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Censor board chief Prasoon Joshi bats for industry interaction on film certification

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Censor board chief Prasoon Joshi bats for industry interaction on film certification

Move comes after the Censor Board drew flak during the term of Pahlaj Nihalani for slew of cuts recommended in films at his behest

At the first meeting of its newly instituted board, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has decided to welcome interactions from the industry to refine the movie certification process. The meeting was held a month after lyricist, writer and ad man Prasoon Joshi was appointed as the chief of the censor board.

The meeting held on Monday was also attended by other board members including, “Gautami Tadimalla, Jeevitha Rajashekar, Mihir Bhuta, Naresh Chandra Lal, Neil Scott Nongkynrih, Ramesh Patnage, T.S. Nagabharna, Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Vidya Balan, Vivek Agnihotri and Waman Kendre.”

In a statement to the media, Prasoon Joshi said, “The purpose is clearly to make things better for all stakeholders where there is mutual respect and collaboration. It was felt that the constant fine-tuning of our sensibilities towards the changing world of cinema is desirable and also that the processes should be further streamlined for the benefit of the industry practitioners. The CBFC also decided that soon they would have an industry interaction to share the refinement of the processes and take industry inputs to make the certification process as smooth as possible.”

Joshi’s appointment as the CBFC chief came after former head Pahlaj Nihalani was sacked and replaced following a series of controversies during his tenure. A Padma Sri awardee of 2015, Joshi is a popular lyricist and scriptwriter of Bollywood. He has won National Awards for best lyricist twice – for ‘Maa’ in Tare Zameen Par (2008) and ‘Bolo Na’ in ‘Chittagong’ (2013).

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had reconstituted the panel of CBFC on August 11. In the latest reshuffle at the board, National Award winning actress Vidya Balan also booked a place in the administrative team of the censor board. Following the first board meeting, Vidya Balan lauded the panel’s initiative and stated, “It was reassuring to know we are all on the same page.”

The former CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalan, in several instances, had been criticized and accused of treating the censor board as his personal territory for demanding several cuts in movies in the name of moral policing.

Book reviews

The Sattvik Kitchen review: Relook at ancient food practices in modern times

If you are the one looking to embrace healthy food habits without compromising on modern delicacies, then this book is a must read!

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The cacophony of bizarre food combinations across the streets of India has almost taken over the concept of healthy food practices. Amid this, yoga guru Dr Hansaji Yogendra’s The Sattvik Kitchen, published by Rupa, is a forthright work that takes you back to ancient food practices and Ayurveda.

As the subtitle reads, The Art and Science of Healthy Living, the book endows a holistic approach to ayurvedic diet along with modern evidence based nutrition. From Basil-Broccoli Soup to Sprouted Green Gram Salad and Strawberry Oats Smoothie to Mixed Dal Parathas, the book not only provides you with the recipes but also stresses on healthy cooking tips together with nutritional benefits. 

Besides, Dr Hansaji Yogendra’s book emphasizes on the traditional methods of food preparation and the advantages of using traditional cookwares like iron and copper vessels. The narrative portrays a balanced approach, knitting traditional wisdom with contemporary scientific understanding.

The author, through her book, sheds light on the principles of Ayurveda and highlights the metamorphic potential of adopting ancient food practices. She explains how our body reacts to food in terms of timing, quantity, manner of consumption and seasonal considerations. The book adeptly reintroduces ancient home remedies tailored to address various contemporary health issues. 

Dr Yogendra, in her book, decodes the importance of nutritional knowledge to optimize both immediate and long-term health outcomes. It provides deep insights to understanding the intricate relationship between food choices and overall well-being, weaving Ayurveda with practical perception. 

The book not only celebrates food philosophy but also offers a practical view into weight loss, well-being, and the profound impact of dietary choices on both physical and emotional aspects of our lives.

If you are the one looking to embrace healthy food habits without compromising on modern delicacies, then this book is a must read! The book is a roadmap to navigate the challenges of the modern day kitchens. 

