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Indian musicians hit a new high with western contemporary music 12/01/2009
India has Hindustani classical and Carnatic classical music, it has Rabindra Sangeet as well as folk songs that vary from region to region. And Indian musicians are also striking a chord with the young and old with contemporary western music that, like literature, is becoming a mirror to social realities.

The new sounds emanating from the scores of young music makers across the Indian metros are primal, anguished, cacophonic and aggressive - a marked departure from the early genre of rock music in India during the 1960s, seventies and mid-eighties. It was in the sixties that cities like Kolkata in eastern India lined up their first Indi-folk rock band Moheener Ghoraguli (Moheen's Horses borrowed...


India's remarkable media growth story 08/01/2009
The year was 1820 when social reformer Raja Rammohun Roy brought out three newspapers in Bengali, Persian and English to counter colonial influences and educate Indians about the need for change. Almost two centuries later, that zeal and idealism has exploded into an industry that has 50, 000-60, 000 print media news publications and 67 news channels. It is the world's second largest news market after the US.

The newspaper stall has become in many ways an intellectual rendezvous where opinions are exchanged and views traded. The media reflects the heterodox thought processes and what Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen calls the "argumentative tradition" of this clamorous nation of 1.17 billion people.

History records that the first newspaper in India came out in 1780 when an Englishman named James Augustus Hicky printed the weekly Bengal Gazette. But this hardly marked the advent of Indian journalism as it catered primarily to the colonial elite.

The three newspapers brought out by Raja Rammohun Roy 40 years later marked the true beginning of Indian journalism. They were the first among Indian-owned newspapers that we know that were published on a regular basis.

Indian Art pitchforks country onto global centrestage 03/01/2009
From $2 million to $400 million in seven years - that is the explosive growth story of the Indian art market that is now the fifth largest in the world.

Till a decade ago, India was just another important centre on the global art map churning out quality work by a refined fraternity of modern and contemporary artists. But the doors to business interests opened post- globalisation, propelling Indian art into the big league.

Business took over the aesthetics of art making it one of the fastest growing money-spinners. Three big events in a span of a month point to the growing popularity of the country both as an art production and business destination.

On Aug 20, London-based auctioneer Christie's unveiled a collection of 20 works of art, to go under the hammer at its Sep 16 New York sale, for a preview i...


Bhiwani boxers punch their way to Beijing 03/01/2009
This is where dreams are born - Olympic size. Under a tin shed in North India's Haryana state local youth punch their way out of their humdrum lives. Here the letters BBC stand not for the British Broadcasting Corporation but the Bhiwani Boxing Club. India's BBC has given the country an Olympics bronze medal and aspirations for many more.

In recent days, it has taken the heroics of just three BBC men to place the town of Bhiwani, about 120 km from the Indian capital New Delhi, firmly on the country's sporting map. In an amazing tale, India's most successful boxers trained not in internationally designed arenas but in a most spartan Bhiwani facility.

No one in either Haryana or India had ever heard of BBC, or the champion boxers from Bhiwani, till they got themselves noticed in Beijing's boxing ring. The first hint of fame came when three men -Vijender Kumar, Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar - made the national boxing squad for the recently concluded Beijing Olympics.

Of the three, only Vijender Kumar won a bronze in the 75 kg category. But the storm they raised in the town and the scores of villa...


Riding high on nuclear deal, India, US transform ties 03/01/2009
When Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W. Bush met in the White House on July 18, 2005, there was a buzz of expectation. But not many thought that the two leaders will make history by announcing a landmark nuclear deal that will revolutionise ties between the two nations once famously dubbed "estranged democracies".

Three and a half years later, what seemed unthinkable has happened as India and the US inked the "historic and unprecedented" 123 civil nuclear cooperation pact on Oct 10 - the defining step that signals a new era in ties between the world's largest democracies and the arrival of India on the global scene.

"Many thought this day would never come. But doubts have been sil...


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