Tag Archives: Hindi

Unity in Diversity, really?

This article remains relevant due to the constant issues in India based on religion, caste etc..

My Thoughts

Well I was in 10th standard when I first heard the term “Unity in Diversity” in my civics class. That was an attempt to teach the kids about the greatness of our country and the different languages and cultures India posses from Jammu to KanyaKumari. It was 15 years ago and when I look back now I feel what have we learnt? We are still fighting based on language, religion, region and what not. So what does that one chapter in the book accomplish?

India is a country with a beautiful history and tradition going thousands of years back. The country is made of 28 states and speaks thousands of languages and dialects with 22 of them being official. Each state in India almost has their language as an official language other than English of course. So the country has lots of divide from various avenues. People eat different, look…

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Great year for Tamil cinema

This is not something we get to write that often. The Indian film industry is synonymous with Bollywood aka Hindi film industry and South films hardly get the recognition. 2011 in a way broke that trend and it will be fair to say that Southern Industries ruled this year. Not only did the south films (Malayalam and Tamil) dominate the National awards earlier this year but the Bollywood box office was dominated by southern remakes. It was a year when the Southern Industries got their day under the sun in India.

As far as Tamil cinema goes it was yet another great year. It was the continuation of the good work which started in 2010 and carried over to 2011. The year 2011 is when the Tamil cinema broke the language barriers and reached to nook and corner of the vast country. The year which began with Tamil cinema dominating the national awards along with Malayalam making it a very southern awards, ended with Dhanush’ s “Kolaveri Di” winning CNN international song of the year.

Dhanush was the year’s biggest star and he was part of couple of good movies this year. The biggest success of Tamil cinema this year has been the success of small movies such as “Engeyum Eppothum”. A movie which was Fox Star’s foray into Tamil cinema, sans top stars and with a new director at the helm was a super hit. Appreciation of good scripts and attempts by the audience has always been the success of Tamil cinema which was again in view in 2011.

This year had releases from Suriya, Dhanush, Ajith, Vikram and Vijay. This year also saw Ajith take over a bad guy role and pulling it off with great panache. Vijay shifted his path from masala genre and signed movies with big directors. Suriya and Dhanush once again confirmed their status as good actors. This year also marked some path breaking movies such as “Aaranya Kaandam”. A movie which received praise from all quarters was a great addition to the gangster genre. The movie did rounds in the International film festivals and won some awards.

Even though some great movies were made this year and some remakes were extremely successful in other languages, this year belonged to Kolaveri Di. The song broke the language barrier to be accepted by all the music lovers.

South cinema comprises of some of the best talents in the country and makes some wonderful movies and this year was really a testament to that fact. Hindi blockbusters like Bodyguard, ready, Singham and Force were all south remakes. The year 2012 promises to be a fine one for Tamil cinema and hopefully will have some great movies. As 2011 comes to an end, here is wishing a great 2012 for Tamil cinema and its audience.

Southern Cinema dominates 58th National Film Awards

The 58th National awards were announced yesterday in India and the major awards were collected by Tamil and Malayalam movies. Dhanush won the best actor award for his realistic portrayal in the film Aadukalam along with Malayalam actor Salim Kumar who won it for his brilliant performance in the film Adaminte Makan Abu. The best feature film award went to Malayalam film Adaminte Makan Abu.

Aadukalam was the star of the National Film awards announced yesterday as it bagged 6 awards including the Best actor, Best Director (Vetrimaran), Best Original Screenplay (Vetrimaran), Best Editing (TE Kishore), and Best Choreography (Dinesh Kumar).

Saranya Ponvannan won the best actress award for the film Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru along with Marathi actress Mitalee Jagtap Varadkar for Baboo Band Baaja.

The best supporting actor award went to actor Thambi Rammaih for his excellent performance in Mynaa and the supporting actress award went to actress Sukumari for the Tamil film Namma Grammam.

