▼ Father of Pac-Man Masaya Nakamura is no more [01-31-17]
Masaya Nakamura, the “Father of Pac-Man” who founded the Japanese video game company Namco has died. He was 91.
Nakamura, who died on January 22, founded Namco, part of Bandai Namco, in 1955.
It started out as just two mechanical horse rides on a department store rooftop but went on to pioneer game arcades and amusement parks.
Bandai Namco, formed in 2005.
Pac-Man was designed by Namco engineer and video game maker Toru Iwatani.
It went on sale in 1980, at a time when there were few rival games, such as Space Invaders.
It’s estimated to have been played more than 10 billion times. This marks a Guinness World Record has named it the world’s most successful coin-operated arcade game.
The game was non-violent but just challenging enough to hook players into steering the Pac-Man for hours.
The iconic Pac-Man adorns T-shirts and other merchandise.
It has inspired animation shows, a breakfast cereal and even the nickname for Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.
The idea for Pac-Man’s design came from the image of a pizza with a slice carved out.
Nakamura reportedly chose the word “Pac,” or “pakku” in Japanese, to represent the sound of the Pac-Man munching its prey.
The game started out as an arcade item and then was at first played on the Nintendo Family Computer home console.
It has since been adapted for cellphones, PlayStation and Xbox formats.
Other hits from Namco are driving simulation games like “Ridge Racer” and a drumming game.
Pac Man: Know More
- Initial release date: 22 May 1980
- Designer: Toru Iwatani
- Series: Pac-Man
- Platforms: Arcade game, Android, Nintendo Entertainment System.
- Developers: Atari, Namco, Interactive Brains, Namco Networks
- Inventor: Toru Iwatani
▼ French star Emmanuelle Riva passes away [01-31-17]
French screen and theatre actress Emmanuelle Riva, nominated for an Academu Award for best actress in 2013, has died at age 89.
Riva died on 27th Jan 2017 in Paris after a long illness. Riva was Oscar nominated for her role in Amour.
With Riva, starring alongside movie legend Jean-Louis Trintignant, it won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film.
Amour also won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
About Emmanuelle Riva
- Born: 24 February 1927, Cheniménil, France
- Died: 27 January 2017, Paris, France
- Nominations: Academy Award for Best Actress
- Awards: César Award for Best Actress
- Books: HIROSHIMA 1958
▼ 2 time Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin passes away [01-27-17]
Russian Ambassador to India and the most well known face in diplomatic corps in Delhi, Alexander Kadakin passed away in a hospital in Delhi on 26th Jan 2017.
Kadakin was 67 years old at the time of his death. He passed away due to a heart attack.
He was a part of all major agreements between India and Russia from the Soviet Union to the India Soviet treaty of friendship of 1971.
Kadakin was one of the longest serving envoys for any country here. He promoted Russia's ties with India, devoting a significant part of his life to this.
He was head of the Russian diplomatic mission in New Delhi from Nov 2009. This is his second stint as the Indian ambassador.
He was also head of Russia's mission in India between 1999 and 2004.
He started his career as a third secretary in the Russian mission in the 1970s.
Kadakin indicated that Indo-Russian ties became stronger in the present. Defence and nuclear cooperation are on a high.
Kadakin was among the diplomatic community known for his deep understanding of Indian culture and language and his proficiency in Hindi drew admiration from those meeting him.
He was born in Chisnau in USSR in 1949. Graduating with honours from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1972.
Russian Government: Know More
- Government: Federal semi-presidential constitutional republic
- President: Vladimir Putin
- Prime Minister: Dmitry Medvedev
- Chairman of the Federation Council: Valentina Matviyenko
- Chairman of the State Duma: Vyacheslav Volodin
▼ Renowned Urdu poet Naqsh Lyallpuri passes away [01-24-17]
Renowned Urdu poet and lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri passed away. He was aged 88.
He was born Jaswant Rai Sharma on 24 February 1928 in Layallpur Punjab (now in Pakistan).
Since his childhood, he was inclined towards Urdu literature.
