Exhibition takes a journey to the roots of Jamini Roy’s art

Jamini Roy, the eminent Bengali artist, counted among the early modernists of twentieth century Indian art, is being featured in a new exhibition in Mumbai at the National Gallery of Modern Art.

  • Titled ‘Jamini Roy (1887 – 1972): Journey to the Roots’, the exhibition is curated by art historian and comprises 200 artworks that chart the development of the artist’s unique aesthetic and visual language.

About Jamini Roy:

  • He was born in 1887 in Beliatore village in Bankura, West Bengal.
  • He was among the significant Indian artists to forge a visual style that was both modern in its sensibilities and resolutely Indian.

  • He was trained in European naturalism.
  • Roy adopted the simplification of the forms, the bold, flat colours and the medium, material and themes of local folk paintings.
  • He discarded expensive canvas and oil paint and opted for the more inexpensive material and medium of the folk artist.
  • He rendered images from Ramayana and Krishna Lila. He painted ordinary men and women from the village, reinventing popular images from the patua’s repertoire.
  • Jamini Roy restricted his palette to seven colours- Indian red, yellow ochre, cadmium green, vermillion, grey, blue and white. These were mostly earthy or mineral colours.

  • The Santhals, tribal people who live in the rural districts of Bengal, were an important subject for Roy.
  • A series of works done a decade before World War II is a prime example of how he captured the qualities that are a part of native folk painting and combined them with those of his own.
  • He fused the minimal brush strokes of the Kalighat style with elements of tribal art from Bengal (like that of the terracotta work found in the Bishnupur temple, where terracotta was often composed into elaborate, decorative units over portals and across exterior walls of the temples).

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, ngmaindia.gov.in.

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Bangladesh Liberation War award for Vajpayee

Bangladesh is set to honour former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his outstanding support for the country’s independence from Pakistan in 1971 when he was a Lok Sabha member.

  • Bangladesh is all set to hand over Vajpayee’s “Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War Award” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the country from June 6.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also approved a proposal to honour the families of the members of Indian armed forces for sacrificing their lives for the cause of Bangladesh’s independence.

The award is bestowed upon individuals and organizations who had extended support to Bangladesh during it’s independence struggle. The then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi was the first “foreign friend” to be conferred with the ‘Bangladesh Liberation War Honour Award’. Most of the subsequent recipients were also from India which extended the most crucial support for Bangladesh’s independence with incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee being one of them.

Sources: The Hindu.

475th birth anniversary year celebrations of Maharana Pratap

The Union Home Minister recently unveiled a statue of Maharana Pratap at Pratapgarh in Mewar region of Rajasthan. He also said that the Centre has decided to celebrate the 475th birth anniversary year of Maharana Pratap all over the country in a big way and a committee has been formed at the Central level to commemorate the event.

  • The Rajasthanstate government has declared Maharana Pratap Jayanthi as a holiday.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government has declared May 9 (Maharana Pratap’s birth anniversary) as a public holiday.

Quick facts:

  • Maharana Pratap was born on May 9th 1540 in Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan. His father was Maharana Udai Singh II and his mother was Rani Jeevant Kanwar. Maharana Udai Singh II ruled the kingdom of Mewar, with his capital at Chittor. Maharana Pratap was the eldest of twenty-five sons and hence given the title of Crown Prince. He was destined to be the 54th ruler of Mewar, in the line of the Sisodiya Rajputs.
  • Maharana Pratap became the ruler of Mewar when he was 32.
  • He ruled the region from 1572 to 1597.
  • He took on Akbar’s forces and challenged his army through his guerilla warfare techniques.
  • Battle of Haldighati: On 21 June 1576, the armies of Pratap and Akbar led by Sayyed Hashim Barha son of Sayyed Mahmud Khan met at Haldighati, near the town of Gogunda. in which Pratap’s army was defeated. But Pratap organised another attack, known as the Battle of Dewar, in which the Mewar army was victorious. Pratap was able to claim back much of the lost territories of Mewar and freed much of Rajasthan from the Mughal rule.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, PIB.

President of India presents presidential awards for Classical Tamil

The President of India recently presented the ‘Presidential Awards for Classical Tamil’ for the year 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Details of the Award:

The ‘ Presidential Awards for Classical Tamil’ were instituted to give recognition and honour to distinguished scholars, who have made outstanding contribution to classical Tamil language and literature.

These awards include:

  • Thokappiyar Award for life time achievement to an Indian scholar for outstanding contribution in the field of Tamil studies.
  • Kural Pitam Award for eminent scholars of Classical Tamil of non-Indian origin.
  • Young Scholar Awards for young scholars in the age group of 30-40 years for showing interest and excellence in Tamil studies with publications.

Sources: The Hindu, BS, PIB.

Third Phalke for the Kapoor family

The veteran actor-filmmaker Shashi Kapoor, recently received the Dada Saheb Phalke award, India’s highest honour in cinema.

  • The veteran actor-producer is the 46th winner of the honour.

About the Award:

  • The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India’s highest award in cinema.
  • It is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • The recipient is honoured for their outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema and is selected by a committee consisting of eminent personalities from the Indian film industry.
  • First presented in 1969, the award was introduced by the Government of India to commemorate Dadasaheb Phalke’s contribution to Indian cinema. Phalke (1870–1944), who is popularly known as and often regarded as “the father of Indian cinema”, was an Indian film-maker who directed India’s first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913).
  • The first recipient of the award was actress Devika Rani. Among 46 awardees, actor Prithviraj Kapoor is the sole posthumous recipient.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Japan Government’s Highest Civilian Award to Professor C.N.R. Rao

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Eminent scientist C N R Rao was conferred with Japan’s highest civilian award recently.

  • Highest Civilian Award of Japan, that is conferred on
    • academicians,
    • politicians and
    • military officers
      the “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star”, will be conferred on Professor C.N.R. Rao for his

‘Contribution to promoting academic interchange and mutual understanding in science and technology between Japan and India’.

Other details:

  • N.R Rao has been bestowed with about 70 honorary doctorates and has received the highest civilian award of India, Bharat Ratna. Professor Rao had made substantial contributions to the development of Science in India and the Third World.
  • Rao is also the only Indian to be elected as a foreign member of the Japan Academy in Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.

Sources: The Hindu, PIB.

City rly. station to be renamed after Sangolli Rayanna

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Bangalore City Railway Station has been renamed as “Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna” Railway Station.

Sangolli Rayanna (15 August 1798 – 26 January 1831) was a prominent warrior from Karnataka, India.

  • Rayanna was born on 15 August 1798.
  • He was the army chief of the Kingdom of Kittur ruled at the time by Rani Chennamma and fought the British East India Company till his death.
  • Sangolli Rayanna also participated in the 1824 rebellion and was arrested by the British, who released him later.
  • He continued to fight the British and wanted to install adopted son Shivalingappa as the ruler of Kittur.
  • He mobilised local people and started a guerilla type war against the British.
  • He and his “army” moved from place to place, burnt government offices, waylaid British troops and plundered treasuries. Most of his land was confiscated and what remained of it was heavily taxed.
  • He taxed the landlords and built up an army from the masses.
  • The British troops could not defeat him in open battle. Hence, by treachery, he was caught in April 1831 and tried by the British; and sentenced to death.
  • Shivalingappa, the boy who was supposed to be the new ruler, was also arrested by the British.
  • Rayanna was executed by hanging to death from a Banyan tree about 4 kilometers from Nandagad in Belgaum district on 26 January 1832.
  • Rayanna was helped by Gajaveera, a Siddi warrior, in his revolt against the British in 1829-30

Sources: The Hindu, WIkipedia