Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eid Celebrated With Fervour

A festive atmosphere reigned across the country as Muslims celebrated Eid today with mosques and idgahs overflowing with the devout who offered special prayers, handed out alms to the needy and exchanged gifts and greetings with friends and relatives.In the capital, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh drove to Vice President Hamid Ansari's residence to wish him on the occasion. Singh, who was accompanied by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and some ministers, said the festival highlights the spirit of sacrifice and the joy of sharing.
People dressed in their festive best offered prayers at Jama Masjid, Fathepuri Masjid, Hazrat Nizamuddin and other mosques in the city, marking the culmination of month-long fasting during Ramzan.
They hugged each other and wished "Eid Mubarak" , exchanged gifts and enjoyed special dishes, particularly 'sewayian' made of vermicelli and different varieties of biryani.     Elders gave 'eidee' (token money) to children dressed in colourful attire and visited relatives.
Jama Masjid
at Jama Masjid
at Jama Masjid

at Jama Masjid

at Jama Masjid

at Jama Masjid

at Jama Masjid

at Jama Masjid

at Jama Masjid

at Jama Masjid
at Jama Masjid

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Basant Badal Deta Hai Muhavre: Book Launch

Release of Basant Badal Deta Hai Muhavre, 
a collection of Hindi translations of Ankur Betageri's English poetry, done by Rahul Rajesh. 

Tuesday, August 30 · 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Sahitya Akademi Conference Hall, III Floor
Rabindra Bhavan, 35 Ferozeshah Road (Mandi House Metro Station)
Kedarnath Singh will release the book. 
Manager Pandey will preside. 
Rahul Rajesh will read from the book. 
Mangalesh Dabral, K Satchidanandan, Anamika and Agrahara Krishna Murthy 
will speak on the occasion.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hooliganism in the name of Anna movement

D.P. Satish

Even as 74-year-old Anna Hazare is leading a peaceful protest fast against corruption, hooliganism in the name of the agitation seems to be rearing its ugly head. While several people have been caught breaking traffic rules, a senior journalist with CNN-IBN was attacked by a group of youngsters claiming to be Hazare supporters.
CNN-IBN Senior Editor DP Satish was beaten up by a group of youngsters claiming to be Hazare supporters on Monday night.
"Youngsters on five bikes were riding shouting Anna slogans, they overtook our car. An altercation took place between the driver and them. They broke open the door and attacked me," said Satish.
Satish suffered injuries on the head and legs and has been admitted to a hospital.
According to the Delhi Police 176 people have been 'challaned' in the last two days. Rogue elements breaking all traffic rules and laws in New Delhi are turning to be a nuisance on the streets of the national capital.


Monday, August 22, 2011


Noted Kannada Writer Na. D'Souza bags Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2011 for his Novel.

Seven books of poetry, six of novels, five of short stories, 
one of folk tales & plays and five writers for their Total Contribution to Children Literature 
have won the Bal Sahitya Puraskar this year.
The Awards were recommended by distinguished Jury members representing 24 Indian 
languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi which met today 
under the Chairmanship of Sri Sunil Gangopadhyay, President of the Sahitya Akademi.
Those who have won the Awards for their collection of poetry include Gh. Nabi Aatash
(Kashmiri),  Snehalata Rai (Nepali),  Darshan Singh Asht (Punjabi),  Abhiraja Rajendra 
Mishra (Sanskrit), Nuhum Hembram (Santali), M.L. Thangappa (Tamil) and  Aadil Aseer 
Dehlavi (Urdu).
Those who have won the Awards for their collection of short stories include Maheswar 
Narzary (Bodo), Mayanath Jha (Maithili), Dileep Prabhavalkar (Marathi), Harish B. Sharma
(Rajasthani) and M. Bhoopal Reddy (Telugu).
Those who have won the award for their novels are  Bandita Phukan (Assamese), 
Siddhartha Sarma (English) and Hundraj Balwani (Sindhi),  N. D’souza (Kannada) and 
Gajanan Jog (Konkani), and K. Pappootty (Malayalam). K. Shantibala Devi (Manipuri)  for 
her book of folk tales & plays has been honoured.
Sailen Ghosh (Bengali), Shyam Dutt Parag (Dogri), (late) Ramesh Parekh (Gujarati), 
Harikrishan Devsare (Hindi) and Maheswar Mohanty (Odia) are  among those honoured 
with the Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2011 for their Total Contribution to Children Literature.

