- Richard Attenborough's latest directorial venture is the result of a single man's obsession with portraying Gandhi, the man. Towards this is being channelised some Rs 18 crore, and 21 weeks of non-stop filming with the expertise of nearly 200 permanent unit members of the Indo-British films, who comprise a large chunk of the best Indian and British talents. This issue's cover story takes a look at how a film of this magnitude and importance is made.
"I cannot make six films at one time the way they do in commercial cinema." - Girish Karnad.
With a brand new and vastly improved terminal at Sahar, across the runway from Santa Cruz, the airport official, as well as the thousands of travellers caught in the old terminal's claustrophobic confines, can breathe freely again.
CID officials call the burglary at Khas Bagh palace the biggest ever in India. According to the first information report lodged with the Rampur police, Murtaza Ali Khan and others alleged the theft of the property of a private Shia Waqf from the strongroom of the palace.
The Indian Government constantly harps on being self-reliant especially in the technological and defence fields. Yet, while ordnance factories and defence research organisations are mushrooming, there doesn't seem to be a corresponding lax in the import of defence equipment. The recent decision to buy the Soviet T-72 as the Main Battle Tank - as a stop-gap arrangement, at that - has only highlighted the glaring muddle which is our defence expenditure.
With the discovery on November 30 of a letter, a singed cot, and the charred, dog-bitten remains of 70-year-old R.N. Gaur, better known as Baba.To the layman, the world of high espionage is one where super sleuths pull off fantastic jobs and perform daredevil feats - in fact, do just about everything but go on strike.On the surface, there was little to distinguish it from any other sacking. Late last month, Dr L.P. Agarwal, 59, director of New Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences, was dismissed without notice by the Institute Body by a 8-3 vote in "public interest".Andhra Pradesh has always been the trend-setter. The fast unto death of Potti Sriramulu, that sowed the seeds for the subsequent reorganisation of states on linguistic basis, is just one example.The warrior wasn't dead, after all. A colonel in the Indian Army was declared missing during the 1971 war with Pakistan. His presumed widow mourned for some time, and started putting her life together again.The Congress(I) high command has, reportedly, started an inquiry into the reasons for the violent demonstrations by the students of Allahabad University against Mrs Gandhi during her recent visit.The gradual breakdown of law and order in Tellicherry where the running war between Marxist and Rashtriya Swyamsewak Sangh (RSS) workers has already taken a heavy toll, is not a new phenomenon.Sharad Pawar, 42, former chief minister of Maharashtra, toned himself up for his 'long march' with long daily walks in Bombay. Wearing a white turban and a huge red tilak on his forehead, he spoke to India Today's Chander Uday Singh.Which domestic animal has a 20-year life span, requires just 30 minutes' sleep a day, catches a cold when it eats radish and loves carrots and jaggery? Answer: mankind's favourite beast of burden, the humble donkey.Raja Deen Dayal's grandson, Ami Chand, curries on the family tradition in Hyderabad in the same old studio that his now famous ancestor used. Nothing much has seemingly changed; in fact members of the erstwhile royal family still sit for portraits before Ami Chand's camera - strictly by appointment.Barring signs of a minor Congress(I) rally in some places, the bandh brought life in the city to a standstill. "People can come to work as they like: we will not prevent anyone," Chief Minister Jyoti Basu repeated time and time again. Late last month Sharad Joshi, leader of the Shetkari Sanghatana agitation in Maharashtra's Nasik district, announced that the farmers would temporarily suspend their "andolan" to give the Government time to consider their demands.After more than a fortnight of hectic lobbying in New Delhi, Anwara Taimur, the leader of the Congress(I) in Assam, flew home in triumph on December 6. The same evening she was sworn in as the first woman chief minister of Assam - at 45, the youngest chief minister of the state.For an event as momentous as his first trip outside eastern Europe since the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan a year ago, President Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev's four-day visit to New Delhi was hardly a headline-grabbing exercise in diplomacy.Neighbouring Amethi, however, fears it might be reduced to a run of the mill constituency after the death of its mentor Sanjay Gandhi.
Maharashtra Electronics Corporation, taking a cue from Information and Broadcasting Minister Vasant Sathe, is trying to interest foreign colour TV makers to make colour TV sets in India. When Union Minister for Shipping Veerendra Patil visited Bombay early last month, he heard not the cacophonic fanfare of blaring welcomes, but the unmistakable rattling of some very sizeable skeletons in the dank closets of the Indian shipping industry.The share price index is only fractionally better than the earlier high, and percentage-wise the increase over the year has been to the order of 16 per cent which is just about on par with the inflation rate. According to the Industry Ministry, the number of letters of intent and industrial licences issued since January this year has gone up by nearly 50 per cent over the last year, and the race for foreign collaboration tie-ups is also gathering momentum. The war in the Gulf has pushed up naphtha prices nearly 50 per cent in 10 weeks to hit Rs 3,000 a tonne. The dramatic increase in what is the petrochemical industry's most important raw material will soon make a push on product prices.
