Cultural gatekeepers can be agents of change: UNFPA report

By IANS, New Delhi : In India, sex selection poses a major challenge but cultural gatekeepers can be used to end such discrimination against girls, says the UN Population Fund's (UNFPA) state of world population report for 2008 released globally Wednesday. "For a change you will see that UNFPA's report is less about statistics and numbers and more about cultural concepts of different countries which influence change and development," Nesim Tumkaya, UNFPA representative said at the launch of the report.

Vietnam discovers 10,000-year-old residential relics

By Xinhua

Hanoi : Vietnamese archaeologists have spotted relics of a residential area of primitive people dating back to some 10,000 years in northern Cao Bang province, according to media reports.

In the Nguom Boc cave in the province's Hoa An district, the archaeologists found dozens of stone tools and many remains of meals of primitive people who lived in a transitional period between the Old Stone Age and the New Stone Age.

‘Sikhs Unlimited’: London to LA via Punjab

By Jaideep Sarin, IANS Chandigarh : At a time when the Sikh diaspora is set to complete a century of existence in the West, many of them settling to the riches of their adopted countries and thousands more aspiring to be part of those 'greener pastures', a book by a Punjab-based citrus farmer has attempted to chronicle the extraordinary lives of some of these enterprising Sikh men and women. First time author Khushwant Singh, 35, got the inspiration to write a book from his famous literary namesake in India during a meeting in 2004.

A tale of loss and love from Delhi’s gay parade

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : Against a gathering storm, milling clouds and stray leaves strewn around by the wind, a lonesome figure - a frail young man of 32 with pierced ears and eyebrows and expressive kohl-lined eyes - cut a poignant figure. He had returned to show solidarity with the community of LGBT - Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transvestites - three years after leaving it - by taking part in the capital's first gay parade christened "Queer Pride" Sunday.

Malaysian govt. approves 800 priests and musicians from India

By NNN-Bernama, Kuala Lumpur : The Malaysian Government has approved an intake of 800 priests and musicians from India for Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras, Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu said. Of this number, 500 priests and musicians are meant for Hindu temples while the rest were for Sikh gurdwaras. Last night, Human Resources Minister S. Subramaniam said the Cabinet had decided on allowing and renewing visas and permits for Hindu priests, musicians and artisans from India.

Mother Teresa’s ‘Divine Inspiration’ may travel to India

By Neelam Mathews, IANS Washington : Efforts are under way to have a life-size oil painting of Mother Teresa displayed in major Indian cities, including Kolkata, as the world prepares to observe her 10th death anniversary Wednesday. The 5ft x 6ft painting called "Divine Inspiration" is the work of US artist Frederick R. La Vergne, a 72-year-old retired navy officer, who gifted it four years ago to the Indian government. The painting is at present displayed at the Indian embassy in Washington, D.C.

जानिए, क्या सोचते हैं बनारस के हिन्दू रमज़ान और ईद के बारे में?

सिद्धांत मोहन, TwoCircles.net वाराणसी: रमज़ान अब ख़त्म हो रहा है. बस एक या दो रोज़ और. फिर ईद. फिर इबादत का यह माह एक साल...

Why NaMo must bite the bullet on madrasa reforms

By M. Rajaque Rahman The Maharashtra government's decision to tag students of traditional madrasas as 'out-of-school' has put madrasa reforms back on the national discourse....

Chandigarh gears up to secure heritage status

By IANS, Chandigarh : Gearing up efforts to gain heritage status for India's City Beautiful known internationally for its architecture and urban planning, the Chandigarh administration has sought funds from the central government to maintain important buildings. "We have written to the union government demanding an approval and release of funds that we need to maintain the heritage status. Right now I cannot disclose the amount we demanded. We are still awaiting its sanction," director of tourism, Chandigarh, Samwartak Singh told IANS.

Peace Party and its curse of Hero worship

By Mohammed Kashif Yunus for TwoCircles.net If you go through the advertisement, cut outs, hoardings and pamphlets of Peace Party of India, you will find...

Third edition of India Art Summit in January 2011

By IANS, New Delhi : Art lovers will have to wait till Jan 23-26 next year for the next edition of the India Art Summit, which will open six months behind schedule. The last two editions of the summit opened Aug 19. Announcing the dates, the organisers of India Art Summit Monday said the registration process is underway and galleries and art houses from across the world can apply for exhibition space.

Nepal’s India-trained director bridges divide with his art

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS, Kathmandu : Seven years after he made his last film in Nepal, the lone Indian director here is poised to make a comeback with his new movie exploring the psyche of Nepalis and people of Nepali origin scattered all over the world. The Nepali film industry's once-acclaimed director Tulsi Ghimire, who began his career as a spot boy in India's Bollywood to learn the craft of filmmaking from scratch, has returned to Nepal with a romance, "Maya to maya ho" (Love is love), which released in Nepal last week.

Stolen 18th century painting found in Moscow

By RIA Novosti, Moscow : Moscow police have nabbed an art dealer trying to sell an 18th century painting stolen in 2004 from Slovenia, the city's organized crime and terrorism department said on Friday. Police, acting on a tip-off, detained the Moscow based art dealer in the process of selling the 18th century painting by Italian artist Francesco Guardi. A criminal case has been opened on charges of receiving and selling stolen property. The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, could face up to two years in prison if convicted.

Lack of interest among AMU students failed Aligarh the movie

By Mohammad Rafay Qadri for Twocircles.net Aligarh the movie, which portrays the story of an Aligarh Muslim University professor, has sadly found few students interested...

Handicrafts, folk art fair kicks off in capital

By IANS New Delhi : 'Shilpotsav', a fortnight-long handicrafts and folk art fair with more than 200 artisans from all over the country participating, kicked off at the capital's Dilli Haat Wednesday. "This festival is to showcase the skills of those who are poor but want to work and earn their living," Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar said while inaugurating the fair. The participating artisans have been provided concessional finance, skill enhancement and training to help them develop marketing links.

Rahman talks nothing, but music: Yash Chopra

By IANS, New Delhi: Oscar winning composer A.R. Rahman's dedication to work has left filmmaker Yash Chopra amazed.

Husain tops Sotheby’s spring sales of Indian art

By IANS

New York : M.F. Husain's untitled work has fetched $409,000, dominating the Sotheby's New York spring sales of Indian art.

The 1953 painting was sold to an Indian dealer at the auction held here Wednesday. The painting bears a striking similarity to another work from 1952 titled "Pull", and both form part of a group of works inspired by a village puppeteer.

