SHIMLA- “Gur Ka Halwa” a play highlighting the misery of farmers in current times was staged at the historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla a couple of days ago. The play was organized by the The North Zone Cultural Center Patiyala in association with Department of Language Art and Culture Himachal Pradesh.
The story of play revolved around a poor farmer who was in debt to a rich money lender. Farmer was forced to mortgage his wife’s jewelry to meet his daily life struggle may that be of providing basic needs like food to family and education to his daughter or medical treatment for his old father.
Father’s patience gives up as the money lender offers to buy his young daughter and farmer and his wife decides to murder their daughter by giving her poisonous “Gur Ka Halwa”. Play failed to do justice to the theme as there was hardly any story line. The play came like a flat faced narrative without much of modulation there was no climax and ended abruptly.
The boy who comes and informs about various schemes was more of an announcement than anything else. If performed as street play there too it is doubted that it would have done any justice to government programs and schemes when it came to enlightening people.However no doubt the question that it wanted to raise The – that though government is providing with various schemes for farmers but still many are not aware about the benefit and hence are forced to end their lives or make wrong decisions. In Farmer is enlightened about the scheme and hence he is filled with a new hope.
Himachal’s traditional ‘Mandi Shivratri’ fair begins today
Mandi: The traditional Shivratri Mela of Mandi district, which is a week-long international fair, began today as the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur, formally announced the opening at the historical Paddal ground at Mandi.
This year’s celebrations are special for the people of Mandi as it is the native place of the Chief Minister. Also, Bhartiya Janata Party has captured all 10 seats in the district including the support of the one independent candidate.
I am happy to see all nine MLAs including an Independent who have gathered here for celebrating the festival with traditional fervour,
Earlier, after paying obeisance at the famous Madho Rai temple, the Chief Minister participated in the traditional ‘Jaleb’ (Shobha Yatra) of Shivratri fair, which began from DC office to end at the Paddal ground.
Local deities along with the Chief deity Madho Rai led the procession.
The locals draped in their colourful attire thronged the procession carrying along the palanquins of the local deities and marched towards the Paddal Mela ground. A little less than two hundred Devtas participated in the ‘Jaleb’, the traditional Shobha Yatra, from almost all corners of the district.
The life of the people of the state revolves around the local Gods and Goddesses, and the local deities are an inseparable part of the people. The Shivratri festival gives a glimpse of ‘Dev and Manav Milan’ (the meeting of humans with deities), he said.
The Chief Minister announced a hike of 20 percent in ‘nazarana’ of the local deities, 20 percent hike in ration quota, and two times increase in honorarium of ‘Bajantris’ – the musicians who accompany the deities.
As compared to Rs. 3,64,000 in 2017, with two times rise in honorarium of Bajantris, the expenditure the expenditure will be Rs. 7,31,000 in 2018.
The Chief Minister has assured that the government will register the left-out deities in a phase-wise manner.
‘Sarv Devta Committee’ will formulate the guidelines, examine each case, will pass a resolution in the house unanimously, and the committee will forward the case to the district administration for necessary action.
The Chief Minister also released a souvenir of the festival on the occasion.
He said the government would soon come up with parking places to decongest traffic.
The Chief Minister said Mandi will be connected with air services under UDAN scheme, (a regional connectivity scheme of Government of India). A helipad will be constructed in Mandi, he said.
The state government will take up the issue with the Union government along with the demand for direct flights from Chandigarh to Kullu, Kangra, Shimla and for tribal areas, the Chief Minister assured.
Pahari short-film Pashi wins best Cinematography award at Marietta Film Festival in Georgia
Siddharth Chauhan’s Himachali short-film Pashi has won the best Cinematography award at Marietta International Film Festival in Georgia, Europe in the short-film category.
Earlier, Pashi had also made it to an Oscar qualifying ‘Rhode Island International Film Festival’held in USA in August 2017. It was the first international premiere for the film. Like Rhode Island, at Marietta too, Pashi was the only entry from India, said Sidharth.
Siddharth was the Director of photography while Yashwant Kumar Sharma was his cameraman.
