Fury of Nature keeps India on tenterhooks

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Even as Mother Nature plays angry, Indians continue to fight severe conditions even as the weatherman predicts more inclement weather in coming weeks

In the coming days, weather could be a cause of great distress in the country given inclement conditions are threatening to impact day to day life in most parts. Bad weather has been predicted in most parts of India and required steps are being taken so that the damage can be minimized.

In Bihar and Assam the situation remains grim with almost 59 lakh people in the grip of a flood like situation. While Bihar’s 13 districts are suffering, 46 lakh people live in fear of the after effects of floods. In Assam on the other hand, 28 districts have seen 26 lakh people suffer.  With the situation worsening the state government has had to call in the Army for rescue and relief operations. In Bihar alone over 67 people have lost their lives.

Assam’s flood hit areas have reached a point where basic drinking water facilities are crumbling. Most areas in the state have witnessed a failure of handpumps functioning properly. The 3181 villages of the 28 districts in the state have been facing the wrath of mother nature. 90,000 hectare agricultural land is submerged and this has further caused distress to 10 lakh animals.

Both the NDRF and SDRF has worked tirelessly to abate the damage caused by the natural disaster. A number of people have also started migrating from the state to safer havens. With relief coming in at a snail’s pace, locals have been angry. Sitamarhi is among one of the worst affected in Bihar. Make shift bamboo tents have for many become the resting place with concrete homes out of bounds. Some are forced to stay on highways, main roads, schools or even railway tracks. Road connectivity has been blocked in places like Shivhar, West Champaran, and Nepal. Each river flowing through Motihari is in spate. Things in Madhubani are no different. Flood fury has been visible in Kamla Balan, Kosi and other rivers.

Haryana’s Ambala, Kurukshetra, Sonipat, Jhajhar,Karnal and Yamunanangar districts too have seen life go off track. Neighbouring Punjab might see a chaotic situation over the next few days says the weatherman.  In several districts of Uttar Pradesh the rivers have been flowing above the danger mark. In most hilly zones which include Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand, the fears of landslides continue to loom large.

 In the hilly state of Uttarakhand, places like Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Pitthoragarh and Udhhamsingh Nagar are on a 24 hour alert for fear of bad weather. Same has been the case with Madhya Pradesh. In Jammu and Kashmir the next six days will be critical, as rains might lash the state. In Rajasthan rains are awaited and in Jharkhand sunny days are still continuing. In most districts the weatherman has predicted medium rains over the next three to four days.

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कर वसूली पर प्रभावी कदम, देश को बेहतर भविष्य देगा मानते हैं विशेषज्ञ

लखनऊ चार्टर्ड अकाउंटेंट्स सोसाइटी के सानिध्य में गोमती नगर स्थित पर्यटन भवन में बजट 2019 – 20 की समीक्षा की गयी । बुद्धिजीवियों ने बजट के अच्छे बुरे पहलुओं पर मंथन किया और ये कहा की एक ओर जहाँ देश को लाभ होगा वहीं, कर भुगतान के परिपेक्ष में कुछ ठोस कदम उठाने की ज़रूरत है । 

जानकारों का कहना था की बजट कृषि क्षेत्र और मिड्ल इनकम ग्रूप के लिए ख़ासा लाभकारी होगा । परंतु जिस तरह कुछ बजट के प्रावधान लिखे गये हैं बजट दस्तावेज़ में वो सही नही है । इस बात पर सहमति ज़ाहिर की, प्रधान मुख्य आयुक्त, आएकर और DG आएकर (  इन्वेस्टिगेशन) उप और उत्तराखंड, प्रवीण कुमार ने ।

पूर्व अध्यक्ष, बॉमबे चार्टर्ड अकाउंटेंटस सोसाइटी, गौतम नायक, ने पर्यटन भवन के प्रांगण में बात करते हुए कहा ना केवल करदाता बल्कि जो कर वसूली से जुड़े हुए हैं उन सभी लोगों को पूर्णतः जानकारी होना चाहिए कर संबंधित मुद्दों पर । ऐसे युग में जब आए कर विभाग चीज़ों को ऑनलाइन देखे हुए है, तो क़ानून को और पारदर्शी बनाना ज़रूरी बन जाता है । नायक बताते हैं अक्सर होता क्या है की 2 फीसदी लोग जो क़ानून की आँख में धूल झोंकते हैं वो बच जाते हैं । उसी की जगह 98 फीसदी लोग ऐसे हैं जो इस काले खेल की भरपाई करते हैं। उनका मानना है जानकारी बढ़ाने के लिए देश व्यापी मुहीम की ज़रूरत है ।

बतौर चार्टर्ड अकाउंटेंट और मुंबई जैसे शहर में अपना काम कर रहे नायक, इस बात से पूरी तरह सहमत हैं की बजट ने बेनामी लेनदेन, कड़ी निगरानी और पिनल्टी के मामले में प्रभावी कदम उठाए हैं । पर उनका मानना है की बड़ी रकम की लेन देन पर नकेल कसना तब ज़रूरी है जब कर में गड़बड़ दिखाई पड़े । प्रॉपर्टी और बड़े हाउसिंग प्रॉजेक्ट्स की बात करें तो उन्हे ख़ासा फ़ायदा इस बात से होगा की अब कार्पेट एरिया लिमिट का दायरा बढ़ा दिया गया है ।

PSUs का निजीकरण के साथ साथ सिंगल ब्रांड रीटेल के लिए भी सरकार ने कुछ सराहनिय कदम उठाए हैं । नायक मानते हैं की रुपये और डॉलर के बेहतर सामंजस्य को कोई भी बजेट नज़र अंदाज़ नही कर सकता ।

जानकार ये भी मानते हैं की असलियत में कर जो मिलता है, वो अनुमानित कर कमाई से बहुत अलग है । जिसका सीधा सरोकार देश के ख़स्ता हाल व्यापारिक स्थिति से है ।

नायक ने बजेट से जुड़े कई ज़रूरी मुद्दों का ज़िक्र अपने वक्तव्य के द्वारा किया ।

उन्होने स्टार्टअप्स, बाइ बॅक डिस्ट्रिब्यूशन टॅक्स, बिज़्नेस से आने वाले आए, कॅपिटल गेन्स, लेनदेन पर छूट, चॅप्टर VIA डिडक्शन, CPSEs में निवेश, आल्टर्नेटिव इनवेस्टमेंट फंड्स, सूत और सेक्षन 89 के चलते कुछ ढिलाई पर अपनी बात रखी. उन्होने अपने आए को सही तरह से बताने के लिए लोगों को आगा किया, क्यूंकी अब कारवाई कड़ी होगी. काला धन जमाखोरों पे कसने वाले नकेल की भी बात उन्होने कही।