Namma Grammam also won the award for costume design for Indrans Jayan.Enthiran also bagged couple of awards for best production design (Saby cyril) and Special Effects (V Srinivas M Mohan). Vairamuthu won the best lyricist award for Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru.

With all the awards going to the regional movies Dabaang winning “Wholesome Entertainer” award was kind of a consolation for Hindi films. Vishal Bharadwaj also won the Best Music award for the film Ishqiya. His wife Rekha Bharadwaj won the best Playback singer award for the same movie. Do Dooni Chaar won the “Best Hindi Film” award.Ishqiya also won the award for Best Audiography (Debajit Changmai).

The Best Backgound Score award went to Issak Thomas Kottakapally for the Malayalam film Adaminte Makan Abu. The Best Cinematography award went to Madhu Ambat for Adaminte Makan Abu (Malayalam).

Nargis Dutt award for the Best film on National Integration went to Bengali film Moner Manush. The Best Film on Social issues went to Marathi film Champions. Indhira Gandhi award for Best Debut Film of a Director went to Marathi Film Baboo Band Baaja.

So overall it was a great day for Regional movies this time. Tamil movies bagged 14 awards in various categories and Malayalam films bagged 6. The 58th National Awards was great one for the Southern Film industries and a particularly proud one for Tamil. Congratulations to all the winners and hope that the winners will strive to achieve greater success in the coming years.

Note – I haven’t published all the award winners, just a few of the important ones are mentioned in this post.

Endhiran was awesome!!

Super Star Rajinikanth gives one of the most compelling performances in the recent times in Endhiran/Robot

I was able to catch Super Stars Endhiran over the weekend and it was a mind blowing experience. It was fantastic that the movie release in the city I reside as not many Tamil movies make their way to the theatres here. We were anyways prepared to drive couple of hours to watch the movie in Chicago if need be. We reached the theatre about 30 minutes prior to the screening and once we entered the movie hall realized that we were about 20 minutes too late as all the seats were already taken.

We were left with only the front row but fortunately just before the movie began we were able to grab couple of seats in the second row. Thank god for that as the first row seats would have left me and my wife with terrible neck pain. So after that was sorted out, the movie began to a full house with the fans screaming when Thalaivar’s name appeared on the screen. The movie was surrounded with great hype as it was touted as the most expensive movie in India and also brought together Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai for the first time on Silver Screen.

The movie totally lived up to its billing and we had a blast watching the same. Our Thalaivar’s performance as the scientist and the “Robot” Chitti was fantastic and the visual effects were stunning to say the least. After a long time Rajini was able to play a character with negative shades in a movie and his performance was simply amazing at that. Aishwarya Rai did her part well and so did the rest of the cast but this movie was all about Rajini and Shankar. Even the Oscar winner A R Rahman had to take a back seat.

First of all Shankar has to be appreciated for attempting something of such a magnitude and for making it work big time. It’s all good to have lots of money to play with but to make it work is completely a different thing. Shankar has achieved the same with flying colors. The last 20-25 minutes of the movie left us all speechless with the special effects. Shankar has definitely pushed the bar as far as Indian movies go. I am not sure if anyone can ever surpass the extravaganza that is Endhiran/Robot.

Well this piece will not be complete without a word on the brilliant performance by Rajinikanth. It takes a huge courage for a super star like Rajini to act in a movie which has the script and the director at the helm. At no point in the movie did you feel that this was a Rajini movie. After a long time we saw Rajini the actor take over Rajini the super star. Rajini for sure has earned himself more fans through this movie. His performance as the Robot was special and his subdued performance as the scientist suited the character brilliantly. All in all brilliant movie and will be a milestone in Super Star’s already glittering career. As the Super Star himself said at the audio launch, “Endhiran is not a movie but a cinematic experience”.

I am not sure how Shankar or Rajinikanth are ever going to surpass this in the future. People are going to expect a huge deal from the director in his future projects and I am not sure how he is going to beat this success. Sivaji was big but Endhiran is bigger and for sure is going to smash all box office records across India. Leaving all the minor negatives aside, this is one Indian movie to be proud of. The criticism that the movie is tad long and is inspired from many Hollywood flicks is something I don’t agree with. Every director while making movies in such a magnitude goes overboard sometimes which is acceptable.

