Another Jnanpith Award for Marathi Literature!

One of my favourite authors in Marathi is Bhalchandra Vanaji Nemade. Let me give you some background info on this amazing man. He was born in a village called Sangavi in Maharashtra on May 27th 1938. He studied for his Bachelor’s Degree in Fergusson College, Pune and he has not one but TWO Master’s Degrees – in English Literature from Mumbai University and in Linguistics from Deccan College, Pune. His PhD and D.Lit degrees were from North Maharashtra University and have been the torchbearer of many students who learn here.

Bhalchandra Vanaji Nemade

Bhalchandra Vanaji Nemade | Image Resource :

Fergusson College, Pune

Fergusson College, Pune | Image Resource :

He was also a great teacher as he taught English, Marathi and comparative literature in several institutions, including the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, before he retired Gurudeo Tagore Chair from Mumbai University.

It didn’t take long for the literary community to recognize his talent. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1991 for Teeka Svayanwar. And on the 5th of February, 2015, he received the prestigious Jnanpith award. This was the 50th Jnanpith Award and it is the highest honour in Indian Literature and Nemade is the fourth Marathi writer to win this award. I can think of no one better to receive this award and it’s an undisputable fact that he brings glory to the chair he sits and the awards he has amassed.  He also won the Padma Shri in 2011.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented '50th Jnanpith Award' to renowned literary figure Bhalchandra Nemade

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented ’50th Jnanpith Award’ to renowned literary figure Bhalchandra Nemade | Image Resource :

I remember being so engrossed in his first novel, it was called Kosala, (meaning Cocoon) and was published in 1963. It is based loosely on his own life and he managed to write this masterpiece in just sixteen days. It has been described as a novel that was ‘instrumental in changing the dimensions of the Marathi novel.’ His other novels were Hool, Zarila(1977), Bidar(1967) Zhool(1979) and Hindu – Jagnyachi Samruddha Adgal.  His poetry collections included Melody and Dekhani.

Novels and Books of Bhalchandra Nemade

Novels and Books of Bhalchandra Nemade | Image Resource :

Nemade was also a literary critic and his work in this area include ‘The Influence of English on Marathi : A Sociolinguistic and Stylistic Study,’ ‘Rajahauns Prakashan, Indo-Anglian Writings: Two Lectures’ and ‘Nativism (Desivad), Indian Institute of Advanced Study.’ He propagated the theory of Deshivad which is a theory of nativism.

It emphasized the importance of the value of a write’s native heritage and language. Nemade has been recognized to be a strong advocate of literary movements in India. He was the leader of the Little Magazine Movement in the 1960s. He was also the editor of a Marathi Magazine called Vacha during this time.

I am very proud to be able to say that a winner of this prestigious award comes from my state.

Various Proposals To Elevate Maharashtra Tourism And Make It Glitter As One of the Top Tourist Destinations of India!

“Tourism is one of the most neglected sectors in Maharashtra: Devendra Fadnavis”Res

Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Devendra Fadnavis

Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Devendra Fadnavis | Image Resource :

The new chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis has to be highly applauded as he has hit the bull on its eye. He has recognized the vast potential of tourism as a major revenue generator and has proposed to increase the footfall of tourism. He wants to bring into limelight the beautiful culture and traditions of this state and open the tourism potential both in the international as well as domestic market.

For this the basic challenges in front of him is the poor infrastructure, dirty city and the unclean toilets in tourist spots. The chief minister wants to create a tourism culture by boosting up the infrastructure and also by making the city clean and providing clean toilets which are very basic essentials.

“New TDR policy soon: CM”Res

The chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that new transfer of development rights policy will be brought about owing to the rapid urbanisation of the state. He announced in the assembly that the state is also proposing to give 2.5 FSI for redevelopment of the old and worn dilapidated buildings. Another great news is that Navi Mumbai international airport would be completed by 2019 which will really boost up the tourism sector of the state.