His first break as a lyricist was in the 1952 film ‘Jaggu’ where he had given lyrics to the song ‘Agar Teri Aakhon Se Aakhein Mila Doon’.
Since then, he went on to be the lyricist for films like ‘Chetna’,’Tumhare Liye’, ‘Aahista Aahista’ and ‘Gharonda’ amongest many others.
In 2005, he had written lyrics for the ‘Taj Mahal- An eternal love story’ and also for ‘Yaatra’ in 2006.
▼ Professor C.V. Vishveshwara, pioneer in study of black holes, dies [01-20-17]
Prof. Vishveshwara who did pioneering work on black holes, passed away on Jan 16th 2017 after a period of illness.
He was nearing 78 years.
In the 1970s, while at University of Maryland, he was among the first to study “black holes” even before they had been so named.
His calculations succeeded in giving a graphical form to the signal that would be emitted by two merging black holes.
This was the waveform detected in 2015 by the LIGO collaboration, and contain the so-called quasi normal modes.
The modes are a ringdown stage that sounds like a bell’s ringing sound that is fading out.
▼ Actress Gita Sen passes away [01-18-17]
Gita Sen, Om Puri's co-star from Benegal's National Award winning "Arohan", had breathed her last on 16th Jan 2017 leaving behind her husband Mrinal Sen.
The 86-year-old veteran actor was keeping very unwell in recent times.
Incidentally, it was Benegal himself who had cast her in "Arohan".
The film narrates the story of a poor farmer who suffers under a cunning and cruel landlord, amidst rising Naxalism in the 60s.
A month back, she had suffered cerebral hemorrhage, which robbed her power of speech and made her bed ridden.
She had acted in a number of films in character roles including 'Chorus', 'Calcutta 71', 'Kharij', 'Akaler Sandhane', 'Ekdin Pratidin' and 'Khandahar'.
▼ The last astronaut to walk on the moon, no more [01-18-17]
Astronaut Gene Cernan was the last person to walk on the moon. The Apollo 17 commander died at the age of 82 on 16th Jan 2017. He was facing ongoing health issues.
On Dec 14, 1972 Cernan became the last of only a dozen men to walk on the moon.
Cernan died less than six weeks after another American space hero, John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.
Cernan guided the lander, named Challenger, into a lunar valley called Taurus-Littrow, with Harrison "Jack" Schmitt at his side on Dec. 11, 1972.
Completing their third moon walk on Dec. 14, Schmitt returned to the lunar module and was followed by Cernan.
Eugene A. Cernan was born in 1934 in Chicago and graduated from Indiana's Purdue University in 1956 with a degree in electrical engineering.
He had been a Navy attack pilot and earned a master's degree in aeronautical engineering.
NASA selected him in October 1963 as one of 14 members of its third astronaut class.
Cernan was one of only three people to voyage twice to the moon - either to its surface or in moon orbit.
James Lovell and John Young are the others.
In 1973, Cernan became special assistant to the program manager of the Apollo program at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
He retired from NASA three years later.
He worked for a Houston energy firm, Coral Petroleum, then in 1981 began his own aerospace consulting company.
He eventually became chairman of an engineering firm that worked on NASA projects.
He also worked as a network television analyst during shuttle flights in the 1980s.
A documentary about his life, "The Last Man on the Moon", was released in 2016.
In all, Cernan logged 566 hours and 15 minutes in space, more than 73 hours of them on the moon's surface.
▼ Noted political and social activist Mangal Singh Negi no more [01-17-17]
Noted political and social activist and president of All India Tribes and Minorities Front Mangal Singh Negi passed away in Chandigarh at age 86 in Jan 17.
He was a true genius with a vast knowledge of Constitution and was crusader of rights of tribals and minorities.
He was among the first civil servants from the tribal region of HP who served in various senior positions in the governments of HP and J&K.
At the Centre he was Deputy Commissioner for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.
He also had served as Chairman of Himachal Backward Classes, Minorities and Tribal Welfare Parishad.
He had worked ceaselessly for rehabilitation of Tibetan refugees, renovation and establishment of Buddhist monasteries in HP and other parts of India.
