Pioneer of New Wave Indian Cinema is no more

30 Dec. For the world of illusions, the year ends on a dark note – the light that brightened the dark hall of cinema, has left us darker still. From the reality of physicality, he becomes a memory of aesthetic subtlety. Mrinal Sen, the pioneer who  heralded the New Wave Indian Cinema, is no more. At the ripe, mature age of 95, the doyen of Indian cinema blinked for the one last time.

Why Mrinal Sen Is Credited With Pioneering India's 'New Wave' Cinema

For those of us who equated history of Indian cinema with Mrinal-da, Manik-da (Satyajit Ray), and Ritwick Ghatak, Mrinal-da was last of the Bengali triumvirate, the torch-bearer of good quality Indian cinema, who created and carried forward the legacy of the silver screen, and brought to it some sense of dignity and name at the international level. Beginning with his path-breaking Bhuvan Shome (1969), Mrinal-da ensured that Indian cinema was not lef to the merchants of copycat-Bollywood, rather showed that there was too much beyond the dark world of make-believe tinsel town.

Rest in peace, Mrinal-da! May your breath fill the Indian cinema with the passion you created that magic of aesthetic reality.

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After a long break

22 Dec. It’s been unusually a long time. Never have I taken such a long break, should I say detox-break?

In October, we hosted a Creighton University team consisting of Krista, Rene and Finosh. It was my privilege to host them, and look into their well-being. They left on 2nd October, and I left for Nainital on 3rd October for a Refresher Course (RC) at Kumaun University, Nainital, in the northern hilly region of Nainital in Uttarkhand. It’s about 285-300 km (c. 180 km).

The most unprofessional university and its staff, I must say. The RC was to start on 02 Oct, and go on till 25 October, and that’s how it was advertised, and that’s what we opted for. But the pathetic organisation changed the dates to 8th October, without informing us; just a listtle information on the website (even though the participants were chosen much in advance.

Never mind, I got a week to relax in Delhi, besides catching up with dearer ones.

Nainital was unusually cold – my warm clothing was inadequate. We were treated like Kinder Garten kids – absolutely no freedom; had to be there in the classroom 15 before the useless director came in (though he had nothing to do with the course!)

We used to have lectures on Research Methods (I thought it would be advanced research, hence I opted for it, only to realise it was far from research, forget about “advanced”! The director had plenty of time to waste with us and clown, shamelessly (God! He was a teacher, a “professor”; just wonder how miserable the students would have been, and what would be the quality of students who graduated through his & his staff hands!

On my return, I spent another four days in Delhi and around; a wonderful time to relive those  missing moments! Grateful for the recharging of bonds.

After I returned to Bangalore, completed my valuation and then set off to Shelim/ Loliem in Goa, but just outside Karnataka border in Karwar. It was a lush green campus run by OCDs; the refreshing, lush green nature! After eight days, spent some time in Panjim, the  capital city of Goa. Attended the 49th International Film Festival of India, at Goa; this is the event I used to love. But no more – like many others who are deeply disillusioned by the government event conducted by a few disinterested people.

Be that as it may. I am back to regular academics at Joseph’s. Back to teachign semester – the process I love no ends. Now it’s a short Christmas vacation, and I am Mangalore. For two day. Nice to be back – to the cleaner, greener, more silent little city. And very nice catching up with my friends and acquaintances.

Karnataka PUC-II 2019 final exams announced

The Karnataka Pre-University Education Board (Higher Secondary or +2 or 12th standard) has tentatively announced that the PUC-II final exams will be held from 01 March  2019 to 18 March 2019. The board has also published the schedule of exams.

This is only a tentative schedule. If anyone has any objection to the schedule can write to the Board before 28 Nov. 2018, with their suggestions.