The film is inspired from Siddharth’s childhood memories in his village Dhanoti, Rohru of Shimla district and produced under the Secret Corridor Picture.
In the regional Pahari spoken in Rohru, Pashi means a trap – an ancient concept used by villagers & children for hunting birds and animals.
Pashi will be showcased at Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai on the September 17. On February 2, 2018, the film will be showcased at the World Music and Independent Film Festival in Washington where it already has five nominations – Best Director, Best Screenplay Writer, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor.
Siddharth has emerged as a talented filmmaker from the Hill state where the film industry is still in infancy. Luckily, the parents of Siddharth, Mr. Balwan Singh Chauhan and Mrs. Bimla Chauhan offered a thorough support to him in his endevour.
Lead actors of the film include Chetan Kanwar, a Class XII student at the Chapslee School, Shimla, John Negi, a model/actor from Rampur, Kamayani Bisht, an English Professor at the Government College Theog, Savitri Devi Sunta, the oldest family member of the Sunta family in Khawalan.
Supporting case includes Dewansh Kanwar (Chapslee School), Aditi Sunta ( Rohru), and Dev Ranta (Rohru).
Other crew members are as followed.
- Assistant Directors: Mridul Surbhi, Shefali Chauhan & Ankit Rathore
- Music: Prabir Sekhri from Canada
- Sound: Tanmaya Das from Mumbai
- Visual Effects: Himanshu Hirwani from Pune
- Story/Direction: Siddharth Chauhan from Shimla
- Associate Producers: Swati Chauhan & Ankit Rathore (from Delhi)
Artists in Himachal allege serious irregularities in distribution of top Academy awards
How the Academy can distribute prizes four months prior to completion of the year. Moreover, without procuring the copy of published works, how would it assess the artists?
Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Academy of Language, Art, and Culture was alleged of irregularities in the distribution of the annual top three awards to best artists in various fields.
The Academy is preparing to distribute the top Academy awards for the year 2017 in advance without following proper procedures and even rules of the Academy.
The awards for the year 2016 were presented in March 2017. Just five months after it, now, the Academy is preparing to distribute prizes in haste before the end of the year. Artists cite the upcoming Assembly Election as the main reason behind this unjustified act.
For the 2017 awards, the Academy has invited artists to submit their entries with details by August 26, 2017. Surprisingly, the Academy has not asked the candidates to submit any books or other published works for the assessment.
The artists and social organizations are questioning how the Academy can distribute prizes four months prior to completion of the year. Moreover, without procuring the copy of published works, how would it assess the artists?
Several artists would publish or reveal their works of art during the next four months. But if the prizes for the year were already distributed before completion of the year, these artists will face injustice. All artists deserve equal opportunity to represent their works.
The 2016 awards were distributed without actually assessing the art works or the artists, said the allegations. A few members of the Academy distributed the prizes to some pre-selected candidates without properly inviting other artists to submit entries. There was no in-depth assessment of works of art and literature before giving away prizes worth lakhs of rupees.
These allegations were labeled by Guru Dutt Sharma, an artist and the President of the “HP Sarvahitkari Sangh”. He said the Academy distributed the last year’s awards just five months ago, and now, the Academy is trying to distribute top three awards for the year 2017 in advance.
Sharma also alleged that every such institute or organization is bound to properly advertise the invitation for entries along with details regarding the eligibility criteria, rules, and norms. However, the Academy issued only a press note that did not contain any of the aforesaid details, he alleged.
He further alleged that the constitution of the Academy was hijacked by a few members. These members were taking undue advantage of their positions and working arbitrarily.
As per the Academy rules, the position of the President in the Academy always belongs to the Secretary of the HP Department of Language and Culture. However, the Academy has defied this rule and even the post of the Secretary was not filled as per rules.
Guru Dutt Sharma has also written to the President of the Academy and the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh asking them to publish proper details regarding the eligibility and rules before inviting entries.
He also asked the Chief Minister to ensure that the awards for the year 2017 should be given in 2018 after appropriate assessment.
The artists are pleading the government to spare the Academy of corruption for the sake of the art.
Sharma has requested all artist community to join hands and fight against the irregularities in the Academy to ensure justice with deserving artists.
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