The books and writers for total contribution were selected on the basis of 
recommendations made by a Jury of three members in the concerned languages in 
accordance with the procedure laid down for the purpose.  According to the procedure, the 
Executive Board declared the Awards on the basis of unanimous selections made by the 
Jurors or selection made on the basis of majority vote.  The Awards relate to books first 
published during the five years immediately preceding the year of Award (i.e., between 1 
January 2005 and 31 December 2009). However, during the initial five years i.e. from 
2010 to 2014, the award may be given to an author based on his/her total contribution to 
Children Literature if no book is considered suitable for the award.
The Award in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque and a cheque 
of Rs. 50,000/- will be presented to the  awardees at a  special function to be held in 
November 2011.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Comment: Civil Society has no accountability

Article by Brijesh Kalappa, Supreme Court Advocate and Additional Advocate General of Haryana.

Brijesh KalappaIBNLive Specials
Updated Aug 15, 2011 at 01:09pm IST

New Delhi: Civil Society was never thought to be outside of the three pillars under the Constitution. We now have Civil Society by the name of the fourth pillar - with no answerability or accountability to anyone. A prime instance is as under, where the Justice PB Sawant (Former Judge, Supreme Court of India) Commission appointed by the Government of Maharashtra under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 on 1st September, 2003 submitted its report on 23rd February, 2005 while indicting four persons for corruption- Sureshdada Jain, Minister (Food and Civil Supplies), Nawab Malik, MOS (Housing), Padmasinh Patil, Minister (Irrigation) Maharashtra and Anna Hazare. The law is meant to have an equal effect on all persons. All persons are equally liable to face punishment if they have performed an act of corruption.
However, a stark difference is noted in the manner in which the three ministers resigned from the Cabinet and were shamed. Anna Hazare, who did not hold any public office, but was equally indicted for corruption moved from strength to strength, he is today known as India's foremost crusader against corruption. This alone demonstrates that 'Civil Society' which often accuse government functionaries of corruption wears an armour in the eyes of the general public and is therefore free from all charges. This nature of extra-constitutionalism was noted by the Sawant Commission which noted the manner in which Hazare had arm-twisted the Government of Maharashtra to appoint the Sawant Commission:
"The agitational (sic) activities have however to be carried on by observing certain norms. Not only have they to be peaceful, but also legal. A care has also to be taken to see that they do not lead to anti-social activities or become extra-constitutional centres of power. Such a development will itself encourage lawlessness and spell out the end of the rule of law. The mode of agitation has further to vary according to its object and the social conditions obtaining at the time. Else, it will not only achieve its object but will prove counter-productive. It has to be remembered that the agitational (sic) activities also constitute a social power, which is as much liable to be abused as the political power. When the social power is used irresponsibly, or to subvert the constitutional authority, it is hardly distinguishable from terror… (Page 22)." Shri Hazare proposes to hold a fast on August 16th to compel the Central Government to accept his version of the Jan Lokpal Bill.
The Commission further commented on the means adopted by Hazare to attack the 'corrupt,' who on a mere allegation by Hazare gain notoriety. ".. As the present inquiry reveals, while making the allegations of corruption the complainant Shri Hazare relies exclusively on the information supplied to him by his workers or so on the contents of the representations made to him by the discontented. The information thus made available may not all be disinterested and may be motivated by various considerations, including personal, political and corrupt. In any case, such information coming from whatever source it may, has to be verified at least by giving an opportunity to the person against whom the complaint is made. This is an elementary precaution, which has to be taken before making the individual a target of agitation.
As has been admitted by Shri Hazare, the persons against whom he receives complaints are not even intimated by him about them. They have, therefore, no opportunity to reply to the charges in the complaints. Shri Hazare gave two reasons for dispensing with the said basic requirement viz. that his Andolan has no funds to call for the explanations from the concerned individuals, and secondly, his team of lawyers clears the complaints before the agitation is started. The first reason is both strange and indefencible, while the second is as much unjustified. If the movement against corruption, which he has started, does not have sufficient funds even for postal correspondence with the persons concerned, certainly he cannot make the targeted individuals suffer on that account. It is further not his case that even his lawyers give an opportunity to the persons concerned to explain the charges against them before they clear the complaints for agitation.
It must be realised that when persons like Shri Hazare who have come to be respected by the society on account of their laudable work in other fields, publicly accuse any person for his misdemeanour, the people come to believe it intrinsically, and the person concerned earns a social odium for life-time, even if later he comes to be cleared of the charges. There have been cases where persons have been victimised either by public or private complaints, at the strategic moments in their life and career. The blackmailers, in particular, take advantage of such situation. The adequate provisions, which even otherwise are a must, become all the more necessary in such movements. The social power should not become or allowed to become an engine of oppression of the innocent. (Page 24)" Despite this serious noting, Shri Hazare trained his guns on Sharad Pawar, making unfounded allegations against him and forcing his resignation from the team of Ministers to hold parleys with Team Anna. Team Anna has since made statements against MP's and Hazare has recently stated that the remote control was preventing the PM from coming under the ambit of a Lokpal. He has also made comments about the PM's foreign education coming in the way o0f his understanding of India.