किसी भी कंपनी के बाइ बॅक को लेकर उन्होने कहा की हाल के दिनों में इन्फ़ोसयस और 11 अन्य संस्थाओं में ऐसे हलचल जारी हैं।

 उनका मानना है की बजेट दस्तावेज़ को थोड़ा और बेहतर तरीके से लिखा जाना चाहिए था। ख़ासकर शब्दावली पर ध्यान की ज़रूरत थी। उनका मानना था की दो दो बार PAN का जारी किया जाना लाभार्थी के लिए मुश्किल का कारण बन सकती है।

आंकड़ों का सहारा लेते हुए वह बताते हैं की कुल 1 से 2 पर सेंट ट्रस्ट्स अपने बजेट का पूरा ब्योरा खुल के देते हैं। पूरी तरह आयुक्त भी चीज़ों को अकेले के दम पे चला नही सकते। आगे कहते हैं की कोई भी संपूर्ण ज्ञान के ग्याता नही कहला सकते। हॉल फिलहाल आएकर के जानकार यही बोलते आए हैं की टॅक्स से बचते लोगों को अब चौकन्ना रहना होगा। सिस्टम को हर छोटी से छोटी गड़बड़ी से पूर्णतः अवगत रहना होगा और कर क़ानून में संशोधन निरंतर करना मील का पत्थर नही कहलाएगा.

गिरते हुए व्यापारिक गतिविधियों के मद्दे नज़र नायक मानते हैं की स्टार्टअप्स के लिए पिछले कुछ साल काफ़ी परेशानी के कारण रहे हैं।

आएकर के नियमों के सुचारू रूप से पालन हो इस पर प्रवीण कुमार, प्रधान मुख्य आयुक्त और DG आएकर ( इन्वेस्टिगेशन) उप और उत्तराखंड मानते हैं की इस साल का बजट बही खाता का पूरा ब्योरा देता है। एक ओर जहाँ मुद्रा पर खासा ध्यान है, वहीं लोगों को आएकर नियमों पर सचेत रहना होगा.” ।

कुमार मानते हैं की “कर को सही तरह से वसूला जाए इस पर देश को थोड़ा संजीदा होना पढ़ेगा। इसके लिए जानकारी हर तप्के तक पहुँचना बेहद ज़रूरी है।  सेक्षन 54, 55 और 115 इस दिशा में ज़रूरी कदम हैं। कर भुगतान ना करते हुए कई लोग लेनदेन करते रहते हैं, जिस पर करवाई अनिवार्य है ” ।

CA आर एल बाजपई, अध्यक्ष LACS, वक्ताओं का अभिनंदन करते हुए अपनी बात रखते हैं बजेट पर।  बाजपई कहते हैं ज़ाहिर तौर पर इस बार का बजट देश में एक अजीब जिज्ञासा जगा रही है। मिले जुले प्रतिक्रियाएं आ रही हैं इस बजट पर। मिड्ल क्लास  कारोबारी और कृषि से जुड़े लोगों ने ख़ासा चैन की साँस ली। उमीदें बढ़ी हैं की प्रदेश और केन्द्र में बेहतर ताल मेल बनेगा.”

Kashmiri Pandits aim to be homeward bound soon

Over 5000 Kashmiri Pandits took shelter in Lucknow when the militancy woes in the valley reached fever pitch. It was back in 1989 that these lot of people gradually made Lucknow their new home.

With a government talking of greater stability in the valley, even the Kashmiri Pandits are hoping that they can one day return to the land which they have always considered their own.

But questions are being now raised on the kind of people who are claiming to be torchbearers of this new revolution under the banner of Panun Kashmir.

Editor, Daily World, Ajit Chak says there are serious doubts on the intent when most people protesting are crorepatis themselves.

He adds, “Protesting against problems faced by Kashmiri Pandits are Sangita whose husband is a PWD Chief Engineer and has 5 properties in Noida. Prabhakar Nagu has a house in Aliganj and enjoys a government job. Deepak Kachru owns a girls hostel in Mahanagar. Meanwhile Sudhir Shivpuri owns 2 properties in Lucknow.”

On Shyama Prasad Mookerji sacrifice day, Panun Kashmir took out a rally in Lucknow to press for safe return of Kashmiri Pandits to the valley, bringing an end to Article 370.

Leading the march, Chandra Prakash Agnihotri of Bhartiya Nagrik Parishad said, “Kashmiri Hindus have tried many times to put across their problem of living as refugees in their own country, but their plight has fallen on deaf ears.”

“Their rights have been violated and they were subjected to barbaric terrorism, besides they were forced to leave their homes.,” he said.

Spokesperson of Panun Kashmir Deepak Kachru said that leaders like Shyama Prasad Mukherji lost their life to integrate Kashmir with India by removing Article 370. Such a draconian article should be withdrawn.

The rally started from Civil Hospital and then reached its final pitstop at the Gandhi statue near GPO.

Bharatiya Nagarik Parishad President Chandra Prakash Agnihotri, Founder NYASI, Ramakant Dube, senior members like HN Pandey, Rina Tripathi, Bharat Samridhhi President Shailendra Dubey, Dheeraj Upadhyay, Panun Kashmir President Ravi Kachroo, Ravindra Katroo, Sudhir Shivpuri, Sangeeta Baqaya, Anjali Jibboo among others were present.

They want allocation of land at subsidized rates and work towards preserving their culture.

Pandits across the board are unanimous in suggesting that the community is just used during elections and then once a government is in power, the issues go to the backburner.

Kashmiri Pandits want quotas in government jobs and increase in reservation in higher studies. They also want a holiday on January 19 that marks exodus day. In UP, Kashmiri Pandits get just 2% reservation.

For Panun Kashmir it has been a longstanding demand that a separate homeland be carved out for the community in the valley with union territory status.

The struggle of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits has entered its 30th year.

As an organization, Panun Kashmir is a frontal organisation of 3.5 lakh displaced Pandits.

Lucknow gets louder: Noise Pollution haunts city of Nawabs

Noise Pollution has dangerous ramifications only further troubling human kind. While there are checks and balances put in place, sounds continue to cross bearable decibels. During monsoons it sees an upward trend.

Gomtinagar is nosiest during the day and Indiranagar during night. For Charbagh it is chaotic and noisy in night and day. These are revelations in the Noise Monitoring Report by IITR. Even though noise pollution has gone down in residential and commercial areas, the noise pollution factor refuses to die down.

While the permissible noise limit in residential areas is 55 decibels, Gomtinagar recorded the highest at 72.7 decibels. This was followed by Indiranagar, Vikasnagar and Aliganj.