Mayawati to put up more of her statues

By IANS, Lucknow : Undaunted by all the criticism from her adversaries, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is to get three more of her statues installed in the state capital where two imposing bronze memorials are already in place. An 18-feet-tall statue is proposed in the neighbourhood of BSP's Prerna Sthal (inspiration home) where Mayawati had got her first statue installed inside an imposing stone structure shaped like a Buddhist stupa.

‘Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah’ not anti-religion: Producer

Chennai : Ace producer Aascar Ravichandran has reiterated that his upcoming Tamil romantic-drama "Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah" is not against any religion and that the...

“Kesari”and “21 Sarfarosh” – a highly fictionalized ode

By Misbahuddin Mirza Those familiar with America’s Civil Rights movement will tell you that African-American slaves were unofficially divided into two groups – ‘the field...

Art festival at TISS celebrates the colours of Bahujan resistance

By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter The Mumbai campus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences was abuzz with the colours of Bahujan Art the past weekend as...

Pakistanis win global award for film on drones

By IANS, Islamabad: A short film on the US drone attacks in Pakistan, made by students of Iqra University, has won an award at an international annual film festival held in the US.

Man, animal share space and colours

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : Man is an animal with a thinking head. His ability to rationalise sets him apart from the beast in the forest, though both belong to a broader generic canvas called 'life'. "The Human Animal" art exhibition explores the unseen threads that bind the human and animal worlds through a series of sculptures, installations and canvases by young contemporary artists. The exhibition, at the Religare Arts-I gallery here, curated by Marta Jakimowicz opened March 19 and will close April 9.

Trafalgar Square to light up for Diwali in London

By IANS London : Trafalgar Square, London's favourite point of assembly, will light up with Diwali lights for this year's celebrations of the festival of lights. Organised by the Mayor of London and the Diwali in London Committee, and sponsored by Tilda Basmati, the free event Oct. 28 will be open to all and will see the cemented square transformed by magical light displays, floating lanterns, and music and dance performances.

When music takes over, there are no borders

By IANS

New Delhi : Pakistan's ghazal queen Farida Khanum came, sang and conquered again. Reiterating that "music is the bridge of peace and love", the beloved singer, as popular in India as in Pakistan, had her audience in raptures and clapping endlessly for more.

Ibn Sina Academy Aligarh organises national seminar on works of Ibn al-Haytham

By TCN News Aligarh: The Ibn Sina Academy, Aligarh, organised a national seminar on “Life and Contribution of Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen)” between 14 and 15...

Eighteenth century obituaries fathered current celebrity cult

By IANS, Washington : The sudden rise in popularity of obituaries in the 18th century provided much of the impetus for the current world's obsession with the celebrity cult, a new study has found. Elizabeth Barry, associate professor at the department of English, University of Warwick, has challenged perceptions that celebrity is a phenomenon born with the Romantic movement of the early 19th century. Barry said people from all walks of life could now become famous for being eccentric, rather than for historically momentous achievements.

Tagore art works fetch 1.6 bn pounds at Sotheby’s auction

By Venkata Vemuri, IANS, London : A dozen works of art by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore fetched a record 1.6 billion pounds at an auction by Sotheby's Tuesday, even as the Indian government failed to stop the sale as it had no legal rights over the collection. The pre-sale estimates of the works was 250,000 pounds. The works, belonging to the Dartington Hall Trust in Devon were dated 1938. They were gifted by Tagore to his old friend Leonard Elmhirst and his wife, American heiress Dorothy Whitney Elmhirst, who owned the estate and set up the trust.

The identity crisis facing Tibetan refugees

By IANS, New Delhi : What is the place of Tibetans in our society? Are they just refugees, or have they taken on an Indian identity after having lived the Indian way for over three decades? A documentary titled "Tribute to Life - memoir of a lost land" answers all. The documentary was screened at the inaugural ceremony on Aug 28 at the Jeevika South Asia Documentary Film Festival 2008 which is on till Aug 31 at the India Habitat Centre here.

President mourns death of Marathi playwright

By IANS, New Delhi : President Pratibha Patil Monday mourned the death of noted Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkar. Tendulkar, 80, one of the greatest Indian playwrights of the post-Independence era, died Monday in a Pune hospital after prolonged illness. He had had been suffering from diabetes and myasthenia gravis, a disease affecting the muscles. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Tendulkar was best known for his plays "Ghashiram Kotwal" and "Sakharam Binder". He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement.

मिसाल : गुजरात के ऐतिहासिक मंदिर में कराया गया रोजा इफ्तार

आकिल हुसैन। Twocircles.net आज जहां एक तरफ देश में धार्मिक ध्रुवीकरण कर देश के सामाजिक ताने-बाने को तोड़ने की कोशिश की जा रहीं हैं वहीं...

Raje, Gehlot mourn singer Mubarak Begum Shaikh’s death

New Delhi : Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Ashok Gehlot, former Chief Minister, on Tuesday mourned the death of legendary Bollywood playback singer...

Online Indian art acution mops up $8 million

By IANS New York : Even as S.H. Raza's 'Maha Bindu' fetched $652,000 beating Tyeb Mehta's 'Untitled' which sold at $602,500, Saffronart's two-day online auction of Indian art closed Thursday realising a total sale value of about $8 million from 110 lots representing 36 artists.

French government honours King Khan

By IANS

New Delhi : Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan has been awarded the Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government for his prolific career and contribution to the development of Indo-French cooperation in the field of cinema.

Check objectionable images on TV, says court

By IANS

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Friday asked the government to evolve a mechanism to check television channels showing objectionable images.

Dhaka holds exhibition, talk on Ramkinkar Baij

By IANS

Dhaka : Art enthusiasts in the Bangladesh capital were treated to the works of legendary Indian artist Ramkinkar Baij, with an expert saying his paintings and sculptures were a confluence of Eastern and Western aesthetic ideas.

Agra Gharana tradition on verge of extinction

By Brij Khandelwal, IANS

Agra : The Agra Gharana, one of the major streams of Hindustani classical music, is on the verge of extinction in the place of its birth. There are few patrons and the number of practitioners of this great musical tradition is dwindling.

Anshu Gupta, Sanjiv Chaturvedi win Magsaysay awards

New Delhi: Social worker Anshu Gupta and former AIIMS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi on Wednesday won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay awards for "enterprising leadership" and...

Abe to release book on Tagore’s speeches in Japan

By IANS Kolkata : Almost 66 years after his death, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore's speeches delivered in Japan have been published in the form of a book that will be released by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit here Thursday. The 250-page book is titled "Talks in Japan". Tagore had visited Japan five times between 1916 and 1924 and wanted to see his speeches in print. He had even requested Prasanta Mahalonobis, the famous scientist who served as his secretary for sometime, to publish them.