Anna Hazare was indicted on charges of committing a corrupt practice. The Commission noted: "As regards the allegation that the funds belonging to the Trust were spent for celebrating the 60th birth anniversary of Shri Hazare, we find that there is no valid defence of the Trust to the said allegation. Admittedly, an amount of about Rs. 2.20 lakh was spent in the year 1998-99 when Shri Hazare was felicitated on his birthday. Shri Abhay Firodia, a businessman gifted an equivalent amount to the trust subsequently. A defence was sought to be raised that since the entire amount spent for the birthday was received by the trust subsequently, the trust cannot be said to have spent any of its funds for the birthday celebrations. The defence is deceptive. In the first instance, the amount received from Shri Abhay Firodia many days after it was spent for the birthday celebrations.
Secondly Shri Abhay Firodia gave the said amount as "donation" to the Trust. Therefore, even that amount belonged to the Trust and no amount belonging to the trust could have been spent for the purpose concerned….. We wish that such an argument was not advanced. This is obviously an illegal utilisation of the trust's funds. It may further be noted that the trust has obtained a certificate of exemption from the Income Tax Department to the donors, for the donations made by them to it. Shri Abhay Firodia must have earned the requisite benefit in his tax liability, for the said donation. (Page 270-271)" "…The expenditure of Rs 2.20 lakh from the funds of the Hind Swaraj Trust for the birthday celebrations of Shri Hazare was clearly illegal and amounted to a corrupt practice. Page 365". This trend of building a personality cult continues to this day if a statement that appeared in the Hindu on 9th April, 2011 after Shri Hazare's fast is read in this context: "Anna is expected to reach here in the next few days. We have planned a grand welcome for him. A victory procession will be organised," Datta Awari, who handles Mr Hazare's office at the village, said." It is alleged that an extraordinary procession took Hazare to his native village with several lakhs spent on the event.
Mr Hazare, besides being indicted above on corruption, has also been indicted by the Commission on 23 counts of 'maladministration', which the Commission defined, as "Corruption is only a species of maladministration, which besides corruption, consists of the negligence, the lack of supervision, carelessness and waste and inefficiency, among others. Broadly speaking, the improper conduct of the affairs of a public institution, adversely affecting the interests of the public or the beneficiaries will amount to maladministration." and 9 counts of illegality-some of them are mentioned as hereunder:
"Although Shri Hazare was not qualified to remain a member of the Society during the period 2001 to 2003 since he did not hold any land within the jurisdiction of the Society during that period, he continued to be the Chairman of the (Krishna Pani Puravatha Yojana Sahakari Sanstha) Society. This was patently illegal. (Page 371)"
The Commission also concluded that the Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan Trust was not even registered legally as a Society under the Societies Registration Act. The Commission held this to be an act of maladministration. The Commission held "theAndolan could not act as a Trust legally after 1998, since it did not have the minimum number of trustees, according to the trust deed, to operate as the Trust. It also did not have the minimum number of trustees to form the quorum since October 1999. All the acts of the Andolan as the Trust after 1998 were, therefore illegal. There was thus a patent maladministration in the functioning of the Trust. (Page 368-369)" Further Shri Hazare appointed District Committees after 1998 (when the Andolan was not even registered legally). Further, the receipt books of these committees were lost, this was noted to be a "patent maladministration" Page 370). Despite the fact that the Andolanwas not even registered, Shri Hazare's cohorts let loose a reign of terror for purposes of extortion, to which the Commission noted " Some of the workers in the Andolan were abusing the platform of the Andolan for anti-social activities, such as, extortion of money, blackmailing, grabbing the properties of others, harassment, goondaism, corruption etc. Although Shri Hazare denied that some of them were his workers, he could not deny that the others at least were his own workers. These acts on their part were clearly criminal. When the complaints were made against some of them, Shri Hazare did not care to investigate them, and when he did inquire into some of them, he only heard his own workers without calling the complainants for the inquiry. This was highly unjust and irregular and amounted to patent maladministration (Page 370-371)".
The Commission also noted, “The amount of 46,374 spent on the renovation of the Yadav Baba was contrary to the objects of the Trust. The amount would be spent only on education and that secular education. Both the objects were defied by the said expenses incurred on renovation of Yadav Baba temple and therefore constituted illegalities (Page 367)." Further, the same trust was found to have committed an illegality in submitting its accounts for 12 years, between 1982 and 1994 in one go on 31.3.1995 and again in submitting its accounts for 1995-2002 only on 29.07.2003. The Commission held "Since the accounts of all the divisions of the Trust were not consolidated and submitted to the Charity Commissioner for some of the years as pointed out above, the Trust was guilty of maladministration. (Page 367)"
Some other serious improprieties include "Shri Hazare has not explained as to why a separate joint account in his name and in the name of one Dadgu Kisan Mapari was kept in the Adarsha Gramin Bigarsheti Sahakari Patsanstha. This amounts to a clear irregularity, as is, therefore an act of maladministration. (Page 368)"
Article by Brijesh Kalappa, Supreme Court Advocate and Additional Advocate General of Haryana.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


