Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oscar academy restores Satyajit Ray's banned film - SIKKIM

This is one of the biggest news to come out on Sikkim.

God bless the guys at the Academy.

Question: Why is it always that someone else from distant lands take up interest in preserving our heritage...

Why do we Indian's collectively fail in this department.

Thanks Arindam for the link.

"Audiences in India can watch "Sikkim" for the first time at the 14th Kolkata Film Festival beginning next week. India lifted the ban about four years ago, Sikkim's art and culture trust said." The week from the 10th Nov 2008 to the 17th Nov 2008.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sikkim (1971) - Satyajit Ray

Sikkim is a documentary by the Oscar winning directory Satyajit Ray that was produced and commissioned by the Chogyal of Sikkim.

Sikkim is a documentary about the nation of Sikkim, made by Satyajit Ray in 1971. The documentary was commissioned by the Chogyal (King) of Sikkim at a time when he felt the sovereignty of Sikkim was under threat from both China and India. Ray's documentary is about the sovereignty of Sikkim.

The film had to undergo double censorship from both the film's commissioners and the Indian government, when Sikkim became a state of India in 1975. The documentary was banned by the Indian government, and all known copies of the documentary destroyed.

For many years, it was thought that the only surviving record of the film is a scene-by-scene written reconstruction of the film by the remaining film team members. However, in January 2003 it was reported that a good quality print has been kept by the British Film Institute.

According to the BFI - the print is in need for immediate restoration. But Sikkim is yet to be restored. According to AMPASA sources, the results of the photo-chemical tests run on the film were most discouraging, and digital tests did not yield enough color to work on either. The only solution lies in a shot by shot digital restoration by a digital artist. However, the costs are prohibitive --- about $250,000 for a 52-minute documentary. The good news, on the other hand, is that the digital costs are coming down rapidly. In a couple of years, it is expected to be down to $100,000. So, right now the plan is to wait.

However, according to the AMPASA director Mike Pogorzelski, the Heffenrefer print, although almost without colour, is better than the other two. If and when Sikkim is digitally restored, it is the one that will be used.

The fate of Sikkim, therefore, is still hanging in the balance.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Article 371 F of the Indian Constitution

