Monthly Archives: September 2016

200 new theatres for alternative cinema on the anvil, says Kamal

Kochi, KERALA :

Former MP Sebastian Paul presenting the first copy of SiGNS festival book to actor Sajitha Madathil during the inaugural function of SiGNS 2016 in Kochi on Wednesday.— PHOTO: by special arrangement
Former MP Sebastian Paul presenting the first copy of SiGNS festival book to actor Sajitha Madathil during the inaugural function of SiGNS 2016 in Kochi on Wednesday.— PHOTO: by special arrangement

SiGNS short film and documentary festival opensin city

Kerala Chalachithra Academy Chairman Kamal has said the government was considering setting up, over a period of five years, nearly 200 new cinema halls across villages in the State for screening alternative, parallel, and art house films of note in Malayalam.

“This is something the Minister himself has mentioned, as a means to take good cinema to the interiors. Besides, film societies continue to be relevant in their mission to bring closer to cinema the section of people who are staying aloof,” he said while inaugurating the SiGNS short film and documentary festival organised by the Kerala chapter of the Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI-K) and Kochi Biennale Foundation here on Wednesday. As part of measures to promote Malabar region, the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK), routinely held in Thiruvananthapuram, will be shifted to Kozhikode next year.

Mr. Kamal outlined the course of the film societies movement in the State and said the movement had hit the doldrums in the early 1990s, and the social situation then had created a breed of apolitical, direction-less youth.

“But there was a revival of the movement in the mid-2000s. While the old generation still nurses the hardship they had undergone in the celluloid era, the digital film age averted the need for collectivity, as anyone with a mobile cam can make and watch films.”

source: http:/ / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi – September 29th, 2016

India-Africa ties mutually beneficial: Ansari


Lagos, Nigeria :

Mohammad Hamid Ansari (PIB)
Mohammad Hamid Ansari (PIB)

Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Thursday said a shared struggle against colonial rule provides the foundations of India-Africa partnership and “mutually beneficial engagement” will take the relationship to a “strategic level”.

Addressing students and faculty members of the University of Lagos here, Ansari said India, the largest democracy in the world, rejoices at the gains made by Nigerian democracy, the largest democracy in Africa, in the past 18 years.

“Our shared struggle against the colonial rule provides the foundations of India-Africa partnership. This mutually beneficial engagement continues to inspire and strengthen as we embark on elevating this partnership to a strategic level for the benefit the peoples of Africa and India,” he said.

Saying that each country and people shape their destiny in their own unique way, informed by their own historical experience and their own genius, the Vice President said independent India is a faithful reflection of the legacy of its national movement.

“The image of the modern Indian nation and the values that shape and continue inform it today, were cast in the crucible of our struggle for independence from colonial rule or what we now call the Indian National Movement. Much of the gain from the movement is enshrined in our Constitution and continues to enlighten the political and judicial discourse in India,” he said.

Elaborating how Indian national movement was more than a struggle for independence, the Indian leader said that it was an exercise in building a nation.

“It was not just a movement to replace a colonial regime and deliver political power to Indians but was aimed at using that power to secure social and economic justice, and dignity, for every Indian,” he said.

He said the Indian national movement is also an example of how the constitutional space offered by the existing structure could be used without getting co-opted by it. It did not completely reject this space – but entered and used it effectively in combination with political mobilization to overthrow the existing structure.

“The movement is perhaps one of the best examples of the creation of an extremely wide movement with a common aim in which diverse political and ideological currents could co-exist and work, and simultaneously continue to contend for overall ideological and political hegemony over it,” he added.

source The Statesman / Home> India /  IANS / Lagos, Nigeria / September 30th, 2016





Noted physician and nephrologist Dr SNA RIZVI has been conferred the DRA Distinguished Service Award for the year 2003 by Delhi Rheumatology Association of India. The award has been conferred on Dr Rizvi in recognition of his contributions in the field of Rheumatology. Born in 1935 in Amroha, Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh, Dr Rizvi obtained his MBBS and MD degrees with gold medals from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. Later he served the college for 30 years and retired in 1997 as Director, Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine and Nephrology. Dr Rizvi is the recipient of 24 Gold Medals and 10 Honorary Fellowships besides wining 13 national and international awards. At present he is a Senior Consultant Physician Nephrologist at Apollo Hospitals and Sanjeevan Medical Research Centre.

