Interviews, Features, Events, Bengali & Indian Performing Arts & Artist Reviews

Jan 30 1948 - Gandhi and Godse: Pages from Past and Prejudice | Nirendra Narayan Dev

Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948), political and ...

Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948), political and spiritual leader of India. Location unknown. Français : Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), Guide politique et spirituel de l'Inde. Lieu inconnu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While millions died during the partition, lakhs of refugees who from eastern Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and west Pakistan who crossed over to India – under duress and in sheer poverty – blamed Bapu for accepting the partition. Muslims – whom Gandhi sought to protect – have turned a pro-violence community today – at least in terms of perception. And Hindus feel they must give up the Sanathan spirit. As a result over the last few decades the so called Hindu-revivalism has turned increasingly ominous. For Muslims again there is a peculiar dilemma. To many Muslims – who stayed in India abandoning Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s partition and Pakistan – there is a lasting guilt of the community’s role in dividing the country. Yet the real blame should have gone to those who went off in search of paradise in the new country. But the “real tragedy”, according to M J Akbar and I endorse that - the price of partition is not being paid by the people who got Pakistan but “by the Muslims in India” – who stayed back and trusted their Hindu and Sikh brethren. This is the irony and a melancholic turn!


Another milestone for Aligarh

Mumbai, September 2, 2015 (Washington Bangla Radio): Hansal Mehta’s ‘Aligarh’ is fast becoming a toast of international film festivals! Close on the heels of the announcement of its World Premiere at the forthcoming Busan International Film Festival comes the news of its selection at the prestigious 59th BFI London Film Festival (7-18 October).
 

Manoj Bajpayee’s Look for Hansal Mehta’s Latest Film Aligarh Released


Mumbai, March 18, 2015 (Washington Bangla Radio): The first look of Manoj Bajpayee's character in National Award-winning filmmaker Hansal Mehta’s highly-awaited film ‘Aligarh’ is out now. The actor essays the role of a gay professor, one that he has never attempted before, along with actor Rajkummar Rao who plays a journalist.

Canadian-Bengali Mother-Daughter Duo Juthika Barua Jyoti-Indira Barua Release "Mon Moyuri" Bengali Modern Songs Album

Indira and Juthika Barua - Mon Moyuri Bengali Modern Songs AlbumIndira and Juthika Barua - Mon Moyuri Bengali Modern Songs Album


Bastushaap: Kaushik Ganguly’s latest Bengali movie opens in Kolkata (Premiere)

Bastushaap (2016) Bengali Film Premiere
Bastushaap (2016) Bengali Film Premiere

The Premiere of the national award winning director Kaushik Ganguly’s latest movie “Bastushaap” recently took place at Priya cinema. The red carpet premiere turned out to be a gala affair as cast and crew  of the film along with many other guests from the film industry poured in at the venue.



Interview: Subhrajit Mitra on his new Bangla movie CHORABALI (2016) - Exclusive

Subhrajit MitraIn an exclusive WBRi audio interview, the remarkable young Kolkata-based film-maker Subhrajit Mitra returns to WBRi to talk about his new Bengali feature film “Chorabali”. After outstanding documentaries, Subhrajit debuted with his intellectually stimulating feature film Mon Amour: Shesher Kobita Revisited (2008) and followed up with AGUNPAKHI The Phoenix (2010). His next project was "DUI BON", a Indian-Bangladeshi joint venture, was adapted from the Tagore story to feature Tagore himself, Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Subhrajit's WANGALA on Garo tribes in the North-eastern Himalayan foothills was well appreciated in the international film festival circuit. He had also been commissioned for six documentaries by Doordarshan, and has made a full 52-episode television series in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).



I play DSP Bholanath Singh in Jai Gangaajal - Prakash Jha in Kolkata

Prakash Jha in Kolkata
Prakash Jha in Kolkata

Kolkata, India, Jan 26 (Washington Bangla Radio) - National Award-winning film-maker Prakash Jha is getting ready to release his next venture ‘Jai Gangajaal’ starring Priyanka Chopra in the lead. Jha recently visited Kolkata to promote the movie that has put smiles on policewomen across India. Though Kolkata missed Priyanka Chopra, the director and his lead actor Manav Kaul (who plays the antagonist) made the press conference a memorable one.



