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Shimla’s Historic Gaiety Theater falling victim to mismanagement

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Careless attitude of Gaiety Theater management is discouraging the culture of theater and theater artists in Himachal

Shimla-On the second evening of the Folk Culture festival organized by the art and culture group Platform at the Historic Gaiety Theatre’s amphitheatre, the Mall in association with the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi and Department of Language Art and Culture Himachal Pradesh due to certain the scheduled Horingfo show on March 2, got cancelled leaving many spectators disheartened.

However on the venue same day another poster was displayed saying “Platform Sanstha ke sahyog se Abhinay Darpan ke prastuti Puran Bhagat” at 5.00 P.M. (as can be seen in photograph) though it was few minutes passed five few spectators came and sat on the seats but when no performance they all walked away. On the other hand the Nanda the director of so called play and president of Abhinay Darpan; mentioned on poster was seen talking in harsh tone to his team member when they refused to perform considering the drunk condition of the fellow and was later pulled away from the spot by the teams members of Platform group. Nandan on the same day was refused the green room keys too considering his condition by the Gaiety Management.

The entire incident left the sentiments of many theatre related people in bad taste as Kedar Thakur, one of the well know name in Shimla theatre says, “What happened was not something acceptable. We try our best to make young kids develop interest in this filed as people usually do not let their children choose this profession and with such examples how can we expect to preserve and promote this filed. I think some serious action should be taken by the concerned department as this will bring bad name to entire profession. We need to look at the bigger picture.”

Whereas S.N. Joshi member of G.D.S. (Gaiety Dramatic Society) while commenting on the issue said, “I feel that action should be taken against the person who is at fault. I do consider that though Platform was doing good work but still they were too at fault to have invited someone to perform on that day as it was a folk festival and the team or play was not fit to be performed at that time. Last years even Mohan Joshi (who happens to be his brother) too was blacklisted for the very same reason and same should be done to preserve the decorum.”

When Ajay Sharma, the president of the group was asked about the whole incident he said, “I had given in written to the Gaiety office that my event has been cancelled and from my side venue is free. Whatever happened was not right and if the management wants to black list the person I will stand by their decision.”

While commenting on the issue and action taken, Director LAC. D.K. Gupta, first said, “It was an open function where if anyone came drunk what can be done.”

Later when situation was explained to him, he said, “If the person will regret then he will be forgiven, and if he is a member of G.D.S., then the free facilities provided to him too will be forfeited, and his behavior will be monitored. If he continues on same line then strict actions might be taken again him too.”

On one hand people of city are feeling proud over Gaiety to be included in the list of world heritage and on the other we have such condition were over simple violation of rules actions depends upon ifs and buts. It took almost 4 days to get to this version and still the air of uncertainty surrounds the situation.

The irony of situation is that the person heading the department himself is not aware about the situation. Why would any spectator ask for green room keys and to how many spectators its available is not a million dollar question.

Another interrogate question is why only Abhinay Darpan placed their banner on the venue which was booked in the name of Platform Group and why not any other group from Shimla. Was it the managements consent or the Platform’s that Nandan took the initiative?

It is really heartbreaking to say who is more careless out of the two parties involved- Platform or the Management as someone puts the name of a former on a poster without their knowledge and consent or the Gaiety Management who is busy sleeping unaware that someone comes and pins up the poster on their property.

How much progress can our culture do when such type of management is seen and whose fault is it anyways if the youngsters do not step up and participate in this field?

Art & Culture

Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18 Announced, These 4 Persons Would be Honored

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Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18

Shimla– ‘Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman’ Award has been announced for the year 2017-18, informed the Secretary Academy Dr. Karam Singh on June 6, 2020.  

The recommendation of the jury the winners have been announced, he said, adding that four Shikhar Samman (awards) would be given in the field of language, culture and literature for two years and Rs. one lakh each would be given to each awardee.

He said that for the year 2017, Prof. Keshav Sharma would be honoured for contribution in Literature and special achievements. Folk Singer Mohan Rathour would be honoured with Language and Culture Shikar Samman.

For the year 2018, Dr. O.C. Handa would be honoured with Sahitya Shikhar Samman, whereas Dinesh Kumari of Kangra would be honoured in Art and Culture sector.

The ‘Shikhar Samman’ is given to the Himachali writers in the field of art and culture and to littérateurs from the country who worked for the promotion of Himachali language, traditions and culture.

