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Mumbai international film festival drops Pakistani film due to threats and Indo-Pak tensions

The tension between India and Pakistan cast its shadow and affected the Mumbai International Film Festival as the organizers dropped the Pakistani film "Jago Hua Savera"

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Mumbai film festival
Film-maker Vivek Agnihotri. Wikimedia commons

October 18, 2016: Mumbai international film festival,Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, Indo-Pak tension, Pakistani films in its retrospective section due to threats of protests at the screening of the film.

“Given the current situation, the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has decided not to programme ‘Jago Hua Savera’ as part of the Restored Classics Section,” organizers of the festival stated.
The decision was made after a city-based organization ‘Sangharsh’ threatened to launch protests if the 1958 movie was screened.

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The outfit had also sought permission of the police to stage the protest at the festival, beginning from 20th October.

Post the Uri attack last month, the India-Pak tension has triggered strong demands in several sections to ban Pakistani artistes along with the Pakistani films.

“Jago Hua Savera”, directed by AJ Kardar, was screened as a ‘Classic’ in this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The movie was co-produced during the time of undivided Pakistan (now independent Pakistan and Bangladesh) and the shooting location was Dhaka.

In 1960, the movie was chosen for the Best Foreign Language Film from Pakistan at the 32nd Academy Awards.

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Featuring talents from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan; the film starred the famous Khan Ataur Rahman, Tripti Mitra, and Zurain Rakshi.

The wonderful screenplay of the film was penned by renowned poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz who is revered by people on both sides of the border and the music was co-composed by Timir Baran with Nauman Taseer.

Renowned poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, who wrote the screenplay of the movie. Wikimedia commons
Renowned poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, who wrote the screenplay of the movie. Wikimedia commons

The festival, chaired by popular filmmaker Kiran Rao, will screen over 180 films from 54 countries and it is scheduled to run till 27th October. The movies would be screened at various spots all across the megapolis.

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Censor Board of Film Certification member Ashoke Pandit, Prithvi Mhaske of Sangharsh Foundation, actor George Baker and filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri have welcomed the decision of ‘Mumbai Academy of Moving Image’ not to screen the film.

“If MAMI has decided to not screen the film, we welcome the decision, that they have understood the sentiments,” Mhaske, who had filed the complaint against the organizers for screening the film at MAMI, stated.

The organizers were thanked by Pandit, another member of Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA).

“Thank you #MAMI for not showcasing any #Pakistani film in this year’s edition of the Mumbai Film Festival. #JagoHuaSavera,” he tweeted.

Baker, a popular actor from Assamese and Bengali cinema, stated that the priority right now should be the sentiment of the nation.

“I appreciate the quality of the film, though I haven’t seen it. It has travelled to festivals and won several awards. It had Indian artistes and was shot by a Pakistani. Keeping all this aside, we should remember that Indians are broad-minded but not stupidly disloyal to the country. If this is the national sentiment right now, then it should be banned.”

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Agnihotri claimed that he is against any kind of ban, but he also feels that culture is a strong weapon indeed to give it back to Pakistan.

“I’m absolutely against any kind of ban or boycott but at the same time I am wise enough to understand when my country has taken a strategy to isolate Pakistan it’s not against a film or an actor. It’s to send a message to Pakistan that if you do not stop terrorism then this is the price you will have to pay,” he said.

-by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

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