MUHAMMAD ADNAN HASHMI, a class XI student of Iltifat Rasool Intermediate College, Sandela, Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh has been given Presidential Medal. Hashmi was earlier given a medal by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. Besides studying, Adnan Hashmi has made public service his motto in life. Congratulations Adnan!
Senior journalist SAEED NAQVI was conferred the National Integration Award 2003, instituted by the National Commission for Minorities in New Delhi on December 18. The award was conferred on Naqvi for his outstanding contribution towards promoting communal harmony and national integrity. The function, which also marked the Minorities Rights Day, was attended by Tarlochan Singh, chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Dr MS Usmani, vice-chairman of NCM, MP and Journalist Kuldip Nayar and others. A seminar on how to improve communal harmony was also organised on this occasion.

MUHAMMAD KHALIL, editor of Science Ki Duniya (Urdu) has been presented Sir Syed National Award, Iswa Honour of Science Society for his services to science and literature and Whitkar Science Award for popular scientific literature. These awards have been conferred on Khalil for his outstanding services to scientific literature. Earlier too he has been conferred awards on national and international levels. An Urdu science magazine, Science Ki Dunya is being published under National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources for the last 27 years.

The 15th annual award distribution function of Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar Academy was held at Ghalib Academy, New Delhi on December 10. Chief guest, former Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Hamid Ansari presented the Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar Awards 2003. Recipients of the awards includedMAUALANA AHMAD MUSTAFA SIDDIQUI RAHI (Urdu journalism), KAMAL YUSUF MALIK, Uttar Pradesh state minister (national politics), RAJA SYED MUZAFFAR ALI, filmmaker (academic services), DR GHULAM NABI WANI (social services) and DR VIBHUTI NARAIN RAI, IG (social services). Speakers shed light on different aspects of Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar’s life. A souvenir of the Academy was released by MP, Shahid Siddiqui.

source: / The Milli Gazette / Home / January 01-15, 2004

‘Sixer’ Salim Durrani to get Lifetime award



Salim Durrani, the charismatic all-rounder who served Indian cricket with distinction in the 1960s and 70s, will receive the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s Col. C K Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.

The presentation will be made during the annual BCCI awards’ ceremony, in Mumbai on Tuesday, May 31. The award comprises a trophy and cheque for Rs 15 lakh.

Born in 1934 in Kabul, Afghanistan, Durrani was an aggressive left-handed batsman, and an outstanding left-arm spinner. He was one of the chief architects of India’s first Test series triumph over England, in 1961-62. India won the last two Tests of the five-match series, after the first three were drawn.

Durrani had match figures of 8-113 in the fourth Test at Kolkata, and 10-177 in the fifth at Chennai.

A few months later, Durrani was one of the heroes of a dismal tour of the Caribbean, with his belligerent 104 in a Test at Port of Spain.

It was at the same venue that he helped shape a historic Test win — India’s first in the West Indies — on the national team’s next tour, in 1970-71.

Brought on to bowl at a crucial stage of the second Test, Durrani dismissed Garfield Sobers and Clive Lloyd, two of West Indies’ most formidable batsmen, in quick succession. India won the Test by seven wickets, and maintained their 1-0 lead to take the series.

Two seasons later, Durrani’s consistency with the bat, especially in crunch situations, enabled India to achieve another Test series win over England at home. His proficiency with bat and ball took Central Zone to their first-ever Duleep Trophy win, in 1971-72.

One of the most popular cricketers of his time, who was known to hit a ‘six on demand,’ Durrani represented India in a total of twenty-nine Tests, scoring 1,202 runs @ 25. He took 75 wickets, inclusive of three five-wicket hauls.

