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‘Majoritarianism global threat to democracy, secularism’

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Panaji, Nov 22 : Majoritarianism is strongly controlling systems all over the world, along with a global threat to the very perception of democracy and secularism, according to India’s ace political film director Prakash Jha.

The director, however, also told IANS on Friday that there were no restrictions on making films in India and insisted that there had been no change in the country’s political climate since 2014, as far as film making is concerned.

“These are the changes which are happening. Like how in the entire world, there is a threat to perception of democracy and secularism. All over the world, majoritarianism is strongly controlling the system. It is not just one place, it is a global change. So these are changes which are constantly happening in our society because of various economic, ideological, political ’emergences’,” Jha said during an interactive session in Panaji.

Jha’s film, ‘Pareeksha’, slated for release next year, is being screened at the ongoing 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which got underway earlier this week.

Starring Adil Hussain, ‘Pareeksha’ deals with the challenges of a rickshaw driver, who wants his child admitted to an English medium school and the trials he has to face, subsequently.

When asked if the regime change at the Centre in 2014, had changed the political climate in India vis a vis making films dealing with political subjects, Jha said: “Nothing has changed. It is the same. We are still able to make the films that we want to and I don’t think there is any change that has happened. None.”

Jha also said, that the lack of education in humanities in Indian educational institutions and colleges, which were more geared towards churning out engineers and managers, had resulted in a generation which was devoid of humanities.

“When a society or a country requires just engineers and managers, then obviously the whole education system will bring or churn out engineers and managers. When the study in humanities becomes immaterial, you have a generation who are devoid of humanities. Nobody studies history geography literature mathematics, pure sciences. Nobody is studying those things today,” Jha said.

“And when you do not have humanities in your basic education in society, the society will change. You will have a generation which thinks differently, which acts differently. Which has different values and system. For me it is important to study the changes, try and understand why something is happening the way it is happening,” the filmmaker said.

Jha, whose 2011 film ‘Arakshan’ also dealt with students and politics, said that the wave of popular obsession with engineering and management-oriented education had peaked and that humanities is making a comeback into Indian’s educational canvas.

“The engineering colleges, the management colleges, institutes all over the country are now going empty. That whole peak has changed. There is already a very slow, but soft interest back into studies of humanities,” Jha said.

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Divvya Chouksey no more, shared goodbye note hours before death

Model-actress Divvya Chouksey belonged to Bhopal and lost battle with cancer on Sunday. Her sister confirmed the news of her death on social media.

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Actress Divvya Chouksey has passed away after losing battle with cancer. She shared a heartbreaking note on social media before passing away.

Divvya wrote on Instagram hours before her death, “Words cannot suffice what I want to convey, the more the less, since it’s been months am absconded and bombarded with plethora of messages. It’s time I tell you guys, I am on my death bed. S**t happens. I am strong. Be there another life of non suffering. No questions please. Only god knows how much you mean to me. DC Bye.”

Divvya’s sister Soumya Amish Verma confirmed the news of the model-actress’ death on social media.

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Madhuri Dixit recalls working with late Saroj Khan in ‘Devdas’

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Mumbai, July 12 : On the completion of 18 years of “Devdas”, actress Madhuri Dixit Nene recalled how late veteran choreographer Saroj Khan gave one of the finest dance performances of her career.

Taking to Instagram, Madhuri penned a lengthy post, expressing her love for Saroj Khan and remembering how the late artiste made her groove to “Maar Daala”.

“Today as we mark #18YearsOfDevdas, I dedicate it to the force behind one of my finest dance performances in the film to Saroj ji.”

“Shooting any song with Saroj ji was as great as ever. ‘Devdas’ was a very special film, as all the songs in this film were very grand. I had never done a song like this with her. We did a lot of Indian songs, but not such classical dance and Saroj ji was a semi-classical dancer. She used to say, ‘It’s a little Kathak style, take care’. She is not with us today, but these are the things that I will always remember,” Madhuri wrote.

She also shared how Saroj Khan stressed on creating difficult steps.

“We worked very hard on all songs of ‘Devdas’. We used to shoot all night, from 7 in the evening till morning. Whenever I worked with Saroj ji, we never thought how easy the steps can be, but always stressed how hard we can make it,” Madhuri said.

“There are also such moments, which were very difficult, there was one such step where I had to rotate on my knee. But I always used to slip while practising that. We were very excited about this song,” she added.

Madhuri concluded the post by stating that she can still recall that smile on Saroj Khan’s face who was happy with the performance of the actress after the shoot was finished.

Saroj Khan breathed her last on July 3.

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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya test Covid-19 positive

A day after Amitabh Bachchan and son Abhishek tested coronavirus positive, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and baby Aaradhya have tested positive for the virus as well.

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After Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan, both Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya Bachchan have been tested positive for COVID-19. As per Assistant Commissioner Vishwas Mote, the reports came out at 2:30 pm today. On the other hand, Jaya Bachchan, daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda and her children Navya Naveli Nanda and Agastya Nanda have been tested negative. On Saturday evening, Big B and Abhishek had taken to their social media pages and confirmed about getting diagnosed with coronavirus.

Later on Saturday evening, it was reported that both Jaya and Aishwarya had undergone Antigen tests in which they were declared coronavirus negative. However, they also underwent swab tests along with Aaradhya and other family members. The results of the same just came out marking Jaya, Shweta, Navya and Agastya safe.

Rajesh Tope, Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare Maharashtra also confirmed the report by tweeting, “Smt. Aishwarya Rai Bacchan & Daughter Aaradhya Abhishek Bacchan have also been detected positive for Covid19. Smt. Jaya Bachhan ji is tested negative for covid19. We wish the Bacchan Family to get well soon with a speedy recovery.”

Amitabh Bachchan had taken to his social media pages after rumors started surfacing about his visit to Nanavati Hospital on Saturday evening. He wrote, “This evening I have been tested CoviD positive and have been shifted to hospital .. family and staff have undergone tests .. results awaited .. hospital shall inform authorities .. all those that have come in close proximity to me in the last 10 days please get yourself tested ..”

Soon after that Abhishek also confirmed that he has been tested positvie for coronavirus too. He tweeted, “Earlier today both my father and I tested positive for COVID 19. Both of us having mild symptoms have been admitted to hospital. We have informed all the required authorities and our family and staff are all being tested. I request all to stay calm and not panic. Thank you.”

Jalsa has been sanitised since morning by BMC authorities and the bungalow has been sealed.

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