Daytime noise pollution levels have gone down in most areas except Aliganj. Even as the permissible night limit is 45 decibels, Indiranagar has recorded a high of 62.9 decibel.

Noise pollution in the night has gone down drastically in most places except Vikasnagar. Charbagh remains a constant irritant when it comes to pollution in commercial spaces. Aminabad, Chowk and Alambagh are other places that call for immediate attention.

Senior scientists in the city have been quoted as saying that in order to keep noise pollution under control it is important that greater awareness is spread against use of pressure horns, loudspeakers and other deafening devices.

The poor statistics raise alarm bells among scientists given that only last year the DM Kaushal Raj Sharma had announced stern measures to check noise pollution where marriage halls and guest houses playing music above permissible limit would be seized.

Photo by Jens Mahnke on Pexels.com

As a part of a crackdown in the city, the administration had removed 1,200 loudspeakers being used in an unauthorised manner.

Despite efforts to curb use of loudspeakers in compliance with high court orders in the state, not much has been made out of the actions. Reportedly as per UP 100 most complaints on the noise front came from Lucknow. The city made 2,282 calls regarding noise pollution.

The highest number of complaints on that front came from Mahanagar. DJs and loudspeakers are a common irritant in the city. Noise pollution peaks during monsoon season.

Nearly 94% complaints have been resolved but maximum complaints came from seniors in the city on grounds of poor health conditions.

Not just in India as a whole, even in developing nations like European ones, top three emitters of noise are road transport, railways, and aircraft. Other sources include — street noise, and decibel from local events.

The most dangerous consequences of noise pollution include – sleep Interference, hearing impairment, speech interference, annoyance, fatigue, and emotional distress.

Not just humans but even animals face consequences with them eventually avoiding migration to places where noise levels are over 100 decibels. Fishes and birds stop laying eggs and mammals witness miscarriages.

दुआ करता हूँ चारुलता पटेल की ज़िंदगी हर बुज़ुर्ग को नसीब हो

भारत बनाम बांग्लादेश की टक्कर कई माएनों में अनोखी थी. भारत ने 28 रन से बांग्लादेश को शिकस्त दी, वोहीं रोहित शर्मा ने चौथा शतक जड़ दिया. पर जिसने खूब सुर्खियाँ बटोरी वो थीं  87 की चारुलता पटेल.गाल में तिरंगा, हाथ में तिरंगा, तिरंगा साफ़ा लगा कर और ट्रमपॅट बजा कर उन्होने देश की जीत के जश्न का भागीदार बनीं.

जिस देश में बुढ़ापा कैययों के लिए अभिशाप से कम नही, ऐसे में एक हिन्दुस्तानी, चारुलता दादी जब भारत का खेल देखने जाती हैं और हंसते हुए टीम का हौसला बढ़ाती हैं तो अच्छा लगता है. उम्रदराज़ लोगों को जिस देश में वृधाश्रम  में पटक के खुद बच्चे  शनोशौकत की ज़िंदगी जीते हैं ऐसे में हर एक को इससे सीख लेनी चाहिए.

बच्चों को भी और उन बुज़ुर्ग लोगों को भी की ज़िंदगी खुल के जीने की कोई उमर नही होती और आप चाहें तो आप अपने दम पे बिना किसी रोक टोक के खुशी मना सकते हैं. अच्छा लगा जब उन्हें विराट ने आके इज़्ज़त दी.

आनंद महिंद्रा साहब का भी मैं मुरीद हो गया क्यूंकी उन्होने उनकी ज़िम्मेदारी भी लेने की बात की जिससे आने वाले समय में ऐसा कोई मॅच हो वो जा सकें. ज़माना बदल रहा है. आज जो पैदा करते हैं वोही कमरे में बंद कर प्रताड़ना के शिकार होते हैं.

ओल्ड एज  होम दो बार जाना हुआ जो देखा वाकई बहुत दर्दनाक था. एक बार एक डॉक्टर ने कहा था, क्या बतायें जिन्होने बच्चों को प्यार दिया आज वोही बच्चे महीनों से नदारत हैं. उनकी बूढ़ी आँखें उन्हें देखने के लिए तरस जाती हैं और हम सांत्वना देने के अलावा कुछ नही कर सकते.

लखनऊ को देश भर में तहज़ीब, नज़ाकत और नफ़ासत का शहर माना जाता है. ऐसे ही शहर में बढ़ते वृधाश्रम इस बात का गवा हैं की हमने अपने बुज़ुर्गो को उनके वृधवस्था में अवहेलना के अलावा कुछ नही दिया है.

कई नामी गिरामी वृधाश्रम मसलन समर्पण, भारतीय वरिष्ठ नागरिक असोसियेशन, आस्था, ओम सेवा संकल्प, छबि शांति धाम और सेवर्त वृधढा आश्रम शहेर के इस क्षेत्र में काम करने वाले सबसे प्रचलित नाम हैं.

हालाकी इस शहर में गोलडन एज हेल्प लाइन की शुरुआत समाज कल्याण संस्थान ने की, पर आँकड़े बताते हैं  घर के अंदर अत्याचार और बुरा व्यवहार बढ़ा ही है घटा नही

चाहे उनसे जायदाद हड़पने की बात हो या फिर पैसा छीनना या मानसिक प्रताड़ना देना हर चीज़ में आज का बुज़ुर्ग वर्ग खुद को ठगा महसूस करता है.

बुज़ुर्गों का ख़ासा तक़लीफ़ पब्लिक के बीच में होती है ख़ास कर पोस्ट ऑफीस, पब्लिक हॉस्पिटल के कर्मचारियों से, सब्ज़ी वालों से और बॅंक में.

शोधकर्ताओं ने भी माना है की एक बुज़ुर्ग व्यक्ति को मानसिक रूप में कमज़ोर करने की भरपूर कोशिश की जाती है.

नॅशनल पॉलिसी ओं सीनियर सिटिज़न्स, 2011 के मुताबिक 2000-2050 में 60 साल के इर्द गिर्द लोगों की संख्या 326% बढ़ेगी. दुनिया के 1/8th” बुज़ुर्ग भारत में रहते हैं.

अकेले 2014 में 8,973 केस वृधों से बदतमीज़ी के सामने आए थे.

संविधान का आर्टिकल 21 इंसान को जीने की और अपने निर्णय लेने की पूरी छूट देता है.

भारत में मेंटेनेन्स आंड वेलफेर ऑफ पेरेंट्स आंड सीनियर सिटिज़न्स आक्ट 2007 में लागू हुआ.

एक देश व्यापी बहेस 2018 में तब छिड़ी जब सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता रवि कालरा KBC 10 में आए और उन्होने दिल दहला देने वाले किससे साझा किया.