The previous winners of the C K Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award are:

1994 – Lala Amarnath

1995 – Syed Mushtaq Ali

1996 – Capt. Vijay Hazare

1997 – K N Prabhu

1998 – P. R. Umrigar

1999 – Col. Hemachandra Adhikari

2000 – Subhash Gupte

2001 – Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi

2002 – Bhausaheb Nimbalkar

2003 – Chandrakant Borde

2004 – B S Bedi, B. Chandrasekhar, E A S Prasanna, S Venkataraghvan

2007 – Nariman Contractor

2008 – Gundappa Viswanath

2009 – Mohinder Amarnath

source: / / Home> Cricket / May 27th, 2011

Player Biography : Shabbir Ali – Only footballer to win Dhyan Chand award




We all know the saying ‘Hard work always pays’. However, very few Indian footballers embody the statement as well as Shabbir Ali. Shabbir Ali had a fantastic career, both as a footballer and a coach, however, for a long time, neither his achievements were rewarded suitably (in form of prestigious awards)  nor was he media hyped. But then, ‘Hard work always pays’, maybe a little late! Shabbir Ali never gave up, he kept up his good work as a coach, and eventually in 2011 he won the prestigious Dhyan Chand Award, India’s highest lifetime achievement award in sports and games. He has the distinction of being the only footballer till now to receive this award.

Let’s take a look at the life and achievements of one of the most successful strikers and coach in Indian football history.

Early Life and youth career:

Shabbir Ali spent his childhood days in Hyderabad. Unlike now, those days Hyderabad used to have a good ‘football culture’. Shabbir Ali was from a ‘non-sports’ background and thus initially his dreams of being a footballer were not encouraged by his family. He kept working hard and his dreams later found acceptance and encouragement in his family. He started his journey from Abbas Union FC, Darushifa, Hyderabad, a club where he is currently the president. His club debut came when he was only 10! He then represented his school teams, Aliya High School (1967-68) and City High School (1969), in Subroto Cup which is India’s most important inter school football tournament. His talent was soon spotted and he was quickly drafted in the Indian youth squad. In 1974, he captained Indian team in the Asian youth u19 cup. His 5 goals in the tournament (out of 9 from Indian team), helped India to emerge as the joint winners along with Iran. This win probably remains India’s last trophy in a tournament of such a scale at Asian level.

Senior National team and club career:

With Federation Cup (1983)
With Federation Cup (1983)

Shabbir Ali played for couple of more clubs in Andhra Pradesh and then moved to Bombay (now called Mumbai) in the early 70s. In Bombay, he joined Tata Sports Club, one of the top clubs in Bombay those days. He played there for 5 years and during this time he got selected for Indian senior team in 1974. From Bombay, he next came to Calcutta (now called Kolkata) where he joined East Bengal. However, most of his success came when he joined Mohammedan Sporting Club, where he spent 7 years in the 80s. In fact, Mohammedan SC enjoyed one of their most successful phases during this period. During his captaincy, in 1983-84, the club won 9 trophies including back to back wins in Federation Cup. Later in his playing days, he also went to Bangladesh to play for Dhaka Victoria Sports, where he stayed for a short while.

Shabbir Ali represented Indian team till 1984, where he played about 100 matches and scored around 35 goals. He has the distinction of scoring the fastest hat-trick by an Indian, when he scored 3 times within 30 minutes against Indonesia in 1976 Merdeka Cup. He had captained India few times in early 80s. He has also represented 3 states – Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Although Shabbir Ali’s achievement speaks volumes about his prowess as a player, strangely he never received the Arjuna award although he was nominated thrice.