Bollywood heads to Kashmir for filming

By Sheikh Imran Bashir, AIP, Srinagar: With the arrival of summer season, many Bollywood stars have landed in Jammu and Kashmir, for shooting of their upcoming films amid the picturesque locales. Once a favourite with Bollywood filmmakers, Kashmir had lost out after being rocked with insurgency for over 20 years. The scenic valley is, however, once again being noticed by filmmakers. The latest film unit to land in Srinagar city is the cast and crew of Bollywood film 'Saat Khoon Maaf' directed by filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj.

Rare paintings relive the magic of Holi over centuries

By IANS, Chandigarh : As Holi signalled the advent of spring, the Government Museum and Art Gallery here welcomed the season by exhibiting rare miniature paintings, some of them over 300 years old, on the festival of colours. "This is for the first time that we are displaying an exhibition related to Holi from our rare collection. Some of these paintings are over 300 years old made by legendary miniature painting artists of that era," Navjot Randhawa, director of the museum, told IANS.

She kept singing, till that fateful plunge

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : The night before her death she was performing at the India Habitat Centre. The next day renowned classical vocalist and composer Shanti Sharma fell from the second floor of her south Delhi home. Music, for Sharma, who met a tragic end Tuesday, was a vocation she described as "god's gift". The 52-year-old vocalist, an exponent of the Kirana Gharana, was associated as a teacher and a research fellow with the Shri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra in the capital for 30 years.

‘Munnabhai’ inspires seminar on modern Gandhigiri

By Fakir Hassen, IANS, Johannesburg : Bollywood film "Lage Raho Munnabhai" has inspired a slew of protests worldwide using Gandhian methods, such as people swamping officials with flowers. Now it's the turn of the academics to discuss modern Gandhigiri. Mahatma Gandhi had led a march in South Africa in 1908 to protest a law asking all Indians and Chinese to carry registration certificates with them, and hundreds had publicly burnt such documents following him.

बदल गई चंबल की सूरत ,अब बन रहा है पर्यटन केंद्र

आकिल हुसैन। Twocircles.net कभी डाकुओं की पनाहगाह रही चंबल घाटी अब टूरिज्म का हब बन गई हैं। ऐसा भी कहा जाता हैं कि हिंदी...

Lata may make international debut

By Subhash K. Jha

IANS

Mumbai : After reigning as the queen of Bollywood playback singing for more than 60 years, Lata Mangeshkar may finally make her international debut.

Indian art market has consolidated since 2010: Neville Tuli

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : The Indian art market has witnessed a period of consolidation in 2010 and the coming months will see further strengthening, predicts Neville Tuli, founder-chairman of OSIAN's Connoisseurs of Art that has just published a detailed report on the subject. "In the coming months, buyers will witness a resurgence in demand for the best of art works by the leading masters in India," Tuli told IANS in an e-mail interview from Mumbai. "However, the volumes and liquidity regarding the rest of the market is still relatively low."

An art exhibition that `speaks’ for the differently abled

By Maitreyee Boruah, IANS, Bangalore : Their world is silent. Spoken words hold no meaning for them as they are hearing- and speech- impaired. Twelve of them, however, are attempting to give voice to the "voiceless" population of India through an art exhibition in Bangalore.

After 26/11, artists debate allowing Pakistani performers in India

By IANS, Mumbai : A month after the terror strikes in Mumbai, several artists came together here to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the attacks. While some felt India should restrict the number of Pakistanis performing in India in the wake of the strikes, others felt the focus should be on restoring peace.

Sonia inaugurates new wing of art gallery

By IANS, New Delhi : Congress president Sonia Gandhi Monday inaugurated the new wing of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world. "The genius of the Indian artists and their creativity is being sought after. They are exhibited in the leading museums of the world," said Gandhi at the inauguration function.

Exhibition portrays facets of women in Indian popular art

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : Want to see how women can be provocative, trendy and empowered at the same time through popular art? Visit the ongoing exhibition here, showing them in all their incarnations in various media. The genre of popular art, a form of alternative art, is relatively new, but it is fast carving a niche for itself. It can be anything - right from memorabilia and miniatures to the collector's hobby art - like personal collections of stamps, postcards, coins, textiles, prints and posters, to name a few.

40 years of India through Raghu Rai’s lens

By IANS New Delhi : He is often dubbed the king of camera. Photographer Raghu Rai, who has captured life in all its shades over the last four decades, still tops the list of India's best lensmen. A retrospective show of photographs, "A Journey of a Moment in Time: Raghu Rai", spanning 40 years of the ace photographer's works, was unveiled Tuesday at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.

‘Heritage status will give fresh life to Kalka-Shimla railway’

By Alkesh Sharma, IANS, Kalka (Haryana) : With Unesco declaring the Kalka-Shimla railway line as a World Heritage Site, people here hope the narrow-gauge line that is over a century old will get a fresh lease of life. The railway meanders through the hills between Kalka and Shimla, going through 102 tunnels, crossing 800 bridges and turning at over 900 curves in the 96-km journey. It was built in 1898 during British rule to connect the then summer capital of India, Shimla, with other parts of the country.

US capital begins ‘Celebration of India’ with peep into Mughal era

By Arun Kumar, IANS, Washington : An exhibition of Mughal era paintings opening a window into the world of the emperors of yore commences a two-year "Celebration of India" at Washington's National Mall. Starting with an annual fund-raising gala of two American art institutions Wednesday, the exhibition "Muraqqa: Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin" displaying India's rich artistic and cultural legacy runs from May 3 to Aug 3.

Glittering line-up of authors for Jaipur Literary Festival

By IANS, New Delhi : Bookworms can look forward to a carnival in January when Jaipur will play host to a galaxy of authors like Vikram Seth, Chetan Bhagat, Hari Kunzru, Micheal Ondaatje, Pico Iyer and Patrick French during the fourth edition of the Jaipur Literary Festival. One of the most colourful events in the city's social calendar, the festival will be held Jan 21-25 at the Diggy Palace.

Pahadi miniature art back in market after 60 years

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : After almost 60 years, Pahadi miniatures are now surfacing from their private hideaways to command top-end prices in the booming international art market. They are being picked up by dealers and new collectors across the world. "A Celestial Figure", a miniature winged angel in the Persian tradition, painted by the famous Pahadi artist Nainsukh of Guler (a former princely state in the Himalayas), is back on the auction shelf after 218 years.

