Tag Archives | India

The Explosive Pop Art Cinema Of Pramod Pati

Avant-garde filmmaker Pramod Pati created luscious, poetic, beautifully-scored short films on behalf of the Indian government (sometimes with social-educational purposes such as promoting family planning). Highlights include Abid, below, and 1968's symbolism-rich Explorer. The Seventh Art provides some background:
Pramod Pati, who died an untimely death at the age of 42, worked for the Films Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India, which commissioned feature-length and short documentaries as well as short animation films for the purposes of cultural archiving and nationwide information dissemination. The documentaries generally consisted of profiles of artistes practicing traditional forms, educational films for adults, and simple moral tales and basic literacy courses for children. Although there was an obvious restriction on the type of subjects filmmakers can choose, the Films Division, like the Kanun in Iran, was free from commercial concerns and thus presented a higher scope for formal experimentation for directors.
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India To Recognize Dolphins As “Non-Human Persons”

non-human persons

Are we moving beyond the human/animal binary? Via Environment News Service:

India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to forbid the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment anywhere in the country. In a policy statement released Friday, the ministry said:

“[Their] unusually high intelligence as compared to other animals means that dolphin should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose.”

The grassroots Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization, FIAPO, was pleased with the decision. FIAPO spokesperson Puja Mitra called the decision “a huge victory for the dolphins!”

Ric O’Barry, director of the U.S.-based Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project, said, “Not only has the Indian government spoken out against cruelty, they have contributed to an emerging and vital dialogue about the ways we think about dolphins – as thinking, feeling beings.”

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Sonia Gandhi’s “Occult” Economics

Picture: Ricardo Stuckert (CC)

Surjit S. Bhalla writes at the India Express:

As we all know, an economic disaster has struck India for the last three years. A halving of GDP growth, a doubling of inflation rates, a 20 per cent depreciation of the rupee, and record current account deficits (latest, 6.7 per cent of GDP) are reflective of the deep rot the Indian economy is in.

The economy numbers are exceptionally bad and worse than most other countries. What, or who, is responsible for making the impossible possible? For sure, it is the Congress-led UPA government. But who within the Congress party? On economic issues, most fingers will point towards the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, an economist of international repute, and joint father of the economic reforms introduced under the leadership of non-Nehru-Gandhi Congressman Narasimha Rao in 1991. But this would be wrong.

For too long we have been made to believe that, within the UPA, the political decisions were made by Sonia and the economic decisions by Singh.

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Most Inappropriate Ad of the Year?

Ford’s India subsidiary is targeting a unique demographic: serial killers.

A new series of magazine ads from the automaker highlights the cavernous trunk space in the new Figo hatchback by showing a trio of bound and gagged young women stuffed inside. Autoblog notes that,

Clearly in bad taste, at least, the Indian source also questions the timing of these risqué Ford ads, as they follow by days new anti-rape legislation passed by the Indian Parliament.

Apparently the Figo isn’t just unsafe for the women trapped in the vehicle’s trunk, though. According to Indian car rating website carsingh.com, the export-model hatchback doesn’t come equipped with standard airbags so it may be a death-defying ride for anyone … whether they’re traveling in it willingly or otherwise.

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Hitler and Frankenstein Running for Office in India

Subir Bhaumik writes at Al Jazeerra:

In a small, hilly state tucked away in India’s remote northeast, Hitler is out to try his luck at politics. So is Frankenstein.

Meghalaya, a predominantly Christian state, will vote for its 60-member state assembly on February 23. Three hundred and forty-five candidates representing several national and regional groupings are in the fray.

One of them is Adolf lu Hitler R Marak, contesting the Bajengdoba constituency in the Garo Hills area.

He has been active in Meghalaya politics for a while, even serving as a minister for a brief spell, before he lost the elections in 2003 to Zenith Sangma.

Five years later, Hitler defeated Zenith to return to the state assembly. And Hitler has had some strangely named company in the state assembly.

Candidates with names like Churchill, Roosevelt and Chamberlain won elections and became members of the Meghalaya state assembly in past years.