Coaching Career

Shabbir Ali remains one of the few footballers who had tasted success both as a player and a coach. He got his Diploma in football coaching from SAL in 1988-89 and then got Trainer B License from German FA (1990). He also was Jozsef Gelei’s assistant coach for a month, who was the Indian national team coach during 1990-91. His coaching career started with a bang! With Mohammedan SC (1990-91), he won many trophies – Bordoloi Trophy, Kalinga Cup, Nagjee Trophy & Stafford Cup. Furthermore, they were runners-up in Rovers Cup and Governor’s Cup. In their course to glory, they defeated teams like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Abhani (Bangladesh), India u-23 team. Eventually, Mohammedan SC became the ‘champion club of India’ in that season (Those days, this was decided by total points collected from various tournaments won). Then he went on to coach other Calcutta clubs – Rajasthan Club and Peerless SC. Under his guidance, Peerless SC qualified from “A” Group to “Super Division” in IFA league 1993-94. In 1995-96, he held the post of Indian National Team’s Technical director during which India won the gold medal in SAF championship after a gap of 3 years. One of his biggest achievements came when he coached Goa club, Salgaocar. During his reign, Salgaocar won the National Football League (1998-99) becoming the first club from Goa to do so. They followed the NFL victory with winning the Rovers Cup, Durand Cup (first Goan team to do so) and Super Cup. In the same year, he was appointed as Goa’s Santosh trophy coach where they emerged as the Runners-up. In 2000-01, he coached Mahindra United, where he won the Mumbai League and were runners-up in Durand cup. In 2001-02, he came back to Kolkata to coach relatively smaller club Bharati Sangha, who came 3rd in the IFA league. From then he has coached many clubs like – Fransa-Pax FC, Churchill Brothers, ITI, and had another stint with Salgaocar and Mohammedan SC.  Among these his most notable achievements are – promoting Fransa-Pax FC and Mohammedan SC to National Football League (Now called I league) from 2nd Division. Still he has limited success during this phase, changing clubs bit too frequently. However, glory days returned for Shabbir Ali when he guided Bengal team to Santosh trophy victory in 2010. The victory was special because the trophy came to Bengal after a long wait of 11 years. He proved his consistency by defending the title successfully in 2011.

Santosh Trophy (2011)
Santosh Trophy (2011)

Innovations as a coach

Very early in his coaching career, during his Mohammedan SC days he experimented with the 3-5-2 formation. This formation was not played by Indian coaches those days. Shabbir Ali was exposed to this system when he was assisting Jozsef Gelei. He also used this system while coaching Peerless SC (1993-94) & Mahindra United (2000-01). This system was most successful with Salgaocar when they won NFL, Rovers Cup, Durand Cup and Super Cup (Twice). He was not afraid of experimentation. During his Salgaocar days, he used Augustine Rodrigues, a striker, as an overlapping right winger/back (in the 3-5-2 system). Augustine did well, scored a few goals and had a fantastic season. However, like any good coach, Shabbir Ali is not stuck to a rigid system. During his back to back Santosh trophy wins with Bengal team, he used the more conventional 4-4-2 system.

Football Analyst

Shabbir Ali has been roped in by many sports channels as a football analyst. He has covered FIFA World Cup 2006, 2010; European Championships, I league, Federation Cup, Indian team friendlies for channels like ESPN, Star Sports, Ten Sports, Zee Sports, DD Sports and many more national and local channels. In 1994, he was selected by West Bengal govt. to observe the World Cup in USA.

Setbacks and overcoming them



Every sportsman suffers setbacks, but what sets apart men from the boys is their ability to overcome them. Shabbir Ali belongs to that league. When he first moved to Calcutta to join East Bengal, he got caught in club transfer issues and was not allowed to play. Many others players also faced the same and left Calcutta, however, Shabbir Ali stayed back. He kept practicing, worked in a bank, and proved himself later whenever he got chance to play. When he was playing for India and scored hat-trick against Indonesia (in Kuala Lumpur) within 35 minutes, he was surprisingly taken off after the half time. It was rumored that it was not coach’s decision but the instruction came from embassy! Again, when all Indian captains were invited to Durand Cup’s 100 yrs (1988) or in Nehru Cup (1989), he was ignored although he has also led India few times. All these didn’t turn him away from serving Indian football.

During his coaching career, after he had a dream season with Mohammedan SC (1990-91), he was sacked from the position by the club authorities in 1991, a month before his contact has finished. However, he continued his rise as a coach, first by coaching smaller clubs and then clubs in NFL, eventually giving Goa club Salgaocar its first NFL win. During 2003-05, he had to changed clubs thrice, Fransa-Pax FC, Churchill Brothers, Salgaocar. In Fransa, he run into trouble with the management and staff; then in Churchill, the team’s performance was poor and his wife was seriously ill, he decided to resign from his position. His resignation brought criticisms about him being unprofessional and leaving a club in mid-season. However, he had left the club only after ensuring that they have back backup coach. His second stint with Salgaocar was also not fruitful. His later stint with Mohammedan SC also was bitter with problems with the management and eventual relegation of the club. This was a phase when Shabbir Ali – the coach, was written off. When he became Bengal’s coach, not much was expected from him. But like a true hero, he overcame all the odds and ended Bengal’s Santosh trophy drought.