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Video: Replica of Himachal’s Bhimakali Temple at International Surajkund Mela Becomes Centre of Attraction

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Bhimakali temple in Surajkund Mela 2020

Shimla- The replica of Bhimakali temple in the ongoing 34th International Surajkund Crafts Mela has become the main attraction. The real temple is located in Sarahan of Shimla district and dedicated to goddess Bhimakali.

Himachal is a theme state for this event. A large number of people are visiting to see the permanent structure of the Bhimakali temple, which has been built in traditional style.

Earlier, in the year 1996 also Himachal was the theme state and permanent replica of Maheshwar Devta temple was set up there. Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism has organized the event in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture, and External Affairs from 1st to 16th February .

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Besides this, five temporary gates and one permanent gate made in traditional Himachali style have been set up in the Mela ground, giving a glimpse of the state. Two-storey Apna Ghar made in traditional Pahari style has also been set up and a family from district Chamba is starting in it this family is providing the tourists with an experience of rural culture and lifestyle of the state.

Himachal at surajkund mela 2020

The stalls of handicrafts and handlooms of the state are also being much liked by the tourists. Various cultural programmes reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the state are being presented during the Mela.  A large number of tourists are also visiting the information centre set up at the Mela ground.

 The government claims that in order to attract national and international tourists, the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh is marketing and publicizing the tourism potential of the State.

The government claims such international level platform will help in the promotion of Tourism as well as rich cultural heritage, folk songs, handloom-handicrafts, cuisines of the state and these tourism-related products are the attraction for the tourists.

 

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Devdhun Played by 2200 Bajantris at Kullu Dussehra Enters ‘India Book of Records’, Fest Concludes

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Video Dev Dhun at kullu dussehra enters india book of records

Kullu-The international Kullu Dussehra concluded on Monday with great fanfare and enthusiasm. More than 281 deities from various parts of Kullu district participated in this cultural extravaganza.

Other than Mega Natti performed by 4000 women on October 12, over 2200 Bajantris (instrumentalists) congregated at the Atal Sadan ground on October 13 in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to play ‘Devdhun’

Devdhun is the sound that resonates after playing different traditional instruments when deities move out of their temples to join local festivals. ‘Devdhun’ has been entered as a record in the India Book of Records with a record 2200 Bajantries playing the musical instruments simultaneously.

The Mega Natti performed in 2015 by nearly 10000 women at Kullu Dussehra has already entered into Guinness Book of World Records.

On Monday, Chief Minister presided over the concluding ceremony held at Lal Chand Prarthi Kala Kendra, Kullu. He announced to increase the nazrana (honorarium) of local deities participating in Kullu Dussehra festival by five per cent. He also announced an increase of 25 per cent in distance allowance (Duri Bhatta) given to the deities.

He announced 15 percent increase in remuneration of Bajantaris, who accompany the local deities to the festival besides increasing the amount for celebrating Haripur and Manikaran Dussehra from Rs 75,000 to Rs one lakh and for Vashisht Dussehra festival from existing Rs 50,000 to Rs. 75,000. He said that the ‘Gur’ of the Deities would be provided a separate amount of Rs 1000.

Kullu Dussehra provides a livelihood to the indigenous community as they provide them with a platform to display their products for a much wider audience. This festival was also contributing immensely in promoting tourism in the State with tourists visiting Kullu to watch this cultural extravaganza from the world over.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government would ensure that this event not only become a regular event but also an added attraction of International Kullu Dussehra. He said that in the present era of cut-throat competition, our age-old culture and traditions were slowly vanishing and urged the people to come forward to conserve the same. He announced Rs. 5 lakh from his discretionary fund to the Bajantaries who performed during the event.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated the building of Press Club, Kullu for facilitating the journalists of Kullu district.

He distributed prizes to the winners of different events on the occasion and released Souvenir brought out by the Dussehra Organizing Committee. He also released a poster of documentary ‘Gallantry Saga-BRO, released a booklet published by State Language and Art Academy and a souvenir ‘Atal Samritian’ published by Kullu Sanskriti Vikas Manch.

Chief Minister was also presented with a book ‘Indigenous Building Practice System in Western Himalayas-A Comparative Study’ authored by a young author, Architect and expert in traditional Kathkuni house, Rahul Bhushan.

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