An Act further to amend the Constitution of India.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twenty-sixth Year of the Republicof India as follows:-
1. Short title and commencement.-(1) This Act may be called theConstitution (Thirty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1975.
(2) It shall be deemed to have come into force on the date_668 onwhich the Bill for this Act [introduced in the House of the People asthe Constitution (Thirty-eighth Amendment) Bill, 1975], as passed bythe House of the People, is passed by the Council of States.
2. Amendment of First Schedule.-In the First Schedule to theConstitution, under the heading "I. THE STATES", after entry 21, thefollowing entry shall be inserted namely:-
"22. Sikkim The territories which immediately before the commencement of the Constitution (Thirty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1975, were comprised in Sikkim.".
3. Insertion of new article 371F.-After article 371E of theConstitution, the following article shall be inserted, namely:-
"371F. Special provisions with respect to the State of Sikkim.-Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,-
(a) the Legislative Assembly of the State of Sikkim shall consist ofnot less than thirty members;
(b) as from the date of commencement of the Constitution (Thirty-sixthAmendment) Act, 1975 (hereafter in this article referred to as theappointed day)-
(i) the Assembly for Sikkim formed as a result of the elections heldin Sikkim in April, 1974 with thirty-two members elected in the saidelections (hereinafter referred to as the sitting members) shall bedeemed to be the Legislative Assembly of the State of Sikkim dulyconstituted under this Constitution;
(ii) the sitting members shall be deemed to the members of theLegislative Assembly of the State of Sikkim duly elected under thisConstitution; and
(iii) the said Legislative Assembly of the State of Sikkim shallexercise the powers and perform the functions of the LegislativeAssembly of a State under this Constitution;
(c) in the case of the Assembly deemed to be the Legislative Assemblyof the State of Sikkim under clause (b), the references to the periodof five years in clause (1) of article 172 shall be construed asreferences to a period of four years and the said period of four yearsshall be deemed to commence from the appointed day;
(d) until other provisions are made by Parliament by law, there shallbe allotted to the State of Sikkim one seat in the House of the Peopleand the State of Sikkim shall form one parliamentary constituency tobe called the parliamentary constituency for Sikkim;
(e) the representative of the State of Sikkim in the House of thePeople in existence on the appointed day shall be elected by themembers of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Sikkim;
(f) Parliament may, for the purpose of protecting the rights andinterests of the different sections of the population of Sikkim makeprovision for the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of theState of Sikkim which may be filled by candidates belonging to suchsections and for the delimitation of the assembly constituencies fromwhich candidates belonging to such sections alone may stand forelection to the Legislative Assembly of the State of Sikkim;
(g) the Governor of Sikkim shall have special responsibility for peaceand for an equitable arrangement for ensuring the social and economicadvancement of different sections of the population of Sikkim and inthe discharge of his special responsibility under this clause, theGovernor of Sikkim shall, subject to such directions as the Presidentmay, from time to time, deem fit to issue, act in his discretion;
(h) all property and assets (whether within or outside the territoriescomprised in the State of Sikkim) which immediately before theappointed day were vested in the Government of Sikkim or in any otherauthority or in any person for the purposes of the Government ofSikkim shall, as from the appointed day, vest in the Government of theState of Sikkim;
(i) the High Court functioning as such immediately before theappointed day in the territories comprised in the State of Sikkimshall, on and from the appointed day, be deemed to be the High Courtfor the State of Sikkim;
(j) all courts of civil, criminal and revenue jurisdiction, allauthorities and all officers, judicial, executive and ministerial,throughout the territory of the State of Sikkim shall continue on andfrom the appointed day to exercise their respective functions subjectto the provisions of this Constitution;
(k) all laws in force immediately before the appointed day in theterritories comprised in the State of Sikkim or any part thereof shallcontinue to be in force therein until amended or repealed by acompetent Legislature or other competent authority;
(l) for the purpose of facilitating the application of any such law asis referred to in clause (k) in relation to the administration of theState of Sikkim and for the purpose of bringing the provisions of anysuch law into accord with the provisions of this Constitution, thePresident may, within two years from the appointed day, by order, makesuch adaptations and modifications of the law, whether by way ofrepeal or amendment, as may be necessary or expedient, and thereupon,every such law shall have effect subject to the adaptations andmodifications so made, and any such adaptation or modification shallnot be questioned in any court of law;
(m) neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall havejurisdiction in respect of any dispute or other matter arising out ofany treaty, agreement, engagement or other similar instrument relatingto Sikkim which was entered into or executed before the appointed dayand to which the Government of India or any of its predecessorGovernments was a party, but nothing in this clause shall be construedto derogate from the provisions of article 143;
(n) the President may, by public notification, extend with suchrestrictions or modifications as he thinks fit to the State of Sikkimany enactment which is in force in a State in India at the date of thenotification;
(o) if any difficulty arises in giving effect to any of the foregoingprovisions of this article, the President may, by order, do anything(including any adaptation or modification of any other article) whichappears to him to be necessary for the purpose of removing thatdifficulty:
Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of twoyears from the appointed day;
(p) all things done and all actions taken in or in relation to theState of Sikkim or the territories comprised therein during the periodcommencing on the appointed day and ending immediately before the dateon which the Constitution (Thirty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1975, receivesthe assent of the President shall, in so far as they are in conformitywith the provisions of this Constitution as amended by theConstitution (Thirty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1975, be deemed for allpurposes to have been validly done or taken under this Constitution asso amended.".
4. Amendment of Fourth Schedule.-In the Fourth Schedule to theConstitution, in the Table,-
(a) after entry 21, the following entry shall be inserted, namely:---
"22. Sikkim 1";
(b) existing entries 22 to 25 shall be renumbered as entries 23 to 26respectively;
(c) for the figures "231", the figures "232" shall be substituted.
5. Consequential amendments.-The following consequential amendmentsshall be made in the Constitution, namely:-
(a) article 2A shall be omitted;
(b) in article 80, in clause (1), the words and figure "Subject to theprovisions of paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule," shall be omitted;
(c) in article 81, in clause (1), the words and figure "and paragraph4 of the Tenth Schedule" shall be omitted;
(d) the Tenth Schedule shall be omitted.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

China India fighting over FINGER POINTING

The news just in says that China has attempted encroachment and laying claim to an area in North Sikkim, called the "Finger Area".

My first reaction.. WOW!!! Can they get away with such a name? Does it NOT have any other nomenclature / Is it not known by any other name? Something more polite/decent?

Its like mapping out distant galaxies like "NGC 4567 and NGC 4568" in the VIRGO constellation. How do they get away naming places after appendages and body parts.

I was curious to understand more about the Finger Area. Unfortunately I came up empty handed as this "area falls north of Gyangyong in Sikkim and overlooks a valley known as the Sora Funnel, and is considered a strong defensive position to ward off any move by China to enter the Sikkim plateau.". The name "Finger Area" has been given by the Indian ARMY.

It almost sounds like a title for a bad porn movie or an area where a practicing proctologist would get rash.

Finally the Indian army has woken up and is creating a permanent post in the "Finger Area".