Navi Mumbai International Airport Plan

Navi Mumbai International Airport Plan | Image Resource :

“CM Devendra Fadnavis announces 2017 as ‘Visit Maharashtra’ year”Res

Lots of measures is taken by the chief minister who also holds the portfolio of tourism minister and he has announced that the year 2017 will be declared as Visit Maharashtra year. He also proposes to host the meeting of SAARC tourism in this state. A single window scheme will be created for boosting up the tourism industry and the number of permissions will be drastically cut down from 140 to 20 and it’s a stupendous effort in the right track !

SAARC Tourism

SAARC Tourism | Image Resource :

Another welcoming news is that there will also be a transparent public- private partnership PPP model and many development plans are proposed for Ratnagiri , Sindhudurg, Nagpur- Bhandara- Chandrapur area. The sea project in Sindhudurg district will be vigorously pursued and so also the phase III of Ajanta- Ellora presentation.

Sea Project in Sindhudurg

Sea Project in Sindhudurg | Image Resource :

Another proposal is to declare the Lonar crater, which is located in Buldhana district as a mega destination. There is no stopping Maharashtra once all these proposals are implemented and the world can see the new phase of Maharashtra as one of the top tourism destinations thanks to the effort of the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

A Heart Touching Tribute To Comrade Pansare Who Was The Light And Life Of Kolhapur

The Great Indian Marxist leader, the social reformer and an activist of the Communist party of India was born in 26th November and departed on 20th February 2015. He did his B.A ( Hons) and L.L.B at Rajaraam College in Kolhapur. He started his career as a newspaper vendor and also as peon in the Municipality. He also worked as a primary school teacher and later he practiced as an advocate and finally became the president of Kolhapur Lawyer’s Bar Association.

Comrade Govind Pansare

Comrade Govind Pansare | Image Resource :

“Comrade Pansare, who is associated with the Left since his school days, is known for his strident advocacy of peoples’ movements and for the book ‘Shivaji Kon Hota?’ (Who was Shivaji?) This book, which was originally a speech delivered in May 1987, has sold over a lakh copies in many languages and is counted as a runaway success.” – Res.

He became renowned for the Marathi language autobiography he had written on the Maratha King Shivaji called ‘Shivaji Kon Hota’. It is said that this book took its thread from a speech delivered in May 1987 and it was a runaway success as it was rewritten and made available to the public in many languages.

'Shivaji Kon Hota' book of Govind Pansare

‘Shivaji Kon Hota’ book of Govind Pansare | Image Respurce :

Comrade Pansare from his school days was an active Left wing activist and he was the state secretary of the CPI and also a member of the party’s national executive. He even was the pioneer of a centre which helped couples who wished to do intercaste or interfaith marriage.

“Rationalist Govind Pansare dies after being shot by bike borne assailants” – Res.

On February 21st 2015 this great activist and rationalist who was in the forefront in his fight against road toll tax died. He was killed brutally by bike borne assailants when he and his wife Uma was taking a morning walk on February 16th.

Though he was flown in an air ambulance to Breach Candy Hospital the doctors could not save him as he developed complications like bleeding in the lungs which further led to heart failure and finally he passed away at around 10.45 pm.  The body was however brought back to Kolhapur his hometown for his last rites.

Many great leaders like NCP leader Supriya Sule offered condolences for the family and said that it was indeed sad that such sad incidents were occurring in Maharashtra. The CPI leader A. Abhyankar said that the cops should soon nab the culprits. The Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadbavis also paid his last respects to the great leader.

“Was the attack on Govind Pansare really similar to that of Narendra Dabholkar?” – Res.

Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare

Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare | Image Respurce :

There has been public outcry and also comparisons made between the death of Narendra Dabholkar since both the murders took place in similar scenario. Both were going for their morning walk and both were shot at by two bike assailants. But the Additional Director General of Police K.L. Bishnoi has commented that there has been no clear direction to link both the cases since he said that the only similarity was that both were attacked during their morning walk.

“5,000 lawyers boycott work to protest Comrade Pansare’s murder” – Res.