New Delhi, 14th August 2011

Dear Citizens,
As I speak to you on the eve of our 65th Independence Day, I extend my warmest greetings to all of you living in India and overseas. To the members of our Armed Forces and Para-military forces who guard our frontiers, and our internal security forces, I extend special greetings.
This significant day in our nation's calendar takes us back to the events that made our country, a free nation. It is to Mahatma Gandhi - the Father of our Nation, to all the other leaders of our freedom movement, and to the millions of people of our country, who fought with bravery and courage, that we pay homage. Our independence was won on the principles of truth and non-violence. It is this, as well as the transformational impact it had in other parts of the world, that makes our freedom struggle exceptional. In Asia and in Africa, voices of freedom against oppression and colonial power, were encouraged by India's example. We can be proud that we all belong to a country, that has proved its greatness through values, which have found such a wide resonance. We, as the inheritors of that great legacy, carry a responsibility to stand by truth and justice; to continue to conduct ourselves, in a manner that is in consonance, with India's standing, as a progressive and responsible country, where values of democracy, harmony and tolerance are deeply embedded.
Today, our nation stands at a threshold. There are important issues on which we must focus, and as we do so, keep in mind that these are times, when we should also be on our guard, about not straying away from our main objective, of strengthening the nation in its many aspects. This is a time for introspection, a time to take well thought out measures, and to prepare well for the future. There have been occasions earlier, when confronted with many questions, we did find answers. The real strength of a nation is judged not by the challenges it faces, but by its responses. Therefore, as we analyze, make policies, legislate, implement schemes and enforce laws, we must not, forget that the purpose of all our efforts is to move on the path of progress while ensuring that morals and ethics in our society do not get eroded.
India is the world's largest democracy. The country has performed well economically with a growth rate of 8.6 percent last year. We are committed to the welfare of all and are pursuing an inclusive growth agenda. There is much promise, much potential, much hope and much optimism about our future prospects. I point this out so that, as we deal with the challenges, we should not be unmindful of either our achievements; or of our past; or the principles on which our freedom, Constitution and democracy rest; or very importantly, of our future. Our actions today, our decisions today, will fashion our tomorrow. A deep sense of responsibility is a call of our times. All institutions and all citizens, have to demonstrate great maturity and, if I may say so, a degree of self-restraint, as we deal with our problems.
Corruption is a cancer affecting our nation's political, economic, cultural and social life. It is necessary to eliminate it. Government, Parliament, Judiciary and society at large, should ponder about this, and find out ways to handle it in a manner that is practical, implementable and sustainable. There cannot be just one panacea or remedy to deal with it, but a system of transparency and accountability should be put in place at various levels, and, then, effectively enforced. It would require preventive and punitive measures, as well as adoption of rational approaches as we pursue the anti-corruption agenda. India is known for its sobriety and wisdom, balanced and sensible thinking. As is said in one of our shlokas,  , which means that anything in extreme should be avoided. We need strong institutions and we need good governance in the country. Our institutions need to be fortified and our governance constantly improved. We should analyze the situation and find considered solutions to address the challenges we are facing in a thoughtful manner.
As we look at our past performance, we can draw strength from the fact, that the framework of our Constitution has served us well. The institutions created by it - the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary - have been stable and have achieved much. The separation of powers, the elaborate system of checks and balances, have given our country a governance structure in which equilibrium is maintained, when every institution respects the field of responsibility of the others. Credibility of institutions depends upon their conduct, which must be in accordance with the constitutional framework. We should strengthen them and their ability to take corrective actions, whenever required. There should be no effort, consciously or otherwise, that will lead to the erosion of institutional credibility and authority.