Every ambitious movie made around the world can be accused of being a tad long and there are always few scenes which could have been done without. As far as the claims about the movie lacking logic, it does not hold water in a Sci-Fi fantasy flicks. What can be logical about a movie which begins as an imagination in the first place? What was logical about a matrix or an Avatar for that matter? When you start a movie as a fantasy the directors imagination takes over and his creative instinct drive the movie, so the sudden requirement of logic in a Sci-Fi movie is laughable to say the least.

The there are the claims that we have seen it all in the Hollywood movies already is something again should not be held against the director. Hollywood has been making Sci-Fi genre for over 40 years now, so any movie made in that genre is for sure going to resemble one of them. That should not take away anything from Shankar for making one of the best movies technically from India. Just compare this with other Indian movies and tell me how many directors have ever thought of attempting anything even remotely close? The movie is a brilliant attempt and needs to be encouraged for the excellent vision of the director and for the compelling performance from our own superstar.

Unity in Diversity, really?

India's diversity makes it harder for the people to stay united

India's diversity makes it harder for the people to stay united

Well I was in 10th standard when I first heard the term “Unity in Diversity” in my civics class. That was an attempt to teach the kids about the greatness of our country and the different languages and cultures India posses from Jammu to KanyaKumari. It was 15 years ago and when I look back now I feel what have we learnt? We are still fighting based on language, religion, region and what not. So what does that one chapter in the book accomplish?

India is a country with a beautiful history and tradition going thousands of years back. The country is made of 28 states and speaks thousands of languages and dialects with 22 of them being official. Each state in India almost has their language as an official language other than English of course. So the country has lots of divide from various avenues. People eat different, look different, speak different so there lays a problem.

The problem is that we study so many meaningless stuff about history that we fail to educate the kids about our own country. I can point out so many people coming from the Northern part of India from the current generation who claim themselves educated have no clue of the fact that Southern India posses of 4 different states and speak four different languages. Same can be said about the people from the south India. There are people from India who will actively talk about the current US foreign policies at length without any problem but ask them what language is spoken in Andhra; 70-80% will say Tamil.

That’s the kind of knowledge we provide our future generation about our country’s diverse culture. Politicians of India are notorious in starting up regional divide to further their political agenda and people fall for it. The reason is that unity is not emphasised in schools or at home from our childhood. Just having one chapter in 15-16 years of education isn’t going to help anyone. I am not even sure if that one chapter exists across the nation.

The rigid mentality of the current modern generation is baffling for a country that has made the entire world to take a notice due to its growth. The fact that this mentality is going to be carried forward to the next generation is even scarier. We don’t have to know the language or speak them but we need to learn to respect each other and not degrade based on region. There was one guy who said that he had a bad impression on south India and I was like based on what? He did not even know South India has four states.

A person from South does not want to learn Hindi and the one from other parts of India does not want to embrace the South unless they are forced to. The country cannot move forward with these divides continuing to the future generation. The schools should include more about our country and culture and beauty of it rather than teaching meaningless history. How difficult would it be to include a General knowledge subject to educate the kids about different cultures and traditions of our country? I guess it also becomes a responsibility of present generation that we educate them to break the language barriers and learn to be friends irrespective of what language one speaks.

We need not speak the language but still learn to be friends with a fellow Indian, Isn’t that supposed to be the absolute “Unity in Diversity”? Indians are already divided by religion, caste, region etc; but one thing which can be eliminated is the language divide. I am not saying that everyone has to learn like 20 languages but I am just saying that we don’t use that to discriminate anyone. It should not be a cause for fight between two people. I have friends who speak various languages and I myself speak or understand 5 Indian languages which makes my job easier though. I guess we need to instill respect and love towards fellow Indian irrespective of their cast, religion, region, color etc from childhood. Unless we do that we cannot call ourselves united. I at least hope that the future generation sees a much united India than we are doing today.