Artist Akash Choyal uses 3D illusion art

By V.N. Balakrishna, IANS, Ahmedabad : Akash Choyal, who has made a name for himself for 3D illusion art and fibre glass sculptures, revisits memories of his childhood for inspiration. He claims to be the first Indian artist to have used triographics in contemporary art. "Triographics are art works in 3D illusion paintings that can be viewed without any special spectacles," he says.

Children’s Film Society India reconstituted

By IANS

New Delhi : The government Friday reconstituted the executive council and general body of the Children's Film Society India (CFSI) retaining actor Nafisa Ali as its chairperson for a three-year term.

Documentary filmmaker Rinki Bhattacharya has been appointed as the vice chairperson.

The other three members of the executive council are eminent theatre personality Jabbar Patel, filmmaker Jahnu Barua and documentary director Raja Dasgupta.

सवालों के घेरे में बिहार की शराबबंदी

TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter पटना - बिहार में 1 अप्रैल से शराब को लेकर राज्य सरकार की नयी नीति लागू हो गयी है. एक तरफ जहां...

Tamil singing legend laments state of Indian music

By Fakir Hassen, IANS Durban : Legendary south Indian singer T.M. Sounderarajan has urged Indian musicians everywhere to go back to their roots and first learn classical Indian music, as most of them leave him unimpressed. "Classical music is the foundation on which all successful singing is based," Sounderarajan said as he started a two-week tour of performances at various towns in Kwazulu-Natal province to help raise funds for a temple at Verulam, about 30 km north of here.

ICCR to open first cultural diplomacy centre in Kolkata

By IANS, New Delhi : The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will open its first cultural diplomacy centre in Kolkata next week - that will exclusively interact with South East Asian nations. The Rabindranath Tagore Centre will be inaugurated May 31 by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, ICCR president Karan Singh and other senior ICCR officials present.

Amitav Ghosh’s ‘Sea of Poppies’ tops bestseller list

By IANS, New Delhi : Indian origin author Amitav Ghosh's 19th century saga "Sea of Poppies" tops the fiction list while Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria's "The Post-American World" dominates non-fiction among the bestsellers this week. The top 10 in the non-fiction and fiction categories are: Non-fiction: 1. "The Post-American World" Author: Fareed Zakaria Publisher: Penguin Viking Price: Rs.499.00 2. "A Case of Exploding Mangoes" Author: Mohammed Hanif Publisher: Random House Price: Rs.395.00 3. "Smoke and Mirrors: An Experience of China" Author: Pallavi Aiyar

Agra teenager sets world record for guitar playing

By IANS, Agra : Fourteen-year-old Akash Gupta Tuesday set a new world record by playing his guitar for 45 hours here, Guinness World Records judge Ralph Hana said. Akash began playing the instrument at the 162-year-old St. Peter's College Sunday and broke American Brian Engelhart's 2005 record of 44 hours at about 7 a.m. Tuesday. However, the teenager continued playing, with the aim of breaking his own record of 52 hours and 48 minutes that earned him a place in the Limca Book of Records last year. Guiness does not recognise the Limca record.

Legendary music composer ‘Khayyam’ of Hindi cinema passes away

TCN News Mohammed Zahur 'Khayyam' Hashmi, popularly knowns as Khayyam passed away on Monday due to critical illness. Born in undivided Punjab in Rahon, Khayyam was...

Two 4,000-year-old reliefs discovered in Egypt

Cairo: Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty announced that two 4,000-year-old reliefs, belonging to Ptolemaic Queen Berenice, were found by Polish archaeologists in the temple...

Foreign tourists breathe new life into Bundi miniature art

By IANS Bundi (Rajasthan) : Patrick Bell, an Australian tourist, came here to enjoy the impressive architecture of grand havelis and palaces. But the beauty of miniature paintings fascinated him so much that he has started taking lessons in this centuries-old traditional art form. So much so that he plans to stay in Bundi town, about 190 km from state capital Jaipur, for the rest of his tour in India.

At 93, M.F. Husain turns poet

By Dipankar De Sarkar, IANS, London : Maqbool Fida Husain, India's most famous painter, has been writing poems and has built up a collection that should send Indian publishers queuing up outside his London studio. The 93-year-old painter, who has been forced to live in exile in London and Dubai, has been writing the poems in between working on his canvases. “I might even think of publishing them one day,” Husain told IANS.

Tina Ambani brings 30 international artists to India

By Sunanda Parmeshwar, IANS Mumbai : After over 12 years of promoting art and young artists from across the country, Tina Ambani, wife of industrialist Anil Ambani, is set to take the next step up the art ladder. Thirty international artists from around the world will unveil their unique and exclusive sculptures at the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City (DAKC) at Navi Mumbai, Monday (Jan 14). The artists have been working for a month under the Harmony Art Foundation (HAF)'s residency programme at DAKC, according to Tina Ambani, the moving force behind HAF.

Indian summer of art at British Museum

By IANS, London : The British Museum will showcase Indian art and culture next summer to celebrate the country's emergence as an "emerging superpower". The six-month extravaganza beginning next May is called Indian Summer. It will be an exhibition of paintings never before seen in Europe, installations, performances, film screenings and the construction of a typical Indian garden in the museum's forecourt. For the first time, a collection of 55 paintings - Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur - will be seen in Europe.

Ahead of Putin visit, an ‘Indian Poem’ by a Russian artist

By Biswajit Choudhury, New Delhi : There is a large canvas, perhaps familiar to those who have visited Kolkata's Victoria Memorial, by Vasily Vereshchagin, a large part of whose work embodies the foundations of the India-Russia connection but who has remained largely unknown in this country.

India doesn’t need nationalism after 70 years of Independence: Nayantara Sahgal

By Milinda Ghosh Roy Kolkata (IANS): India doesn't need any lessons on nationalism 70 years after Independence, feels eminent writer and member of the Nehru-Gandhi...

Zulfiqar – An attempt to negatively stereotype Muslims

By TwoCircles.net staff reporter Kolkata: Otherization of Muslims in movies is nothing new but a recent Bengali movie went over the top in its negative...

The End for Delhi’s beloved Chanakya complex

By Minu Jain, IANS New Delhi : It was flashback time Thursday as a Delhi landmark wrote its epitaph in the dying days of the year. The Chanakya theatre complex that had seen bunking students grow up to teens on their first date and then as parents accompanying their children to a film called it curtains.