It was the same story for the awards too. His records speak for themselves but still he never got Arjuna award, although he was nominated thrice. He was also nominated for Dhyan Chand award before, eventually he got it in 2011.

Receiving Dhyan Chand Award (2011)
Receiving Dhyan Chand Award (2011)

Football lovers will hope to see more from him, although he has nothing more to prove. He has been a top striker for India & his clubs and now he continues to serve Indian football as respected coach and football analyst.

source: / / Home> National Team> Player Biography: Shabbir Ali / by Rudra Nayan Das / November 29th, 2011

News channels in India are in adolescent phase: Arfa Khanum



Television journalism is one of the most glamorous jobs of new India. Arfa Khanum Sherwani as principal correspondent and news anchor for NDTV India holds one of those glamorous jobs. Her home in New Delhi is an example of simplicity. She used to be in front of her camera, but this time she was the subject of the interview. I asked her about television journalism in India which is barely a decade old.

While Ms. Sherwani is very optimistic about the future of news channels in India, she is also brutally honest in accepting the mistakes made by electronic journalists.

Arfa, originally from UP, is a Chemistry graduate. She did a one year course in journalism from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and joined The Pioneer. From there she moved to The Asian Age. Realizing that she is more comfortable in a visual medium, she found herself as a TV reporter and news anchor.

Arfa has won accolades and criticism for her courageous and investigative reporting on Sachar Committee Report, Batla House encounter, and a special on the performance of the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

“News channels in India are in adolescent phase,” Arfa argues and that’s why they seem to be moving from one experiment to another, still trying to find a firm footing. She is critical of the abuse of the term ‘breaking news’ and over reliance on TRP, the rating system used by the Indian TV channels.

Arfa does not hesitate in calling the news dished out by TV channels as ‘infotainment.’ She calls for higher standard and believes that viewers are ready to watch quality journalism if given the opportunity.

She is passionate about the media and believes that she has so much to learn and excited about the opportunity to learn something new every day. She wants to be known as a serious journalist who is a face of authenticity who raises people’s issues and concerns and becomes their voice.

A sign of good journalist, she always keeps a notebook to record her thoughts and a book to keep herself informed of the issues.

Watch Arfa’s report on performance of the Ministry of Minority Affairs

source: / / Home> Articles / by Kashif-ul-Huda, / June 16th, 2009

Hameed wins title in Thailand


Earlier, Shaik edged Joshua Chow of HongKong in the first all-lefty semi-final, 231-218 to advance to the finals.

Debutant Shaik Abdul Hameed became India’s first-ever title winner at the Asian-level as he captured the Asian Bowling Federation’s Thailand tour event. Shaik defeated Mahmood Al Attar of UAE 242-183 in the final

Both the men’s title contenders had an opened frame each in frame two, but Shaik rolled three consecutive strikes to take a slender lead of 9 pins when Mahmood came back in the fifth and sixth frames. The Indian, however, rolled another three consecutive strikes from frame seven onwards while Mahmood’s form tapered off. Shaik went on to strike out for a comfortable victory over Mahmood. Earlier, Shaik edged Joshua Chow of HongKong in the first all-lefty semi-final, 231-218 to advance to the finals.

Shaik won India’s first-ever medal in the sport during the Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Championship 2002 in which he won gold medals in Singles and Masters and a silver medal in All Events.
(Express News Service)

source: /  Indian Express / Home> ieSports> Sports Others / by Express News Service / New Delhi / April 20th, 2014

Kargil War Remembered, Heroes Forgotten


26 July was observed as the 16th anniversary of the so-called Kargil War or the Operation Vijay which occurred in 1999.

In this three month long war which began on 3 May, the Indian army operation was declared accomplished on 26 July and hence the date is marked as the Kargil Day or ‘Vijay Diwas’ to be particular and has an immense significance in Indian history.

PM Modi said on the eve of the anniversary, “I salute all the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Kargil war, for their sacrifice and valor, on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas. Kargil war though fought on borders had significant contribution from every village, every town of the country.”