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UFOs Sighted Above World’s Largest Oil Refinery In India

Authorities are alarmed by reports and photos of mysterious lights, the Indian Express reports:

One evening a little over a fortnight ago, a mysterious illuminated object appeared without warning in the dark sky above the world’s largest oil refinery in Jamnagar, Gujarat. It circled over the complex before disappearing just as suddenly as it had appeared.

Three days later, the object returned. This time, the process cameras at the Reliance Industries Ltd refinery managed to take a few pictures of the object. It was bright and spherical. RIL has reported the sightings to the government. The Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard have been put on alert, and the defense ministry is beefing up security for the refinery, sources said.

RIL executive director P.M.S. Prasad wrote to Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily: “One unidentified bright object, perceived to be of the size of a volleyball, was seen hovering. It was seen to circle four times before disappearing.”

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Rumors Abound of Cannibalism in Indian Plantation Uprising

Picture: JoyDeep (CC)

There’s a history of powerful people using accusations of cannibalism to vilify their enemies. This may or may not be one of those instances:

RawStory:

Police in northeast India say they believe workers on a tea plantation who bludgeoned their boss and his wife to death last month also ate parts of their bodies.

A crowd of 1000 workers at the privately-owned M.K.B. Tea Estate in the state of Assam surrounded the plantation owner’s bungalow last week. A mob then set it on fire in violence blamed on festering labour unrest in the region.

“Our investigations say that at least five plantation workers ate the flesh of the tea planter and his wife after they were brutally killed,” Numol Mahatao, deputy police chief of Tinsukia district, told journalists.

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‘Lost Tribe’ Returns to Israel

Picture: Rachel-Esther (CC)

Dozens of the Bnei Menasche, a group of Indian Jews who claim to be the descendents of a lost Biblical tribe, arrived in Israel this week – and not everyone is happy:

Via Huffington Post:

The Bnei Menashe say they are descended from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in the eighth century B.C. An Israeli chief rabbi recognized them as a lost tribe in 2005, and about 1,700 moved to Israel over the next two years before the government stopped giving them visas.

Israel recently reversed that policy, agreeing to let the remaining 7,200 Bnei Menashe immigrate.

Fifty-three arrived on a flight Monday. Michael Freund, an Israel-based activist on their behalf, said nearly 300 others will arrive in the coming weeks.

“After waiting for thousands of years, our dream came true,” said Lhing Lenchonz, 26, who arrived with her husband and 8-month-old daughter. “We are now in our land.”

Not all Israelis think Bnei Menashe qualify as Jews, and some suspect they are simply fleeing poverty in India.

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Indian Army Has Spotted More Than 100 UFOs Near Tibet

Spy drones from China advanced beyond anything we’ve seen before? Aliens on their way to visit the Dalai Lama? India Today reports on a perplexing mystery:

Units of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) have reported Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOS) in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. An ITBP unit based in Thakung, close to the Pangong Tso Lake, reported over 100 sightings of luminous objects between August 1 and October 15 this year.

In reports sent to their Delhi headquarters in September, and to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), they described sighting “Unidentified Luminous Objects” at day and by night. The yellowish spheres appear to lift off from the horizon on the Chinese side and slowly traverse the sky for three to five hours before disappearing. These were not unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), drones or even low earth-orbiting satellites, say Army officials who have studied the hazy photographs taken by ITBP.

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‘Child Sacrifice’ in Northern India to ‘Trace Hidden Treasure’: When Magick Goes Wrong?

Allegations that a ten year old child was kidnapped and used as a human sacrifice after going to see a performance of Ramila (a sort of religious pantomime show) in The Deccan Herald:

The child, Aman Kumar went missing from his house at Jamunapur village in the district on October 6. He had gone to see Ramlila but never returned home. His body was recovered from a ditch outside the village a few days ago.

There were injury marks all over the body. A red colour cloth, incense sticks and other articles were found near the body. It prompted police to suspect sacrifice after an exorcism attempt. On Saturday, police claim to crack the mystery and arrested three persons, including a woman, all residents of the same village.

During interrogation, they revealed that they had been told about a hidden treasure in their house by a tantrik — an exorcist.

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