About 5000 lawyers belonging to the Nashik Bar Association showed their protest and anger against the death of their dear comrade Pansare by boycotting work on Tuesday. Initially on February 16th , they sported red ribbons but later abstained from work completely to show their protest though the courts in the district remained open.

Hopes High For Chopper Services to Reach Elephanta Caves

In case you have penchant for historical or ancient tourist places then the Elephanta Caves are something that you must try to visit sometime in your life. Situated on Elephanta Island, which is in Mumbai Harbor, this historical place comprises of two caves- the Hindu Caves and the Buddhist Caves. The stone sculpture of these caves will really astound your mind and mesmerize your soul. However, there is also a sad part about it, which is related to the time it takes to reach this tourist spot. Fortunately, steps are being taken towards making the journey really short. Yes, if everything happens as per plans then very soon tourists will be able to avail the facility of copters to reach the spot.

Elephanta Island

Elephanta Island | Image Resource :

Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves | Image Resource :

It is a venture of two private companies, and they also applied for the same to the respective government body. At present, visitors or tourists have to take boats ferry from the Gateway of India in order to set their foot at the Green Island. This Island features a temple of Lord Shiva, which was built in the 7th Century. However, considering the mammoth time the boat takes to cover the distance of more or less 9 nautical miles, sometimes the tourists feel really irritating as they have to wait for like 4 to 5 hours during the journey. Fortunately, with the inception of chopper services, tourists would get immense relief from the pain of waiting on the boat unnecessarily. The bonus time they would get through this service by reaching early will be an additional boon to them.

Giant Trimurti Shiva Sculpture Elephanta

Giant Trimurti Shiva Sculpture Elephanta | Image Resource :

In this regard, the DGCA or the Directorate General of Civil Aviation confirmed that they have received a tender from two companies to initiate chopper services to the Elephanta Island. As per DGCA, if the points mentioned in the terms of service are found in the right place then very soon the two companies will get permission to begin the service. Quite obviously, you will have to dole out some good amount of money in order to avail this upcoming service. But, the experience you will get in return would be worth the amount.

R. K. Laxman – Our Tribute To A Legendary Cartoonist

Apart from his gift of turning real life people into engaging caricatures, courage, sense of humour, ability to observe all the absurdity that happens in the society; were some of the few qualities of RK Laxman.

R K Laxman

R K Laxman | Image Resource :

“A cartoonist is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons”.  This is the wikipedia definition of a cartoonist. However, RK Laxman’s definition is a bit simpler “A cartoonist enjoys not a great man but a ridiculous man.”  Well, Mr. Laxman didn’t just draw cartoon he gave them life and voice through the issues of the general public. India call him a legend, However it is a shame that our youth generation have no idea “Who is R K Laxman? ”.

Knowing R.K Laxman

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Laxman was born in 1921 in a middle class family at Mysore. He was a headmaster’s son. As a kid, Laxman was given the freedom to explore his thoughts and pursue his interests. The liberal nature of his parents was a major reason behind his rise as a cartoonist. He had six elder brothers and one of them was writer R.K. Narayan (World famous for Malgudi days, The Guide etc…)

He started sketching at a very young age of five. He would sketch at anytime and anywhere. As a kid, he drew on the book, on the floor, walls of his house and almost everywhere. He was very keen on sketching real life people from his surroundings like the cow crossing a street, a man buying vegetable, kids playing etc.

Cartoons Of R K Laxman

Cartoons Of R K Laxman | Image Resource :

R.K. Laxman never had formal training on sketching. His skills were natural and developed by prolonged years of practice, dedication and hard work. He also was the first cartoonist to exhibit in London. His life story and achievements make him a perfect role model not only to young cartoonists but also to countless other artists around the world.

Some of the famous creations by R.K. Laxman:

Asian Paints Mascot, Guttu

Asian Paints Mascot, Guttu | Image Resource :

Common Man Of R K Laxman

Common Man Of R K Laxman | Image Resource :

R K Narayan's Malgudi Days

R K Narayan’s Malgudi Days | Image Resource :

Cartoons and Politics

Laxman was called “Pied Piper of Delhi”. His sketches had an extraordinary ability of capturing the interest of the readers. With his sketches, adults started loving cartoons and youngsters started taking keen interest in the politics of India.