Solzhenitsyn graphically portrayed Stalinist terror

By DPA, Moscow : Alexander Solzhenitsyn, one of the Soviet era's most celebrated dissident writers who died at the age of 89, had been exiled from the Soviet Union for his graphic portrayals of life in the labour camps. The world famous writer and historian, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970, had not been seen in public for months, and had reportedly been seriously ill for months. He died following a stroke, according to unconfirmed information.

Provide constitutional safeguards to “Gojri” language: GWF to govt

By News Agency of Kashmir

Jammu : The Gojri Writers fraternity of Jammu and Kashmir today urged upon the State Government, to treat them as "Ethno-Linguistic Minority” in the State and provide constitutional safeguards to their language "Gojri" by recommending its inclusion in the Eighth Scheduled of Constitution of India.

Celebrations in Kerala as New Year dawns

By IANS Thiruvananthapuram : Keralites celebrated the state's New Year Friday, with tens of thousands of Hindus thronging temples. In schools and offices, people dressed in traditional attire participated in competitions to make floral designs on the ground to mark the beginning of the auspicious month of Chingam. Chingam is the first month of the Malayalam calendar. The harvest festival Onam falls in this month.

Disney raises stake to 50 percent in UTV Software

By IANS, Mumbai : Walt Disney Company (South East Asia) has raised its stake to more than 50 percent and has become the majority shareholder of UTV Software Communications, a UTV official said. Walt Disney recently acquired about 20 percent of UTV shares from the open market and increased its holding in the company to more than 50 percent. Earlier, its shareholding was 37 percent. This made Walt Disney the first Hollywood studio to have majority shares in an Indian entertainment company.

Kuchipudi dance enthrals IBSA delegates

By Fakir Hassen, IANS Johannesburg : Politicians and delegates at the India-Brazil-South Africa Summit (IBSA) here were treated to an enthralling performance of India's traditional kuchipudi dance by Swathy Somanath. The programme, put together by the South African Ministry of Arts and Culture headed by Pallo Jordan, also included Brazilian guitar quartet Maogani and several South African musicians and dancers. For over 200 delegates of the summit, the programme came as welcome relief from a long day of business and political negotiations.

‘India should be proud of its ancient rock art’

By Neena Bhandari, IANS, Sydney : Indian rock art needs more recognition globally and the country itself has to realise it is a repository of much more than the Indus Valley and Mughal periods, says an Australian expert. "Indian art is at least 200,000 years old, which is an educated guess and it could be much more. This is of great cultural significance to India, and to the world," rock art expert Robert Bednarik told IANS. He is the convener, president and editor of the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations (IFRAO).

Governments keep changing, I keep hoping: Husain

By IANS, London : With India's Supreme Court ruling in his favour, artist M.F. Husain has spoken of hopes that the changing political scenarios in the country will ease his return home after eight years in self-exile. "The Supreme Court judgement is there. That is the judgement," the painter, who works out of London and Dubai, said Wednesday. "I never said I won’t go back. I didn’t feel it was time. Because the political scenarios keep on changing, so I’m hoping… all the time," he told an audience at the Nehru Centre in London.

Taj Mahal builders used Harappan measurement units that British discarded

By K.S. Jayaraman, IANS, Bangalore : Designers of the 17th century Taj Mahal, the finest piece of Mughal architecture, employed the same unit of measurement used by the Harappan civilization as far back 2000 BC, according to a study by an IIT-Kanpur professor. These units were used by builders in India till the British imposed their own units in the 18th century.

Joy and relief in Tamil Nadu as court allows bull-run

By IANS Allanganallur/New Delhi : A wave of relief swept across the expectant crowds in this small town in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district Tuesday as news filtered in that the Supreme Court had allowed jallikattu, the traditional sport of bull-runs held during the Pongal festival. The villagers, including several hundred women, have been on fast to protest the apex court's 'no' to the bull-run, which the villagers believe brings good luck.

Marathi film ‘Harishchandrachi Factory’ is India’s Oscar entry

By IANS, Mumbai : Marathi film "Harishchandrachi Factory", Mumbai-based theatre actor-director Paresh Mokashi's debut movie, will be India's official entry for the Oscars. Mokashi told IANS Sunday that his film has been nominated by the Film Federation of India as the country's official entry in the Foreign Language Film category. The movie is on the making of "Raja Harishchandra", India's first full length feature film made in 1913 by the pioneer of Indian cinema Dadasaheb Phalke.

Tiananmen massacre painting to be auction highlight

By Hazel Parry and Simon Parry Hong Kong, Oct 10 (DPA) It has been hidden away for more than 10 years because of its politically charged content - but when it goes to auction Friday, a masterpiece in Chinese contemporary art depicting the Tiananmen Square massacre is expected to fetch $4 million or more. Yue Minjun's "Execution", a painting which adapts a 19th century Manet classic to echo the 1989 massacre, was spirited out of mainland China by late Hong Kong dealer Manfred Schoeni and sold in 1996 under strict conditions for just $32,000.

‘Sri Sri conveyed message of Indian spirituality, heritage to world’, says Union Home Minister...

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lauded Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday for conveying the message...

Mercedes bionic car at New York’s Museum of Modern Art

By DPA New York : Mercedes is showing a bionic concept car in New York's Museum of Modern Art as part of an exhibition showcasing "trailblazing innovations" in the fields of design and science. The bionic car, taking design cues from the tropical boxfish, boasts near-perfect aerodynamics combined with a lightweight concept. Powered by a high-tech diesel engine with BLUETEC technology, the bionic car has a fuel consumption of 4.3 litres per 100 km, which makes it 20 percent more economical than a comparable production model, according to the car-maker.

Karnataka’s traditional artisans go green

By Maitreyee Boruah, IANS, Bangalore : Going green and adopting more eco-friendly measures seem to be the latest mantra of the world-renowned artisan fraternity of Karnataka who are taking their creativity a step further in the process. Not only have they completely stopped using animal parts like ivory and horns to craft their works but use of toxic chemicals like zinc oxide and lacquer, once an integral part of their work, is a strict no, no now. The artists now use natural dyes and wood for their products.

Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkar dead

By IANS, Pune : Noted Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkar died Monday at his residence here after prolonged illness. He was 80 years old. Family sources said Tendulkar died at about 8 a.m. He had been unwell for the past two months. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Tendulkar was best known for his plays "Ghashiram Kotwal" and "Sakharam Binder". He was also awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement.