Like him his cabinet colleague and the Minister of Finance Arun Jetly twitted yesterday, “Today, we remember & salute our brave soldiers who gave supreme sacrifice to protect the motherland in the Kargil war.” However, he was reminded by the followers that he was not correctly remembering the day; it was the next one, 26 July. One follower retorted on his tweet, “Sir Kargil Divas is tomorrow, not today dnt be exited to tweet but think twice b4 try to grab voter attention.”

These instances may be found illustrious enough how the national leaders take “supreme sacrifices” of war heroes in a disingenuous way. They are even not publically sure about the date of the sacrifice, then what much should be expected of them. May their act was inadvertent but it gives a message of oblivion.

The American poet Richard Watson Gilder hoped in his composition, “The ballads of martyrs be sung/at each anniversary of martyrdom/so that generations to follow value/the sacrifice of our Heroes./….Lest we forget.”

One Indian poet has paid his homage to the martyrs in these words, “Shaheedon ke chitaon par lagenge her baras mele. Watan pe marne walon ka yehi baqi nishan hoga (On the pyres of martyrs, celebrations shall take place every year, memorial of those shall be kept intact this way for surrendering their lives on the nation).”

However, not only the national leaders but even the public belies such romantic expectations.


Let  us understand this reality from the instance of one hero of the Kargil War, Captain Haneef Uddin, Veer Chakra (P).

He was an officer of the 11th Battalion, The Rajputana Rifles of the Indian Army laid down his life defending the country at an altitude of over 18000 ft in 1999. When he died on 6 June as one of the first causalities of the War but with much strategic gains, he was less than 25 years of age.

Times of India reported on 23 July when his corpse reached Delhi, “Thousands of Delhiites lined the streets of the capital to salute their brave hero, Captain Hanifuddin, who laid down his life fighting intruders in the Kargil region. When the body was brought to the Sajjadanashin Dargah in Nizamuddin, Hindus and Muslims stood side by side to pay their respects to the martyr. Since people had lined up on both sides of the road, it took almost an hour for the cortege to traverse the short distance between the Dargah and the cemetery. People seemed overwhelmed with the reported heroics of the soldier. “The country is blessed with such brave sons who sacrifice their lives like this,” said a mourner. The captain from the Rajputana Rifles was buried with full army honors as befitting a war hero.”

“16 years on” laments his memorials Facebook account, “Do we still remember? The road leading to Captain Haneef Uddin’s house was named after him. His name engraved on a stone to tell the world, ‘Here lived the Hero’. Then one day, the stone was replaced with a shabby metallic board, at a height convenient for people to stick posters. Alongside, a big blue board was also put up later, but even then no one thought of giving the Martyr the respect due to him. Same is the condition of the school named after Captain Haneef Uddin. No one knows! We honor our Martyrs so that future generations take inspiration but this is how we remember our Martyrs.”

Captain Haneef was a science graduate, multifaceted talent and trained computer expert of Delhi University from its Shivaji College where he himself was crowned as ‘Mr Shivaji’ during his studies before joining the Indian Military Academy in 1996. He was commissioned into the army on June 7, 1997. Exactly two years later he died.

There is no doubt that he could have pursued some other lucrative career or would have become an all-imposing politician and deliver sermons on nationalism seeing his popularity in the college, but he chose to devote himself for the defense of his country and ultimately offered it his supreme sacrifice. His name denotes, “someone single-minded in his religion”. He was truly single-minded in his religion, patriotism.

During parliamentary elections, Narendra Modi created a controversy by using the name of another Kargil hero Vikram Batra for electioneering, quoting his famous rhetoric “Ye dil mange more.” Disgusted with his non-serious and populist stance Batra’s mother joined AAP in annoyance. Sadly, neither Modi nor the AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal could take a little pain to go to Haneef’s house which is not far from their official residences and pay homage to the young man, who left his mother in utter pain and lasting sorrow for defending the motherland. They could have even sent someone to register their concern. But, there is a noticeable silence from both of them and also from their followers. No RSS, no Bajrangdal, no Shiva Sena or any other patriotism vigilantes and no Congress secularists are around. Even, Muslim organizations are as distant on the occasion as others.