Republic Day Musings: A 1947 without Lord Mountbatten – History Revisited | Nirendra Narayan Dev

Nirendra Narayan DevEditor's Note: Nirendra Narayan Dev (nirendev1 [at] gmail [dot] com), an acclaimed political journalist, is a special correspondent of The Statesman, New Delhi and author of acclaimed books including Modi to Moditva, Ayodhya : Battle For Peace, The Talking Guns North East India and Godhra A Journey To Mayhem. Nirendra was born and brought up in India's northeast and his father served with paramilitary force Assam Rifles. His blog is at bestofindiarestofindia.blogspot.com.

We have previously had an opportunity of talking to the author and have posted the audio recording of the interview.

WBRi also has the pleasure of publishing a series of short stories by Nirendra. Search with keywords "Nirendra Dev" to read his prior stories and articles on Washington Bangla Radio.


At this time of personal and collective reflection, the true spirit of the Republic Day is well summed up in the immortal number of one of my all time favourites, Yesudas.

Tere aane se saj gayee humaree yeh tutee phutee naav
…..Goree yeh duwaaye karna jarur, maajhi se naiya ho nahi dur

Sabko kinare pahunchaayega, maajhi toh kinara tabhi paayega

Truly without democracy and the republic spirit, India would not have been as beautiful as it is today.



Ahoban Shono Ahoban - A Musical Theater: Debojyoti Mishra Scripts a Brilliant Tribute to His Master Salil Chowdhury

Anweshaa and Debojyoti Mishra
Anweshaa and Debojyoti Mishra

The concept was brilliant, execution flawless in a first-of-its-kind tribute. Debojyoti Mishra brought familiar characters associated with Salil Chowdhury alive on the podium - from “Runner” and “Madhumoti” to “Anand”. These characters met each other in the different phases of the composer's life. The characters were played by leading contemporary theater actors and popular singers. Singers Rupankar, Anweshaa Dutta Gupta and Shovan Ganguly; actors Neel Mukherjee, Koneenica Bandyopadhyay, and members from Chetana Group Theater were among those on the stage. A whose-who of performers also included ace studio musicians.



Ang Lee's Life of Pi film going ahead - cultural sensitivity in handling the film recommended

After speculations since 2009, Oscar winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) has reportedly finally given the go ahead signal on film adaptation of Yann Martel’s fantasy “Life of Pi” about a boy from Pondicherry (India) who survives 227 days after shipwreck.

Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, welcoming the film adaptation of this India influenced story, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Lee to handle the Pi’s spirituality exploration and holistic edge with cultural sensitivity.


Nandana Sen made Charlie Hebdo the star Kalakar Awards

Nandana Sen (WBRi)
Nandana Sen

Nandana Sen made Charlie Hebdo the star of the show in an award ceremony.

The feisty actress, who is also a well-known human-rights activist, was recently honoured with the prestigious Kalakar Award for Best Actress, previously won by sensitive actresses like Nandita Das, Deepti Naval, and Rani Mukherjee.


Happy Birthday Netaji! An Open Letter to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose - Nirendra Narayan Dev

Nirendra Narayan DevWe will debate these political issues on a later day, Netaji. But as an ardent admirer of yours – initially by the fashion as I too was born a Bengali and you are a folk hero of Bengalis. And later by conviction – I beg your attention to the contemporary setting. Things are actually in a mess today and would have certainly pained you – if not shocked you! The challenges are many and yet we as countrymen and women continue to contribute in increasing a few – at least every month. The situation we are in, Netaji, should be enough to wake us up to the realization that the basic game has changed fundamentally. Lingering territorial disputes are no longer the driving force. After 68 years, we still have found no answer to starvation and problems on water have only grown manifold ...



Kolkata (Calcutta) and Washington DC Weather

আবহাওয়া Weather Radio Calcutta via WBRi Kolkata Bangla Radio.


Salil Chowdhury: New Project on Indian Music Maestro Marks 90th Birth Anniversary

Salil Chowdhury Calendar Launch
Salil Chowdhury Calendar Launch

Legendary music composer Salil Chowdhury’s 90th birth anniversary was recently celebrated at Calcutta Rowing Club with announcement of a new project "The Salil Chowdhury Memorial - Concert and Honors." A joint venture of Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers and The Salil Chowdhury Foundation, "The Salil Chowdhury Memorial - Concert and Honours" was revealed in a glorious ceremony in Kolkata.



Sourav Ganguly and Prosenjit Chatterjee Make Lucky Winners Luckier on Stage

Prosenjit Chatterjee and Sourav Ganguly
Prosenjit Chatterjee and Sourav Ganguly

Two of the biggest contemporary Bengal icons Prosenjit Chatterjee and Sourav Ganguly recently came together on the same stage for Senco Gold and Diamonds to present awards to winners of Senco Festive offer at a press club.