No kudos for India’s other gold medallist at Olympics

By Mayank Aggarwal, IANS, New Delhi : Did you know that India won two gold medals and not one at the 2008 Beijing Olympics? Sunita Lamba, a fine arts artist from Delhi, won a gold at the games for her sculpture, but so far she has received no felicitation from the government. Lamba, the sister of late cricketer Raman Lamba, had sent her sculpture, "Spirit of Unity", for Olympic Fine Arts 2008, an exhibition put up by the organising committee at Beijing, and it was selected for display.

Scholarly initiative kindles hope for communal harmony

By TwoCircles.net staff reporter

Allahabad: Physician by profession though, he is making literary efforts to strengthen communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims. First result of his efforts is Ram Charit Manas in Urdu.

Chandigarh to host six-day arts and heritage festival

By IANS, Chandigarh: Chandigarh will organise a six-day extravaganza called 'Chandigarh Arts and Heritage Festival 2010' from March 27, an official said Monday. This festival will kick off on the World Theatre Day which falls on March 27 and will be on till April 1 at Tagore Theatre in Sector 18 and at Sector 17 Plaza, the commercial hub of Chandigarh.

I lived on but many women can’t; so help me stop this: Acid attack...

By Vivek Singh Chauhan New Delhi : On a hot summer day 11 years ago, 16-year-old Laxmi was passing by the Khan Market bus stand...

Indian art at great heights: Raza

By Parveen Chopra, IANS New York : Indian contemporary art has reached unprecedented heights in the world, said Sayed Haider Raza, one of India's most prominent and critically acclaimed modernists, at the inauguration of his first ever retrospective in the US. He attributed the phenomenon to Indian painters' "understanding of Indian culture as well as of today's world".

Ghulam Ali shows in Maharashtra cancelled after Shiv Sena threat

Mumbai: Pakistan's renowned ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali will not perform in Maharashtra this week, as his shows were cancelled after a meeting between...

Book Review: A brief history of Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat

Majlis-e-Mushawarat: Ek Mukhtasar Tareekh AIMM Author: Mohammad Ilmullah Pages: 198 Publisher: Pharos Media & Publications Pvt. Ltd, D-84 Abul Fazl Enclave - 1, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi-110025,...

Guinness record: man plays tabla for over 102 hours

By IANS Kozhikode :A 40-year-old man in Kerala set a new Guinness record Monday by playing the tabla for 102 hours and 45 minutes, bettering his own 2005 feat of 57 hours. Sudheer Kadalundi ended his marathon tabla session at 2 a.m. Monday at Kadalundi, 25 km from here. He began playing the instrument Wednesday (April 2). The venue of the record-breaking performance in the small town wore a festive look. A large number of people had gathered, egging on the exhausted Sudheer, clapping in tandem with the rhythms he played on the tabla.

Farmers who made history haunted by Terracotta Warriors

By DPA Xian (China) : In modern China with its brutal pace of development, it was a very unremarkable death. Racked with disease and with no money to pay for a visit to the doctor, peasant farmer Wang Puzhi waited until his family were out, slipped a rope around his neck and ended his suffering.

Rabbi Shergill now sings for the girl child

By IANS, New Delhi : Singer Rabbi Shergill, the voice behind popular songs like "Bulla Ki Jaana" and "Tere Bin", says his latest album "Avengi Ja Nahin" focuses on social issues like female foeticide, rights of the girl child and racism. "Ballo", one of the nine songs of the album, talks about the issue of pre-natal sex determination, Rabbi explained. "Female liberation is guided by the patriarch and women are still manipulated," said the singer, who is known for the Sufi influence on his music.

A festival to make Bangalore a top startup capital

By IANS, Bangalore: A private-government initiative to make Bangalore, a known outsource hub, an attractive destination for startups kicks off March 7 here.

After Mumbai attacks Chamliyal Mela brings Indo-Pak closer

DIG BSF-Brigadier Masood exchange gifts at Ramgarh border By News Agency of Kashmir Ramgarh): The Chamliyal Mela (Fair) was celebrated with full fervor and joyfulness by the people of both sides India and Pakistan in Ramgarh sector of International Border, today. After Mumbai attacks this is first time that Indo-Pak troops are meeting each other and distributing sweets among each other.

Priest accused of chopping Bodhi tree forced to resign

By IANS Patna : Authorities have forced the top priest of Bodh Gaya Buddhist temple to resign and suspended a top official after they were found involved in chopping off a branch from the Buddha's 'enlightenment tree', apparently to sell it. The action was taken after a court issued summons Saturday to the temple officials for lopping off a branch of the "Bodhi" tree, which is believed to be the one under which the Buddha attained enlightenment 2,550 years ago. Action is also likely against another official whose involvement is alleged in the case.

Colours of the week: Raza Foundation awards young artists

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : Every year, the Raza Foundation, instituted by senior artist S.H. Raza, awards talented and young Indian artists. The foundation, a multi-discipline cultural platform, promotes young aspirants in the fields of fine arts, performing arts and poetry. Delhi-based gallery Art Alive has brought to the capital a consolidated exhibition, "Divigations: Spaces of Possibility", featuring works of the Raza Foundation awardees for 2006-2008 - Atul Dodiya, Jayashree Chakravarty, Avadesh Yadav, Vanita Gupta, S. Harsha Vardhana and Sheetal Gandhi.

Tourists keen on guided Hitler tours of Munich

By Dorothea Huelsmeier, DPA, Munich : Visiting tourists can't get enough of Adolf Hitler tours in Munich, the southern German city where the dictator nurtured his Nazi Party and, 10 years before he was elected German chancellor, mounted the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. The guided walking tours take sightseers to city sites with Adolf Hitler significance which most Munich natives today are no longer aware of, such as the fact that Hitler gave his first public speech upstairs at the world-famous Hofbraeuhaus beer hall in 1918.

Dooru-Shahbad residents jubilant over visit of KPs on Vat-truah

By News Agency of Kashmir

Jammu : For the first time in 18 years since migration from Valley, the Kashmiri Pandits shall be celebrating the Birthday of river Vitasta or Jhelum as it is popularly known in the state of Jammu and Kashmir on Sept 25.

Vitasta Devsathan Prabandak Committee (VDPC) Verinag Kashmir has decided to celebrate the birthday of Vitasta at its original place Veth-Vitru on Veth Truwah.

Poetry was my lifeline all along: Gulzar

By IANS, New Delhi: He is equally known for his directorial ventures as he is praised for his poems and lyrics but lyricist-director Gulzar says he cut down on wielding the megaphone due to his love for poetry and books.

