Oct 7, 2010

BHU still numero uno

In the survey, the BHU was adjudged better than Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), University of Delhi, University of Calcutta and other prestigious universities on a number of parameters including reputation of the university, quality of academic input, faculty, research publications/reports, projects, infrastructure and placements.

The main campus of this premier central university spreads over 1,300 acres, and has well-maintained roads, extensive greenery, a temple, an air-strip and buildings with unique architecture. The BHU today has nearly 20,000 students including 2,500 research scholars and 650 foreign students from 34 nations under one roof.

Read more: Its official, BHU is numero uno - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Its-official-BHU-is-numero-uno/articleshow/5966073.cms

Sep 23, 2010

Night of the werewolf !!

Shot with a handheld Handycam at 40x zoom.

Sep 22, 2010

On Tagore's trail ... rare photograph

In the 1900's, Tagore went around the World, familiarising foreign audiences on his works and Indian philosophy. During one such interaction The Gitanjali (the English translation) was born which won him the Nobel in literature. In 1917 he went on a lecturing circuit to Japan and US. Here he is seen visting San Diego, CA for the exposition.

Sep 4, 2010

The mayhem on our National Anthem

The wikipedia article on Jana Gana Mana... sports a controversy on the Indian national anthem which is doing rounds on the net. Some blogs question the timing of the song (the Coronation of George V) where the song actually is a clandestine attack on British Imperialism. It is but natural that Tagore had to be surreptitious writing the song in 1911. There are even lesser mortals who question the absence of names of few states and accuse the poem to be regionalistic. This is my attempt to educate such blissfully ignorant brethren.

Its quite common among us Indians to babble on subjects little known to us. People who talk of Nehru in not so favorable terms, especially about his plans for India – have little knowledge of the socio-political situation of India at the time of Independence; his vast knowledge as exemplified by his two epics – ‘Discovery of India’ and ‘Glimpses of World History’(which BTW are one of the most authoritative works of history and regarded worldwide); and are unable to compare the two states – Pakistan and India liberated on the same ‘night’ but our neighbours not having the IITs, SAILs, BHELs and the contributions (of these institutions established by Nehru) to India’s development. Similar is the case with Gandhi and Netaji. People just love to talk.

Without knowing for example, that Tagore was the greatest writer in modern Indian literature, poet, novelist, educator, and an early advocate of Independence for India, was instrumental in setting up Universities (not limited to Santiniketan whose illustrious alumni include the other Nobel laureate of India – Amartya Sen), and gave up his Knighthood to protest the Jallianwala Bagh incident. Much of Tagore’s ideology come from the teaching of the Upanishads.

I am not sure how many of the above even understand and appreciate poetry. Have anyone of you even attempted writing one in your childhood? To imagine that the names of every Indian state should be captured in a poem to express the expanse of our motherland! Crib and question the artistic ability of the only Indian blessed with a Nobel in literature! Its both irritating and amusing at the same time. I wonder who these critics are who have today tried to measure-up Tagore – a name revered by the greatest litterateurs of the world.
Glorifying our pasts seems to be the favorite pastime for us, since we are a frustrated with our politicians lacking vision for the future – without a true attempt to research the real history of our civilization, dominated and enslaved by centuries of Muslim and British rule. Today some religious radicals talk of racial conservatism without realizing how open our culture was before these invasions. They would cover the temple architectures with burkhas if they had their way. The best works on Indian history (atleast those easily accessible) are those written by the British – obviously through their looking glasses.

The complete poem goes thus. At places Tagore refers to "the Mother" (Was George a transgender!)
Jono gono mono odhinayoko joyo he,
Bharoto bhag-go bidhata
Panjab Sindh Gujorata Moratha,
Drabido Uthkolo Bongo
Bindhdho Himacholo Jomuna Gongo,
Tobo shubho name jage,
Tobo shubho ashish mage
Gahe tobo joyo gatha
Jono gono mongolo dayoko joyohe,
Bharoto bhag-go bidhata
Joyo he joyo he joyo he Joyo joyo joyo joyo he.