उन्हों ने कहा समाज का एक बड़ा तपका है जो अपने बुज़ुर्गो को जहन्नुम से भी बत्तर ज़िंदगी दे रहे हैं.

उन्होने बच्चन के शो में कहा कैसे एक बच्चे ने संपत्ति छीना और फिर कोमा से ग्रसित बाप को चूहों के बीच छोड़ के ताला मार दिया. उन्होने आगे बोला एक औरत को उनके बच्चे इतना कम खाना देते थे की उनका वज़न महेज़ 12 किलो रह गया था.

आज ऊँचे ऊँचे पदों पर बैठे उन बच्चों को याद रखना होगा की आपका भी टाइम आएगा जब मानसिक और शारीरिक रूप से कमज़ोर होंगे, कहीं ऐसा ना हो आप को भी आपके औलाद ठेंगा दिखा दें, जब आप खुद महसूस करेंगे उस दर्द को तब तक आपके लिए वृधाश्रम की काल कोठरी आपके लिए बाहें  फैलाए खड़ी होगी.

FACTFILE (Statistics revealed in Surveys/Helpage India Data)

  • Among the total elderly population, 78% live in rural areas.
  • India is home to 1 out of every 10 senior citizens globally
  • Reportedly 50% elders have experienced abuse
  • 72% of abused elderly are of the age group 60–69 years
  •  25% of age group 70–79 years
  •  3% of age group are 80 or above 80 years.
  • 11% senior citizens are treated badly at private hospitals
  • 52% senior citizens suffer rude behaviour for not dressing well

एक प्राचीन कला जो महेज़ फिल्म की टाइटल बन के रेह गयी

Courtesy – Sahapedia

एक ऐसे देश में जहाँ पर सिनिमा जगत के अलावा भी कई विधि विधायें है कला में, ऐसे में गुलाबो सीताबो को बचाने के लिए बुधी जीवियों को गहरा मंथन करना होगा । जिससे ये विरासत लुप्त ना हो जाए…..

लखनऊ शहर में आजकल बहुत धूम है। शहर में अमिताभ बच्चन अपने अगले फिल्म की शूटिंग कर रहे हैं। शूजीत सरकार की गुलाबो सीताबो जिसमे आयुष्मान खुराना भी उनके साथ काम कर रहे हैं । बच्चन अपने किरदार के लिए चर्चाओं में बने हुए हैं, पर अगर बात की जाए इस फिल्म के नाम की पृष्टभूमि की, तो इसका नाम प्राचीन गुलाबो सीताबो के कठपुतली कला पर आधारित है ।
एक ऐसी कला जो लखनऊ की २०० साल से भी ज़्यादा पुरानी विरासत है, पर अब उसके ना तो कद्रदान हैं, और ना ही वो कला दिखाने वाले । एक ऐसे समय में जब संचार के क्षेत्र में नित नये प्रयास किए जा रहे हैं, तो गुलाबो सीताबो की माँग घटी ही है बढ़ी नही ।
विगत कुछ वर्षों में कुछ चुनिंदे आयोजनों में कठपुतलियों के द्वारा स्थानिय कलाकारों ने रंग बिखेरा, पर इसकी असली चमक नवाबों के ज़माने में दिखती थी, जब उनके हरमों में इस कला से मनोरंजन प्रदान किया जाता था ।
गुलाबो सीताबो की अनूठी नोक झोक जो दो औरतों के बीच की कहानी है, पत्नी और सौतन के बीच की दास्तान बयान करती है ।
नवाब वाजिद अली शाह के समय से चली आ रही गुलाबो सीताबो की परंपरा क्क के जिले जिले में मशहूर है । साल में एक बार कलाकार घूम घूम के इसको लोगो तक पहुँचते थे कुछ समय पहले तक ।
पर जानकार बताते हैं की नयी पीढ़ी को मनोरंजन के नये स्रोत मिलने से इस कला को ख़ासा झटका लगा है ।
कई स्थानिय कलाकारों को अपना कठपुतली खेल छोड़ दूसरे कमाई के साधन ढूँढने पड़े हैं ।
कलाकारों के एक समूह राज्य सरकार को आगा करता आया है की अपनी सांझी विरासत कहीं खो ना जाए ।
गुलाबो सीताबो दास्तानी रूपी कठपुतलियाँ हैं जो नाना रंग के, सुंदर कलाकृतियों वाले , चमकीले कपड़े पहने हुए और सुंदर आभूषण के साथ मिलते हैं । बहुत बार देखा गया है इस कठपुतली खेल में बोल के और गा कर सूत्रधार अपनी बात रखता है । अजीबोगरीबे मज़ाक, कुछ तीखी बातें और कुछ खिल्ली ठट्ठा इस पेशकश के अभिन्न अंग हैं। गुलाबो सीताबो की कहानी हमारे रोज़ मररा की जि़ंदगी के इर्द गिर्द घूमती है । ढोलक और मंजीरा के साथ ये कठपुतली खेल देख लोग मंत्रमुग्ध हो जाते हैं ।