Dear Citizens,
Parliament represents people from all parts of our country and a broad spectrum of political thought. Its legislation is an outcome of collective thinking and application of minds. Many path-breaking laws have been made by the Parliament of our country. New laws will also be formulated by legislative bodies. There can be discussions, debates, discourses among the people of the country for public opinion to emerge, which is an essential input in a true democracy. The different shades of opinion should be channelized, through elected representatives for the formulation of necessary legislation. We should not forget that we have to preserve the democratic values of our country and, for this, healthy conventions of parliamentary procedures should be upheld. Members of Parliament can contribute immensely to issues of national development. There are several instances of commendable initiatives being taken by our elected representatives, including one where young Parliamentarians in the country have come together, cutting across all party lines, to work on malnutrition. I appreciate these initiatives. There is possibility of other such issues which could be collectively addressed by Parliamentarians belonging to all political parties.
Moreover, I strongly feel good electoral practices are linked with a strong functional democracy. Various proposals have been made, from time to time, to reform the electoral process, including on State funding of elections and debarring the participation of criminals in elections. These should be examined early for adoption as a part of our efforts to further enhance the healthy functioning of our democracy and to cleanse the system.
Dear Citizens,
The Census has just been completed in our country. We are now a nation of 1.2 billion, constituting about a sixth of the global population. We will reap a demographic dividend, only when our population is educated and equipped with the necessary skills. This entails a focus on education and skill development, to build their capacities to meet the requirements of the nation. They can add immensely to India's economy - in the service sector, cutting edge technologies, manufacturing, industry, and agriculture. We are a country shaped by the experiences, sacrifices and hard work of our citizens. Indians have shown tremendous enterprise and there are many success stories. They have earned goodwill for the country wherever they are working or they are settled. They have done us proud. Moreover, we must inculcate respect for pluralism, harmonious living and compassion, all of which are a part of our legacy of always upholding the highest human values.
The underlying purpose of our work is to provide to all citizens, opportunities of progress and to eradicate poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy. I have always said that, it is a growing Gross Domestic Product along with the welfare of the people, that are the twin pillars of a progressive nation. Today, anti-poverty programmes, social welfare schemes, and a commitment to ensure food security, form the core of our inclusive agenda strategy. There are also a host of special economic packages for the under-developed regions of our nation. Welfare schemes create an entitlement for individuals belonging to identified groups. Delivering the benefits to them is our duty and lack of delivery, a failure. Government efforts need to be supported by voluntary agencies, NGOs and, indeed, by citizens themselves who can be development partners of the Government. Implementation needs to be done in a transparent manner and by creating accountability and integrity in functioning. The country cannot afford the loss of resources meant for its development.
We must persist with our efforts to bridge differentials in economic growth in the country. 