Friday, May 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


NCERT says curriculum was discussed
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, May 30
The NCERT has finally come out with the “proof” of having discussed the curriculum changes before implementing them. In an official statement, the NCERT said that National Curriculum Framework for School Education was finalised only after a number of national and regional seminars.

They said that a number of regional and national seminars had been held to discuss the Discussion Document of the Framework at Bhopal, Mysore, Kolkatta, Pune, Shillong, New Delhi, Allahabad and other cities.

Adding that the output of these seminars, after lengthy deliberations, was appropriately included in the final documents released in November 2000.

The NCERT alleged that these large-scale consultations also involving the state education ministers and the Chief Ministers were now being ignored. The director of the NCERT, Dr J.S. Rajput said that an unhealthy campaign was on to malign the institution’s honest professional attempt to modernise education, as a result of which the students community was suffering. The NCERT statement quoted a letter of appreciation sent by the Karnakata Education Minister, Mr H. Vishwanath to Union HRD Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi on November 15, 2001.


The muse fails to fuel their inspiration in summer
Rana A Siddiqui

Haider Raza’s Bindu at Vadhera Art Gallery

AN unexpected rain shower has drenched many a soul in the Capital lending fresh energy to the otherwise dull life. Yet, it could not inspire art activities at all. You find most of the private art galleries closing down or exhibiting only a part of their old collections. The government galleries like Lalit Kala is all set to get a new look through whitewash and you will not witness any exhibition here till June 20. The summer season for the Capital has always been like that, says Mr Sunit Kumar, director, Kumar Gallery. “Art activities happen at a snail’s pace. Artists stop venturing out due to scorching heat. So

are buyers who prefer leaving the Capital for cool resorts. Since most buyers belong to reasonably rich section of the society, a regular exhibition hardly bears fruits.” Similar opinion is echoed by people at Vadhera Gallery, “Summers are just not promising season for art activities. No, artists usually come to display his work. Buyers hardly drop in. Hence, we have also on display a few paintings from our old collection.”

“From March to July, we just receive some visitors, who are not actually art buyers but those who have stayed in India for their work. So closing galleries seems the better option. In the West, most art galleries close down during summers. I wonder, why in India this is still not a policy,” asks Mr Kumar.

“Not only do we stop getting visitors and buyers but also no one make inquiries either. Even artists go out of town. So, commercially it remains a low season,” says Mr Vinod Seth of Gallery Om.

The heart of the matter is that the art activities come to a halt in Delhi during summers, buyers disappear so do artists. Most owe it to the scorching heat. But there is more to it than meets the eye. Delhi has no art guild or association barring one that could keep buyers’ and artists’ interest into consideration and promote the cause of art irrespective of season. Even for that matter, summer seems to be the best season for accelerating art activities, as people are relatively free this season.

Says Pradeep Magazine, an art collector, who possess rare artifacts, “On the face of it, it seems as if domain of art is the cleanest as compared to other art forms. But here, even greatest of artists do not think about promoting the cause as they are more busy in maintaining their public relation and practicing nepotism than helping young and talented artists. Tell me, how many of them have you seen conducting a free of cost art workshops to encourage young artists?” he throws a rhetoric.

Mr Kumar assesses, “There is no artists’ association in India except one that a veteran art collector, Mr Virendra Kumar Jain, founded many years ago. It protects the interests of artists and buyers, directs them towards various art activities as well as advises and informs on art buying. But, we have realised that barely any private art galleries come forward to the cause of art in India with him. Though there are a few genuine individuals like Chawla Art Gallery, Renu Modi and one Rakhi from West Bengal. But, on a group level no one shows interest. They donate more time in promoting their friends and colleagues than real talented artists, who need support,” he laments. “Do you think only a few individuals from four corners of a country can do something substantial to the world of art, separately,” he asks.

That apart this season, tourists and art lovers now think twice before venturing into India. Border tension being one and internal grim political, social environs being the other. Assess Mr Kumar, “This summer people have considered precaution better than a travel into India as they apprehend untoward incident might happen anytime here, which can land them into trouble. Even art lover NRIs have made a very little visit to the country,” he informs.

Though galleries have little new works to show this summer, yet lovers of art should not feel disappointed. As they can go to Vadhera Gallery, Defence Colony, works of famed, veteran artists is showing. Be it Hussain, Haider Raza, Fouza, Krishan Khanna Ram Kumar, great works are on display from the gallery’s old collection, Good for a comparative study as well a watch.

