Persons in News 2017

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Veteran actor Om Puri passes away

Veteran actor Om Puri passed away following massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was 66. His acting credits include appearances in commercial Indian, British, and Hollywood, independent films and art films.

He was credited for being part of parallel, new-wave cinema along with Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil that brought change in the film industry back in the 1980s.

About Om Puri

  • He was born on October 18, 1950 in Ambala, Haryana.
  • He was one of the prominent names of parallel cinema that changed Indian cinema in the 1980s. He made his debut in films in a marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal in 1972.
  • He had studied acting in India’s two of the most prestigious acting schools of the country- National School of Drama (NSD) and Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
  • He is remembered for his strong performances in films like Bhavni Bhavai (1980), Sadgati (1981), Ardh Satya (1982), Mirch Masala (1986) and Dharavi (1992).
  • His last appearance was in a Pakistani comedy film, Actor in Law, which had released in September 2016. He also had lent his voice for the character of Bagheera in The Jungle Book.
  • He had won two time National Award winner for his roles in Arohan and Ardh Sathya. He was honoured with Padmashri, the fourth highest civilian award of India in 1990.

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Noted Manipur based historian Gangmumei Kamei passes away

Noted Manipur-based historian, litterateur and scholar Gangmumei Kamei passed away in Imphal following protracted illness. He was 77.

Kamei was currently a member of the North Eastern Council (NEC). Earlier, he had served as a minister in Manipur on two occasions.

About Gangmumei Kamei

  • Gangmumei Kamei was born on October 21, 1939 in Imphal. He was specialised in the history of the North-eastern region, and more particularly of Manipur.
  • He hailed from the Zeliangrong community which is spread across Manipur, Assam and Nagaland.
  • Academic Life: He had served as a professor of History in Manipur University and also president of Northeast India History Association (NEIHA) in its Kohima session of 1986.
  • He had authored several books and a large number of research papers. Some of his most well-known books are A History of Modern Manipur (1826-2000), On History and Historiography of Manipur, A History of Manipur: Pre-colonial Period, Ethnicity and Social Change, Lectures on History of Manipur and History of Zeliangrong Nagas: From Makhel to Rani Gaidinliu,.
  • He was a historian of national repute and had served as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Anthropological Survey of India (1984-87) and also a member of the ICSSR panel on Tribal Studies.
  • Political Life: He was also into active politics and public life. He had founded the Federal Party of Manipur in 1993. He was also elected to the state assembly twice in 1995 and 2001 and also served as a minister twice.
  • In 2013 he had joined the BJP. In July 2015, Union Government had appointed him as a member of the NEC.
  • Awards and Honours: Platinum Jubilee Samman in 2010 by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad for his contribution to history and tribal culture, National Fellowship by Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla in 2010-2012.

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Google Doodle pays tribute to India’s social reformer Savitribai Phule

Search engine giant Google honoured India’s 19th Century social reformer Savitribai Phule on the occasion of her 186th birth anniversary (3 January 2017) by dedicating a doodle on its webpage.

The ‘doodle’ had a narration by New Delhi-based NGO Zubaan, with colourful paintings by Malvika Asher on the different historical aspects of Savitribai’s life.

It showed a group of demure women assembled outside what could be a school for education in a skyblue starry background which also doubles as her blouse.

About Savitribai Phule

  • Savitribai was among the country’s first women to speak up for the rights of women. She was the first woman teacher of the first women’s school in India and also a first pioneer in modern Marathi poetry.
  • Born as Savitribai K. Patil on January 3, 1831 into a family of farmers. She was married at the age of nine to the 13-year old Jyotirao Phule.
  • She was home taught to read and write by her husband. Later the couple founded India’s first school for girls and women in Bhidewada, Pune (Maharashtra).
  • It started with just nine girls from different castes enrolled as students – but it became a historic step when female education was considered taboo in the orthodox Indian society prevalent then.
  • The school was started with just 9 girls from different castes. But it was considered as historic step when female education was considered taboo in the orthodox Indian society prevalent then.
  • During the British rule in India, the Phule couple had launched a crusade against social discrimination based on caste and gender, and also had sparked the flame for women’s equal rights.
  • During this highly patriarchal and orthodox Indian society when women had no say in anything, Savitribai’s courageous campaign covered social issues such as child marriages, child widows, practice of ‘Sati’, women education and fighting for equal rights for all women.
  • Even after death of Jyotirao Phule in 1890, she carried on legacy of his Satyashodhak. She died while serving people suffering from bubonic plague in Maharashtra in 1897.
  • As a tribute to her sheer courage and pioneering efforts in field of women education, social reform and gender equality Maharashtra government had renamed Pune University as Savitribai Phule University. India Post also had released a stamp in honour of Savitribai on March 10, 1998.

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