68 percent of our population continues to reside in rural areas with a majority dependent on agriculture. Yet, agriculture is one area where we are yet to reach full potential. We need a model to revolutionalize agriculture, from the time when agricultural operations start, till harvest is reaped and beyond, where post-harvest processing aspects are addressed. Institutions linked to making available credit, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, have to be pro-active and work in co-ordination with each other. There should be greater use of technology in the agricultural sector to enhance productivity. Also, issues and problems relating to dry land farming, including labour shortage require to be addressed in a focused manner. We may need to examine whether existing rural employment programmes, can be utilized for agricultural land of farmers, whether small holders or otherwise, in rainfed areas. This will help to stabilize agriculture in these areas. At the same time, warehousing and cold storage facilities for agricultural produce in the country require to be augmented. Decentralized warehousing will make food distribution not only easier and quicker, but it would be a low cost option that also cuts on wastage during transportation. I have on several occasions called on the corporate sector, as well as small and medium enterprises to seriously engage with agriculturists and farmers, particularly in the rainfed areas, to avail of the many opportunities of working together for mutual benefit. Let the public sector entities take the lead in this regard. The integration of agriculture with the other sectors of the economy would not only be useful for agriculture, but would generate positive impulses in other sectors as well.
Our Census sadly shows that there has been a decline in the gender ratio in the 0 to 6 age group. It has touched a low level of 914 girls as compared to a 1000 boys. It reflects the continuing preference of boys in our society and the bias against the girl child. We need to fight social prejudices which have resulted in this situation, and also work to eradicate the practices of dowry, child marriage and female foeticide, which we are continuing to battle even in the 21st Century. Let each citizen of the country vow to fight these social evils. There are laws against them but we need to ensure compliance and create awareness. Moreover, crime against women needs to be dealt with most sternly. Women and men are the two wheels of the chariot of the nation and both need to be strong. Women have tremendous capabilities and capacities to contribute in any field, when given an opportunity. We have seen the success of the movement of the Self Help Groups in our country. Eighty percent of them are all-women groups. They operate at the lower rung of the economic strata and carry out activities on a limited scale. These groups have provided women not only with possibilities of income generating activity, but have given them confidence and a sense of self-esteem. Government should pro-actively take measures to universalize this movement, which will be beneficial to our agenda of women's empowerment.
Dear Citizens,
Events of far reaching consequences are taking place in the world. In a globalised world, these developments have ramifications beyond borders. We are all aware of the consequences of the global financial meltdown of 2008. Uncertainty is again confronting the world economy, and would need to be tackled through co-ordinated global action, as also by suitable precautionary measures in our country. Our economy has fundamental strength and resilience, and its large domestic market can help it maintain steady growth rates. However, price rise is an issue engaging our attention, and would have to be dealt with. Rising prices affects families and especially those of our fellow citizens living below the poverty line. Efforts must be made to find ways and means to soften the impact of inflation, so that the benefits of growth are not blunted.
Also, we are all aware of the threats that terrorism is posing to peace everywhere. The attack in Mumbai last month is yet another grim reminder of the destruction that can be caused by terrorism. We need to be ever-vigilant, to fight this menace which is a global phenomenon.
Dear Citizens,
I recall the words of Swami Vivekanand, "this national ship of ours my countrymen, has been plying for ages, carrying civilization and enriching the whole world with its inestimable treasures." Dear Citizens, the challenge for us, is how effectively we carry forward the nation from now onwards. Let history be the judge that during our time, we found the right answers to the challenges we faced, and acquitted ourselves with dignity and continued to work with unity, to build the India of our dreams.
Dawn will break tomorrow and our flag will flutter. Whatever task you are doing in the interest of the country is important, and I call on all citizens to pledge, that they will work with full commitment and dedication, honesty and integrity and with a sense of pride. If we do this, there is much that we will be able to achieve as a nation.
With these words, I wish all citizens the very best on the occasion of Independence Day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