Better late than never and its not late to start anyways. But we should learn our lessons of the past. Infact, it looks like we have learn very little from the 1962 experience. Maybe for most politician 1962 seems like a distant memory but it would be wise coz it is an experience not worth forgetting.

This is an image that our minds conjure up most when we hear the words "Finger Point"..

Hindi - Chini - Kum - Bhai!!!!!!!!!!!! FINGER THAT ONE OUT.. :-)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Olive Ridley Turtles - Please write to Tata to save the turtles.


I've just written to Ratan Tata asking him to not to go ahead with building a port in Dhamra, Orissa, dangerously close to one of the world's largest sea turtle nesting grounds for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle.

I think its a good idea for Mr. Tata to move the port to another location rather than endanger the turtles.

By living up to the TATA environmental legacy, Ratan won't just save the highly-endangered Olive Ridley Turtles, he will also end up making TATA a better company.

Greenpeace 'turtles' protest TATA Steel's involvement in the Dhamra Port Project, Orissa, by blockading the entrance to Bombay House, TATA's head office. The Dhamra port is coming up near one of the world's largest nesting grounds for the olive ridley sea turtle.

The only problem is that I can't bring about that change alone. I need help from lots of people, especially you.

Please do what I've done. Write directly to Ratan Tata by clicking here

Thanks a million,


Monday, March 10, 2008

Gaiy Nay with Sarangi - singing traditional Nepali folk songs

Sarangi is a bowed string instrument of India, Nepal and Pakistan. Even though it has its origin in Indian Classical Music - the Sarangi with its accompaniment the Maadal has been pivotal in shaping the folk music landscape of Nepal. in the hinterland where even to this day it is still preserved in it purest form without the influence of modern music.

The Sarangi is synonomous the traditional Nepali folk musicians/singers called Gaiy-Nay {meaning Singer - in colloquial Nepali} - they are an annual event around the foothills of Nepal and the border regions of Sikkim, Darjeeling and Siliguri in the dry winter months of December/January.

The Gaiy-Nay are vocationally farmers by tradition but during the cold himalyan winter nothing grows on the Himalayan slopes bringing agriculture to a standstill - hence to supplement their income and support their families they venture out with their Sarangi to the bordering areas to sing and make some money. They return back just in time before the first showers of monsoon hit the dried and parched himalayan slopes bringing the earth to life and ready for the next round of cultivation.

Culturally the Gaiy-Nay form the bedrock of folk/traditional music of Nepal. It is this practise that puts them in the forefront of upholding a dying tradition and imparting a glympse of a heritage/culture to the migrants who left their homeland long time back. This practise of also similar to the JOGI tradition which deals with a TANTRIC practise.

The following video was shot in JAIGAON while I was on my way to Thimpu/Bhutan and had a stop over at my cousins place.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

KUDOS - Tshering Ongda - Indian Civil Services : 2005-2006

Indian Civil services : Final Result 2005-2006

Based on the results of the written part of Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2005 held by the Union Public Service Commission in October-November, 2005 and the interviews for Personality Test held in April, 2006, following is the list, in order of merit, of candidates who have been recommended for appointment to: -

[i] Indian Administrative Service;

[ii] Indian Foreign Service;

[iii] Indian Police Service; and

[iv] Central Services, Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’.

A total number of 425 candidates recommended for appointment include 210 General (including 06 Physically challenged candidates), 117 Other Backward Classes ( including 03 Physically challenged candidates), 57 Scheduled Castes (including 02 Physically challenged candidates) and 41 Scheduled Tribes(including 01 Physically Challenged candidate) candidates.

2. Appointment to the various Services will be made according to the number of vacancies available with due consideration to the provisions contained in Rules 2 and 19 of the Rules for the Examination and subject to the final decision of the Supreme Court / High Court / C.A.Ts. on the S.L.Ps. / R.As / W.Ps. O.As. pending therein. The number of vacancies reported by the Government for the Indian Administrative Service is 87 (45 General, 22 Other Backward Classes, 14 Scheduled Castes and 06 Scheduled Tribes); for the Indian Foreign Service is 20 (10 General, 06 Other Backward Classes, 02 Scheduled Castes and 02 Scheduled Tribes); for the Indian Police Service is 103 (51 General, 27 Other Backward Classes, 08 Scheduled Castes and 17 Scheduled Tribes); for the Central Services Group ‘A’ is 221 (116 General, 58 Other Backward Classes, 32 Scheduled Castes and 15 Scheduled Tribes) and for Central Services Group ‘B’ is 26(20 General, 04 Other Backward Classes, 01 Scheduled Caste and 01 Scheduled Tribe). This includes 12 vacancies for physically challenged candidates in Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Central Services Group-“A”& “B”.

Rank: 385
Roll No: 157619


Kudos!! Keep the flame burning.

We all wish you the very best..