He was instrumental in getting Scheduled Tribe status to the people of Kinnaur.
He also served as an advisor to the Asian Bureau of Indigenous People from 2005 to 2010.
He has written five books on Tibetan culture, Buddhist philosophy, Indian polity and Tribal history.
▼ Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang who invented the Pinyin system passes away [01-17-17]
Zhou Youguang, who created the writing system that turns Chinese characters into words using letters from the Roman alphabet, has died aged 111.
Zhou developed the Pinyin system of writing in conjunction with the Communist Party Committee in the 1950s.
It changed the way the language was taught and helped to raise literacy rates.
Born in 1906 in the Qing Dynasty, Zhou later became a fierce critic of China's communist rulers.
He died in Beijing on 14th Jan 2017 a day after his birthday.
Starting out as a Wall Street Banker, he came to China after the communist victory in 1949 and was put in charge of creating a new writing system using the Roman alphabet.
Before Pinyin was developed, 85% of Chinese people could not read, now almost all can.
Pinyin has since become the most commonly used system internationally. Some Chinese communities, particularly in Hong Kong and Taiwan, continue to use alternatives.
Pinyin is also widely used to type Chinese characters on computers and smartphones,
Zhou has also written books critiquing the Maoist regime, most of which were banned.
▼ Surjit Singh Barnala, former Punjab CM, no more [01-16-17]
Former Punjab CM Surjit Singh Barnala who took charge of the state when militancy was growing in the mid-80s passed away.
He died on 14th Jan 2017 at the age of 91 in Chandigarh.
Barnala served as Punjab's Chief Minister from 1985 to 1987.
A moderate leader of the Akali Dal, he became the CM after the Rajiv-Longowal pact to usher in peace in the state in 1985.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Barnala's death.
A candidate for vice presidency in 1997, he was defeated by Krishna Kant. He served as governor of TN, AP, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Uttarakhand.
Barnala was also the Agriculture Minister in the Moraji Desai government and the Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cabinet.
Surjit Singh Barnala: Know More
- Born: 21 October 1925, Ateli
- Died: 14 January 2017
- Spouse: Surjit Kaur Barnala
- Education: University of Lucknow
- Party: Shiromani Akali Dal
▼ Roman Herzog, Germany's 2nd President, dies [01-13-17]
Roman Herzog who was Germany's second president after reunification died on 10th Jan 2017 in Bad Mergentheim at the age of 82.
Like predecessor Richard bon Weizsacker, Herzog used the presidency, largely a ceremonial post to serve as a guardian for liberal and democratic values.
He was known to stress Germany's moral responsibility for past crimes. He was also known for a 1997 speech in Berlin where he spoke about structural reasons for the malaise.
Herzog called for overhaul of the labor market, the taxation system, health insurance and management of public works.
He also stressed on reduction in regulations and reducing unemployment among low wage workers.
Fellow Christian Democrat Helmut Kohl nominated Herzog for the post of president in 1994. His successor Gerhard Schroeder pushed in measures like cuts in unemployment and pension benefits.
Reductions in income tax and labour market overhauls were also initiated by Schroeder. The changes have been credited with a boom that transformed Germany.
During Herzog's presidency, Germany was still recovering and was known as the “sick man of Europe.”
These changes have been credited with a boom that transformed Germany into a robust economy.
Political Career: Roman Herzog
From 1973 to 1978, he represented the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Bonn, the West German capital.
From 1978 to 1980 he was minister of culture and sports in the state of Baden-Württemberg. From 1980 to 1983 he was a member of the Baden-Württemberg Legislature.
As the state’s interior minister, he developed a hard-line reputation.
As a judge on the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, which he joined in 1983, Mr. Herzog upheld the right of protesters who had converged on a nuclear power plant in Brokdorf, in northern Germany.
He became the court’s president in 1987.
He was not especially well known when Mr. Kohl nominated him to succeed Mr. von Weizsäcker, who had been president of West Germany since 1984 and served on after reunification in 1990.
Herzog stepped down from the presidency in 1999 and was succeeded by Johannes Rau, a moderate Social Democrat.
In 2002, Herzog helped found the Roman Herzog Institute, which works to improve public policy.
Know More About Roman Herzog
- Born: Landshut, Bavaria
- Date: April 5, 1934
- Educational Career: Law at Ludwig Maximilian University (1953-1957)
- Teaching career: Taught law and politics at University of Munich, the Free University of Berlin and the University of Administrative Sciences in Spreyer.
- Joined CDU in 1970.
- Served as its chairman from 1978 to 1983.
- Germany's president from 1994-1999.
- He is best remembered for the phrase “Germany needs a jolt.”
- This is from his 1997 Berlin speech “Moving into the 21st century”
▼ Zygmunt Bauman, famous European sociologist, dies [01-11-17]
Zygmant Bauman, a prominent and prolific European sociologist has died at the age of 91 on 9th Jan 2017. The Polish-origin, left wing thinker explored the fluidity of identify in the modern world.
He also carried out analysis on topics such as consumerism, globalisation, consumerism and more.
Bauman was a strong moral voice for the marginalized in a world upended by globalisation.
Renowned for an approach that integrated sociology with philosophy and other disciplines, he focused on importance of ethics in human behavior.
During the 1990s, Bauman coined the term liquid modernity to describe the contemporary world in such a flux that people are left rootless.
He wrote books such as “Liquid Times” and “Liquid Modernity.” He examined human connections in a constantly changing world.
In Poland, he was controversial because a 2006 document showed he had served in the Internal Security Corps. Some nationalists saw him as an enemy of the country.
Bauman's theories were a massive influence on the anti-globalisation movement, focusing on outcasts and the marginalised.
Know More About Zygmunt Bauman
- Born: November 19, 1925
- Location: Poznan, Poland,
- After the war, he rose quickly in the military ranks.
- By the early 1950s had become one of the youngest majors in the Polish army.
- During these years he was a communist and a member of the Polish Workers’ Party.
- Bauman studied sociology, then philosophy, at the University of Warsaw, and was teaching there when the communist regime emerged.
- Bauman lived and taught for a short time in Israel.
- He lectured at universities in Tel Aviv and Haifa from 1969 to 1971.
- Following this, he and his family settled in Britain.
- Bauman headed the Department of Sociology at the University of Leeds.
- Awards: European Amalfi Prize for Sociology in 1992, the Theodor W. Adorno Award in 1998 and the Prince of Asturias Award in 2010.
- The University of Leeds also created the Bauman Institute in his honor.
▼ Former Portuguese president Martin Soares no more [01-9-17]
Mario Soares, a former prime minister and president of Portugal who helped steer his country toward democracy after a 1974 military coup and grew into a global statesman through his work with the Socialist International movement, has died at age 92.
Soares died on 7th Jan 2016. A moderate Socialist, he returned from 12 years of political exile after the almost bloodless Carnation Revolution toppled Portugal's four-decade dictatorship in 1974.
As a lawyer, he had used peaceful means to fight the country's regime, which eventually banished him. Soares was elected Portugal's first post-coup prime minister in 1976 and thwarted Portuguese Communist Party attempts to bring the NATO member under Soviet influence during the Cold War.
He helped lead his country from dictatorship to parliamentary democracy and a place in the European Union.
Soares' role as an international statesman was solidified through his work with the International Socialist movement. As a vice president from 1976, he led diplomatic missions that sought to help resolve conflicts in the Middle East and Latin and Central America.
In 1986, Soares became Portugal's first civilian president in 60 years. His broad popularity brought him two consecutive five-year terms.
Soares belonged to a generation of influential European Socialist leaders that also included Francois Mitterrand of France, Germany's Willy Brandt, Olof Palme in Sweden, and Felipe Gonzalez in Spain. He also led the Carnation Revolution, called so because people stuck the flowers at the end of gun barrels of soldiers during the Communist regime.
The Communist Party's influence surged following the coup, prompting fears in the West that Portugal–a founding member of the Atlantic military alliance – would come under the Soviet Union's influence and encourage other radical leftist movements in western Europe.