For all the attention it seems to be getting, the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan might never have happened. This fortnight marks the first anniversary of the dramatic events of a particularly joyless Christmas season last year when Afghanistan was swiftly tucked into the powerful arms of the Russian bear.
"If Dhirendra Brahmachari says he is a sale able item for the press, he is right to the core. It is you people who are portraying him as controversial, I cannot see anything controversial in him."
Plagiarising a copyline from a perfume ad, an admirer once said she exudes a "sensuousness that stops on the right side of innocence". But Delhi's top-rated model Vidyun Singh wasn't relying on doe-eyed innocence alone to keep her at the top in the wicked world of modelling.
Ever since the late '70s, when critics like Susan Sontag began to intellectualise on how the advent of the camera had changed our visual sense forever, photographs especially those from the medium's period of gestation in the mid-19th century - have become collector's items.
Birendra Nath Sircar, 80, eminent film maker, dies at Calcutta, after a fall. Sircar, who was trained as an engineer, ultimately made films his career and played a pivotal role in the development of the Bengali cinema.
The illegal arms trade is a booming business, no matter how much the Government may try to turn a Nelson's eye towards it. Recently, in a series of lightning raids on houses and factories, the police in Morariabad and Rampur uncovered a sizeable cache of illicit arms-both assembled and in components. Not to be left behind, Bihar revealed its own secret trove of furtive munition factories. INDIA TODAY delves into the inner facts of the raids and the well-established illegal arms business.
The great health craze has begun, judging by the rash of new places in Bombay offering health, youth and vigour. While only 10 years ago there were hardly any health clubs in the city, today every major hotel has one.
Plagued by a constantly-upgraded syllabus, force-fed by harried teachers fighting a losing battle with overcrowded classrooms, and inexorably pressurised by misguided parents to do better at exams, today's school-going children are likely to emerge as the most overworked and, paradoxically, the most uninformed generation.
Once a year the National Press Club one of Washington's most prestigious institutions - pays a rare tribute to a foreign country by honouring that nation during an evening of festivity. This year the sages of the Press Club chose India. For one whole evening the entire Press Club would go Indian.The war in the Gulf has finally caught up with Indian businessmen in the Middle East. In Dubai, formerly a haven for the eager entrepreneurs, bankruptcy and accumulation of bad debts have forced many of them to resort to distress sales of stocks.Pakistan is rapidly emerging as the world's largest single exporter of illicit opium and pure heroin to European and American markets.A doomsday scenario seems to be developing with ominous rapidity in the Middle East cauldron. The Iran-Iraq conflict shows no signs of resolving itself but what poses a far greater threat to world peace is the military development in the entire area.
Veteran Telugu singer-actor Jonnalagadda Venkaia Somayajulu spoke to India Today Correspondent Amarnath K. Menon about the Telugu stage and its prospects.An old Telugu proverb says when a man has completed 100 years he is as good as dead. The Telugu stage, currently celebrating its centenary, finds itself in a somewhat similar predicament.Vijay Tendulkar's flat at a tenement building in Ville Parle, a suburb 30 kilometres away from downtown Bombay, is scrupulously representative of the middle class he writes about in most of his plays.Vijay Tendulkar, at 52, still travels for two weeks in a month to slake his thirst for '"reality". The result has been a continuous string of theatrical triumphs-and growing recognition as the country's best playwright.
The World (Bank) Development Report (WDR) 1980, contains the grim reminder that despite its natural endowments, abundance of trained manpower and head start among developing nations, India remains among the poorest countries in the world.Coiled in the twisted wires of stagnation and change, India is now a violent, cruel, ugly society. It is a society in which 300 "communal" riots occur in a year; about 10,000 young married women are annually burnt by in-laws and husbands for failure to bring in enough dowry and around two million women are raped, many of them by policemen.There is an implicit belief among a large number of town and city dwellers and the privileged in villages in India that third-degree methods are necessary to deal with "the others".
Mahatma Gandhi was one of the most photographed persons in his time. So readers who did a quick double-take at this fortnight's cover photograph can be forgiven for wondering if India Today had resurrected some old photograph of the Mahatma.
Every once in a while, like some mocking reminder from above, an event occurs that extends beyond the pale; that defies human logic and reason and comprehension. The Jonestown massacre in Guyana or, closer to home, the mindless carange at Belchi. And now, Bhagalpur.
After the hammer-blows the party - and by extension Mrs Gandhi's credibility - has been subjected to since her triumphant comeback in January this year, she was sorely in need of an enthusiastic bout of ego massaging.