Is Hindi our official language?

Is hindi our National language? The answer is “No”, Should it be our National Language? Again the answer would be “No”.India does not have a National language which not many Indians know(Including myself until last week). According to the National languages act of 1963 Hindi and English together was made the official language of communication for the central government. The act also mentioned that each state would have their own official language together with English. So according to the act people in TamilNadu, AP or in Gujarat need not know Hindi as thats not their state’s official language.

This is not a great situation though as I think that knowing the language is a great plus for every Indian no matter where he comes from. The reason why I said that Hindi should not be declared as our National language is because it may cause a huge regional clash and the people, not the politicians will be blamed for not knowing the language. I was lucky enough to grow up in Delhi, so can speak the language fluently but not all Tamilians have that luxury. The problem is that most of us do not know that Hindi is not our National Language and keep blaming the people from south for not knowing the same. Well now we have an excuse and reason for not knowing the language. People from North have to realise that not all Indians need to speak Hindi.

Being a Tamilian myself who can speak Hindi, I just think that by knowing the language my life has become little bit easy. I guess by knowing hindi it gives you more freedom to move around within India and makes life very simple when you travel abroad. Regional politics played by the politicians in TamilNadu has made sure that people from that state are discouraged to learn the language. We do have people who learn the language through their own efforts by giving “prathmic” exams and stuff but the number is too less. With the growing IT market and people moving to different parts of the country to work, it becomes easier if you can speak Hindi.

Unless and until the Govt can make sure that every state in India will cooperate and make learning Hindi madatory, we cannot even think of making it our National language. The possibility of that happening is very less as no sooner there is a talk about making hindi our National language there will be riots accross India. At least now we know that the people from different parts of India are not required to know that language and it boils down to personal interest to learn the same. When people used to say to me that every Indian should know Hindi as its our National language, I never had a defense against the same but now I do. Its not the mistake of any Indian that he cannot speak hindi but its the politicians and the respective state governments who deny us that chance.

Is Hindi our National Language?

Is hindi our National language? The answer is “No”, Should it be our National Language? Again the answer would be “No”.India does not have a National language which not many Indians know(Including myself until last week). According to the National languages act of 1963 Hindi and English together was made the official language of communication for the central government. The act also mentioned that each state would have their own official language together with English. So according to the act people in TamilNadu, AP or in Gujarat need not know Hindi as thats not their state’s official language.

This is not a great situation though as I think that knowing the language is a great plus for every Indian no matter where he comes from. The reason why I said that Hindi should not be declared as our National language is because it may cause a huge regional clash and the people, not the politicians will be blamed for not knowing the language. I was lucky enough to grow up in Delhi, so can speak the language fluently but not all Tamilians have that luxury. The problem is that most of us do not know that Hindi is not our National Language and keep blaming the people from south for not knowing the same. Well now we have an excuse and reason for not knowing the language. People from North have to realise that not all Indians need to speak Hindi.

Being a Tamilian myself who can speak Hindi, I just think that by knowing the language my life has become little bit easy. I guess by knowing hindi it gives you more freedom to move around within India and makes life very simple when you travel abroad. Regional politics played by the politicians in TamilNadu has made sure that people from that state are discouraged to learn the language. We do have people who learn the language through their own efforts by giving “prathmic” exams and stuff but the number is too less. With the growing IT market and people moving to different parts of the country to work, it becomes easier if you can speak Hindi.

Unless and until the Govt can make sure that every state in India will cooperate and make learning Hindi madatory, we cannot even think of making it our National language. The possibility of that happening is very less as no sooner there is a talk about making hindi our National language there will be riots accross India. At least now we know that the people from different parts of India are not required to know that language and it boils down to personal interest to learn the same. When people used to say to me that every Indian should know Hindi as its our National language, I never had a defense against the same but now I do. Its not the mistake of any Indian that he cannot speak hindi but its the politicians and the respective state governments who deny us that chance.