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The Flight of Innocence”and “Gudiya”- staged at Gaiety

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Gaiety-Theatre

The magic of Oscar Wilde’s story The Nightingale and the Rose was bought alive on stage by Nav Yuvak Mandal in a form of a play that touched the hearts of all spectators and forced them to contemplate on the real meaning of Love on one hand where as another play “Gudiya” by Ab Theatre Group reflected on the modern day love where physical passions rule the situation.

For the theatre lovers this week Gaiety Theatre had lot to offer in the forms of two play that is “The Flight of Innocence” a play based on Oscar Wilde’s story The Nightingale and the Rose organized by Nav Yuvak Mandal, Bhalawog in association with Department of Language Art and Culture, Himachal, Vidyapeeth and H.P. State Aids Control Society on March 19 and 20 on one hand whereas on the other another play “Gudiya” by Ab Theatre Group, Shimla on March 22 and 23.

Both the plays had a common theme that is love but however the former was an allegorical fable of love, sacrifice and selfishness; just as with all of Wilde’s short stories this play too embodied strong moral values and is told with effervescence akin. It is the tale of a lovestruck student who must provide his lover with a red rose in order to win her heart. A nightingale overhearing his lament from a solitary oak tree is filled with sorrow and admiration all at once, and decides to help the poor young man.

She journeys through the night seeking the perfect red rose and finally comes across a rambling rose bush but alas, the bush has no roses to offer her. However, there is a way to MAKE a red rose, but with grave consequences.

However the latter reflected on the change of the physiology of any give female. The play dealt with evolution of character Gudiya over the years; changes as per natural law from childhood to adolescence till the time she reaches college where she falls for a guy. The play held mirror to the society especially reflected on the youth trend where love is more about physical relations, she is betrayed by her lover and lead to her tragic end by going insane for having abandoning the newborn child on the street which became a feast for stray dogs.

Symbolically play reflected on condition of women in society in general as they are often treated as objects and till the time they do not stand for themselves they will be continued to be abused.

Gaiety-Theatre3

The paid show of Flight turned out to be satisfying for both the parties as both got their share as for spectators in form of great entertainment and for group in form of quality audience. Considering it to be a debut play of the director Prabhat Sharma turned out to be a complete treat as it was a novel concept. The experiment with lights were good and it won’t be wrong to say that if their beginning is so promising then for sure they will elevate the standards of theatre here which over the years have been declining as most of the spectators said, “We hope to see more quality work from them and will not hesitate to pay from my pocket to watch their show if they continue to deliver what they have initially promised.”

The script was executed in heart touching manner and the message came across straight. Lot of experiment was done which gave a positive impact rather than hindering the concentration. Creating of characters may that be tree or cat all were done really well.
Nav Yuvak Mandal has shown people a new ray of hope for betterment as they are ready to experiment and explore the new horizons while many others are still stuck with the old tailor made scripts.

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On the other hand former production coming from the Group that has given theater audience a rich taste before; in their various plays or their repeats shows like Billay btayaate hai,; again the expectations were really high. This show was again the second show of the same production at the same venue however things could have been better in form of coordination as Deepka, another spectator said, “They bumped into each other which shifting positions considering the time gone in for rehearsal, I am sure it could have been executed more neatly.”

However the seriousness of theme can not be overlooked. Spectators found its presentation really good. The costumes the make up all were done really well. However the fade in and fade out at places did miss the timing.

While commenting on the show Sahil, one of the spectator said, “I have already seen this show before too when it was staged at Gaiety only last year. I found no improvement except for the increase in number of characters playing toys. The theme was heart touching but it lacked the intensity that was required to convey those emotions. The main prognostic seemed to have artificial laugh where talking about her dolls and I fail to understand which 11 year old speaks like total. ”

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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Art & Culture

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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