At the time of Kargil War I was in my home town in Rajasthan. One day I was waiting for any public transport to reach home from some other place. Hopelessly, after waiting much for it, I signaled to a rider nearing me to give me lift on his bike. He cooperated. He happened to be an RSS Pracharak of our district.

Finding me to be a Muslim he said, “Sir, it is the right time that Muslims should show their patriotism by donating blood to the Kargil combatants.”

I retorted, “Mister, the blood already donated for the purpose is being sold in Delhi from where I am here. Don’t worry, we will make bigger sacrifice for the nation than you, if the time so arise.”

This episode makes me thoughtful and I wonder whether the nation which forgets the highest sacrifice of its citizens like Captain Haneefuddin deserves even a small drop of blood from its people.

Haneef’s father died when he was only seven years old. His widow and Haneef’s mother, Hema Aziz, valiantly responded seeing his dead body, “As a soldier Haneef served his country with pride and dedication. There cannot be a greater statement on his valor than his death which came fighting the enemy.”

Like Captain Haneefuddin, many other Muslim soldiers surrendered their lives on the anvil of Kargil War along with many other fellow countrymen from the cross sections of society. A few names may be noted from the available list: Lance Naik Ahmed Ali, Lance Naik Gulam Mohammed Khan, Havaldar Abdul Karim, Rifleman Mohamad Farid, Rifleman Mohamad Aslam, etc.

It is a common speculation that none of them would have been remembered on the day, including over 500 others.

It has been marked by different commentators that Muslim martyrs’ number should be any figure between 10-25% of the overall casualties, officially endorsed as 527. Since it was explicitly disproportionate to the presumed number of Muslim soldiers in the Indian army, less than 1%, it unbelievably surprised many and also raised election time controversies: who led to the Kargil victory, Muslims or Hindus? The Kargil War is also known for ‘coffin scandal” wherein allegedly people in the establishment at that time took undue advantage in their procurement. Consequently, the erstwhile defense minister had to resign.

The Kargil Day comes and reminds us of many things. It makes us fresh with the great sacrifices of the war heroes and inspires us to make similar sacrifice for a noble cause. It saddens us seeing hypocritical rhetoric from podiums. It makes us ashamed on knowing, how many people use war and war heroes for political and communal goals.

The poet apprehended “Lest we forget” and we really forgot them.

Sorry martyrs! We didn’t deserve your grace!!

Contributor is a social activist, analyst and author of many books including his recent one, Islam in 21st Century: The Dynamics of Change and Future-making

source: / / Home / by Abdul Rashid Agwan / July 27th, 2015

Experts make ‘Gaadhis’, ‘Namdhas’ for Dasara Elephants to look Majestic



by M.T. Yogesh Kumar

As the city is being spruced up for it to sport a bridal look, inside the Palace too, hectic activities have begun to get the elephants ready for the Vijayadashami grand finale. The main attractions on the last day of the festival are the 12 elephants with Arjuna, carrying the Golden Howdah (Ambari), being the cynosure of all eyes.

Special care is taken by the team of Forest Department officials, mahouts and kavadis to ensure that the elephants are fed well and trained so that they can gain enough weight enabling them to stay composed amidst the cheering crowd at the Jumboo Savari. Care is also taken to decorate them with specially designed robes. Their trunks are painted and metal ornaments with hangings are fixed into their tusks.

Among the specialised team is Pasha and Zakaulla, the two mahouts who have retired from service and who are experts in creating the ‘Gaadhi’ or the cushion and ‘Namdha’ or ‘Gouse’, a robe for the elephants. While the ‘Gaadhi’ is tied to the elephant’s back, a ‘Namdha’ covers the elephant skin and looks like a jacket. The ‘Gaadhi’ and ‘Namdha’ are newly made every year.

Explaining the ‘Gaadhi’, Pasha and Zakaulla say that it makes the uneven surface of the elephant plain and look good when the “Namdha” is spread on the elephant. Each ‘Gaadhi’ has a girth of 1.5 ft and the length depends on the size of the elephant.

