|‘It is a model state’
Himachal Pradesh Chief
Minister Virbhadra Singh talks to Rakesh
Lohumi on a variety of issues before the coming assembly
Congress’ poll prospects
The Congress is set to
repeat the 2003 performance when it won 43 seats. I am not making a
claim for the sake of it but am making this observation on the basis
of certain ground realities. First, no regime in the past accomplished
so much on the development front as this government. The achievements
can only be described as "spectacular".
integrity has been the key factor’
In the race for chief
ministership, BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal dwells on many
subjects in an interview with Pratibha
the BJP’s poll prospects
anti-Congress sentiment sweeping the state our party is all set
to get more than 50 seats and form the government comfortably.
Every section of society—employees, farmers, fruit growers,
women, unemployed and daily wagers—is totally disenchanted
with the present Congress regime.
17 assembly seats, the central region of Mandi-Kulu-Bilaspur has
emerged a nerve centre for the ruling Congress and rivals BJP
and BSP. The Congress faces the anti-incumbency factor which the
BJP is cashing mainly on. Besides the "negatives of
Congress," it has no campaign agenda. Issues at stake in
Mandi include the growing unemployment among youth, displacement
of farmers from farmlands by hydro projects.
the ruling Congress having discriminated against the twin districts of
Solan and Sirmaur by according no cabinet berth to the area, voters
have been feeling let down. This, despite the fact that all six MLAs
of the ruling Congress are senior legislators who have won three to
five elections. Posts of Speaker and Deputy Speaker were allotted to
these two districts but the absence of any cabinet minister has
failed to enthuse the masses.
BSP to tilt balance of power
the biggest district in the hill state with 16 assembly
segments, is politically significant for all political parties.
Recently, Major Vijay Singh Mankotia, state convener and
projected chief ministerial candidate of the BSP raked up the
issue of regional discrimination.
Women show their presence at an election rally at Nagrota
Bagwan. — Photo by Kulwinder Sandhu
from the past
Madonna and the Child at the
St Thomas Mount is the oldest Christian painting in India,
reports Hector Choksi
earliest remains of painting in India belong to prehistoric times and
it has not been possible to ascribe them a precise date. The oldest so
far known are the wall paintings of the Yogimara caves of Ramgarh Hill
in Madhya Pradesh from second century B.C. As far as Christianity
is concerned, historians aver that the painting of Madonna and the
Child in the Church of Our Lady of Expectations in the St Thomas
Mount, near Madras, is the oldest.
Wonder called the Great Wall
Choudhuri visits the
world’s longest human-made structure stretching over 6,700 km
a child, I was fascinated with everything Chinese. Chow mein.
Fireworks. Silk. I was particularly spellbound by a picture of the
Great Wall in my Class III history book. China was, however, out of
bounds for tourists, but that only served to enhance its mystery
quotient. Recently, I happened to
visit China and I immediately grabbed the opportunity to go and see
the Great Wall.
The recent Dus
Kahaniyan is among the few multi-director, multi-story films,
writes Vikramdeep Johal
is said too many cooks spoil the broth. In multi-story movies,
however, one cook (read director) is not enough at times. Nikhil
Advani made a hash of single-handedly narrating six love stories in Salaam-e-Ishq,
one of the year’s biggest failures. On the other hand, Darna
Zaroori Hai (2006) saw the collaboration of seven filmmakers,
including Ram Gopal Varma, yet it failed to repeat the success of Darna
Mana Hai, which had only one (Prawal Raman).
show, bad pick
With the Bollywood element
drastically clipped, IFFI-07 was much more organised,
writes Ervell E. Menezes
curtain came down on the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI),
or IFFI Goa, as it has come to be known and it was a good show, the
organisation extremely good but the films were slightly below par. And
director Neelam Kapur must be commended for her efforts that stood out
in contrast to the one mismanaged last year.
on the table
by Kaveree Bamzai, Lustre Press/Roli, Pages 173. Rs 795
national fascination, along with cricket, Bollywood will continue to
grab eyeballs and sustain interest. Kaveree Bamzai’s book caters to
readers across the board, from avid movie watchers to students of
cinema and the uninitiated foreign viewers. In fact, all those with a
keen interest in the dream factory that churns out fantasies will like
the book which reads very much like its subject matter.
role my most glamorous yet: Soha
Subhash K. Jha
Ali Khan says she enjoyed working in Sudhir Mishra’s Khoya Khoya
Chand. It has been her most glamorous role till date, she says.
"For me personally it was a beautiful and unique experience. The
past is always exciting. It was so much fun dressing up for this role.
This was my most glamorous role to date," Soha said in an
interview. Soha said she had to work hard for the role and spent four
months improving her command over Urdu.
Hassan, the greatest ghazal singer of our times, turned 80 recently.
He is a living legend who has given to this genre of music innovative
and creative dimensions. The "nightingale" Lata Mangeshkar
compares his voice to "the voice of God".
Subhash K. Jha
has of late become
extremely pet friendly. From Urmila Matondkar to Sushmita Sen to Rani
Mukerji - they all dote on their pets. "They’re far more
reliable than human companions," joked Sushmita, who has half a
dozen dogs of various exotic breeds in her home, all looked after like
Living bravely with HIV
From testing HIV
positive to enduring the subsequent stigma and depression, it has been
an arduous trek towards empowerment for Salam Udita and many other
women like her, who suffer from HIV/AIDS, says Thingnam
testing HIV positive to enduring the subsequent stigma and depression,
it has been an arduous long trek towards empowerment for Salam Udita
(40) and many other women like her, who suffer from HIV/AIDS. When she was in her
second year of graduate studies, Udita married her boyfriend, a drug
user, much against the wishes of her family.