Ohoroho tobo ahban procharito,
Shunithob udaro bani
Hindu Buddho Shikh Jeino Parshiko,
Musolman Krishtani
Purab poshchim ashe,
Tobo shinghashono pashe
Premohar hoy gãtha
Jono gono oik-ko bidhayoko joyo he,
Bharoto bhag-go bidhata
Joyo he joyo he joyo he Joyo joyo joyo joyo he.

Potono obhbhudhoyo bondhur pontha,
Jugo Jugo dhabito dathri
He chirosharothi, tobo rotho chakre,
Mukhuritho poth dinratri
Daruno Biplob majhe,
Tobo shongkhodhoni baje
Shonkoto dukkho tratha
Jono gono potho porichayoko joyo he,
Bharoto bhag-go bidhata
Joyo he joyo he joyo he Joyo joyo joyo joyo he.

Ghor timir ghono nibir nishithe,
Pirit murchhito deshe
Jagroto chilo tobo obicholo mongolo,
Notonoyo ne onimeshe
Duhshopne atangke,
Roksha korile ongke
Snehomoyi tumi mata
Jono Gono Duhkho Troyoko joyo he,
Bharoto bhag-go bidhatha
Joyo he joyo he joyo he Joyo joyo joyo joyo he.

Ratri probhatilo udilo robichhobi,
Purbo udoyo giri bhale
Gahe bihongom pun-no shomiron,
Nobo jibono rosh dhale
Tobo korunaruno rage,
Nidritho bharot jage
Tobo chorone not matha
Joyo Joyo Joyo He, Joyo Rajeshor
Bharoto bhag-go bidhata
Joyo he joyo he joyo he Joyo joyo joyo joyo he.
Oh! the ruler of the minds of people, Victory be to You,
Dispenser of the destiny of India!
Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maharashtra,
Dravid (South India), Orissa, and Bengal,
The Vindhya, the Himalayas, the Yamuna, the Ganges,
And the oceans with foaming waves all around.
Wake up listening to Your auspicious name,
Ask for Your auspicious blessings,
And sing to Your glorious victory.
Oh! You who impart well being to the people,
Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!
Victory, victory, victory to You!

Your call is announced continuously,
We heed Your gracious call
The Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsees,
Muslims, and Christians,
The East and the West come together,
To the side of Your throne
And weave the garland of love.
Oh! You who bring in the unity of the people!
Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!
Victory, victory, victory to You!

The way of life is somber as it moves through ups and downs,
But we, the pilgrims, have followed it through ages.
Oh! Eternal Charioteer, the wheels of your chariot
Echo day and night in the path
In the midst of fierce revolution,
Your conch shell sounds.
You save us from fear and misery.
Oh! You who guide the people through torturous path,
Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!
Victory, victory, victory to You!

During the bleakest of nights,
When the whole country was sick and in swoon
Wakeful remained Your incessant blessings,
Through Your lowered but winkless eyes
Through nightmares and fears,
You protected us on Your lap,
Oh Loving Mother!
Oh! You who have removed the misery of the people,
Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!
Victory, victory, victory to You!

The night is over, and the Sun has risen
over the hills of the eastern horizon.
The birds are singing, and a gentle auspicious breeze
Is pouring the elixir of new life.
By the halo of Your compassion,
India that was asleep is now waking
On your feet we now lay our heads
Oh! Victory, victory, victory to you, the Supreme King,
Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!
Victory, victory, victory to You!
I’d like to draw the attention of of Tagore's critics to the following :
1. http://www.sacw.net/DC/CommunalismCollection/ArticlesArchive/pkDatta092004.html
2. http://www.countercurrents.org/comm-chatterjee310803.htm
3. http://www.lehigh.edu/~amsp/2004/09/national-anthem-throwdown-jana-gana.html
4. Wikipedia entry on Jana gana mana
5. http://rabindranathtagore.quickseek.com/

In a letter to Pulin Behari Sen, Tagore later wrote, "A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata (ed. God of Destiny) of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."

Hope some sense dawns on our confused brethren.  Let me also repeat those golden words from Geetanjali:

Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments
by narrow domestic walls; …
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit; …
Into that heaven of freedom,
my Father, let my country awake.
Let not your reason and intellect be lost in the dreary desert sands ...

