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Indian-origin director debuts with film on Hindu deities

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New York: An Indian-origin animator in the US will debut as a director in theatres on November 25 with his short film, a media report said.

Working as an animator with Pixer since 1996, Sanjay Patel made his first project that revolves around Hindu deities who are like avengers, Variety.com news portal reported on Tuesday.

Sanjay’s Super Team, the first Pixar film on Hindu deities and the first Pixar toon by an Indian-origin director, is a short superhero movie that will be attached to Pixer’s another animated film The Good Dinosaur.

Premiered on June 15 at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France, the seven-minute short film will be played before The Good Dinosaur when it hits the silver screen.

Patel’s film revolves around a little Hindu boy who prefers cartoons of superheroes while his father wants him to join the morning prayers, the report said.

One day, the boy sees Vishnu, Hanuman and Durga as the avengers who save him from a problem.

While he was researching about the characters of Hindu mythology from the comic books of Amar Chitra Katha (Immortal Picture Tales), he did not actually draw according to them, he said.

Patel said the story of the film is as much about Sanjay’s relationship with his father.

“I was a late bloomer in my parents’ culture,” he said, adding that after working for 10 years at Pixar he discovered Indian art and mythology.

“It helped me understand why my parents said ‘Sita Ram’ when I sneezed,” Patel joked.

Patel has worked as an animator on films like Monsters Inc., Ratatouille, Cars, Monsters University, Toy Story 2 and The Incredibles, and has been a story-boarder on the latter two films.

(IANS)

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Upset Hindu Activists urge Sears Holdings Corporation to withdraw Lord Ganesha Mats and Skateboards

Upset Hindu activists are urging Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC) for an immediate withdrawal of bath mats, skateboards and bedcover carrying the image of Hindu deity Ganesha

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Lord Ganesha (Representational image). Pixabay

December 11, 2016: Upset Hindu activists are urging Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC) for an immediate withdrawal of bath mats, skateboards and bedcover carrying the image of Hindu deity Ganesha; calling it highly inappropriate.

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Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada on Friday, said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshiped in temples or home shrines and not to put your feet on or sleep on. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not ok as it hurt the devotees.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted.

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Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deity was disturbing to the Hindus world over. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers.

“Ganapati Hindu God Ganesha Bath Mat” sells at Sears.com for $50.93 or $38.99, while “Lord Ganesh Bedcover” is available for $14.58.

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshiped as a god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus in the USA.

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Award-winning SHC, headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and whose history dates back to 1886; claims to be “a leading integrated retailer focused on seamlessly connecting the digital and physical shopping experiences to serve our members”.

The Company operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation, with full-line and specialty retail stores across the United States.

by NewsGram team

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St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art: Demonstrating Hindu Deities in Scotland

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Sculpture (representative Image), Wikimedia

By Shubhi Mangla

The St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in Glasgow, Scotland represents the major religions of the world through famous artworks and religious objects. It is known to be the sole public museum in the world which is entirely dedicated to its subject. The museum displays the importance of religion in the lives of people across time. It is reported to host religious talks regularly.

The St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art Glasgow, Scotland Image: Wikimedia commons
 St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art Glasgow, Scotland
Image: Wikimedia commons

The museum is situated in the heart of Glasgow, in Cathedral Square and was built in 1993. The main floor of the museum holds the Gallery of Religious Art which has artworks related to different world religions ranging from stained glass windows of churches to sculptures of Hindu deities to a Turkish rug. The next wing holds the Gallery of Religious Life, consisting of items related to faith and duties. It includes Egyptian sarcophagus and monastic robes of various missionaries. The second floor is devoted to the history of Scotland itself. It focuses on six major religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism, Judaism and Islam). Outside the museum, there is Britain’s Zen Garden.

The Museum is named after Glasgow’s patron Saint Mungo, who brought Christianity to Scotland in the 6th century.

Displaying Hinduism

The museum has a good collection of artifacts related to Hinduism. It has a total of 207 religious objects (dating from 1200 BC to present) pertaining to Hindu deities. They comprise of paintings, clothing and textiles, statues, works on paper, plaques, door handling, a scroll, a mask, offering tray and other related objects. There are five large and vested clay paintings of Goddess Durga with her four children which were donated by the Glasgow Durga Puja Committee. There are bronze paintings of Lord Krishna, Vishnu and various mother Goddesses. It also has small miniature paintings depicting the life of Krishna and Goddess Radha. Other items include a large cast bronze image of Shiva, a bull deity Nandi, a stone embossment of Surya (the Sun God) and a small portable sculpture of Hanuman ( the monkey God).This sculpture of Lord Shiva (main image) dates back to the 1970s. It depicts Shiva as Natraj or ‘Lord of Dance’. It is originated in Southern India.