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Book reviews

The Deccan Powerplay review: Bashing Chandrababu Naidu and his legacy

Amar Devulapalli’s book The Deccan Powerplay cornersthe TDP strongman with every petty incident exaggerated a la Baahubali 

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Mike Marqusee’s War Minus The Shooting is a seminal book on cricket and its influence on culture and politics in the Indian sub-continent during the 1996 Cricket World Cup. Amar Devulapalli’s book The Deccan Powerplay, published by Rupa, sounds like a similar exercise with its clear subtitle, “Reddy, Naidu and the Realpolitik of Andhra Pradesh“. The ambitious sounding subtitle crumbles under the weight of belied expectations of a scholarly treatise on the political interplay between the Reddys, the Kammas and the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh. One can blame it on one’s own hopes and excuse the author of the lapse since the book has just three people to discuss: YS Rajsekhara Reddy, N. Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The chief protagonists here are YSR and his son, the incumbent Chief Minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh, Jagan Mohan Reddy. The lone villain, and one crafty as a fox if ever there was one, is Chandrababu Naidu. The book devotes a chapter to the corruption cases against Naidu, for which he was arrested in September 2023.

In crafting the narrative, the other heavyweights of Telugu country are discussed in passing, as peripheral players. N.T. Rama Rao does get the starring role, as befits the Telugu star of yesteryear and the founder of the Telugu Desam Party. But even this is fleeting. The Congress, which ruled the state till bifurcation, is portrayed as a faction-infested animal — so what if YSR stayed in the party both as loyal soldier as well as a seasoned yet dynamic general?

The book sets out to demolish the halo surrounding Naidu as the man who brought Information Technology majors to Hyderabad, nay Cyberabad, by beating Bengaluru. His breaking with NTR is depicted as a shrewd, calculated gambit to displace the TDP founder, who was also his father-in-law. 

The book is replete with this and more Naidu nitpicking. Naidu took no bullshit from politicians or journalists. He gave it back to the scribes when needed, apart from his favourite media groups, one of the reasons they were not very happy kowtowing to him, 

as the book suggests. Instead they would make ostentatious bows to any political alternative merely for being less brusque than the now-out-on-bail former CM. 

The book picks apart every claim Naidu ever made and portrays him as an opportunist. The problem with this is possibly because Naidu preceded Jagan Mohan as the rump AP’s last CM and had presumably used every trick in his arsenal to discredit the younger contender.

With Assembly elections due this year, this book reads like a party pamphlet and comes across as a political weapon among the undiscerning. An Instagram handle could have been more useful to this end. But for such a grandly-titled book: the anticlimax is swift and painful.

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India News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares Ram Bhajan sung by Sivasri Skandaprasad, praises her melody and devotion

Sivasri Skandprasad was touched by this gesture of PM Modi and said it is a great recognition of south Indian music, south indian bhajan and carnatic music. She said it is such a happy moment for her that she has no words to describe the emotion that he is experiencing now. She said it is a goosebumps moment. She said it is a blessing from Lord Ram himself.

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Prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took to X(formerly Twitter) and shared a video of a Ram Bhajan Pookisalende sung in Kannada by Sivasri Skandprasad. He captioned the video and wrote this rendition in Kannada beautifully highlights the spirit of devotion to Prabhu Sri Ram. He added such efforts go a long way in preserving or rich cultural heritage.

Sivasri Skandprasad was touched by this gesture of PM Modi and said it is a great recognition of south Indian music, south indian bhajan and carnatic music. She said it is such a happy moment for her that she has no words to describe the emotion that he is experiencing now. She said it is a goosebumps moment. She said it is a blessing from Lord Ram himself. Responding to PM Modi’s praise, the singer wrote on X (formerly Twitter) Thank You so much sir! This is an honour beyond imagination. My Pranams to you.

PM Modi also announced that he will be visiting South India for the next two days. He said over the next two days he will among the people of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. He said he would have the opportunity to pray at the Veerbhadra Temple, Lepakshi. PM Modi said he would also hear verses from Ranganatha Ramayan, which is in Telugu.

He said he will also inauguarate the new campus of National Academy of Custom, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics. PM Modi said on the 17th January he will pray at the Guruvayur Temple, Thripayar Shree Ramaswami Temple and address a public meeting in Kochi where key projects will be inaugurated.

The Ram Temple consecration is just a week away and the country is eagerly waiting for the occaision. Stories of Lord Ram and Ram bhajans are being shared far and wide and people are also trying out different Ram Bhajans in their mother tongue.

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