Fellow Indians:
Be proud to be Indian, but please try to know your country first.

Aug 27, 2010

Amba @ Durshet

A Panorama shot of River Amba near Durshet Forest Lodge ... 15 km from Khopoli into the interiors ...

We went there as a biggish group - 4+ 1 families (the +1 is in the making .... !) for a day picnic. Rustic upkeep, quite well maintained, clean amenities, hygenic food. Thus a nice outing on a weekend - a good 80 km drive from home at Pune.

The day was sunny (although early morning the overcast threatened to mar the day). Breakfast, Kayaking, Rappelling, Waterfalls, swimming etc made us hungry enough for the lunch and snacks afterwards.

A nice getaway from the maddening crowd for the Mumbaikars in the group !

Aug 14, 2010

The WWII memorial Cenotaph at Calcutta (Kolkata) with the Eden Gardens at the background. One of my colleagues commented : "This looks like abroad ..."

The Ambassador taxis gave it away !!

Aug 4, 2010

About Dadu

Diptendu Pramanick
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born : 1910 Calcutta               Died :1989 Kolkata        Residence:  New Alipore, Kolkata
Ethnicity: Bengali                    Home town: Shantipur    Children: Subrata Pramanick, Eva Kundu

Diptendu Pramanick (July 1910 – Dec 1989) ( দীপ্তেন্দু প্রামাণিক ) was a bengali film personality from Calcutta. He was the founder secretary of the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association [1] in Calcutta, India - a fraternity of film personnel which is an interface between the entertainment industry of eastern India and the Government. During his multifarious career he came in contact with eminent personalities and saw the evolution of this organization from its initial days to being a regionwide entity.

Early life and education
He was born on July 18, 1910 in Calcutta. He was the eldest son of Sudhamoy Pramanick from Shantipur. He did his early schooling in Calcutta and then at Raiganj where his father practised as a lawyer.

In 1926 he returned to Calcutta and cleared Matriculation followed by the Intermediate examinations in Science in 1928. He then joined the Scottish Church College, Calcutta. His interactions with many a revolutionary, the explosive air of the times, and the inspiration from a famous alumni [Subhas Chandra Bose assaults Oaten, 1916] probably drove him to antagonize an Indian-loathing teacher at Scottish Church College, and follow Bose's suit. He later graduated from Asutosh College, and earned a bachelor's degree in science from the University of Calcutta in 1931.

After leaving college he worked as the Secretary to the then Mayor of Calcutta Sri Santosh Kumar Basu [2]. Out of his literary inclinations, he associated with literary conferences and Bengali literature fora. [3] The 12th Prabasi Banga-Sahitya Sammelan was inaugurated by Rabindranath Tagore in Calcutta, Dec 1934 (Photo : The Reception Committee was chaired by Ramananda Chatterjee).

On completion of Mr Basu’s term as Mayor he became the Liaison Officer of Civil Defense and in the Publicity Section of the Commercial Museum. In 1942 he moved to the Home Department of the then Bengal Government as Liaison Officer, Civil Defense.

It is here that he came in close contact with people of the Bengali film industry of Kolkata.

Enthused with these contacts he joined an association of Producers, Distributors and Exhibitors of Bengal (Bengal Motion Pictures Association) in 1948 as Secretary [4] while Sri B N Sircar was the President. He started the BMPA journal[5,6] and was the Editor [7,8] for more than a decade. The Association was working on a rented premises at 125, Dharmatola Street (now Lenin Sarani) which was moved to 2, Madan Street, Calcutta. Later the association bought a small premises at 98E Chowringhee Square (now 98E B.N. Sircar Sarani - it's present location ).