'Yakshagana needs UNESCO recognition', says Veerappa Moily

'Yakshagana needs UNESCO recognition', says Veerappa Moily

New Delhi, Aug 10 (ANI): The four-day Yakshagana festival, which concluded here earlier this week, provided a rich fare to people in Delhi making them aware of the rich traditions of centuries old performing art of Karnataka.
Eminent artistes performed at the festival, which was inaugurated by the Minister for Corporate Affairs, Veerappa Moily, who endorsed the demand for recognition of the art form from UNESCO as 'Intangible heritage of Humankind'.
The  'National Festival of Yakshagana' held at Delhi Karnataka Sangha in Ramakrishnapuram was jointly organized by Karnataka Yakshagana Bayalata Academy, Bangalore and Academy of Tenku Tittu Yakshagana, Delhi.
Karnataka Chief Minister D. V. Sadananda Hegde was to participate in this festival, but was held up for the swearing-in-ceremony in Bangalore. 
Veerappa Moily, a former Chief Minister of Karnataka himself, said that 'Yakshagana is a performing art in which different channels of communication like dance, music, costumes and impromptu dialogues etc. works together for a single effect'.
"I was a successful lawyer because of Yakshagana where lots of arguments take place. In fact coastal Karnataka has archived something special in all fields due to this art form," said Moily.

Moily pointed out that some of the basic elements in Yakshagana like music and dance are independent artistic forms by themselves. Language, the most highly developed of all sign systems is also used prominently in Yakshagana. All these channels function together in the performance of a form like Yakshagana.
These different sign systems function differently using different media of communication like sound, body, language, color and movements. As a result, different messages may be transmitted during the course of the performance. Yet the performance as a whole leads to one comprehensive message where all these messages converge in to one'.
The President of Yakshagana Bayalata Academy, Kumble Sundara Rao, made an impassioned appeal during the festival for the recognition of Yakshagana, as the unique art form of Karnataka.  A Yakshagana artist himself, he donned the attire to perform, even though he is in his late seventies.

Other senior artistes, who were honoured at the concluding function of the festival included Chittani Ramachandra Hegade, Kilyur Ramachandra Rao, and Surikumer Govinda Bhat.
he richness of Yakshagana as an art form was first demonstrated in the capital over four decades ago by noted author and Jnanapeeth awardee Dr. Shivarama Karanth, and later by dramatist B. V. Karanth.
During the four-day festival in Delhi the artistes performed Yakshagana plays - Bhasmasura Mohini, Krishna Parijata, Sudhanva Moksha, Jambavati Kalyana, Veera Abimanyu, and Gadhayudda.  They also had special presentations on Tala Maddale. It was a unique experience to see the episodes in an auditorium, while the performance in Karnataka are held in open fields lasting from late evenings lasting till dawn break, the beat of drums heard across for miles. 
The team also held demonstrations at the National School of Drama and the Delhi University in the national capital.