Crafts Museum

‘Phulkari’ from Punjab and Chattisgarh. Courtesy Anil Bhardwaj

Art activities must be witnessing a slow pace but art workers’ enthusiasm has not waned down. Be it intricate embroidery work from the Punjab or iron designs of Chattisgarh, nothing stops them from bringing their skills to hot Delhi, where they say, they find genuine buyers. Hence, they have it all for you in the Crafts Museum of the Pragati Maidan.

At one side, you have Phulkari,’ loosely meaning the floral embroided pattern on cloth with unparalleled symmetry, animal motif, geometrical, folk designs etc. This textile art that continues down the ages in this land of five rivers. Some phulkaris have even narrative depictives of love legends of Punjab like Sohni Mahiwal, Sassi Pannu, Heer Ranjha etc.

A show and sale on representatives examples of Phulkari of East and West Punjab in nine categories in on here till June 30. This textile design broadly categorised into ‘Bagh’ (very intricate, compact design in which the cloth on which floral pattern is done, is not seen) and phulkari (light, small design) also has a 100 year old phulkari design on one Orhini (drape). “I don’t want to sell this 100 year old orhini at any cost because this is the only rare piece I am left with. Many foreigners and Indian exporters have come to me to buy it but I refused,” says a phulkari worker at the show.

The museum also brings craftspersons from Chattisgarh with their black iron window, decorative and articles of daily use transformed into show pieces with designs of animal, birds etc. “This iron does not rust,” the master craftsperson tells you. “Blacksmiths in Chattisgarh have been working on this skill since ages. Yet, we do not get it sold in our hometown. Hence, we have to come out to make a living. Here we get real value of our work,” he adds

A worth-visiting exhibitions. It will not make hole in the pocket yet, add to your living room’s elegance. 


Handsome is as handsome does

HE wears no great looks, has no impressive personality either. Will go unnoticed till pointed out. Traits considered damning for making an appearance in Bollywood blockbusters.

Yet, he has made a beginning. and is going great on it. Deepak Bandhu, a 25-year-old NSD graduate, plays a significant role in Ram Shashan Das film on Bhagat Singh. One of his films ‘Tryst with Destiny’ opens at Cannes Film Festival. You might have seen him in `Monsoon Wedding’ as Nizamuddin, a tentwalah. His debut film as hero in film by Raja Bundela’s ‘Pratha’ has yet to make a mark in the box office. In his next film ‘Hasil’ by Tiknanashu Dhooliya, a young director, he plays strong negative role.

What he has to say about his unconventional looks that bar him from roles coveted? “It is no longer a disadvantage, thanks to actors like Manoj Vajpayee, who has proved that there is more to acting than just looks and muscles.

He has paved way for middle-class actors like us who can’t play a Hritik or Salman but can make a mark by doing substantial roles that does not require great looks,” he says.

For Deepak, coming out of NSD’s posh and comfortable environs, proved to be a learning experience. “In NSD, we were like kings with lavish facilities. The world is just the opposite outside. NDS does not teach you how to struggle,” he says. This young boy wants to make “substantial films like Arth and Bandit Queen and capture markets overseas that have genuine audience.” Another Shekhar Kapoor in the making?

Show in Japan

The fifty glorious years of Indo-Japan relationship in trade and business is further strengthened, with Adarsh Gill, the famed couturier, adding another cap in her feather. She has been invited by Japan’s leading design house ‘Sun Motayama’ to present her designs for winter 2002 at Tokyo Forum.

The show will commemorate the golden jubilee of the relationship. The designer has already has sold here for three seasons successfully.

TV serial

The Delhi audience will soon have an in-depth look at the life, philosophy and relevance of the life of Ram Krishna Paramhansa, the great spiritual leader, in the form of a serial from Monday to Friday starting from June 3 on DD metro at 9.30 pm.

The series traces his internal evolution and life from his immaculate conception, practices, marriage, the coming of disciples led by the Swami Vivekanada and finally his death from Cancer, all in chronological order. The series is made by the winner of several national and international award on media, Rajiv Mehrotra, who has also been nominated as ‘The Global Leader for Tomorrow’ by the ‘The World Economic Forum’.

Rana A Siddiqui


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