Eclectic mix of classic and contemporary at art auction

By IANS New Delhi : There were the usual fine art works of the maestros like M.F. Hussain, Syed Hyder Raza and Jamini Roy to name a few and there were some contemporary names like Bose Krishnamachari, S.G. Vasudev and Chintan. The preview of the art auction organised by Bid & Hammer in the capital had all of these with a distinct south Indian flavour to it.

Fasihuddin Balkhi: the forgotten historian of Bihar

Born in Patna, Bihar during the British era, Fasihuddin Balkhi made a tremendous contribution to history-writing in Urdu. Despite this feat, he remains largely...

Now a ‘Black Pearl’ for young Arabian filmmakers

By IANS/WAM, Abu Dhabi: Debut feature films made by young directors from Arab countries will now be able to get the prestigious Black Pearl Award at the Middle East International Film Festival to be held in Abu Dhabi October 14-23. Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) 2010 announced Monday an additional category to honour fiction and non-fiction feature films by first- and second-time directors. The new "Afaq Jadida" (New Horizons) category will focus on the work of new talents from the Arab world.

Chandigarh’s Rose Festival to begin Friday

By IANS Chandigarh : Colourful roses will be in full bloom at Chandigarh's 36th annual rose festival, which begins Friday. The Rose Garden, located in Sector 16 here, is the largest of its kind in Asia. The garden, also called Zakir Rose garden, is named after the late president Zakir Hussain. The three-day festival attracts thousands of visitors from the city and adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Scores of tourists from other parts of the country and foreign lands come to see the festival.

IIFA brings cultures, countries together: Amitabh

By IANS

New Delhi : The International Indian Film Award (IIFA), which started as a celebration of Indian cinema abroad, has brought cultures and countries together, superstar Amitabh Bachchan, brand ambassador of IIFA, said here Tuesday.

Not Husain, but youngest son to exhibit in Mumbai

By IANS, New Delhi : At a time when M.F. Husain lives in self-imposed exile from his motherland, his youngest son Owais Husain is carrying on in his father's footsteps in India with a solo show of concept and multi-media art. Owais, 42, who divides his time between Mumbai and Dubai, will blend art, poetry and music at the exhibition titled, "3 Worlds", at the Tao Art Gallery in Mumbai Aug 6-26.

Two Indian names in Man Booker long list

By IANS London : Two writers of Indian origin - Indra Sinha and Nikita Lalwani - figure in the 13-writer strong long-list for this year's prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction worth 50,000 pounds. Sinha is the author of the book "Animal's People", while Lalwani's book is titled "Gifted". The chair of judges, Howard Davies, said Wednesday: "This year's long-list is very diverse, with four first-time novelists as well as some more familiar names. All the books chosen are well-crafted and will appeal to a wide readership."

Heritage site destroyed, municipal authority blames ASI

By IANS, New Delhi : A national heritage site, over centuries old Lal Mahal near Nizamuddin, that was demolished by a private builder a week ago, stands in ruins as authorities play the blame game. After investigation into the pulling down of the 1245 A.D. structure Oct 30, the city's largest municipal authority has declared that the matter pertains to the Archeological Survey of India.

Bhopal gas victims take the musical route to protest

By IANS, New Delhi : Bhopal gas tragedy victims, who have been protesting in the capital to demand rehabilitation and compensation for themselves and their children, have now found a new way to voice their demands and express their anguish - music. Singer Rahul Ram of fusion band Indian Ocean performed for their cause Monday - the latest to join their protest through music.

Catwalk shifts to Pragati Maidan for fashion week

By IANS

New Delhi : To contain the continually swelling fashion fete of India - the Wills lifestyle Fashion Week (WIFW) - the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) has this time moved to a bigger venue, the Pragati Maidan.

The tenth edition of the spring-summer WIFW 2008 is scheduled here for Sep 5-9.

Zakir Hussain wins Grammy

By IANS, Los Angeles : Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain has won the Grammy award as part of the winning team that created the "Global Drum" project. The Global Drum was nominated under the Best Contemporary World Music Album category. Hussain shares the honour with Mickey Hart, Sikiru Adepoju and Giovanni Hidalgo.

Malaysian, Australian artistes combine to re-interpret Indian dance

By IANS, Kuala Lumpur : Acclaimed Malaysian dancer-choreographer Ramli Ibrahim is collaborating with internationally-renowned dancer Anandavalli from Australia in a contemporary dance work called Rasa Unmasked. The performance premieres in Sydney, Australia, in March next year before an international tour to Malaysia, Singapore and India. Ramli and his Sutra Dance Theatre and Anandavalli and her Lingalayam Dance Company will be showcasing their skills in Odissi, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, The New Straits Times said Wednesday.

Indian origin music scholar stopped from entering US, gets support

New York, Sep 17 (IANS) A group of US musicologists and intellectuals are protesting an incident in which a British born, Indian origin music scholar was stopped from entering the US last year without any valid explanation. One of them has even written a letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to resolve the issue. Nalini Ghuman, a talented musicologist and expert on the British composer Edward Elgar, was stopped at the San Francisco airport last year while returning from Britain and was told that she was no longer allowed to enter the United States.

‘PK’ is against religious frauds: Vaidik

New DelhI : As Hindu right-wing groups continue their protests over "PK", veteran journalist and activist Ved Pratap Vaidik says people are opposing the Aamir Khan movie because of a "misunderstanding" and they should watch it before going against it as the movie is actually against religious frauds and people who have made a business out of religion and are conning ordinary people.

Coelho: From hippie to best-selling author

By DPA Rio de Janeiro : Brazilian author Paulo Coelho is one of the world's best-selling authors but he considers writing not just a business but as a "path to self-knowledge". Coelho, who turns 60 Friday, is something of a guru to many of his worldwide legion of fans. At home, though, he is more whipping boy than wise man for literary critics. Fellow Brazilian author and literature professor Sirio Possenti says that Coelho sells "as much as McDonald's or Coca-Cola. So what? He can't even write correctly".

Now, a ‘House of Poetry’ to promote Arabic works

By IANS, Dubai : A new 'House of Poetry' will come up in this Middle East metropolis that will promote, research and document classical and contemporary Arabic poetry and strengthen its presence and profile within the Arab world and beyond. Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has directed that a House of Poetry be established. The initiative will be set up by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.

Child’s play: Building easy shapes in ceramics

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : Ceramics as a medium of sculpture is like a child - malleable, easy and yielding. An exhibition of contemporary architectural ceramics, "In Free Verse", which will run at the Visual Arts Gallery at the India Habitat Centre during Jan 12-15 will showcase a large body of ingenious ceramics, stoneware and pit-fired clay sculptures by a creative trio, Leena Batra, Rekha Bajpe Aggarwal and Sonia Ramaswamy Dhingra.

