21 political cartoons will be deleted from Indian school text books, new cartoons to be ‘tested’ first on students

Most cartoons used in political science textbooks now have been borrowed from R K Laxman and Shankar’s work in newspapers.

The Thorat committee that reviewed NCERT textbooks has not only recommended the deletion of 21 cartoons but also laid out criteria for what kind of cartoons the textbooks should have. It has suggested among various things that the cartoons should largely stick to conveying a positive message to students, focus on themes rather than personalities, and be first “tested” on students for their reactions to ensure they are not insensitive.

The committee has said that instead of borrowing cartoons from newspapers and other secondary sources, original ones must be created strictly for educational purposes. Most cartoons used in political science textbooks now have been borrowed from R K Laxman and Shankar’s work in newspapers.

Anubhuti Vishnoi  writes in a special story in The Indian Express:

Stressing the need for a positive message, the panel has recommended that if a cartoon with a negative implication has to be necessarily used, it must be balanced with a positive-message cartoon on the same subject.

The recommendation against focus on personalities follows the offence taken by MPs at cartoons on Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and a range of other political leaders from A B Vajpayee to Lal Bahadur Shastri and B R Ambedkar. The committee has recommended that the cartoons instead look at broad themes and issues.

Sources in the NCERT said the report suggests cartoons in textbooks must first be “tested” on students and their reactions assessed to ensure that there are no “unintended consequences”. Sensitivities must especially be kept in mind as responses to cartoons may differ depending on a student’s profile, his background, religion, class, caste and habitation, it has said. The committee has also advised against “overuse” of cartoons.

Read the full report in Indian Express : ‘Unfit’ cartoons out, here’s what is ‘fit’

Advertisements

Trivendrum ‘Dosa fest’ evokes good response

The ongoing ‘Dosa Fest’ at the Keys Hotel, Thiruvanantpuram, Kerala has evoked good response.
The menu at Keys boasts a variety of dosas from the everyday ghee dosa to the exotic ‘chakkuli pitha’. The fete is on till the end of this month. Timings are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Methi dosa is priced at Rs. 45 while the Mysore masala dosa is priced at Rs. 65, exclusive of tax. All dosas are accompanied by unlimited sambar, coconut chutney and a special chutney of the day. A hot favourite with children is the cheese and egg dosa.

The Bird Man Of India Salim Ali, now in Comics too !!!

Amar Chitra Katha is launching a new title inspired by nation’s
foremost naturalist and ornithologist Salim Ali

As the nation has started noticing that one of our favourite backyard
bird, sparrow, is disappearing fast and are taking preventive steps –
another recognition for an avid bird-lover, noted naturalist and
ornithologist Salim Ali, has come very timely. Ali, who spent his
entire life working for birds in India, has inspired a comic series
published by Amar Chitra Katha (ACK).

“ACK Media is proud to associate with Bombay Natural History Society
in launching our new title, ‘Salim Ali’ – The Bird Man of India,”
expresses Reena Puri, Editor, Amar Chitra Katha, adding, “We had
stories from mythology, history and literature but there was a vacuum
as far as natural history is concerned. Wildlife and its conservation
are very important parts of contemporary thought. With Ali, and his
story, we make a beginning for the same and hope to write more about
people and movements associated with this subject.”

Ali received his first lesson in ornithology from WS Millard, then the
secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society. Millard helped him
identify a Yellow-throated sparrow. Over the years, Ali’s interest in
birds led to his close association with the society. And after
Independence, he wrote to the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru, asking for financial assistance to support the work of the
institution. Dr Asad Rahmani, Director of BNHS said, “We are very
proud to launch the Amar Chitra Katha title on Salim Ali and thank ACK
Media for this initative.”

‘Salim Ali – The Bird Man of India’ will portray the noted
ornithologist as someone passionate about birds and nature and how he
never thought of money, fame, comfort or even safety while he went
about single-mindedly trying to learn as much about the birds of India
as he could. It took around eight months to complete this new title.
The scriptwriter Shalini Srinivasan says, “I referred to his
autobiography, ‘The fall of a sparrow’ and many other books like
‘Salim Ali for Schools’ by Zai Whittaker; ‘Salim Ali – India’s
Birdman’ by Reena Dutta Gupta. We also talked with his relatives and
referred to BNHS archival material to help more in the script.”

The series is out already and is expected to generate awareness about
environment and birds.

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik’s sculpture with a message “Flowers Bloom, Earth Smiles”

116th Ooty Flower Show festival, Ooty: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik’s sculpture with a message “Flowers Bloom, Earth Smiles” at 116th Ooty Flower Show festival.

Global Warming: Sand Sculpture by Sudarsan Pattnaik

Renowned sand sculptor Sudarsan Pattnaik recently created a 7- feet structure on Puri beach of Odisha, depicting climate change to draw tourists’ attention towards global warming.In his creation, that took around 5 hours to complete, Pattnaik portrayed scorching sun blazing down over a habitation.
Tourists at the beach supported the artiste’s attempt to create awareness about climate change and global warming. Pattanik, who has represented India in over 50 international sand sculpture championships, said, “The sea-level is rising. In Odisha, it is very difficult to come out during the day due to the scorching sun.”

ArcelorMittal’s Eye-ful Tower-a landmark to rival Eiffel Tower

The ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture, left, before its official unveiling at the Olympic Park, London, Friday May 11, 2012. The steel sculpture designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond stands 114.5 meters (376ft) high, 63% of of the sculpture is recycled steel and incorporates the five Olympic rings. AP Photo/Tim Hales.