Purveyors of fake news, a political agenda

Theatre of the absurd: Rise of the Cyber Naxal


Published Sep 23, 2018, 6:18 am IST
Updated Sep 23, 2018, 6:18 am IST
The phenomenon is an interesting one and having dealt with a fair bit of online bullying, patterns have begun to emerge.
On Twitter, everything is reduced to a single baseline: communalism.

 On Twitter, everything is reduced to a single baseline: communalism.

Misinformation, slander and abuse: Social media is rife with all these things and it takes very little to find oneself in the line of fire. Online platforms function without little government and policy regulation and exercising one’s Freedom of Expression, seems dependent on encroaching the rights of someone else. IT veteran Mohandas Pai and academician Dr Richard Rego, debate the issue

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey found himself in the hot seat on September 5, alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, as they faced a Congressional hearing. The allegations are that social media platforms come with their own ideological bias, ….[for more, read….]

The myth of surgical strike

Now the UGC is actively promoting the BJP government. Of course, everyone knows that the BJP government is after the 2019 elections. Neither the higher education monitor not the right wing BJP government love they country and it’s soldiers soldiers add they love power. So, all of a sudden the UGC dictates is to celebrate SURGICAL STRIKE DAY at the end of this month. The current government has been abusing every institution in the country for its electoral propose and destroying them.

Now, you read further:

For Sanatan Sanstha, all’s fair in the war for a Hindu Rashtra

Supporters take part in a rally in Thane on August 28, 2018 to protest the move to ban the Sanatan Sanstha.Supporters take part in a rally in Thane on August 28, 2018 to protest the move to ban the Sanatan Sanstha.   | Photo Credit: Vibhav Birwatkar

The Sanstha, which advocates the setting up of a theocratic state, has called for the use of violence against those its considers obstacles.

“A third world war will take place between 2016 and 2018, marking the beginning of an end of anti-socials…Training to set up a “God’s kingdom” will continue from 2019 to 2022 and a Hindu Rashtra will be set up by 2023.”

These are not predictions from Nostradamus or a neighbourhood astrologer. This is the time table for the nation drawn up by Sanatan Sanstha, an extreme right-wing Hindu organisation, headed by Dr. Jayant Athawale. (read further)

Kerala floods and triumph of humanity

Kerala floods in August 2018 were the worst in a century. The floods claimed about 300 lives (though official figures estimated them slightly below and unofficial estimates put them much higher). The floods also rendered over a million homeless, destroying property worth over Rs. 20,000 crore (Rs. 200 billion).

Along with Kerala, Karnataka’s Coorg (Kodagu) district also suffered massive loss of life and property, though as much as Kerala.

The Central Government run by BJP was asked for help, but the government did not heed the cry, because the government in Kerala is run by its political opponent – Communist Party of India.

But Kerala was able to overcome all the temporary misery in a very short time, in spite of the Centre’s refusal to help.

All the credit goes Kerala’s civilians and southern states. Fisherfolk were quick to come to the aid of the victims of floods with their tiny boats. People irrespective of caste, creed, and culture were quick to respond. Churches, mosques, and temples were turned into rehabiiltation camps for the suffering people. You could see pictures of churces, in which Muslims were encouraged to offer namaz.

Irrespective of the negativity by the Central Government (to whom all of us pay taxes), irrespective of differences, in spite of the hatred and hate-generating fake messages/ news circulated by a few right-wing majority organisations and people, spirit of humanity triumphed. Some right wing elements (including the top executive of the country’s federal bank Reserve Bank of India) said that the floods were a curse from God for eating beef and polluting Aiyyappa temple (referring to the Supreme Court judgement permitting entry to women to the temple, which has been banned for a few centuries in the name of women’s “impuruity”)! Some people just can’t rise from the muck they roll in no matter the gravity of the tragedy!

Rains have abated; people have been provided enough and more things for their immediate living than necessary for the time-being, by their fellow citizens. People from across the globe have come forward to lend a helping hand.

A bigger, longer challenge awaits us all: rehabilitation and reconstruction of homes and lives!