Modern Indian masters rule Asian art auctions

By IANS New Delhi/New York : Works of masters of modern Indian art like M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, J. Swaminathan and Tyeb Mehta are dominating global auctions of Asian art this season - whether it is Christie's, Sotheby's or Bonhams. M.F. Husain's "The Battle of Ganga and Yamuna", estimated to rake in between $600,000 to $800,000 (Rs.32 million), was among the highlights of the preview of Christie's March 20 New York sale of modern and contemporary art from South Asia, unveiled in New Delhi Wednesday.

Jethro Tull, Anoushka dedicate concert to Mumbai terror victims

By IANS, New Delhi : Jethro Tull, one of the world's leading western music bands, and sitar exponent Anoushka Shankar dedicated their two-hour concert in the capital to the "security forces who lost their lives defending Mumbai against terrorists and to victims of the three-day siege". Spokesperson for the band, lead vocalist and flutist Ian Anderson, appealed to the crowd Sunday night to observe a minute's silence in memory of the victims.

Artists from South Asia to bond over art

By IANS, New Delhi : Artists from South Asia will perform and showcase their art works in the capital in a show titled, “Six Degrees of Separation: Chaos, Congruence & Collaboration in South Asia” from Sep 5-20. The show will be organised by KHOJ International Artists' Association as part of its 10-year celebration. "The idea of the show is to set up an artistic dialogue between the SAARC nations as part of a cultural exchange," a release issued by KHOJ said Monday.

Wasim Bareilwi gets first Firaq Gorakhpuri award

By IANS,

Agra : Noted Urdu poet Wasim Bareilwi, a regular feature at poetry soirees since the 1960S, has been given the first Firaq Gorakhpuri International Award here.

Bareilwi, considered the doyen of modern Urdu poetry, received the Rs.51,000 award and a citation from Minister of State for Home Shakeel Ahmed at an All India Mushaira late Sunday night.

Accepting the award, Bareilwi said: "It was a great honour bestowed on me in the city of Ghalib, Mir and Nazir. This award is an 'imtihaan' (test) for me."

Ganesh idol in Mumbai insured for Rs.26.5 mn

By IANS, Mumbai : For the first time in its 75-year history, Mumbai's popular Ganesh idol known as Lalbaugcha Raja and its massive marquee have been insured for a whopping Rs.26.5 million (nearly $600,000). Another insurance policy of Rs.10 million has been taken for the 1.5 million devotees likely to visit the venue at Parel in central Mumbai during the 10-day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The festival, marking the birth of elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh, started Wednesday.

‘Left, farmers’ movement ignore distinction between peasants, labourers

Interview with Gita Ramaswamy, author of “Land, Guns, Caste, Woman—The Memoir of a Lapsed Revolutionary” Aatika S | TwoCircles.net In this interview, the author talks...

Handmade paper, palm leaf, cane for India’s ‘green’ artisans

By IANS, Bangalore : Craftsmen gathered in Bangalore from across the country are popularising eco-friendly traditional artwork, with their raw material ranging from palm leaves to the roots of trees to cane. "To paint, I always use handmade paper and natural dyes made from flowers and vegetables. I don't depend on synthetic colours and emulsions. I believe in using eco-friendly substances for my artwork," painter Ashok Kumar Das, a Madhubani painter from Bihar, told IANS. He is among 60 craftsmen at an exhibition-cum-sale.

Damien Hirst’s butterfly art set to captivate India

By IANS, New Delhi : The works of Damien Hirst, leading British contemporary artist and one of the most expensive, are set to be unveiled here Aug 27. But they may come as shock to Indian art lovers, who are just waking up to the aesthetics of contemporary and installation art. The highlights of the two-day show are three of his signature butterfly paintings - using dead butterflies.

“Urdu represents India’s composite culture”

By TwoCircles.net staff reporter

Bangalore : Urdu is most often considered the language of Muslims. But the participants at the all-India conference of State Urdu academies, organised by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) say no to this erroneous concept. To call Urdu the language of Muslims is to deny its roots in the composite culture of India, they said.

“Maulana Azad”- an evening of history, politics, and literature

By Kashif-ul-Huda, TwoCircles.net Entertaining, enlightening, and informative- these are the few words that best describe the play “Maulana Azad,” where Azad is played by Tom Alter. For two and a half hour, Tom Alter brought alive Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on stage in Boston, Massachusetts. Over a hundred people showed up to watch the play at the eighth annual convention of Federation of Aligarh Alumni Association organized last weekend in a suburb of Boston.

Husain joins million-dollar club

By IANS

New Delhi : Maqbool Fida Husain's oil painting "Tribute to Hashmi", a homage to slain theatre activist Safdar Hashmi painted in 1989, has set a milestone for the celebrated artist at the Emami Chisel Art auction in Kolkata by raking in Rs.44 million ($1.1 million).

"This is the first time a Husain painting crossed the $1 million mark, placing the master in the million-dollar club with S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, Amrita Sher-Gil and Tyeb Mehta," Vikram Bachawat, director of Emami Chisel Art, told IANS from Kolkata over phone.

Mother Teresa faced crisis of faith: book

By IANS London : A new book on Mother Teresa has published her letters that reveal that she faced a deep crisis of faith in god during the last 40 years of her life, reports from Rome said Friday The correspondence, which spans most of Mother Teresa's life, shows that she felt alone and in a state of spiritual pain from around 1949, roughly the time when she started taking care of the poor and dying in Kolkata.

Serious writing from India’s little authors

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : No wishy-washy fairytales, toy lands or flippant fiction for them. Rather, the school going segment of Indian authors like to dabble in more serious themes like the environment and the art of spelling well. Meet Ishita Gulati, a student of Gurgaon-based Scottish High International, Krittika Sridharan of New Delhi-based Sanskriti School and Vinamre Chaudhury of Apeejay School in Faridabad, the winners of 2008 Scholastic Writing Awards.

Trinidad’s Hanuman fest: Learning from wisdom of monkey god

By Paras Ramoutar Port of Spain, March 25 (IANS) Trinidad and Tobago is set to host a 'Hanuman Heritage Festival' next month that will include cultural events, religious discourses and a global Hindu conference on the popular monkey god. "It is aimed to provide a profound and enlightening spiritual experience; to explore and benefit from the...wisdom and devotion of Lord Hanuman for the attainment of a higher level of consciousness," said Swami Brahmadeoji, spiritual leader at the Brahma Vidya Peetham.
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