While Arjuna, the Howdah Elephant’s ‘Gaadhi’ will weigh 500 to 800 kilograms, the ‘Gaadhi’ made for other elephants weigh 250 to 300 kgs. This is because Arjuna has to carry the 750-kg Golden Howdah with the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari placed inside. The combined weight of the ‘Gaadhi’ and Ambari is around 1,100 to 1,200 kgs.

A special grass that is grown abundantly on lake and river side is used to make the ‘Gaadhi.’ Locally the grass is called ‘Odake Hullu’ that turns soft when dry. The grass is bundled and filled into a soft but sturdy square shaped cloth specially stitched for the purpose. Along with this grass, dry paddy grass is also used to fill the edges.

“The proportion is important to give a soft and sturdy feel,” say the mahouts. Once the grass is filled, the ‘Gaadhi’ is stitched after covering it with jute gunny bags.

“When I was the mahout before 2006, I used to observe people making the ‘Gaadhis’ and ‘Namdhas’ and slowly I learnt the tricks of the trade. I retired in 2006 and since then I am doing this job every year,” says Pasha.

Pasha and Zakaulla have been a part of the festival and have stitched many ‘Gaadhis’ and ‘Namdhas’ for many elephants in the past. The Forest Department officials too have reposed their trust in their skills and summon them every year for the job. While Pasha is the resident of Gandhinagar in Mysuru, Zakaulla is from Gundlupet.

“I have been the mahout for elephants including Radhika, Jayaprakash, Ramani and Chandrika. I retired 10 years ago and I am happy to serve the Naada Habba. I am willing to teach other mahouts on the making of these specialised equipment,” says Zakaulla.

source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Feature Articles / September 26th, 2016

Who’s That – Sameer Uddin: Hyperactive

Born into a musically-inclined family in Delhi (his mother is a classical performer and father, a theatre artist), Sameer was exposed to melodies and composition from a young age

Born into a musically-inclined family in Delhi (his mother is a classical performer and father, a theatre artist), Sameer was exposed to melodies and composition from a young age. But it was his uncle who realised that Sameer had a knack for music when, still a tween, he played a tune on the tabla after hearing it just once. This led to tabla lessons.

In college, Sameer swapped the tabla for a guitar “because that was cooler then, and I didn’t want to be called a ‘tabalchi’,” he laughs. Sameer went on to play the bass guitar in a heavy metal band (Every Mother’s Nightmare), playing covers from bands like Metallica, Megadeth and others. His first creation outside his band, though non-commercial, was for a cookery show on Home TV. In August 1999, he got his first taste of composing for ads when Jeevan Singh of the films department at O&M asked him to create a tune for a Duracell ad, the agency was working on.

But Sameer believes that his first big break in ad films was when he composed the score for a Honda City commercial being produced by Kaveri Productions. The production house managed to convince the client to let a fairly new composer work on the ad. “It was something the Japanese don’t do often,” points out Sameer. Kaveri Productions is where he met some of his closest friends and Neha, who would become his wife. Some of his close friends and mentors include Binoy Mitra of Kaveri Productions, Shoojit Sircar and Vinod P Vijay of Red Ice Films, Harsh Dave of Film Farm, Amit Sharma of Chrome Pictures, Ayyappa of Footcandles.

A few years later, he moved to Mumbai with his wife (his brother runs a school in Himachal in memory of their brother Captain Hanif who lost his life in the 1999 Kargil War) and jumped headlong into work. The ad projects he’s enjoyed most include the latest Parle Lite ad with the floating Sumo wrestlers and the ballerina, the Honda City ad and one for Sri Lanka Tourism, where he spent time in the country understanding their music style and applying it to the ad.

Movies weren’t far away. He worked on creating background scores for films like Yahaan, Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina, Bluffmaster, Pyaar ke Side Effects and Aloo Chaat. However, ad films are his first love. Ask him why and he says, “It’s my sanctuary really for many reasons. Firstly, my mind is always in hyper drive, I love doing many things, so ads let me move from one genre of music to another. One day I might be working on an Indian tune, another day a thrash metal sound like one we created for Titan Octane to a medley tune like Parle Lite’s.”

source: / afaqs! / by Surina Sayal , afaqs! – Mumbai / Home> In Advertising / September 14th, 2009