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150 years of Shimla – former Summer Capital or 200th year of inception?

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SHIMAL: Recently people of city got an opportunity to experience the magic of famous theater artists in the form of 6 days long theater fest organized by the department of language art and culture.

It is a strange irony of state that the person in whose glory Department of Language Art and Culture has organized a national level theater festival, his own real brother and sisters received a foster child treatment by the authorities and there presence in the hall was not even once acknowledged who came to be the part of the festival with sense of belonging.

Vimal, sister of glorified man informed, “No personal or special invitations were provided to us for this event. We got passes just like ordinary person. We all were overwhelmed with joy after reading in papers that such grand scale theater festival is being held in the memory of our brother but unfortunately inspite of being fully aware about our presence in the town itself not even a courtesy invitation was extended by the organizers.”

His son was formally invited but there too only one seat that was kept for him but seems like they failed to realize that he would have had company and arrangement was missing. In Shimla currently Manohar Singh 2 real sisters – Vimal and Meena; and one brother- Kamalnain are residing.

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Though during the later shows seats were reserved for the family but the initially shabby treatment disappointed his family members. Authorities kept pampering their chief guests and failed to even acknowledge the presence of his real sisters present during the show.

It is even more ironic that the portrait or any single photograph of Manohar in whose name they were basking in the glory, had not been placed either on invitations or flex or even in auditorium where function was being held.

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The VVIPs were conspicuous presence in the historic Gaiety Theatre; especially during second day, on which Naseerudin Shah performance was scheduled; but the local talent which is eyeing the event with expectations and with sense of belonging are being ignored. They had no place to sit inside with the crowding of aristocrats and various departmental people who hardly show any interest in plays staged throughout the year by local talent.

The department claims to have spent handsome amount on the sound and light system but sound goof- up during the second show was something totally unacceptable. The rumors say that Amal Allana a well know Indian theatre director and head of NSD for all most a decade, also left the festival in the middle after having the bitter experiencing. She was staying at her own residence in Shimla.

While reflecting back on lack of sensitivity Vivek Mohan, a National Award winner, while sharing his personal experience says, “In 2012 when “Usne Kha Tha” the film based on the same title by world renowned author, C.S. Guleri on whose name State literary awards are given summon from the department introduced the film maker Vivek Mohan, who was presenting the film; as Bimal Roy! Such is the insensitive state of the affairs in the department and to think the person was after the director for departmental promotion.”

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It seems like the multipurpose hall lack the very purpose; considering the diversified events it hold that is right from dance shows to rock concerts; from college association functions to condolence ceremony of Anupam Khair’s father; and resultantly they are master of none. People are already murmuring why the celebrate 150 years of colonial rule when simultaneously the nation is also conducting elections in free democratic India and Shimla is standing at the threshold of Celebrating 200 Years of Recognized Existence as a settlement in 1815. Now this city is going to enter its 200th year of inception on May 15, 2014.

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It seems like that the senior authorities have the vision but lack the supporting staff that can actually execute the vision at grass roots level.

Coming to plays no doubt the variety offered by the department was worth an appreciation and all want to see many more productions in the coming years.

Art & Culture

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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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.

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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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