Cartoons and Politics

Cartoons and Politics | Image Resource :

Laxman sketched about scenarios that annoyed or intrigued him. He portrayed every serious situation with a great sense of humour. The one liners on his cartoon became quite popular amongst the masses. Laxman’s career took a big leap when he was hired by “The Times of India”. He started creating a comic trip called You Said It. This is when he sketched his masterpiece “The Common Man”. The newspaper reading was incomplete without the “You said it” strip.

This was one of the most famous characters created by R.K. Laxman for the daily comic strip “You Said It” in The Times of India. It was created in 1951. The common man was a character who mostly stood as a silent witness to the different events that happened in the politics of a democratic India.

Here is Laxman’s quote on the creation of common man :

“He was bald and bespectacled . . . He had a permanently bewildered look and was dressed in a dhoti and a checked coat. This man finally minimized my deadline agonies and took over the strenuous task of representing the mute mil- lions of the country.”

In a journal published for American political science association author Sushmita Chatterjee stats that

“Laxman’s cartoons have only a single line of text, but that single line has a distinct story to tell. The cartoons are cut-off at critical moments, a sudden freezing of the frame with something before and something after it, the before, the present, and the after being the storytelling, connecting critical understanding to experience. Even though cartoons appear in isolated frames, they tell stories, they have a history. Laxman’s cartoons provide a history of modern India not only in terms of its chronological breadth but also in showcasing the history of its democracy; its grappling with poverty, unemployment, ineffective policy deci- sions, etc. Most important, it showcases the forward movement” Res.

There are countless cartoonists and sketch artists in India but when it comes to storytelling in oneline not many are as good as R.K Narayan. It is the reason why he still remains one of the most influential cartoonists from India. He was known for his personality, hard work, wit and courage. Here are some of the quotes that will give you a glimpse of his work and personality:

“My sketch pen is not a sword, it’s my friend.”

“Cartooning is the art of insult and ridicule.”

“Change? Does the colour of the sky change ever? My symbol will never change.”

“Crows are so good looking, so intelligent. Where will I find characters like that in politics?”

“Every single tree spelt adventure. I would scramble right to their top and watch the world from the heights.”

“Frankly, our politics is so sad that if I had not been a cartoonist, I would have committed suicide.”

“Generally, people take everything for granted. They hardly see anything around them.”

“It is impossible to say how to become a cartoonist; you have to be born with the gift, just as you cannot tell someone how to sing.”

“The cartoon contains observation, sense of humour, sense of the ridiculous and contradiction – life!”

His work will help you track the history of the democracy of India. This great legend passed away this year on the 26th January (Republic Day of India). We will always remember him through his works cartoons, books and of course Malgudi days.

Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena Chief(Son of Balasaheb Thackeray) said :

“R K Laxman and Balasaheb were cartoonists of the same era, who started their career in Free Press Journal. Both had immense love for each other till the end. During his illness, Balasaheb had met Laxman several times and both fondly remembered their old days. This made Laxman smile even in his illness”

After his demise, countless famous personalities and organizations paid their tribute. Here are few that caught our attention:

Times of India :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi :
Arvind Kejriwal :
Sachin Tendulkar :

This article was our tribute to the great Rasipuram Krishnaswami Laxman. We will truly miss him but his cartoons and books will surely help in filling the void and continue to make us smile.

Here are some of his best cartoon galleries:

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Courtesy :

Lokmanya Ek Yug Purush – A Milestone for Marathi Cinema!

We hardly see Marathi movies that set the bar for Indian cinema. There are only few Marathi films that could represent India. “Lokmanya – Ek Yug Purush” is one such movie.