Related article: Santa Barbara Museum showcasing Hindu gods

According to collections.glasgowmuseums.com, “The sculpture is hollow cast using a lost wax casting technique. The composition of the metal alloys used in Southern Indian casting varies but Glasgow’s Shiva is made of a mixture similar to that of gunmetal. In contrast to the smaller solid cast icons destined for temple worship, the Shiva as Nataraja in St.Mungo’s Museum does not have incised pupils and as a hollow cast image made in the 1970s was probably created for ornamental use. However, it is still regarded as a religious icon to Glasgow’s Hindu community who asked that the statue be raised on a stone plinth as a mark of respect”. This sculpture was brought to the museum for display in 1993, just after a month of the opening of St. Mungo Museum. A person intentionally caused damage to the sculpture by pushing it over. Till 2008, Shiva was displayed behind a protective glass barrier but the restoration work was done and it is open for display once again.

Lord Ganesha Image: collections.glasgowmuseums.com/
Sculpture of Lord Ganesha
Image: collections.glasgowmuseums.com/

The sculpture of Ganesha is carved from wood and then painted. It was imported from India in 1992.

Baby Krishna Image: collections.glasgowmuseums.com/
Baby Krishna
Image: collections.glasgowmuseums.com/

“Bronze baby Krishna in crawling position holding a butter ball. The head is raised and the eyes are inlaid with bone. It is marked with the tiny foot of Vishnu, has a belly button, genitals and long ears”

Ivory carving of Goddess Durga Image: collections.glasgowmuseums.com
Ivory carving of Goddess Durga
Image: collections.glasgowmuseums.com

This Indian artifact was purchased at the Glasgow International Exhibition, 1888. It is depicting Goddess Durga conquering Malushashura carved in ivory.

Sun God, Surya Image: collections.glasgowmuseums.com
Sun God, Surya
Image: collections.glasgowmuseums.com

This articfact represents Surya, God of Sun with his wives and attendants. It is an ancient stele, probably from Bihar and made in the 10th century. It is carved from black chloride.

Commending the efforts of the St Munto Museum of Religious Life and Art in promoting and showcasing Hindu artifacts, Hindu Statesman, Rajan Zed said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth.

Reference: 

Glasgow Museum Collections

Shubhi Mangla is an intern at Newsgram and a student of Journalism & Mass Communication in New Delhi. Twitter @shubhi_mangla

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Indians say no to Visa as OCI cards enough to visit India

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Photo credit: www.speedbirdtravel.com

New Delhi: Indians will no longer have to get a visa every time they travel to their motherland. The decision was taken seeing the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) being merged under the same wing last year.

The pertinence of an OCI card will be enough to enter the country, hence eradicating the need for a visa.

Although, carrying a passport will be compulsory.

According to a senior government official: “Till now, every OCI card holder also had to get a visa affixed from the Indian High Commission whenever they planned a visit to India. Now, only the OCI card will be needed”.

The government has planned to print OCI cards in prominent countries like UK and USA, where a majority of Indian population resides.

ALTERATION

The government altered the citizenship act last year, collaborating the OCI and PIO
“Since the announcement, there was a lot of confusion among the diaspora regarding the two cards. The respective missions in foreign countries held workshops and tried to clear doubts. The earlier deadline to migrate from PIO to OCI was January 2016, but we have now extended the deadline to June 30,” the official said.

The merging of OCI and PIO will help the government in gaining an actual database of the Indian diaspora since an amalgamated figure is not present.

ENACTMENT 

“Keeping in view the promise [made by PM Modi in the USA and Australia in 2014], an ordinance was promulgated on January 6, 2015 whereby the eligibility and additional benefits of the PIO card have been incorporated in the OCI card and certain other relaxation to OCI card holders have been given by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955. The PIO and the OCI cards used to exist simultaneously, leading to a lot of confusion among the PIOs residing abroad,” an official said. (Inputs from The Hindu)