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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: Bengaluru to host the largest convergence of Indian Diaspora

The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the largest gathering of Indian diaspora to take place from tomorrow in Bengaluru

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Indian Diaspora in US, VOA

Bengaluru, January 6, 2017: The IT capital of India is all set to host what is believed to be the largest convergence of Indian diaspora, with more than 6,000 delegates from across the world to confirming their registration to Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)convention which begins tomorrow.

This is the 14th time the three-day PBD event will take place at the Bangalore International Exhibition Center on the city outskirts with an agenda to provide a stage to overseas Indians to engage with the Government and the authorities on topics of concern to the diaspora and to find new opportunities for investment in India and contribution to the nation of their origin.

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The event also supplies an opportunity to the overseas Indians to connect with other overseas Indians living in different parts of the world.

The convention is being held biennially for the first time instead of earlier annual versions. This will aim at defining India’s strong connections with its 3.12 crore large diaspora in versatile spheres, including start-ups, innovation, education, tourism and others.

The organisers have already confirmed a sum of 6,346 registrations for PBD 2017 and more than 1500 NRIs and 400 floating NRIs will take part in the event. Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas with its main focus on innovations and start-ups will be held on January 7.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to deliver the keynote address on January 8. On the same day there will be a session where Chief Ministers from eight states will participate.

The conclave will also host cultural programmes with more than 240 artists performing. According to the schedules, President Pranab Mukherjee will be conferring Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards on January 9.

Portugal’s Indian origin Prime Minister, Antonio Costa will be the Chief Guest at the PBD. 36-year-old Vice-President of Suriname Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin will be the Special Guest at the Youth PBD.

PBD 2017 has made a list of its objectives such as defining the engagement and inter-networking with the Indian diaspora, to strengthen diaspora engagement and provide a platform for connecting and communicating with the diaspora, to realise their contribution to India and know their expectations and concerns and to deepen engagement with young Diasporas to help them be more aware about their roots.

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The organisers along with the state administration  have made Massive security and traffic arrangements by for the smooth conduct of this big event.

The latest torrent of economic reforms, including overhaul of indirect taxes through proposed GST will be projected by the Government significantly at this convention, that will be attended by a number of Union Ministers, officials mentioned.
The PBD was launched by the Vajpayee Government in 2003 to improve India’s engagement with its diaspora and the congregation of NRIs and People of Indian origins had continued this program as an yearly event till 2015. Last year, the Government decided to make it a biennial event.

January 9 is the main day of PBD as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the “greatest Pravasi”, came back to India from South Africa and paved the way of India’s freedom struggle.

Issues up for discussions at the plenary sessions include – realising India’s development vision, joining forces with diaspora to promote tourism in the country and India as an international health and wellness hub.

The convention also has provisions for business-to-business meetings.

Karnataka will have a session on startup eco-system and on inter-state investment opportunities.

Industrial Tours will be freely sponsored for PBD delegates by the state government, which will also offer sightseeing tours at special rates for the participants.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

 

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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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‘Namma Bengaluru Habba’ : Green Festival in Bengaluru Witnesses 1,000 people taking part in the event

People from all walks of life participated in Bengaluru's Green Festival

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A man on Jet Ski, Green Festival, Bengaluru
A man on Jet Ski, Green Festival, Bengaluru. Pixabay
  • The fest had about 20 artists who performed the traditional ‘Yakshagana’ theatre and drum dance dollu kunita
  • Visitors had an opportunity to cruise around the lake with fly boards and jet skis
  • As environment protection is a cause of concern, it is events like these that will create awareness among the public and lead to greater sustainability

Bengaluru, August 21, 2017: About 1,000 people from all walks of life took part in a cultural festival titled ‘Namma Bengaluru Habba’ (Our Bengaluru Festival) at the Sankey Tank here on Sunday to create awareness on the protection of environment.

Organised by the Karnataka Tourism Department, the fest had about 20 artists who performed the traditional ‘Yakshagana’ theatre, and drum dance ‘dollu kunita’, while apart from the street musicians, magicians, jugglers, caricature artists and painters, visitors had an opportunity to cruise around the lake with fly boards and jet skis.

There were also 20 stalls and a flea market selling organic produce and eco-friendly products, including terracotta jewellery, natural soaps, millet-based products and jute etc.

“As environmental protection is a cause of concern, it is events like these that will create awareness among the public and lead to greater sustainability,” said state Information Technology, Biotechnology and Tourism Minister Priyank M. Kharge in a statement.

“It is great to see so many people participating in support of the cause. The fest is a community building activity to preserve Bengaluru’s ecology,” he added. (IANS)

 

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Martin Luther King III: US and India are seeing rise in Hate Crimes

Martin Luther King III, a social activist and reformer, observed how the hate crimes have increased in both US and India

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Martin Luther King III
Martin Luther King III, a human rights activist and social reformer. Twitter
  • Martin Luther King III, a social activist, and reformer spoke at the inauguration of a Congress organized conference in Bengaluru
  • He highlighted that US and India are both seeing rises in Hate Crimes
  • Both the countries have ignored ‘rule of law’ and have ‘no regard for the poor’

July 22, 2017: The Congress party organized a conference in Bengaluru where Martin Luther King III, a human rights activist and social reformer, addressed a gathering of over 2000 people in the inaugural speech.

Also Read: Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi seeks action to combat Hate Crimes against Religious Minorities in the US

He stated that India and US have come to a point where the ruling class has no regard for the poor and violates the concept of ‘rule of law’.

In a criticism of Modi government in India and Trump government in the US, Martin Luther highlighted that hate crimes are on the rise in both the countries.

The son of Martin Luther King Jr. also highlighted: “A California State University research says there have been over 1,000 hate crimes in the US since the 2016 election. And here (in India), cow vigilantes kill Muslims and Dalits as the police stand by.”

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Among the large audience of more than 2000 people were Rahul Gandhi (Vice President of Congress Party), Prakash Ambedkar (son of BR Ambedkar) and Kailash Satyarthi (a Nobel laureate). Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, whose party in power organized the conference, was also present.

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The majority population of Karnataka consists of Dalits and OBCs. The state elections are to be held next year April. Siddaramaiah criticized the central government for allowing hate crimes to exist.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394