‘Lokmanya – Ek Yug Purush’ is an intense historical drama with pre -independence backdrop. It is a movie based on the life of Lokmanya Tilak, the man responsible for fuelling the Indian Independence Movement. Like any other historical biopic, this movie doesn’t just glorify the protagonist i.e. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, but also actually shares with us his ideologies and struggles.

Storyline :

The movie begins in the present day, when a journalist finds an old audio of Tilak’s speech. Inspired by the speech, the journalist becomes curious to learn more about Lokmanya Tilak.

Lokmanya played an important role in the Indian freedom struggle. Through his activities, he let the Britishers know that we want nothing less than complete Independence. He also made it clear that we don’t want to be a part of their government or need pity reforms. His methods were extreme but effective.

Before Lokmanya, many great Indians stood against the Britishers, who include Rani Laxmibai, Tanya Tope, Tipu Sultan etc. Lokmanya Tilak didn’t want their sacrifices to go in vain. He wanted people to realise the value of freedom and believe that it is achievable.

The movie portrays Lokmanya as an intelligent man, Indian nationalist, journalist, teacher, social reformer, lawyer etc. He used every means he could to strengthen the process of Swarajya. Tilak started Kesari, private English schools and collaborated with Muslim leaders to promote unity.

This movie depicts Tilak’s journey from a regular Brahmin guy to one of the most powerful leaders in India. Subodh Bhave plays the role of Lokmanya Tilak, a courageous leader who was willing to die for independence and Swarajya. The movie effectively uses some of the most powerful quotes of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Popular Dialogues from the Movie :

Lokmanya लोकमान्य – Ek Yug Purush एक युगपुरुष Dialogues

Some popular dialogues from movie #Lokmanya – Ek Yug Purush / लोकमान्य एक युगपुरुष | Image Resource :

Praises for ‘Lokmanya – Ek Yug Purush’

The movie received an overwhelming response from all kinds of audience. People have been referring this movie to their friends. Even the Non-Marathi audiences are rushing to the theatres.

Things You Didn’t Knew About this Movie :

  1. Subodh Bhave took special training for developing a physique similar to Lokmanya.
  2. Initially, Subodh Bhave was unsure of doing this role.
  3. Lokmanya (Ek Yug Purush) is an official selection in the Indian Panorama section of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa 2014.
  4. I took six months of research, training and preparation for Subodh to mould himself into Tilak’s personality.

“Makers of upcoming film ‘Lokmanya-Ek Yugpurush’, which is based on the life of social reformer and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, have spent an astounding Rs 1.3 cr on creating its visual effects.” – Article Resource


Gandhiji who had immense respect for Tilak proclaimed him as the “Maker of Modern India”. Tilak once said “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it”. The strong determination and influential personality of Lokmanya inspired Indians. This motive is an attempt to let the forgotten tales and ideologies of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak reach the young generation of India.

Lokmanya – Ek Yug Purush” is considered as a milestone for Indian cinema. Let’s end this post with the movie trailer.

Courtesy :

Maharashtra Goes Digital – IT and ITeS policy drafts to be released soon

Digital Maharashtra

Digital Maharashtra | Image Resource :

The State government of Maharashtra will release draft of IT and ITeS policy soon. I think this is great news for new IT firms.  IT is one the most revenue generating markets for Maharashtra. A great decision by the Maharashtra government.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – Our First Step towards Cleanliness

Popular English poet Joseph Addison once said Beauty commonly produces love, but cleanliness preserves it. Being a country of billions, cleanliness is a major issue for India. The Government spends millions of rupees to keep the country clean. Mumbai city spends around 2300 crore rupees every year on waste/garbage disposal then why do we fail to keep our streets clean?

In the past, our cities which includes Delhi (the capital) and Mumbai have been listed amongst the unhygienic cities in the world. The reason behind this filthy image of our country is not the government but “us”. Yes, we did it by not caring for our environment.

With the dream of creating a clean and beautiful India, our honorable prime minister Narendra Modi introduced a national level campaign – “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”. It was launched by Mr. Modi on 2 October at Rajghat, New Delhi during the Gandhi Jayanti ceremony. Modi quoted that we have shamed the father of our nation who advocated cleanliness. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is greatly inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies.

