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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

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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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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