Courtesy – TOI


इतिहास के जानकारों का मानना है की १८५७ में कठपुतलियों का इस्तेमाल देशप्रेम को बढ़ावा देने के लिए किया जाता था ।
साल १९६३ में लखनऊ के लिटरेसी हाउस में कठपुतली बनना शुरू हुई । इसी के ठीक बाद लोगों में इस कला को सीखने की इच्छा जागी । कई कलाकार यहाँ से पढक़े आगे चलकर सूचना विभाग, संस्कृति विभाग द्वारा आयोजित कार्यक्रमों में इस कला की खुश्बू बिखेरते रहे ।
लखनऊ और आस पास के इलाक़ों में गुलाबो सीताबो का नज़ारा त्योहारों में ज़्यादातर दिखता था. सतरवी सदी में जन्मी ये कला अब दम तोड़ रही है ।
इस नये युग में जब ज़माना माउस और कंप्यूटर में मनोरंजन ढूंढता है तो गुलाबो सीताबो और अन्य प्रकार के कठपुतली खेलों में फेर बदल भी किया गया है ।
कभी परंपराओं पर आधारित ये खेल अब हाल फिलहाल के ज्वलंत मुद्दों पर समाज को आएना दिखा कर एक संवाद स्थापित करने की चेष्ता करती है ।
रेडियो और टीवी के मध्यम से पढ़ा लिखा वर्ग इसी कोशिश में है की कैसे पप्पेट्री को एक नया मुकाम दिलाया जा सके । बच्चे जो कार्टून नेटवर्क, पोगो और निक देखना पसंद करते हैं उनके लिए भी पप्पेट के द्वारा कुछ सिखानेका प्रयास निरंतर जारी है ।
इसका सीधा उदाहरण है गली गली सिम सिम जो की विदेशों के सेसमी स्ट्रीट पर आधारित है ।
लखनऊ में वरिष्ट कलाकार मेराज आलम, उनकी सुपुत्री तान्या आलम, कठपुतली कलाकार प्रदीप त्रिपाठी, चंद्र शेखर शुकला, उमा शुकला और भूरेे मास्टर सबने अभूतपूर्व योगदान दिया इस कला को बढ़ावा देने में ।
ना केवल लखनऊ में, बल्कि देश में इसकी कलात्मकता को बरकरार रखने के लिए कई कलाकार प्रयत्न करते रहे हैं। जिनमे सुप्रसीध हैं – मेहेर रुस्तम कॉनट्रेकटर, सुरेश डट, दादी पुदुँजी, जी वेणु, TN.शंकरनथन, अनुरूपा रॉय, रामदास पध्य, राचेल मॅक बीन, र.न. शुकला, दिलीप चटर्जी, ब. सहाइ एवं कई अन्य नामचीं हस्तियाँ ।
समाज में जागरूकता बढ़ाने के भाओ से एनसीईआरटी ने भी कठपुतली को एक विषय के रूप में मान्यता दी ।
गुलाबो सीताबो का प्रदर्शन जो गावों व नगरों की गलियों से शुरू हुई, जैसे जैसे आधुनिक हवा चली इसकी लोकप्रियता कम होती चली गयी ।
कठपुतलियों का जि़क्र ना केवल महाभारत में है, बल्कि पाणिनी, तिरुवल्लुवर और पतंजलि ने भी अपने लेखनी में इस प्राचीन कला का ज़िक्र किया है ।
कठपुतली को नाना नामों से जाना जाता है उनमे से सबसे प्रचलित हैं -पुतुलनाच, पुतुलनच, पुतुलभाओना या पुतलभाओरिया ।
किसी भी देश के लिए उसकी कला, उसकी संस्कृति उसका गहना है और अगर वो ही दम तोडऩे लगे तो ये चिंता का विषय है । पत्रकारिता विभागों में पप्पेट्री और ट्रडीशनल मीडीया सिखाने वालों को इस पर शोध करना चाहिए की कैसे कठपुतली कलाकारों और उनकी कला को मीडीया के बदलते परिपेक्ष में मुख्यधारा से जोड़ा जा सके ।

Goodbye Shehenshah Bhai !!!

I got news first of Shehenshah Bhai passing away when a local documentary filmmaker shared a tribute saying that Shehenshah Bhai had passed away. I was prompt enough to message on my social handle about the development. The tributes poured in. One among them was my cousin Arjun who said – the man had swagger.

Shehenshah Bhai lived a pious life minus the frills of a celebrity. He was known well by all in Old Lucknow, but his claim to fame was his uncanny resemblance to Amitabh Bachchan in Shehnshah. In a part of Lucknow where crowded streets are part and parcel of day to day life, where the smell of itra and Awadhi food is omnipresent, the iconic Shehenshah Bhai continued to rule hearts in his trademark style.
Old Lucknow denizens have often been inspired by actors like Salman Khan, John Abraham and others.

Over the years stylists did good business because they specialized in haircuts inspired by celebrities. Many of these stylists often operating out of humble shops enjoyed a cult status among their clientele. Back in 2014 speaking to journalist Ali Rizvi of the TOI he had said – I think Bachchan looked like me in Shehenshah.

Fit as a fiddle till his last day, Shehenshah Bhai as he was known passed away leaving his fans teary eyed. He was always spotted on the streets after sunset with his glasses, boots, flashy coloured shirts and a superhero like demeanour.

The man modelled himself on Bachchan’s 1988 classic Shehenshah where he fights for justice of the oppressed as a crusader. Shehenshah Bhai according to his near and dear ones had a swagger unmatched. He was the go to guy for sound advice and some warm company.

Andheri Raaton Mein, Sunsaan Raahon Par….Ek Maseeha Nikalta Hai, jise log shehenshah Kehte hain

Shehenshah, 1988

He was always seen out in the night with people wanting to discuss issues. There would be tempos peeping out to ask for Shehenshah Bhai, greeting him with the colloquial Salaam Walequm.

Going by Shehenshah Bhai folklore, the man even appeared in films like Dedh Ishqiya, Ishaqzaade and Ya Rabb.

Once a great one at enacting the Rishte Mein To Hum Tumhare Baap Lagte Hain, in recent times he avoided the act because people took it to heart.

Having started off as a plumber, he did not continue with the profession because he could not find peace with it. Most of his attires were reportedly gifted to him. As a mark of appreciation he would often flaunt it in public.

Eateries, tea stalls and panwallahs never asked for money from the man for the sheer reverence that they had towards the man.

While Shehenshah Bhai’s demise may not be an end of an era, it definitely is the passing away of a humble giant who walked this very earth.

लखनऊ में मुट्ठीभर सब्ज़ी वालों ने उठाया संस्कृत को बचाने का ज़िम्मा

संस्कृत जगत में बदलाओ का सपना देखने वाले ये सब्ज़ीवाले हर दिन इस प्राचीन भाषा को बचाने की लड़ाई लड़ रहे हैं.

संस्कृत को पढ़ना और पढ़ाना आजकल  कहीं गुम सा हो गया है. देश में अँग्रेज़ी और हिन्दी ही जब सही से ना बोल पायें तो संस्कृत का धूमिल होना तो लाज़मी है बताते हैं निशातगंज के सब्ज़ी वाले, जिन्होने संस्कृत  को प्रचलित करने का बीड़ा उठाया है.

निशातगंज सब्ज़ी बज़ार में 50 से 60 सब्ज़ी वाले अपना दुकान चलाते हैं. उनमे से तीन से पाँच दुकानदार ऐसे हैं जिन्होने देश में पहली बार एक ऐसा प्रयोग किया है जो सराहनीय है.

निशातगंज का सब्ज़ी बज़ार देश का पहला ऐसा सब्ज़ी बज़ार बन गया है जहाँ सब्ज़ी संस्कृत में बेची जा रही है.

बिकरीकर्ता और खरीददार हर दिन की तरह उस दिन भी अपना दिन यहाँ बिता रहे थे, जब मैं यहाँ स्टोरी करने गया. सब्ज़ीवालों के लिए अब खबरों में रहना आम बात है.

सब्ज़ीवाले बताते हैं की आठ से नौ मीडीया संस्थानों के पत्रकार आके उनसे अक्सर सवाल जवाब कर के गये हैं. उनका कहना है की उन्हे अच्छा लगता है खबरों में बने रहना लेकिन, संस्कृत की खुश्बू दूर तक फैलाना उनका मूल लक्ष्य है.