Critics say it looks like a roller coaster gone badly awry. Fans say it’s a landmark to rival the Eiffel Tower. London got a towering new venue Friday, as authorities announced completion of the Orbit, a 115-meter (377- foot) looped and twisting steel tower beside London’s new Olympic Stadium that will give visitors panoramic views over the city.

Some critics have called the ruby-red lattice of tubular steel an eyesore. British tabloids have labeled it “the Eye-ful Tower,” ”the Godzilla of public art” and worse. But artist Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond, who designed the tower, find it beautiful. Belmond, who described the looping structure as “a curve in space,” said he thought people would be won over by it.

“St. Paul’s (Cathedral) was hated when it was begun,” he said. “Everyone wanted a spire” — but now the great church’s dome is universally loved. He said if a groundbreaking structure works “it starts to do something to you and your concept of beauty changes.” Kapoor noted that Paris’s iconic Eiffel Tower was considered “the most tremendously ugly object” by many when it was first built. “There will be those who love it and those who hate it, and that’s OK,” Kapoor said of the tower, whose full name is the ArcelorMittal Orbit, after the steel company that stumped up most of the 22.7 million pound ($36.5 million) cost.

“I think it’s awkward,” Kapoor said — considering that a compliment. “It has its elbows sticking out in a way. … It refuses to be an emblem.” A little awkwardness is to be expected when you ask an artist to design a building. Kapoor, a past winner of art’s prestigious Turner Prize, is known for large-scale installations like “Marsyas” — a giant blood-red PVC membrane that was displayed at London’s Tate Modern in 2002 — and “The Bean,” a 110-ton (100-metric ton) stainless steel sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Even for him, though, the scale of the Orbit is monumental. He says the structure can only truly be appreciated from inside — something most of the public will not have the chance to do until 2014, when it reopens as the centerpiece of a brand-new park on the site of the 2012 London Olympic Park. Before that, it will be open to ticketholders for this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, whop can ride the elevator to the top at a cost of 15 pounds ($22).

Kapoor said visitors would enter a “dark and heavy” steel canopy at base before emerging into the light high above ground, where a wraparound viewing deck and a pair of huge concave mirrors create “a kind of observatory, looking out at London.” “It’s as if one is in an instrument for looking,” Kapoor said. London Olympic organizers hope the Orbit, which can accommodate up to 5,000 visitors a day, will become a major tourist attraction. It is, they note proudly, the tallest sculpture in Europe — and 22 meters (72 feet) higher than the Statue of Liberty. On a clear day, views from its observation deck extend for 32 kilometers (20 miles) across London and the green hills beyond. The tower will be at the heart of a new 227-hectare (560-acre) park, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, that will include a lush river valley, biking trails and a tree-lined promenade. It is due to open in stages starting in July 2013 and finishing in early 2014. London Mayor Boris Johnson takes credit for pitching the idea of a tower to steel baron Lakshmi Mittal at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in 2009. He is a huge fan of the finished product. “It is a genuine Kapoor,” Johnson said. “It has all the enigmatic qualities of some of his great pieces.” And he believes other Londoners will come to love it, too. “I think so,” he said, then paused. “In the end.” Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

More Information: http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=55316[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org

Comics in changing India

Cris writes in Deccan Chronicle from Kochi:

There was a time when a nine-year-old’s day would start with Mandrake The Magician or Phantom, his friend.

Days when comics were everywhere — in magazines, on the last pages of newspapers and in the two-page supplements.

Growing up in those glorious 90’s and landing himself into a career in comics in later years, Anil Janardhanan watched with silent grief his superheroes fade into the pages of children’s magazines.

Today, running Vega Features in Kottayam — that distributes comic strips to publications — Anil misses the days when Kottayam even had a ‘Paingili Theruvu’, which thrived not only on the weeklies that carried romantic tales, but also because of the comics that sold alongside.

He is unable to pinpoint one reason for its steady decline, but reckons the low income the comic workers received for their hard work, as one of the reasons.

The same reason may have driven Venu Variath to the Middle East, where he now manages two publications of The Media Group.

“I used to work with the Poombaatta, Amarchitrakatha and Balabhoomi. First, there were mostly the translations of English comics.

With the likes of Poombatta, original characters and comics in Malayalam came into being. But eventually the sale of comics began to take a hit — plunging from lakhs to thousands.”

N.M. Mohan, who brought Poombatta to Kerala, however feels that there has not been a big change in the comics scenario.

“When other people would look at the front view mirror to drive forward, comic creators watched the rare view mirror — to learn from the past.

The animated series of various comic characters we have now is an extension of comics. Mayavi’s VCD, which came out last year, sold nearly two lakh copies.”

Sharing his belief is Kishore Mohan, who quit his regular job to come full time into the process of what calls ‘story telling’.

Kishore’s passion was kindled in those childhood days when his grandmother sat with him and narrated folk and fairy tales — Indian, Russian, Irish and Grimm’s.

The leprechaun’s treasure buried at the end of the rainbow and Baba Yaga’s giant flying mortar created images in his young mind which he recreated on paper.

“Thus I started drawing stories a long time before I started writing them. The love for words came much later; and with that, I found that ‘comics’ was the only medium where pictures and words could co-exist peacefully and symbiotically.”

And, successfully so. Kishore’s belief that if you are good at what you do and enjoy it thoroughly, passion will take you the rest of the way, proved true.