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When RBI governor talks about intolerance, world listens: Historian Aijaz Ahmad

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New Delhi: As the intolerance discussions show no sign of abating, eminent scholar and Marxist literary theorist Aijaz Ahmad has joined the debate, saying that even top echelons of the society are taking cudgels against intolerance.

“It’s not a minor matter that RBI governor is raising his voice against intolerance. These are people who never protested like that. When the RBI governor talks, people all over the world listen to what he has to say even if the central government may not,” Ahmad told IANS on the sidelines of the Indian Languages Festival, ‘Samanvaya’, here on Thursday.

Ahmad said that the voices of protest against intolerance are not limited to the society’s intelligentsia.

Earlier, delivering a lecture on the ‘Languages of a Nation’, the scholar expressed concern over the “atmosphere of fear” among artists and writers.

“A R Rahman, perhaps the most original music genius in the country, says that he too has felt threatened over the past few months. Mumbai used to be the pride of our cosmopolitan aspirations. Over the years, it has degenerated so much and the atmosphere has become charged with fear,” he said lamenting the fact that Romila Thapar, India’s most renowned historian, had to deliver her lecture under police protection.

The scholar also flayed the attacks on actor Girish Karnad.

“We now live in a strange atmosphere. Karnad, who perhaps has received more awards than any other artist in the country, had to live under police security for making an off-the-cuff remark about the naming of an airport,” he said.

Ahmad, a visiting professor at York University, Toronto, felt that there is an unprecedented response from even unexpected quarters.

“What is more striking is how widely this sense of danger is shared. This is also the first time that some of the most eminent scientists have raised their voice on the same issues and expressed their sense of concern as to where the country is headed,” he said.

Ahmad said that though he had no intentions to speak on intolerance when he was invited to the event, he was compelled to do so because of the “explosion of certain issues specifically within the world of literature and social thought in the country”.

In his speech, Ahmad also took a dig at the burgeoning numbers of literary festivals. “A new game of transnational commercial activity now straddles under the name of literary festivals. Their main function seems to be horse trading in authors and manuscripts while some sort of literary entertainment goes on in the front hall for star-struck consumers,” he said.

(Preetha Nair, IANS)

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“Beyond The Clouds”: Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi ropes in A.R. Rahman and Ishaan Khatter for his maiden Indian movie

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Filmmaker Majid Majidi (middle), Twitter

Mumbai, Jan 23, 2017: Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi on Monday announced that his maiden Indian movie is titled “Beyond The Clouds”. He has roped in actor Ishaan Khatter and Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman for the project.

Ishaan, the brother of popular actor Shahid Kapoor, has been chosen as he is a “wonderful boy” who is “extremely talented”, Majidi said here, adding that he foresees a “bright future” for the young actor.

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“Beyond The Clouds”, which is going on the floors on Monday, is being produced by Zee Studios and Eyecandy Films. The film dwells on nuanced human relationships, an area Majidi specialises in.

Talking about the film, Majidi said: “Filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, whose work I adore, have represented India’s culture, rich heritage and the lives of common people to a global audience.

“These visions and images have stayed in my mind for years and cajoled me to make a film in India. Finally , I’m in Mumbai with a lovely team to narrate a story woven around the lives of common people.”

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The leading lady of the film is yet to be finalised, even as there were rumours that Deepika Padukone was being considered for a pivotal role in the movie.

Rahman will be working on the score of the project, and this film will mark the Mozart of Madras’ second association with the director after “Muhammad: The Messenger of God”.

Majidi has been doing a location recce for the film in India since the past few months. It will be shot at numerous locations in India.

The details of the project were announced at a small gathering here, in the presence of Majidi, Ishaan, Rahman, Akash Chawla, Business Head – Zee Studios, along with Shareen Mantri Kedia and Kishore Arora from EyeCandy Films. Also present were Ishaan’s parents Neelima Azim and Rajesh Khatter along with brother Shahid.

Chawla said: “It’s our pleasure to associate with a global icon like Majid Majidi. Over the years, he has narrated stories with authenticity and honesty, the vision with which Zee serves content to its audience globally.

“This film, his first venture in the country, celebrates an India unseen by the world with a heartwarming story.”

Eyecandy Films representatives praised Majidi’s “unparalleled vision and artistry”. (IANS)

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Film “Ok Jaanu” to pay tribute to Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman by recreating magic of music-maestro’s 1998 track “Humma Humma” in it

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Bollywood film maker Karan Johar, seen in this June 2016 photo, released a video message asking Hindu nationalist protesters to not disrupt the Oct. 28 release of his big-budget romantic drama 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,' or 'Difficulties of the Heart,' which features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a small role. (Representational image) VOA

Mumbai, December 15, 2016: To pay tribute to Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman, Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor-starrer “Ok Jaanu” wii be recreating the 1998 track “Humma Humma” by the music-maestro’s in the film.

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Karan Johar, who is one of the producers of the film, took to Twitter to reveal that the popular track has been recreated by rapper Badshah is now called “The Humma Song”.

“When Badshah pays a tribute to AR Rahman with #thehummasong…,” the fimmakerwrote.

Shraddha and Aditya will be seen shaking a leg to the song which will release on December 15.

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Karan Johar further thanked Badshah for the wonderful job he did and said, “Thanks Badshah for recreating the magic.”

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The film “Ok Jaanu “ which is an official remake of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film OK Kanmani is directed by Shaad Ali and the film is all set to release on January 13.

by NewsGram with PTI inputs

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Visakhapatnam to host World’s First Wind Music Festival on December

This festival will generate awareness regarding wind music among youth.

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Wind Music Festival to be held in Visakhapatnam for the first time
Vishakhapatanam to host the first Wind Music festival this December(representative image). Pixabay

Vishakhapatnam December 13, 2016: Andhra Pradesh HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao said that  Visakhapatnam city will host the world’s first ever Wind Music festival on December 17 to entertain enthusiasts.

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Naveen Kumar, a flutist and is better known for his contribution to classical music along with Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman will jointly present this one day festival, as was highlighted yesterday by the minister in a press conference.

Apart from Naveen Kumar, legendary musicians like Ronu Majmundar, Rakesh Chaurasia, A Sravamani, Shashank Subramanyan, Kishore, Raj Sodha, S Ballesh and Tom Thomas among others will perform in the festival.

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Srinivasa Rao said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu will also attend the programme, mentioned PTI.

According to Kumar this festival will generate awareness regarding wind music among youth.

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He also said, “It will bring together music stalwarts who play diverse wind instruments ranging from a valley of western and Indian flutes to saxophones and many more,” .

Kumar also added the emotional appeal of music saying, “…On an emotional level, few can deny the intrinsic power of music. Its ability to influence and enhance moods is, in fact, one of music’s greatest attractions. It could be considered a shortcut to the subconscious levels of our minds.”

prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon