Tuesday, March 24, 2015

VERGHESE KURIEN - 'FATHER OF THE WHITE REVOLUTION'

Dr.Verghese Kurien was the  founding Chairman of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCNNF) and also served as the Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board for 33 years, from 1965 to 1998.He was lovingly given the titles 'Father of the White Revolution' and also as 'The Milkman of India'.
Verghese Kurien was born in a Syrian Christian family of Kozhikode, Kerala on November 26, 1921.He graduated in Science from Loyola College Chennai, and also got degree in Mechanical Engineering from 'Guindy Collge of Engineering Chennai'.He worked for a short period at Tata Steel, TISCO,Jamshedpur which was headed by his maternal granduncle John Mathai, who later became India's Finance Minister.
Kurien had received special training at Imperial Institute of Animal husbandry and Dairying in Bangalore.He got a government scholarship and went to Michigan State University,USA from where he completed his Masters' degree in Mechanical Engineering and Dairy engineering was a part of it.after returning from US he was posted at the Creamery in Khera District of Gujarat State where he worked for two years.
It was at this time that he encountered with 'Tribhuvandas Patel' and joined their 'Khera district Cooperative Milk producers Union' in 1949.Later the dairy processing unit was installed at the place 'Anand' and the 'Anand Milk Producers Union Ltd' launched their products under the brand name 'Amul'.Their motives became a big success and Kurien had keen interest to provide the large part of the benefits to the farmers.The Cooperative society which was only collecting 5000 litres of milk in 1948, now procures over 100 lakh  litres daily  from 3 million farmers of 16000 village level  societies.


When 'Amul' became a big success under the guidance of Verghese Kurien, the then  Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri took initiative to establish National Dairy Development Board(NDDB) to replicate the Amul model success across the country and Kurien was made its Chairman.He served in this post for 33 years from 1965 to 1998.He is acclaimed as the architect of 'White Revolution' and was mainly responsible to make India to become the biggest milk producing country in the world.To make this practically possible he launched innovative schemes  in 1970 and achieved his dream with hard work,enthusiasm and dedication. 
He received several awards and recognition.He received Padma Shri from Government of India in 1965 and Padma Bhushan in 1966.He was awarded 'Kris






hi Ratna Award' in 1986, he received World Food Prize,USA in 1989, and he was given 'Padma Vibhushan' award from Government of India in 1999.
Dr.Verghese Kurien Passed away on 9th September 2012 at the age of 90. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

SEMMANGUDI R.SREENIVASA IYER

Semmangudi Radhakrishna Sreenivasa Iyer was a great Carnatic Vocalist and 'Guru' who taught Carnatic Indian Classical Music lessons to large number of 
students out of which many of them became exponents  like M.S.Subbulakshmi and K.J.Jesudas.
Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer was born on 25th July 1908 at Thirukodikaval, Tanjore in Tamil Nadu.He started learning Carnatic music from the very young age of eight from his cousin Semmangudi Narayana Swami Iyer.
Later he was given much more lessons by experts like Thiruvadaimaruthur Sakharama Rao,Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer etc.He gave his first public performance at Kumbhakonam in 1927.
Semmangudi's voice was not melodious at initial stages and he worked hard to improve his voice and emerged victorious in that effort.His voice quality changed a lot and he could earn name and fame very soon as a good Carnatic musician because of his hard work, dedication and unique but excellent singing style which he developed himself.His singing style was very well appreciated and other musicians also started to perform in that way.His concerts were enjoyed by all and soon he was acknowledged  as a musician of par excellence.H received ardent fans from all over the world.
He was invited by Sethu Parvathi Bai of Travancore to take up the charge as Principal of 'Swathi Thirunal College of Music' at Thiruvananthapuram.This offer was accepted by him and he served in this position from 1934 to 1957.
From 1957 to 1960 he served as the Chief Producer of Carnatic Music at All India Radio,Madras.
Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer's many disciples also became well famous and exponents of Classical music. Some of them are 'M.S.Subbulakshmi,K.J.Jesudas,Pala C.K.Ramachandran,Mavelikara Prabhakara Varma,Sethulakshmi Venkitesan,Radha Namboothiri,Prof.Kumara Kerala Varma,P.S.Narayana Swamy,Kodayanallur Venkataraman' etc.