The demonstrations showcased the unique nature of the art.  In particular, the demonstrations depicted: the oddolaga of Devendra (A grand entry of God, Devendra along with two of his dikpalas, Agni (fire god) and Varuna (water god), the oddolaga of Ravana (A grand entry of Ravan, demon king of Lanka), the oddolaga of Hanuman (Grand entry of Hanuman-a monkey god, the Oddolaga of Shrikrishna (Grand entry of Lord Shrikrishna) and Entry of a Female Character

All demonstrations were followed by useful discussions on the language of Yakshagana.
Dr. Venkatachala Hegde, President Delhi Karnataka Sangha, who is a professor in the Jawaharlal Nehru University urged the Yakshagana lovers to take care of the copyright issues, which is very important to preserve the cultural heritage.

Dr. Purushottama Bilimale, Director of American Institute of Indian Studies, spoke about the contributions of the artists and the uniqueness of Yakshagana as a performing art.
The Academy of Tenku Thittu Yakshagana (ATTY) based in Delhi has played a major role in introducing the art form to people in northern part of the country, by holding performances both in Kannada and in Hindi. 
The contribution of the Directors of the Academy, Sharavu Krishna Bhat and Yakshagana artist Vidya Kolyur, received warm recognition at the festival. (ANI)

Monday, August 8, 2011

K. Govinda Bhat as Arjuna mesmerizes audience

Surikumeri K. Govinda Bhat  started his career in Thenku Thittu school of Yakshagana in 1951 and continues as a professional artiste.
He is among very few who have managed both dance and dialogues in an equal measure on stage.
Yakshopasane his biography (author: Dr B. Prabhakara Shishila) is a must read for all.
This 73 years old artiste mesmerized the audience at New Delhi on Aug. 6, 2011 as Arjuna in Sudhanva Moksha episode. 
K. Govinda Bhat

Friday, August 5, 2011

ರಾಯಪ್ರತಾಪ - ಮೊದಲ ದಿನ - ಭಸ್ಮಾಸುರ ಮೋಹಿನಿ

ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ ಬಯಲಾಟ ಅಕಾಡೆಮಿ, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಮತ್ತು ದೆಹಲಿಯ ಅಕಾಡೆಮಿ ಆಫ್ ತೆಂಕುತಿಟ್ಟು ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ ನಡೆಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ರಾಯಪ್ರತಾಪ 2011 ರಾಜಧಾನಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ ಪ್ರಾತ್ಯಕ್ಷಿಕೆ, ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ತಾಳಮದ್ದಳೆ ಪಸರಣವನ್ನು ಡಾ. ಎಂ. ವೀರಪ್ಪ ಮೊಯಿಲಿ, ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸರಕಾರದ ಕಂಪನಿ ವ್ಯವಹಾರಗಳ ಸಚಿವರು ಆಗಸ್ಟ್ 4 ರಂದು ಉದ್ಘಾಟಿಸಿದರು.
ಇದೇ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಸುಪ್ರಸಿದ್ದ ಕಲಾವಿದರಿಂದ ಭಸ್ಮಾಸುರ ಮೋಹಿನಿ ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನ ನಡೆಯಿತು.
ಹಿಮ್ಮೇಳದಲ್ಲಿ ಕೊಳಗಿ ಕೇಶವ ಹೆಗಡೆ, ನಗರ ವೇಣುಗೋಪಾಲ, ವಿಘ್ನೇಶ್ವರ ಕೆಸರಗೊಪ್ಪ, ಸುನಿಲ್ ಭಂಡಾರಿ ಮುಮ್ಮೇಳದಲ್ಲಿ ಚಿಟ್ಟಾಣಿ ರಾಮಚಂದ್ರ ಹೆಗಡೆ, ಚಿಟ್ಟಾಣಿ ಸುಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣ್ಯ ಹೆಗಡೆ, ನೀಲಕೋಡು ಶಂಕರ ಹೆಗಡೆ, ಎಲಂಪಳ್ಳಿ ಜಗನ್ನಾಥ, ಶ್ರೀಧರ ಭಟ್ಟ ಕಾಸರಕೋಡು ಮತ್ತು ಮಂಜು ಗೌಡ.

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