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STF stages two major theatrical productions at Gaiety Theater Shimla

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Chakravyuh2

Chakravyuh2

Shimla:Theater lovers of the city got a great opportunity to experience the magic Nitish Bharadwaj, live as Lord Krishna after 25 years, in an epic play Chakravyuh, during two days long play festival organized by The Films and Theatre Society, Delhi at historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla early this week.

While sharing his experience Nitish Said, “If was for the first time that I have perfumed in Shimla. It was my best show considering the audiences response. My forefathers also belonged to Himachal so naturally I have love and affection for this place. I feel that we all face problems and God resides in us all and there is only need to awaken him and rest everything falls in places.”

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During the two days fest two plays were staged that is Wo Lahore and Chakravyuh both plays were written and directed by Atul SatyaKoushik a well know name in the theater fraternity. Having an experience of over 12 years in theatre at various levels, his relation with the art form dates back to 2001. He formed ‘The Films and Theatre Society’ in September 2009 which is now a team of over 60 actors trained in the art of acting and play production by Atul. He has written 15 full length plays so far and has directed and staged more than 100 shows in the past few years. Each of his plays is different from the other in content as well as treatment.

Wo Lahore

Atul belongs to the new age of playwrights, trying to fill the vacuum of good original Hindi plays which is being felt by theatre practitioners in India. His plays ‘ArjunKa Beta’, ‘Draupadi’, ‘Wo Lahore’ and ‘Bade Sheharke log’ are some of his promising contributions to original play-writing in India. He has also come up with some remarkable adaptations of classic Indian and foreign literature in the form of ‘KoobaraurKaaki’, ‘KaaliShalwar’, ‘Saudagar’ and ‘Animal Farm’.

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He has trained over 300 actors so far and has provided them coveted platforms to showcase their talent. He has been associated with many government, educational, corporate and social bodies and provided his expert services in the field of training and theatre workshops at, including Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Central University of Bihar, Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Competition Commission of India. Hehas trained nearly 2,500 professionals so far.

Wo Lahore, a mucial drama, is set in the middle of twentieth century’s India which has been the most written, most performed and most talked about part of Indian history. This is a story of an ordinary woman, a mother of three sons, who tries to keep her family intact amongst everything that is happening around. This play shows the internal conflicts and turmoil prevailing in an ordinary Indian family with the struggle for freedom, social beliefs of those times and the then partition in the backdrop. Beleaguered in different convictions, values and aspirations of her sons and husband, Jamuna, the protagonist of the play, is a representative of quintessential Indian women and mother. The play which is full of Indian music is a ride into various emotions and dramatic elements such as love, betrayal, hope, patriotism, comedy, poetry etc.

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Whereas Chakravyuh is an attempt to present the chapter of Chakravyuh from the great epic of Mahabharata in a new manner where hidden meanings, interpretation and learning from the philosophy of the Chakravyuh take the front seat, yet keeping all the action, glory, bravado and valor related to the incident equally important. Krishna as the protagonist in the play begins by establishing the importance keeping the learning from the mythology in our minds even though we forget the incidents of events that actually happened in them. When many questions emerge after the war of Chakravyuh Krishna appears and settles all questions, myths and misunderstanding of every one present. He passes on the eternal messages of Karma by telling no one has ever been able to come out of their respective Chakravyuhs as this whole life is a nothing but a Chakravyuh.

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Both the shows touched the heart of theater lovers and can be called show for classes. After a very long time plays of such great stature were staged that forced many old heartbroken theater lovers to enter the venue inspite of the pathetic condition of theater in the city.

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Images:HimachalWatcher

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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