सन 60 से, अशोक और उनके कई साथी यहाँ पर अच्छा बिक्री कर रहे हैं. और लोग भी इनके पास बार बार आते हैं क्यूंकी अच्छी सब्ज़ी सही दाम पे उन्हें यहीं मिलती है.

कई वसंत यहाँ बिता चुके ये सब्ज़ी वाले हर दिन इसी उम्मीद से संस्कृत में बात करते हैं की संस्कृत को अपना पुराना सुनेहरा पहचान मिल सके और ज़माने के करवट लेते ही ये कहीं गुमनामी के कगार पे ना पहुँच जाए.

अशोक जैसे कई नौजवान संस्कृत को बढ़ावा देते हुए खुश हैं. उनके आँखों में एक अजीब चमक है इस प्राचीन भाषा को बोलते हुए. कई दुकानों में बोर्ड लगाया हुआ था, पर अब नही है क्यूंकी गर्मी में सब्ज़ी धोते वक़्त खराब हो जाते हैं. बज़ार में सब्ज़ी बेचते कुछ विक्रेता बताते हैं की एक शुक्ला जी थे जो आर्या कन्या विद्यालय से आए थे और उन्होने ही संस्कृत को बढ़ावा देने का ये अनूठा आइडिया दिया.

 वो कहते हैं की बाकी वहान के लोगों ने बीड़ा उठा या उस पर काम करने का.

अशोक और उनके जैसे कई लोगों के लिए मसला ये है की जब देश में लोग अँग्रेज़ी और हिन्दी ही नही बोल पाते हैं तो संस्कृत को कैसे बढ़ावा मिले.

निशातगंज में ही कार्यरत नंदू सोनकर कहते हैं, “हमारा काम है की हम संस्कृत को बढ़ावा दें. हम अगर असफल रहे तो हम क्या कर सकते हैं.”

लोग जो अक्सर यहाँ आते हैं खुश हैं की संस्कृत बोलचाल का ज़रिया है. कुछ खुश हैं, तो कुछ मानते हैं की अभी बहुत वक़्त लगेगा इस पर लोगों को रिझा पाना. पर लोगों में बोलने का ख़ासा उत्साह दिखा.

खबरों में ये जगह बना तो हुआ है, पर कुछ ऐसे भी हैं जो अभी भी इस सब से अछूते हैं. जहाँ कुछ लोगों ने पब्लिसिटी स्टंट कह के बात को झुटला दिया है, सिकंदर कुमार गुप्ता मानते हैं की हम मातृभाषा को पल पल मरते नही देख सकते है. जब कोई अच्छी संस्कृत बोलता तो हम भी उनको सब्ज़ी खरीद पे डिसकाउंट देते हैं..”

गुजरात के वीरू सोनकर और उनका परिवार जो अपना काम यहाँ पर कर रहे हैं कहते हैं, “जैसे उर्दू, अँग्रेज़ी और हिन्दी ज़रूरी है, वैसे ही संस्कृत भी जानना अनिवार्या है, एक भारतीय के लिए. हमारे इस मुहीम का मक़सद है की हम कुछ करें जिससे इंसान यहाँ से लौट कर घर पे दो शब्द संस्कृत के भी बोले. लोगों में उत्साह है, पर सीखने की चाह नही.”

निशातगंज सब्ज़ी बज़ार अकेले एक ऐसा बेज़ार है जहाँ संस्कृत को बढ़ावा मिल रहा है. यहाँ पर आलू को आलूकं, टमाटर को रखतपलम, करेला को कर्वेलह, गाजर को गूंजनक्कम, लहसुन को लशुनाम. प्याज़ को पलांदूह , आद्रक को आद्राकम और मिर्ची को मिर्चिकं कहा जाता है.

पर पूरी बात को संक्षिप्त में कहते हुए, एक सज्जन, सटीक बात करते हैं. वो कहते हैं अगर हम जैसे अनपढ़ लोग संस्कृत समझ सकते हैं, तो समाज का पढ़ा लिखा वर्ग क्यूँ नही? हम कभी बी किसी पे थोप्ते नही इस भाषा को.

देश में एक राष्ट्र भाषा पे बहेस तब छिड़ गयी जब NCST ने संस्कृत को राष्ट्र भाषा बनाने की गुहार लगाई थी.

#RevivingPostalGlory: Celebrating Army’s Valour with postcards

I loved Border for many reasons, but it’s song Sandese Aate Hain still continues to give me goosbumps. The song in the JP Dutta film captures the relevance of letters coming from near and dear ones to those fighting the enemy at the border well. Many of these soldiers for months or years together do not get time to even see their family. Mothers, fathers, wives and children all pray each day that their brave family man is safe and secure and he strikes the enemy when the iron is hot.

In keeping with the spirit of communication that keeps the armyman and his family connected, a unique exhibition in the city will not just pay an ode to the jawans of our country, it will also try bringing back the discourse around postcards into the mainstream.

The post card in the modern era of Whatsapp, mails and faxes has lost it’s relevance. In a bid to revive the old practice and make people aware of the once glorious postcard, the special exhibition titled – Salute to Indian Army on Postcard will be a unique exhibit for all art lovers to see and cherish. Curator of the art show Bhupendra Kumar Asthana has been quoted as saying that this is the first time that such an event is happening in Lucknow.

The event is solely dedicated to the jawans of the nations. The exhibition aims at bringing people of the city face to face with the sacrifice and patriotism of the jawans. It is a means to pay homage to the martyrdom of the brave sons of the soil.

The event sees joint participation of Saprem Sansthan and varied artists including poets of the nation. The event will see nearly 200 artists, writers, photographers, sculptors, poets and kids who will show their work on nearly 300 postcards.

If the organizers are to be believed artisans, print makers, sculptors, photographers, poets, writers and kids all have shown wholehearted interest in the cause.

The organizers believe that curating an exhibition of this scale reinforces faith in the fact that the postal network still has its own significance, especially in remote areas despite technology seeing a boom.

Bhupendra who is known widely for his artistic credentials is quoted as saying that reviving the dying postcard is the key driving factor for him. With nationwide response, the show promises to be a cut above the rest.

A seven day postcard exhibition at Aliganj’s Lalit Kala Akademi, it will showcase the relevance of post cards through arts and creative messaging.

The special exhibition will have 300 exhibits of 200 artists on display.

The army of the country has always worked tirelessly to safeguard the best interests of the nation, ensuring its safety and independence. It is because of the Army that we can sleep peacefully, even as they stand alert at the border.

