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Of Gandhi, Raj and photography: A talk with K. Natrajan, the man who immortalized Bapu

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Photographer K. Natrajan who filmed Mahatma Gandhi’s first portrait has turned 92 years old. He had very healthy relation with the Father of the nation and the first prime minister of India pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. NewsGram Staff Writer, Santosh Dubey had a brief talk with Kerla born Natrajan.

Santosh Dubey: You are famous for filming the first portrait of the Father of the nation. How do you feel?

K. Natrajan: Of course it’s a big achievement for me. Actually when I did that job, I was not aware that the single snap of Gandhiji will take me to this height. I have that portrait with me and that is really very nice. People came to me and purchased the pictures from me. I sold them at various prices like rupees 100, 200 and 300. I did not earn much money by selling the pictures but earned a lot of respect and credit. It’s really the matter of pride to me.

SD: When did you start photography?

KN: I started photography during the World War II. At that time photography and journalism were not a common practice. Before India’s independence, very few parties and functions were organized and thus photographers were not in demand. People had no money to pay for photography. Here I would like to add one thing that it was British officials who encouraged me to take pictures.

SD: You were working under British authority. Why did you resign?

KN: I was posted as secretariat assistant in British rule from 1942 to 1946. I resigned from that job because of their strict ruling style. At that point of time this thing had become very clear that this is our country and should be ruled by us only. Many more such senses evoked me and my countrymen which led me to resign from my job.

SD: Share something about the pre-independence days.

KN: When I talk of pre-independence days, I would like to say that those days were completely controlled by the British remote. Indians had no freedom of any kind. Apart from this, Indian kings and landlords were on the British side. They were helping Britishers to rule over India. Monetary value of those days was very less. We used to run our livelihood in just rupees five for the whole month. There was nothing in the name of facilities. We had to travel from one place to the other by feet or by bullock-cart. pre-independence days were much tougher than today.

SD: Few good things about the Britishers?

KN: There is no doubt that they were very civilized people. They taught us a lot of things. It was only after their arrival that India developed railways. They provided us with the postal facility. Our education system was not up to the mark. Britishers enhanced and modernized our education system. They even encouraged trade in our nation. So, I would like to say that they were very good people. They should have stayed here and worked for betterment. But, they did a mistake of developing the sense of ruling over India. Here they lacked.

SD: How was your relation with Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru?

KN: I was very close to Pandit Nehru. He was a person with modern thoughts. He had a habit of looking forward and never regretted the past. I am convinced with his ideology.

 

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

India n Passport
It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

Donald Trump, India
President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)