved, due to its pathetic performance by the main actor instilled the idea of Khudkushi among the audience. As handful of spectators were out of words to express this shocking experience. Stage was left vacant for a litter long duration for changing set leaving audience staring at the dark stage that could have been avoided smartly.

Finally, to save all from the torture came “Gau ka”, another Kreyala; but in a complete contrast to what all witnessed in Chanku; with the real values attached to it. The play lasted for 2 hours and it kept all its spectators glued to their seats. It had traditional live musical instruments being played and costumes worn by the actors. While commenting on it one of the spectators said, “It was a true entertaining experience and I wish it could have continued a bit longer.” One can say that this was the best production that really valued for money that the department is paying, so far considering the crowd in hall and their uproar in the hall.

Coffee house again turned out to be bit disappointing as expectations were high seeing the catchy name and the banner. Coffee House me intraaz turned out to be Intrzaar even on the part of spectators as without any clear message the play ended in just 35 minutes. Considering the set, ambience was created of local Coffee House but in the backdrop music only mummers were used ignoring the fact clang sound is too prominent in the original place which they tried to show. Other than other hand waiter costume was done with lot of care as it was identical to the original place and could have been mistaken to be an employee, but unfortunately shoes were not given attention as he wore brown instead of black shoes which is part of the uniform.

“Meaning was not so clear I feel they could have taken bit more time and allowed the theme and message to manifest clearly, I think for the spectators”, expressed Parveen Chandla a senior local theatre artist.

The Swan based on Anton Chekhov being a hardly 45 minutes play proved to be a real treat for the audience. Directed by Diven Joshi there was hardly any flaw in the play. The main actor Pritam Sharma portrayed an aging actor’s reminisces about his life and the parts he’s played his character, remarkably well. While commenting on the play, Mohit,

A Review: Ritanjali Hastir, Freelance Journalist, Shimla

Art & Culture

Book Review: ‘The Billionaire Raj: A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age’ by James Crabtree

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The Billionaire Raj A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age

For long, we all have broached the subject of India’s experiment with socialism. The state-controlled the various fields of business, planning was central; also the means of production were not with capitalists but with the state. The state promised to uplift the poor form the poverty, raise their living standard by utilization of these means of production to bring economic and social equality in society.

But years after embracing socialism growth was still sluggish, corruption percolating deep into the system, choices with the people were far and few. Inequality was, as ever, still prevalent in the society. Amenities like telephone and exuded power and exclusivity. The world mocked our “License Raj” and we became notorious for our Hindu Growth rate.

Eventually, the closed economy turned sclerotic and ran into trouble. On the contrary, economies worldwide grew rapidly, at this time. India was left with no other option, but to open its economy to the world. Finally, India yielded and opened its economy in 1991, with an hope of removing the ills of corruption, creating more jobs, removing social inequality and to overcome challenges of economic development. The new era of neo-liberalization was considered augury of prosperity and egalitarian society.

However, who would have imagined that within 27 years of opening up the economy, the majority of the wealth would be held by a handful of people. James Crabtree in his debut book, “The Billionaire Raj: A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age, offers an overview of this fascinating journey of India’s new Gilded Age.”

He writes,

Yet the decades after 1947, it at least grew economically more equal, with an elite that lived modestly by the standard of the industrialized West.

A silver lining to India’s bygone era of socialism.

The Billionaire Raj is the narrative of the breakneck rise of the Indian riches- Bollygarchs, as he calls them- corporate power, their lifestyle and the mansions.

The book is an overview of the concomitant of wealth: inequality, crony capitalism, massive corruption and mega scams. The writer explores the exorbitant funding of political parties by these tycoons, the costly affair of India’s election.

The book talks at length about the deep-rooted problem of mounting debt, IPL, about Modi and his tenure as Prime Minister of India. The pro and cons of various reforms ushered under his regime. Mr. Crabtree is successful in raising the fundamental question that holds imperative to India’s future.

The book is well researched, the exceptional storytelling skill of the writer keeps the readers engrossed; the personal interview with various business tycoons like Vijay Mallya, Naveen Jindal, Gautam Adani etc, offer the readers classic vignettes of their life, their perspective about the event that unfolded in this age.

The writer has successfully flagged various fissures as a warning that can pull India down. The country will have to fix these fissures first, only then it can fulfil the ambition to lead Asia.

