Sunday Long Reads: Remembering Veenapani Chawla, the writing on the Rashtrapati Bhavan wall, the interview with BBC director-general Tim Davie, and more



As Adishakti turns 40, remembering Veenapani Chawla who saved speech theater and gave the body a full game

Adishakti Theater Arts, a performing arts institution near Pondicherry, sits on a campus covered in trees, half of which bear no flowers or fruit. When the group settled here in 1993, the artists financed their theatrical activities by growing and selling green beans, cucumbers, radishes and pumpkins. Three years later, as their art evolved, the performers no longer wanted to look at plants from the angle of utilitarianism. The practice of bringing produce to market ceased and the fertile land was cultivated to grow a small forest.


What is the writing on the wall at Rashtrapati Bhavan?

Sálim Ali could reach out to a cross section of society, tell them about birds and the stellar role they play in preserving our environment. (Source: Black Kite)

The transformation of the Viceroy’s House into Rashtrapati Bhavan was a leap from imperialism to nationalism in which visual art played a major role. The pervasive influence of Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore also impacted the art world. He swept the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and as far afield as the Vatican and the Mountbattens’ personal collection at Broadlands, Hampshire. Paintings by Sukumar Bose of the Bengal School of Art adorn the walls of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Mountbatten house. In 1950, Pope Pius XII commissioned Bose, then curator of art at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, to create an Indian-style painting on a Christian theme. Titled The Nativity – The Birth of Christ, the painting was in the Vatican and now appears to be in a private collection.


‘It’s really important that the BBC doesn’t just have a one-country perspective…we’re not just a company broadcasting from London’: Tim Davie

Tim Davie, Director General of the BBC, at the BBC office in New Delhi. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

In older BBC markets like India, there has been an explosion of other forms and outlets for international news. The BBC is no longer our main window to the world. How do you see the business evolving and competing in a crowded space?

I think one of the most important things for the BBC is to stay true to its values. If you go back to basics, we’re a public service organization, absolutely driven by unbiased and fair media coverage, and content in many genres. So, in a very busy market, the last thing you want to do is do what everyone else is doing. You want to overtake where you are different. And the BBC is different, in that it is largely publicly funded and cares about the truth. What I’ve tried to do as a leader of the BBC is innovate the way we deliver things through digital means, making sure we go very, very fast. But our values ​​remain true and hold firm. We are 100 years old and we continue to grow. This year, we are nearly 500 million people in terms of global reach. It is growing in India – we are up to 72 million. So I think the appetite for trusted news sources and reliable content has remained strong. You could argue in this modern world, where everything is disputed, there is so much noise, the value of a reliable source is going to get higher, not lower.


How India’s Birdman Sálim Ali Showed Us the Interdependence of Life

Picture 3 Sálim Ali could reach out to a cross section of society, tell them about birds and the stellar role they play in preserving our environment. (Source: Black Kite)

From busting myths about fireflies lighting up the homes of weaver birds to explaining the whys and wherefores of the spectacular phenomenon of bird migrations, there may have been no one better than Sálim Ali, India’s most famous ornithologist, to demystify the avian world. . To the already formidable list of Ali’s works, comes another: a collection of his radio interviews. Edited by Tara Gandhi, Words for Birds (Black Kite), the book shows him doing what he does best – reaching out to a cross section of society about birds and the stellar role they do. play in the preservation of our environment.


How we look away from selfish bigotry and open our minds to introspective reflection

life and language, urdu poetry, hindi, sanskrit, vedic texts, native languages, religion, bigotry, sanatana dharma, eye 2022, sunday eye, indian express news Our conscience gives us the guiding principles and roadmap for our personal journeys. (Credit: Suvir Saran)

Mai aaine mein dekhta hoon, principal kahan chala gaya. Loosely translated from Urdu, this lyric says, “I look in the mirror and wonder where I got lost.”

Life has a way of living its journey with or without us. Its movements, its beats, its notes, its cadences, its scents, its sounds and its touch – all are of its own choosing; nothing we can predict, modify or conquer. With or without us, life will follow its journeys. Its rhythms, its pulse, its rhythm, its ups and downs, its seasons – nothing we can control. In many ways, life seems intangiblely complicated, yet it throws us tangents and parallels that connect us to our own stories, paths, loves and relationships.


How Mother Nature Designs Light and Strong Armor for Her Myriad Species

beetles, ranjit lal The light and strong elytra (wing cases) of beetles are a composite of chitin with a substance called scalerotin. (Photo: Ranjit Lal)

It couldn’t be more ironic: the very effective light armor they wear for their own internal security (sometimes used for attack) is quickly leading to their own downfall — from our hands, and for reasons that should make us hang our heads in shame. The magnificent rhinoceros, the picturesque pangolin and the ferocious porcupine are perfectly equipped to protect themselves: the rhinoceros can overturn a truck with a simple blow of its horn, the pangolin rolls into a scaly ball that even lions cannot open, and the porcupine can gouge out the eye of the tiger with just one of its myriad quills. And those weapons are made of essentially the same thing: a structural protein called keratin — by the way, that’s also what our own hair is made of. And in our eternal wisdom, we believe that crushed rhino horn serves as an aphrodisiac and pangolin scales have great medicinal value: as a result, both animals are now on the brink of extinction.


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