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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

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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