weekend notes

‘Tedx Srinagar’ marred in controversy, cancelled

Srinagar: Tedx Srinagar, a supposedly TED event scheduled for 12 June got cancelled after accusations of it being biased towards women and lacking authorisation from TED officials surfaced.

A poster appeared on social media last week announcing holding of Tedx Srinagar 2019 event on June 12 at Tagore Hall. It was the list of speakers that surprised netizens. Not a single woman speaker was included in list which included Dr. Sheikh Javid, Sonam Lotus, Syed Mujtaba Rizvi, Riyaz Ah Beigh, Javid Parsa, Dr. Shah Faesal, Dr. Arpan Jain, Tariq Ghani, and Parvez Imroz.

                Twitter user Khalid Shah complained TED officials about it. “Dear @imrahulpawa, we have very articulate and intelligent women (achievers) in Kashmir. Perhaps you should have peeped out from the boys club?! It is not too late, make amends,” Khalid tweeted.

Rahul Pawa, who had organised 2011 official TEDx Srinagar event replied, “I am not curating the event mentioned by the lady. As a previous curator for #TEDxSrinagar@TEDTalks@TEDx. I believe, the event mentioned by her is not authorized by #TED #TEDTalks. Ty for raising the issue. Unauthorized use of the TED, TEDx brand has legal implications.”

Fearing backlash from social media users and charges of misuse of TEDx brand, the event was cancelled without giving any reason.

The speakers were also criticised for agreeing to be part of the all male event and many of them also distanced themselves from the event.

With little known about organisers, and host of other problems, the event also became a joke on social media. One twitter user @ahadkhoj  tweeted “Kashur gov balai. After crorepati now we have our own #TEDxSrinagar.”

TEDx is a global movement devoted to bringing Ideas Worth Spreading to communities around the globe through independently-organized talks meant to inspire conversation, prompt innovation and create connections.

KU hosts conversation with bureaucrat turned author Anil Swarup

SRINAGAR: Author of the book ‘Not Just a Civil Servant’, Anil Swarup was in conversation with people from different walks of life here at Gandhi Bhawan, the University of Kashmir on Thursday. The conversation was part of the attempts made by Swarup after penning down his experiences in the form of a book to capture some moments of the journey as a civil servant.

On the occasion, people from the State administration, students, professionals and professors from various departments of the Kashmir University were present. Farooq Ahmad Shah, former Commissioner Secretary Education, PHE Irrigation and Flood Control J&K, Shah Faesal, former IAS officer and Sunil Sharma, Director General IEEMA, were the guests of honour.

Swarup is former Secretary, School Education (2016-2018) and Ministry of Coal (2014-2016), Government of India.

There was a marathon question-answer session regarding the book and experiences of Swarup as a civil servant.

Swarup talked about his beginnings as an IAS officer and the amusing things he saw travelling the country. He also spoke about the importance of transparency in governance and public-private partnerships.

The book ‘Not Just a Civil Servant’ which was released recently chronicles the journey through Anil Swarup’s early career in Uttar Pradesh where he faced several issues at district and state level, and also at the national level.

As Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development (School Education and Literacy), Swarup played a vital role to help the Centre to draw a roadmap for the Valley schools. He helped the Centre to partner Jammu and Kashmir to help reform school education system in the state and prepare a blueprint to overcome deficiencies in programme implementation in the year 2017.

The initiative was aimed to make J&K the second state after Uttar Pradesh with which the Centre would work closely in a sector which falls within the purview of the state government.

Mushaira organised at Sumbal

Bandipora: Cultural organisation Nargis Bazm-e-Adab in collaboration with District Information Centre Bandipora last week organised a day-long  Mushaira. The programme was attended by dozens of poets and students besides several literary figures of the district.

 On the occasion, prominent poets including Ibrahim Sumbli, Saleem Yousuf, Gh Hassan Haqnawaz, Mir Rafiq Hajini, Haqer Shabir Hajni, Dilshad Mustafa, Gh. Hassan Gowhar, Syed Assadullah Safvi,  Mehraj Nargis, Gulfam Nowgami, Sadiq Bashir, Ahmad Rayees Hajni, Fida Hussain Bhat, Hilal Haigami, Musadiq Hussain Parra and Qaiser Ferooz enthralled the audience by their poems that was appreciated by the audience.

While addressing the gathering, the chief guest appreciated the efforts of the Information Department for organizing Mushaira. He further added that the interaction of young poets with established poets of the district would go a long way in shaping students’ talent in poetry.

Ramadhan special programmes held in various schools

Srinagar: Jammu Kashmir Saqafti Markaz Budgam organised a series of programmes under Gulala banner in the schools of Baramulla, Srinagar, Budgam and Anantnag, in which students took part in various activities including Quran and Naat Khwani.

The programmes were organised in the school premises with an aim to explore the talent of children at grassroots level. A panel of experts judged the students and the position holders in Quran and Naat Khwani and essay competitions were awarded.

The programmes were conducted in Government Middle School Amberpora, Haigaam Sopore, Darshgah Iqbal Colony Khansahib, Budgam, Syed Bahaudin Bukhari (RA) memorial high school, Kanispora Baramulla, Iqra Gousia Public High School, Ranbirpora Anantnag, Higher secondary School haigam, Sopore, Botakadal Lal Bazar and other schools. The programmes will continue in other schools too.

At some of the places the local literary organisations also cooperated with JKSMB to make the event successful. A wide variety of renowned persons from different fields chaired the events.

Veer Munshi displays ‘Beyond the Personal’ work in New Delhi

New Delhi: Renowned artist Veer Munshi displayed his site-specific installation Beyond the Personal at an exhibition titled Silent Conflicts in India Habitat Centre’s Visual Arts Gallery.

The exhibition brings together 12 contemporary artists with there 15 videos, sculptures and canvases challenging a gamut of thoughts and depicting personal and political disturbances. The show is curated by Ashna Singh for whom the biggest war is one from within.

Munshi’s work includes a large skull with almost dripping red colour and decorated with papier mâché art surrounded by mirrors. There are scattered shrapnels too depicting a look of bomb explosion.

The 12×12 ft sculptural installation symbolises despair and dehumanisation, and points to recent bombings in Kashmir and Sri Lanka. “Alienation is a universal condition of the present times in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Palestine, Bosnia, Syria, Iraq and other such strife-ridden places,” Munshi told reporters further adding that the conflict in present times is more visible in the form of polarised politics.

Besides others, the show also hosts Pakistani artist Khalil Chishtee. Lahore born New York-based artist Chishtee work includes rusted iron silhouette of a burqa-clad woman, with Urdu calligraphy, as if she lies fenced within it in Definition. Chistee wants to drive the point how harsh laws are often imposed on those who are weak.

Every visual installation points toward the larger concerns about the future of society and questions where it is headed.