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Child in Distress

Padamshri Jagan Nath Kaul delivered a talk on A Child in Distress (Aug 29).  He Emphasized on the importance of every individual, institution and society in paying attention towards a child in distress, Children are future and hope of any nation and the success story of a nation is connected to a child's all round growth.

Mr. Kaul emphasized on the need to protect children orphaned by natural and man-made calamities.  He also spoke of the need to protect women who were deserted and hapless.  Protecting one woman is protecting one family, he said.

Mr. Kaul shared his vast experience as some one who has been in this service for decades now.

Mr. Kaul, a recipient of numerous awards, including Padmashri founded the first SOS Village in India way back in 1963.  Since then he has established a medical centre etc.


China-India: Mutual Impressions

Historically, Indian subcontinent was the only periphery of China which was not seen as one occupied by barbarian forces.  Indeed, Indian subcontinent was known to China as Western Heaven (tian zhu) and there was regular traffic between the two societies since ancient times.  Though this traffic came to somewhat slow down from 10th century, it was their interface during the colonial era that was particularly negative.

Prof. Swaran Singh, Associate Professor at the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University in a lecture (Aug.23) said it is the period of colonial rule that laid the foundations of mutual suspicions though there existed some links between leaders of their respective freedom struggle all the time.

And since, unlike China, India's transfer of power was smooth and we continued with British Indian institutions and policies, China denounced the Indian leadership as bourgeoisie or stooge of Western countries.  This defeated their wish to build close friendship and ended in a border war in 1962 followed by a long diplomatic freeze.  Though the two have mended their ties since early 1970 and tried to turn the focus to their pre-colonial ties, mutual skepticism continues to slow down the initiatives.


Ballad of Chandu

India's folk traditions have some of the richest oral literature.  The Ballad of Chandu, in Garhwal is one such gem.  This ballad tells the story of a deadly rivalry between five Phundata brothers and the sixty Kauravas (the latter were defeated).

Prof. William S.Sax, professor of Anthropolgy, South Asia Institute of Hiedelberg, Germany, spoke about this epic in his lecture (Sept. 19).  In the ballad the main concerns are not the valour of the Phundata brothers, but rather the pastoral concerns such as grazing taxes and sheep rustling.

Prof. Sax, who is an internationally acclaimed scholar on the Garhwal region, described the social and cultural background to the ballad.  He also provided translation and partial transliteration of the ballad.  He also discussed a recent debate on the relationship between Mahabharata (in Sanskrit) and its regional versions.


Ghazal in Carnatic Classical

Shri. R. Satyanarayanan, a progeny of one of the revered musicians in Carnatic classical - Sri Maharajapuram Vishwanatha Iyer--presented a lecture demonstration of Ghazals in Carnatic classical ragas.  He believes that music is a universal language and it spread through expansion and interaction and not by restrictions.

Transforming this belief into action, he has successfully attempted a new kind of fusion.  His command over the ragas allows him to apply them to verses that are not traditionally set to them.  He sand some choice Urdu Kalam -- from Bahadur Shah Zafar and Mirza Ghalib.  Zafars famous verse `Na kisi ki aankh' was set to Darbari Kanada and `Lagra Nahi hai deil mera' to Charukesi.  Shri Sathyanarayanan has given more than 70 live performances and has received several awards.



Bhoomi Pujan

Bhoomi Pujan (foundation laying ceremony) for the construction of the new building of the Southern Regional Centre, Bangalore of IGNCA was performed on October 15.  The Pujan was done by Union Minister for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation Shri. H.N. Ananth Kumar.  State Minister for Kannana and Culture, Smt. Rani Satish was the chief guest for the function.

Present on the occasion were Prof. N.R. Shetty Member Secretary IGNCA, Prof. P.V. Krishna Bhat, Hon. Co-ordinator and Trustee IGNCA, Shri. R. Ashok MLA, Shri. M.S. Thimmappa, Vice Chancellor Bangalore University, Dr. H. Narasimhaiah, Trustee, IGNCA and Shri Arup Roy Choudhury, CMD, NBCC.


Book Release

The book `Stylistics of Buddhist Art in India' by Madame Mirielle Benisti was released by Member Secretary Prof. N.R. Shetty on October 11.  The English translation of this book has been provided to us  by Prof. P.S. Filliozat.  An eminent Indologist who had specialized in the study of Buddhist art, Madame Benisti had the good fortune of being a student of two distinguished scholars, Philoppe Stern and Paul Mus. She spent over 50 years in research and study of the Buddhist monuments at Sanchi, Amaravati, Ratnagiri etc.

The present work highlights the history of Buddhist doctrine and art, presented on the basis of indepth analysis of the styles and icons of the Stupas.  The book has been published in two parts, Vol. I giving the text and Vol. II the illustrations.  This book is part of the Kalasamolocana Series looked after by Dr. L.M. Gujral.

This programme relates to publications on critical writings on different facets of the arts and aesthetics by scholars from all parts of the world.  Some of the other books published in the Series are: Rama Legends and Rama Legends and Rama Reliefs by Willem Stutterheim, The Thousand Armed Avalokitesvara, Barabudur by Paul Mus, Stupa and its Technology: a Tibeto Buddhist Perspective by Pema Dorjee, The Iconography of Avalokitesvara in Mainland South-East Asia by Nandan Chutiwongs.


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