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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

Wah Re Corona: Himachali Folk Artist’s Lyrical Satire is Factual Rendition of India’s Agonizing Catastrophe

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Shimla-Otherwise blatantly vocal and distinctively mass-mobilizing government of India is suddenly in the most subdued self after its proclaimed victory over the deathly virus; participation in uncontrolled election rallies; and permitting maha melas. The stalwarts are in the hiding, while helpless citizens – who voted them into power not once but in landslide victories twice – are dying due to lack of oxygen, poor – unavailable – medical facilities, and the denial stance of the ignorant in the helm.

Drawing a comparison between the fatal coronavirus and the mismanagement of the entire situation by the appalling government; a Himachali folk artist has released a factually appropriate lyrical satire that will tickle your mind and leave you to imagine what has brought this catastrophe onto us. The song is written by Rameshwar Sharma and music by Lalit Sauta. 

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International Mandi Shivratri Fair Begins in Presence of 150 Local Dieties

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Mandi-International Shivratri Fair of Mandi district on the occasion of Mahashivratri began on March 12, 2020, at the historic Paddal ground. While Mahashivratri is celebrated for one day in most parts, the fair in Mandi goes on for seven days.

After Pagri and worship ceremony at Raj Madhav Rai Temple – abode of principal deity Madho Rai- begun the taditional Jaleb, Shobha Yatra. This yatra is held on every every year on the occasion of Mahashivratri. It starts from Raj Madhav Rai temple to conclude at the Paddal ground. This year, over 150 deities participated in the ‘Jaleb’, the traditional Shobha Yatra from almost all parts of the district. A total of over 200 deities have been invited this year.  

Mandi shivratri pictures 2021

Picture Courtesy: JairamThakur/Twitter

Thousands of people dressed in their traditional attire participated in the procession carrying their local deities dancing all the way upto Paddal ground.

Deputy Commissioner Mandi and Chairman International Shivratri Fair Organizing Committee Rugved Thakur informed this year as many as 216 deities were invited to participate in this fair.
He said that awareness Rath has also been included in the procession to drive in the theme of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao. It was followed by the performances by pahari artists on the first night of the fair.

An increase of five percent in honorarium of Bajantries accompanying the deities was also announced.

Chief minister Jairam Thakur also participated in the Yatra and Puja (worship). The state government is celebrating the festival as Swarnim International Shivratri Fair to mark fifty years of Statehood.

Though the Chief Minister cautioned the people that the world hasn’t come out of corona pandemic and there is a need to be cautious, he himself participated in the fair without wearing a mask or taking any visible measures for social distancing. From the crowd, some people were also heard asking the Chief Minister where his mask was . 

CM Jairam Thakur not wearing mask

He said that fortunately, the number of covid-19 cases were declining constantly, which was a big sigh of relief. 

Chief Minister couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to speak about his government’s achievements on the this occasion. “Three years tenure of the State Government has been full of achievements and accomplishments,” he said.

“This year the Mandi Shivrati has gained more importance as it was being celebrated this year when the Nagar Parishad has been upgraded to Municipal Corporation,” Jai Ram Thakur said.

Further, various Departments, Boards and Corporation have set up exhibition at Paddal Ground.

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Amid Steep Rise in COVID-19 Cases, HP Govt to Open Temples/Religious Places from Sept 10

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Shimla- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh had reached 6830 by September 4, 2020. Yesterday the State reported 215 new positive cases with two deaths. The COVID-19 death tally rose to 48 with these new casualties reported from Sirmaur and Kangra districts.

According to the yesterday’s COVID-19 bulletin released by the State Health Department, highest 37 cases were reported in Kangra district followed by Solan (35) Sirmaur (33), Chamba (33), Mandi (32), Una (20), Bilaspur (7), Hamirpur (7), Shimla (8), and Kullu (3). Till Friday evening, the number of active cases in the state was 1815 as 4920 persons had recovered.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for August 4, 2020 ( 9 PM)

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Amid this steep rise in cases in Himachal, the State Government on Friday held a Cabinet meeting in which it decided to open temples and religious places from September 10.

 The Language, Art and Culture Department will prepare SOP in this regard.  Registration would be required for people entering the State till September 15. The quarantine requirement would be reduced from 14 days to 10 days. The District Administration would strictly enforce the use of masks and social distancing in the field, the government said.

The Cabinet decided to provide wheat flour and rice to the income tax payee APL Consumers under Public Distribution System as was being provided to them earlier on APL rates and provide them pulses, edible oil, salt and sugar on zero-subsidy on actual rates.

The State Cabinet decided to request the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India to sign Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) related to Affordable Rental Housing Complexes Scheme with the state government.

It decided to fill up 10 posts of class IV employees in Panchayati Raj Department.

It gave its approval to transfer Gram Panchayat Kot from Police Station Shimla East (Chhota Shimla) to Police Station West (Boileauganj)  in district Shimla to facilitate the people.

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