Celebrating their dedication and valour this exhibition many such creative postcards with artwork have already been received as entries for the show say organizers.

Each day the organizing committee is receiving atleast two envelopes via mail. A survey is also on to map the mood of the public.

With interesting entries a new window to some fascinating trivia has been opened. Many reportedly have gone that extra mile to fish out classic old postcards that invoke nostalgia among many who lived in the olden era.

Indians have been sending postcards with creatives and messages for the Indian Army from across different states. People from Uttar Pradesh,  Pune, Mumbai, Assam, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Jammu, Uttarakhand among others.

India is not alien to such events. In the past rare vintage postcards dating back to 1890s were showcased in the national capital a year ago.

Not so long back a group of children tried to boost the morale of India’s jawans by sending them letters, postcards and drawings. The gesture was appreciated by ex Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.

India Post and Postcrossing Society of India has in the past organized the ‘Salute a Soldier’ campaign

The Indian postal system initially used for military and governmental communications developed way before the arrival of Europeans. Under the British came the British administrative system over most of India, trying to maintain both official and commercial mail systems.

Established in 1837,  after the Indian Post Office, Asia’s first adhesive stamp, the Scinde Dawk came to be in 1852 with help of  Sir Bartle Frere, the British East India Company’s administrator of the province of Sind. The postal system took shape of an extensive, dependable and robust network aiding connectivity pan India. Since India became independent in 1947, the Indian postal service continues to function nationwide giving valuable, low cost services to the public of India.

Did Prashant Kanojia cross the critical Lakshman Rekha?

Prashant Kanojia’s arrest is a reminder that we must hold our guard as social media crusaders. Primarily because big brother is watching

A lot of people in the media I know have risen from very humble origins and made a mark for themselves in the industry. They have been part of either a particular caste, class or religion. They have suffered and then when they got the pen in their hands they tried to rid society of all social evils.

The arrest of Prashant Kanojia is disturbing at various levels because he first shares on Twitter and Facebook a piece of content that in itself needs to be verified. But at the sametime the video is not his doing. What seems to have irked the establishment is the dig that the freelance journalist has taken at the UP CM.

Arrested by the UP police, many now question whether the journalist who operated out of Delhi has the right to use journalism to get even with the powers that be. The other point is whether the cops in UP have the right to arrest Kanojia. 

Amidst all the chest thumping, all the talk of what is right and wrong I am taken back to basics in the media which suggest that report, write and expose but do not try to do things which might be against the grain of media discourse. Not even the sharpest of scribes have the right to use mockery as a tool to target someone.

The journalist has to maintain the sanctity of his post and he must weigh all pros and cons before he pushes content because no one knows whether the person seen in the video is motivated by ulterior motives. Noone yet can claim the veracity of the video and what the person is claiming.

Kanojia is being brought to Lucknow. The journalist’s wife Jagisha Arora claims that cops in plain clothes took him away from Mandavali without even furnishing a warrant.

The entire controversy picked steam when a woman from UP’s industrial city Kanpur claimed that the UP CM, Yogi Adityanath allegedly had been in constant video chat mode with the  woman. She goes on to say that she is a divorcee and wants to settle down with Yogi Adityanath as she is sinking into depression. A video by the Uttarpradesh.org portal it has several mic id’s on display. The woman reportedly gave a letter to the CM.

Among the many Ids visible are Samachar Plus, NewsWorld, India 24X7 among others.

The question that many people are asking is whether the action is only for the caption because a string of people have notably shared the video. It is not even a leak by the man in question. At this point social media messages call for action against everyone who have in any way shared the video. Selective targeting of a journalist is questionable given that a lot of filth has been tossed against political bigwigs by a wide array of people without solid basis say some online commentators.

For many this is like previous situations where a publicity stunt was planned. Many seem to be questioning the sudden comment that Prashant made on his twitter handle. Yogi Adityanath has not been spared over these years. Journalists of all hues have written unsparingly against the saffron man about his rein as CM an his previous role as MP of Gorakhpur. In 2017 Adityanath was bombarded with memes which compared him to Vin Diesel of the Fast and Furious franchise. Interestingly there was no FIR then. Yogi at that point had laughed it off. Hence the current scheme of things further allay fears of targeting of journalists who dare to question those at the helm. Some reports even bring to the fore how Rahul Gandhi has been mercilessly targeted online but the grand old party has not taken things too seriously.

At a broader level it is rather clear now that while memes and jokes are taken with a pinch of salt by the common folk, the political class is yet to get mature so as to take a joke in their stride.

Sharing the video Prashant wrote on Facebook – योगी जी वीडियो चैटिंग कर सकते हो, तो इश्क़ का इज़हार क्यों नहीं? योगी जी आप डरो नहीं मत सोचो समाज क्या कहेगा बस भाग जाओ हम सब आपकी शादी करवा देंगे।

The SSP was reportedly ordered to take strict action against the journalist.  A joint team of the SSP and the cyber cell arrested Prashant from Delhi.

Some sources say that in recent past social activists have been arrested calling them Naxalites.

Prashant Kanojia is also charged of raking up the Dalit issue too very often but his life tells you about how someone who has faced discrimination came to raise his voice against the system. Everyone wants to rise the social ladder and Prashant is no exception. Prashant like many others has been fighting for equality and success. Born in a Mumbai slum, it has been his pen that brought him to a level where he has rubbed shoulders with the high and mighty.

For him poverty and being a Dalit have been a dampener. An inspiration for many of his contemporaries, he has been facing the wrath of class divide and poverty from close quarters.

Despite the curse of penury, he had early in life done his class 12 schooling in English. He fought all odds and hindrances to gain knowledge and expertise in what helps one to reach the top. A humble soul he had been living in a small home with his entire family.

Having seen trying times his father earned just Rs 3000, which egged a young Prashant to work doubly harder to contribute to the family kitty. A person who wanted to steer change, Prashant took to journalism and the rest so far has been history with him being a highly published author across verticals. He studied in IIMC Delhi after taking a loan. He never lost hope and fought tooth and nail for his rise. Much of his critics have called him a person who raised the flag against casteism but many would not know that his anger stems from personal fights with caste discrimination.

His wife claims that the arrest has been planned in a way that the bail cannot happen on Saturday and Sunday.

As per an Amar Ujala report in Lucknow’s Hazatganj police Station, Inspector Incharge, Radharaman Singh says Prashant Kanojia had made objectionable comments on which action has been taken. After the post went viral and things went out of hand is when action has been taken.

The complaint notably as per a Dainik Jagran report suggests that this was an attempt to tarnish the image of Yogi Adityanath.

A Wire input shows that he has been arrested under IPC sections 500 and IT Act section 66.