On the 66th death anniversary of the Mahatma, PM urged the nation to join hands, support this cause and make Gandhiji’s dream of a “Clean India” come true.

Bapu has preached about cleanliness on various occasions and here are some of his thoughts :

– “No one should spit or clean his nose on the streets.
– “Those who spit after chewing betel leaves and tobacco have no consideration for the feelings of others.
– “I learnt 35 years ago that a lavatory must be as clean as a drawing-room. I learnt this in the West.
– “There is no gain saying that we have not learnt the art of external sanitation to the degree that the English have.
– “To pass urine anywhere in a street, at any place not meant for the purpose should be regarded an offence.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi | Image Resource :

Mahatma Gandhi never hesitated to pick up the broom and clean his corridors. Modi did the same, he picked up the broom and initiated the Swachh Bharat on the street of Rajghat. This act instantly inspired many.

Modi took the campaign to a very interesting level by tagging/nominating few very influential people in India on his Facebook post promoting the ‘Clean India’ Mission’

List of VIPs Modi tagged in his post :

  • Kamal Hassan
  • Mridula Sinha
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Salman Khan
  • Priyanka Chopra
  • Baba Ramdev
  • Anil Ambani
  • Shashi Tharoor
  • The entire cast Hindi TV show ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’
Kamal Hassan :
        Sachin Tendulkar :
Salman Khan :
        Priyanka Chopra :
Baba Ramdev :
        Anil Ambani :
Shashi Tharoor :
     The ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ Cast :

These initiatives inspired many. Countless people marched the streets with broom in their hands:

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 Mr. Avdhesh Goel, Jt. Managing Director of Earth Infrastructures Ltd says :

“The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the most welcome move undertaken by any government in recent past. In his small tenure of 4 months he has proved to be a visionary far greater than anyone from his batch.”  – Article Resource

Blogger Anand kumar quotes :

“I realize today that, as aam admi get involved in cleaning (as I witnessed today) may be they will stop littering and will stop their near, dear, friends and folks from littering as much as possible. More importantly, they will convey a strong message to their children and kids around on maintaining a clean surrounding.” – Article Resource

I totally agree with Anand’s view. Apart from cleaning our streets this initiative is about inspiring and educating people about cleaning and sanitation. This “Abhiyan” will surely motivate our youths and kids to value their surroundings and their homes.

Twitter was flooded with praises from people supporting Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Inspite of all the support we still need to work harder. The objective of this campaign is not media attention or praise but a clean India. To achieve this objective we need to put in more effort, involve more people and pledge that we will maintain the cleanliness of our country.

The government will try its best to promote the vision of ‘Clean India’. The objective of this campaign is to develop a completely clean India by the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhiji which is on October 2, 2019. To fulfill this dream, the prime minister has joined hands with 3 million volunteers which includes government employees, students from colleges and schools.

Mahatma Gandhi was a man of discipline and principles. Mr.Modi wants us to support this movement as a tribute to this great man. Our prime minister believes that if every Indian will decide never to litter or trash his/her surroundings, no street in India will ever be dirty.

So lets come together and make this dream come true.

Courtesy :

India Art Festival 2014 – Modern and Contemporary Art Fair

India art festival 2014

India art festival 2014 | Image Resource :

The India Art Festival is an opportunity artists around India get to reveal their true creative skills. This year, it will be held between 27 November and 30 November. Last year, Kalpana Shah, Samir Mondal, Achala Sachdev and several other artists and creative minds graced this occasion. The suspense of 2014 India Art Festival will unravel soon.

Mumbai 13th Best City to Live & Work

Live & Working Mumbai

Live & Working Mumbai | Image Resource :

The listing really seems to surprise most Indians as the hectic life of Mumbai would never really make a Mumbaikar feel it is the best life. It is a matter of pride to Indians that Mumbai is ranked 13 among the many global industrial cities. Very rarely India manages to be on these lists.