He was the first secretary of the then expanded Eastern India Motion Picture Association (EIMPA) and was instrumental in opening the EIMPA offices in Patna and Guwahati.[13] In this period the uncertainities of war led to severe shortage of raw film stock in the country. A Film Advisory Committee was formed under the Government of India, and was given control of raw film stock distribution [14]. EIMPA played an important role as a trade representative, negotiating materials for the film industry of eastern India and much of Diptendu's efforts were directed for the same. During his tenure he also served as the Secretary of Film Federation of India (1953–1954) [15] and the Jt. Treasurer of the Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI) (1959) presided by Satyajit Ray.[16]

First International Film Festival, 1952

With Frank Capra in 1952, Diptendu Pramanick - 2nd from left
The Films Division of the Government of India sponsored and organized the First International Film Festival of India in 1952. BMPA played a pivotal role in organizing the festival in Calcutta. Frank Capra, the famous American director flew in [12] and was overwhelmed by the reception he got at Calcutta after visiting Bombay and Delhi. In his autobiography he wrote

" .. Was deluged with garlands ... Bengali people are quite different from the rest of India. They are like the Irish, emotional, sentimental. All riots and revolutions start in Bengal. I can understand it. It took me an hour to leave the airport, what with the crowds and the photographers..." [18]
Here he is seen at the Dum Dum Airport with the who's who of Calcutta Filmdom.

First Film Seminar, 1955
Sangeet Natak Akademi convened the first film seminar at Delhi and it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru [14]. Prominent film personality attended this seminar [15]

Invitation to meet the President - Dr Rajendra Prasad at his residence

Invitation from the Prime Minister, Pandit Nehru to meet at his residence

Children from many underprivileged families of Dahuka, a remote village in Bardhaman district, receive school books from the Diptendu Pramanick Book fund every year, during a ceremony held on the occasion of the Saraswati Puja.

External links
  • Ashutosh College
  • Scottish Church College, Calcutta
  • History of Scottish Church College
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi
  • Federation of Film Societies of India
  • Timeline for Cinematography In India
  • Film events of 1940s
  • Village Dahuka in Bardhaman district

  • 1391 views in Nov 2012 !

    1. ^ EIMPA blog
    2. ^ Subhas Chandra Bose assaults Oaten, 1916
    3. ^ List of Kolkata Mayors
    4. ^ Ramananda Chatterjee:The Modern Review (Calcutta), vol 57 ; The Modern Review Office, Calcutta (1935), page 141.
    5. ^ Screen Year Book & Who's who 1956, Express Newspapers Ltd., Mumbai, page 374
    6. ^ British Film Institute guide
    7. ^ Erik Barnouw : Indian Film, Columbia University Press, New York (1963), pages 143, 206, 284.
    8. ^ Centennial Issue : Newspaper Press Directory, volume 100, Benn Brothers Ltd, London (1951), page 502
    9. ^ Benn et al (1953). Newspaper press directory, vol 102. Benn Brothers Ltd, London. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=Y0Y1AQAAIAAJ&q=%22D+Pramanick%22+bmpa&dq=%22D+Pramanick%22+bmpa&hl=en&ei=XkKyTZT4EoTlrAeew7DIDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
    10. ^ K.P.V. Ayyar:Indian Press yearbook, Indian Press Publications, Madras (1956), page 343
    11. ^ Report of the Enquiry Committee on Film Censorship, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, Delhi (1969), page 163
    12. ^ Bengali film directory,ed. Ansu Sur, Nandan, West Bengal Film Centre, Kolkata (1999), page vi, 280.
    13. ^ Indian Law
    14. ^ http://www.dishumdishum.com/BollyPresentation/GLOBALIZATION.PDF
    15. ^ V. Doraiswamy, V.N. Sharma (editors), 1956 : Asian Film Directory & Who's who, Doraiswamy-Mumbai, page 53
    16. ^ http://www.premendra.info/art16.htm accessed at http://web.archive.org/web/20091124180214/http://www.premendra.info/art16.htm on 14 Jan 2012 : published in Chitralipi, Kolkata (May 2006)
    17. ^ Capra at Turner Classic Movies website
    18. ^ Frank Capra, The name above the title - an Autobiography, Vintage Books, New York, 1985, page 437
    19. ^ Film & TV guild website
    20. ^ http://www.lazydesis.com/chai-time/51698-history-indian-cinema.html
    21. ^ 2010 Annual report of the Dr S. S. De Education Foundation (Regn# S-196221 1999-2000 : W.B.Societies Act 1961), page 5.
    Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diptendu_Pramanick"

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