Today India stands at the crossroads of what sort of superpower it will become

, he further writes.

Mr. Crabtree offers an optimistic view about India’s future:

India’s new Gilded Age can blossom into a progressive Era of its own, in which the perils of inequality and crony capitalism are left decisively behind,

he writes.

The Billionaire Raj will make us ruminate about the era of Neo-liberalization, as we did aggressively about Indian Socialism in the past. The Billionaire Raj is an eye-opener for all of us and will certainly be helpful in paving the way for our future ahead. The book is Locus classicus on the contemporary history of India- a must read for every Indian.

About James Crabtree

James Crabtree, a former Mumbai bureau chief for The Financial Times. He spent 5 years in India before moving to Singapore. At present, he is an Associate Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore.

Book Review by Sunny Grack, Kotgarh, Shimla

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HIMCOSTE’s workshop to aware rural artisans of Geographical Indications Act

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HIMCOSTE WOrkshop on Geographical Indications

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Patent Information Centre (HPPIC) established under the aegis of Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE) has been declared as the nodal agency for the filing of Geographical Indications applications for traditional valuable products of H.P under Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, IFS Kunal Satyarthi Member Secretary, HIMCOSTE, today informed.

He said till date, the Centre has been able to obtain registration for Kullu shawl, Kangra Tea, Kinnauri Shawl, Chamba Ruma and Kangra Paintings under Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

The applications of Chamba Chappal, Kala Zeera, Chulli Oil are under process with the Registrar of Geographical indications at Chennai
.
The Centre has identified a number of products (agriculture/horticulture/handicrafts/metal crafts etc.) for registration under GI Act, 1999 (for eg. Bharmour Rajmah, Chamba Chappal, Chamba metal crafts, Angoori, Kalpa Wine, Kinnauri Apple, Rajmah).

Also, the Centre has facilitated registration of about 200 Authorized Users (AU) of registered GIs from H.P.

Recently, the State Govt.has issued a notification on State Level committee on Registration and Protection of Goods in H.P and the State Govt. has also issued a notification regulation of Kullu Shawl GI under the Chairmanship of D.C Kullu.

The above committees would perform the task of checking falsification /counterfeiting of Registered GIs in H.P and would approach the appropriate authorities for taking necessary action in the matter.

HIMCOSTE’s One-Day GI Awareness Workshop

On August 3, 2018, one-day awareness workshop on Geographical Indication, “Creating Value through Geographical indication” will be organized by HIMCOSTE in collaboration with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Industry and Commerce, GoI.

Through this workshop, the HIMCOSTE aims to spread awareness and make the participants aware of the Geographical Indications Act. It would result in providing commercial opportunities to rural artisans of District Kullu, which in turn would result in the socio-economic development of rural artisans. During the workshop, applicants would be asked for registration of Authorised Usership of Kullu Shawl under Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) of Goods Act, 1999.

After the workshop, D.C Kullu would chair a meeting of the committee constituted by Govt. of Himachal Pradesh. Issues related to infringement of Kullu Shawl and regulation of Kullu Shawl GI would be discussed in the meeting. About 200 participants would attend the workshop.

The Chief Guest for the workshop will be Minister of Forests, H.P Govind Singh Thakur. Yunus Khan, Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, IPS Shalini Agnihotri, Superintendent of Police, Kullu and will be the Guest of Honour.

On behalf of HIMCOSTE, Sh. Kunal Satyarthi, IFS, Member Secretary, HIMCOSTE will remain present during the workshop.

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Incentives to Himachali films under State’s own Film Policy: Govt

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Film policy of Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government today announced that it would form its own film-policy and will encourage local films and artists in various ways.

A meeting regarding formulating the film policy of the State was held here today under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Baldi said the state had the advantage of adventurous, heritage, spiritual, seasonal and unexplored destinations and the efforts would be made to attract the filmmakers for film production in the state.

He said that the cultural, mythological, historical heritage and glorious traditions of the state would also be publicized in a big way to attract investment in the film sector in the state.

The government would endeavour to provide an opportunity to the talents in the field of acting and other related fields besides generating employment opportunities to the youth of the state.

Dr. Baldi said that production of regional films based on Himachali dialects would be especially encouraged, for which the government would provide various incentives to the producers.

Various other important issues like establishing required infrastructure and to make available desired facilities to the filmmakers and providing them attractive financial incentives were also discussed in the meeting.

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