Meanwhile the United Against Hate team is in contact with the journalist.

When probed, the UP Police has told journalists that they have nothing to do with the arrest. They have said that they are clearly not aware of what is going on.

As cops try to brush the action against Prashant Kanojia under the carpet, the mystery around the action against the journalist deepens even further.

Even as questions around Prashant Kanojia’s conduct don’t seem to die down, Prashant an alumnus of S.I.W.S College Wadala Mumbai Maharashtra and the prestigious IIMC, Delhi has been part of noted media institutions like NDTV, BBC News, Indian Express and The Wire Hindi.

Currently a freelancer, his Intro on Facebook – हम तो फ़कीर हैं, झोला उठाकर चल देंगे! is a direct target on the PM, who recently won with a massive mandate. Whether the move is stifling of media freedom or it is about someone crossing that critical Lakshman Rekha only time will tell. But as journalists if we stop maintaining decorum, we might be doing disservice to the profession we honestly serve.

Modi 2.0: Modi rewards UP’s loyalty with cabinet berths

PM Modi showers his love on UP faces as he picks his cabinet, given that the state helped him emerge a winner

PM Modi returned to power with a resounding mandate which has broken his earlier record of 2014. As the new government at the Centre took over the reins of the country yet again, the most populous state of the country has much reason to be happy.

As a state that is known to give the country the most number of Prime Ministers, now as yet another feather in its cap, it can boast of a lion’s share in the Modi cabinet.

Taking oath at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the government sees good representation from UP with Modi leading the show.

Modi represents Varanasi, his second in command Rajnath Singh represents Lucknow.

UP BJP’s Mahendra Nath Pandey  has been reelected from Chandauli who will also be part of Modi 2.0.

A part of newsroom discussions for her superb performance at Amethi, Smriti Irani too is part of the new government. Irani defeated the Congress president Rahul Gandhi with a margin of 55,120 votes.

A state which sees maximum participation of 80 MPs, sees 10 representatives in the government.

Five of them – Modi, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Mahendra Nath Pandey are cabinet ministers. Two are MoS (independent charge) – Santosh Gangwar and Hardeep Singh Puri, a RS MP.

Others are MoS – Gen (retd) V K Singh, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Sanjeev Balyan.

Among the prominent faces who seem to have missed the bus are ManeKa Gandhi, Mahesh Sharma, Shiv Pratap Shukla and Satyapal Singh.

There were many who were surprised by the absence of Anupriya Patel, whose Apna Dal (Sonelal) took NDA’s tally to 64 by winning two seats.

Having lost this time Manoj Sinha and uncontested faces like Uma Bharti and Kalraj Mishra along with Krishna Raj have long been out of the race.

Analysts widely believe that no particular caste or community has been given an upper hand.

Narendra Damodardas Modi on May 30 was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the second  five-year term in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The mega oath taking event was held in the presence of over 6,000 guests including leaders from BIMSTEC countries, opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, chief ministers, big guns from the corporate world and film stars.

With this massive win Modi has become the first non-Congress prime minister to win two consecutive terms with a full majority.

Before his national foray, Modi served as Chief Minister from 2001 to 2014. As CM he had a mixed bag of highs and lows. Credited for economic growth, able administration and taking Gujarat to heights, his alleged complicity for 2002 riots and failure to improve health, poverty, and education proved a weak spot. Riding a wave of nationalism, PM Modi led the charge to sweep these elections with a bigger mandate than 2014 by winning a total of 303 seats.

Back to an Old Era: Rediscovering Chhattar Manzil’s Nawabi roots

Chhattar Manzil

Excavations at Chhattar Manzil have been a treasure hunt of sorts in Lucknow, which gives historians and scholars a chance to unlearn and relearn Awadhi history.

In modern times, Chhattar Manzil has turned out to be a treasure trove of historical findings and artefacts that has fast turned into an interesting excavation process.

In the last most significant finds in the city’s iconic structure, the Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam has found a tunnel shaped structure that reportedly connects the palace to the Gomti river.

Labourers stumbled upon the structure and found it to be made of ‘lakhauri’  bricks

The Chhattar Manzil has been witness to several discoveries of such structures over the past few years.

Earlier two tunnels from Gomti to the building and Kothi Farhatbaksh were dugup in November 2018.

These waterways and tunnels as per experts have proven that the Nawabs used water routes to travel to palace and back..

Finding of staircases to the water in the tunnel has given excavationists and researchers several leads.

An idol of lord Krishna  had a direct connect with Nawab Wajid Ali Shah as he was a staunch follower of lord Krishna and actively participated in ‘raas leelas’.

Not so long ago, a gondola was unearthed at the Chhattar Manzil, the workers who were part of the discovery said that they will not rule out a possibility of it being a royal boat.

The gondola is 42-feet-long and 11-feet-wide and flat-bottomed boat.

Excavations in the 220 year old structure have been on at the site from as early as 2017.

It all started with the discovery of a 15 sq ft room buried beneath a structure that is comprised of a seraglio that was used by the begums. As things progressed the excavators also found a complete storey lying buried.

Among the other noted finds are pillars, wall brackets, doors and windows something that has attracted the interest of historians and scholars alike.

Waterways leading to the structure have created renewed interest.

In the meantime, the UP State Archaeological Department will be establishing a  museum to house artefacts unearthed at archaeological sites across UP.

Reports say that the museum will house furnaces, arrow heads and cultural components before the common era ( 1800 and 1000) found during excavation.

A report in a prominent newspaper reads – “Stone and bone artifacts, terracotta beads and other important cultural components too will be placed in the museum, said officials.”

A highly professional team comprising of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU), State Archaeology Department and officials of the civil engineering department, IIT BHU are undertaking the task.

The Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam has also found a brick plaque with Major General Claude Martin’s name on it at Kothi Farhatbaksh.

It is also reported that the iconic structure at the state capital of UP will be getting its 1862 look when restoration at the monument is complete.

Built in the nineteenth century, Nawab Sadat Ali Khan paid an ode to the  memory of mother Chattar Kunwar.

An exquisite piece of architecture it was completed by Nasiruddin Haider.

The begums spent summertime here because of its cool ambience.

The Britishers took over when the Sepoy Mutiny happened.

By 1950, it was handed over to CSIR who gave it to CDRI later.

As per the ASI, they delisted 11 Nawabi era marvels, including the Lal Baradari, Chhattar Manzil, Kothi Farhat Baksh among others.

They had been given a protected monuments status in 1920s.

In a city that is steeped with history and tradition, the findings at Chhattar Manzil are being closely watched for some new insights into how the Nawabs of Oudh lived and operated. It also gives writers and academicians to brush up their understanding of the Nawabi culture as we know it.