His disciples affectionately called him as .Semmangudi Mama(uncle).
He gave music concerts even at the age of 90.In his concerts accompaniments like Mridangam, Violin etc were usually  handled by  exponents like 'Umayalpuram Sivaraman,Lalgudi Jayaraman,T.N.Krishnan,Palghat Mani Iyer,Trichy Sankaran' etc which also added glory for his concerts.His choice of 'Kritis' and the style of rendition and improvisation including speed of rendering swarams etc earned wide acclaim.
He always received praise for his transcendental quality of rendition which he carried out with seemingly effortless grace.When he rendered the descriptions of the deities in the 'Kritis' with earnest devotion, adequate feel and expressions, the spiritual vibrations evoked the ambiance in such a way that the audience could experience the deity as per the details of the verses in their inner soul.
Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer was the recipient of several awards.He received Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan from Government of India.
He was the youngest recipient of 'Sangeeta Kalanidhi award' from the Music Academy.
He received Sangeet Natak Academy award in 1953.He was recipient of the title 'Isai Pararingnar' from Govt of Tamil Nadu, and received 'Kalidas Samman' from Government of Madhya Pradesh.
He was given honorary Doctorate from Kerala University in 1979.
Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer passed away on 31st October 2003 at Chennai in Tamil Nadu. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

RUKMINI DEVI ARUNDALE

Rukmini Devi Arundale was one of the main pioneers to revive,re-vitalize the classical dance form 'Bharatanatyam' and enhanced its status to be approachable to all classes of the society.Until those days Bharatatyam was known as 'Sadir' and used to be performed  by 'Devadasis' only.She contributed so much for the revival of this dance form and  by removing erotic elements (certain movements,gestures and expressions) from it completely raised its status.She redesigned the dance form's costumes,Ornaments used,the accompanying musical instruments etc and earned new life for this style of dance.
She was born in Madurai to Brahmin  parents Neelakanta Sastri and Seshammal on 29 February 1904.She learnt music from childhood but dancing was not allowed for her community till then.The family moved to Chennai because of Job transfer of her father and there she met British born theosophist and educationalist Dr.George Arundale  and they got married in 1920.She traveled along with him to many foreign countries and returned in 1928.
She became the President of the All India Federation of Young theosophists in 1923 and the President of the International Federation of Young Theosophists in 1925.During these period she got chance to learn about Russian ballet.
She happened to attend a Bharatanatyam dance program at Chennai and she determined to revive it. She learned this art form with out considering the protest of her community members.She became successful to give  'Sadir'  an overall change and determined to establish an institute to promote Indian artistic and cultural heritage especially 'Sadir' which came to be known as 'Bharatanatyam.
Rukmini Devi Arundale along with her husband succeeded to establish an institute as International Academy for arts in Chennai in 1936 and renamed it as 'Kalaksetra' in 1938.She invited exponents of dance,music and other arts to train the students.She choreographed and brought on stage dance-drama taken from popular Hindu epics like Ramayana and was successful to stage stories like 'Sita Swayamvaram,Ramayana,Sabari Moksham,Kumara Sambavam,Usha Parinayam,Gita Govindam' and many more.
Her Institute 'Kalakshetra' became a deemed university and exponents like 'C.V.Chandrasekharan,Yamini Krishnamurthy,Leela Samson' etc got trained in  this institute.
She was Vice President of International Vegetarian Union for 31 years.She




worked for the Prevention of cruelty to animals and was Chairman of Animal welfare Board of India.She served as Member of 'Rajya Sabha' for two terms.

She was recipient of several awards including 'Padma Bhushan from Government of India' in 1956.She got Sangeet Natak Akademy award in 1957 and Sangeet Natak Fellowship in 1967.She was given 'Kalidasa Samman' from Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1984.She received Honorary Doctorate from Wayne State University,USA., and many other awards and recognition.
Rukmini Devi died on 24 February 1986 at Chennai,Tamil Nadu.