Soares, who led the Socialist Party, won the country's first entirely free elections and became prime minister. He was instrumental in quickly granting independence to Portugal's five colonies in Africa.
All of them - Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and Sao Tome and Principe - became single-party Marxist states supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba after their independence.
About Martin Soares
- Born in Lisbon in 1924, Soares started out as a radical student organizer.
- He became a renowned defense lawyer.
- He was a relentless opponent of Salazar's regime, which along with Franco's roughly contemporary rule in neighboring Spain, shut off the Iberian peninsula to outside influences.
- Salazar's secret police, known by acronym PIDE, jailed Soares 12 times and exiled him twice, once to the island of Sao Tome off west Africa.
- After democracy, Soares served four times as the country's foreign minister and three times as prime minister.
- He was also the most well known president of Portugal of his times.
▼ Influential economist Tony Atkinson passes away [01-9-17]
Tony Atkinson, a professor of economics at University of Oxford well known for his stellar work on poverty and inequality as well as income distribution died on Jan 1, 2016 at age 72. His work led the fields of inequality, income distribution, and poverty for many decades, bringing clarity and practical insight to pressing social issues.
Atkinson was called “the godfather of modern scholarship on the distribution of income and wealth” by fellow economist Thomas Piketty. The Atkinson index has been named after him.
The index measures which end of the distribution has contributed most to observed inequality.
Atkinson published one co-authored article in the Indian Journal of Human Development on data for policy.
He was knighted in 2001 for services to economics and was also awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
At the London School of Economics, Mr. Atkinson held the title of Centennial Professor.
The author of more than 40 books, Mr. Atkinson was mainly known for his creative and exacting use of empirical methods besides revolutionary ideas like minimum inheritance.
Mr. Atkinson’s book “The Distribution of Personal Wealth in Britain” (1978), co-written with A. J. Harrison, examined inheritance tax records in Britain between 1911 and 1975 to describe changes in the distribution of wealth.
That book and an earlier book - “Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings” (1953) by Simon Kuznets, which drew on income tax records and national accounts in the United States between 1913 and 1948 - originated research on inequality.
His final book, “Inequality: What Can Be Done?,” published in 2015, summed up decades of findings and offered 15 proposals for tackling inequality.
Among his suggestions: a guaranteed interest rate on savings, via bonds; higher marginal income tax rates, with a top rate of 65 percent (it is currently 39.6 percent in the United States and 45 percent in Britain); and a progressive, rather than uniform, property tax rate.
Perhaps his boldest proposal was to use inheritance taxes to finance a minimum inheritance, payable to all citizens on reaching adulthood.
Among other major works, Mr. Atkinson was the author, with Joseph E. Stiglitz, of the seminal 1980 textbook “Lectures on Public Economics,” recently reissued by Princeton University Press.
Mr. Atkinson helped organize the World Wealth and Income Database, a resource for the comparative study of inequality.
He served on many boards, and was chairman of the World Bank Commission on Global Poverty, which issued recommendations in October toward the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.
He was also the president, since 2012, of the board of the L.I.S. (formerly the Luxembourg Income Study), which manages a database widely used by researchers.
About Professor Tony Atkinson
- Anthony Barnes Atkinson was born on Sept. 4, 1944, in Caerleon, a town in southern Wales near the border with England.
- He attended the Cranbrook School in Kent and then Churchill College, Cambridge, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1966.
- He was a fellow at St. John’s College, Cambridge, from 1967 to 1971.
- He was a professor of economics at the University of Essex from 1971 to 1976.
- He held the post of a professor of political economy at University College, London, from 1976 to 1979.
- He joined the London School of Economics in 1980 and taught there until 1992.
- He was warden, or head of Nuffield college, from 1994 to 2005. He remained a fellow of Nuffield until his death.
▼ Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani dies [01-9-17]
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a staunch political survivor despite his support for moderates, died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack, at the age of 82.
He was a pivotal figure in the foundation of the Islamic Republic in 1979, and served as President from 1989 to 1997.
He was part of the Expediency Council, Iran’s main political arbitration body which Mr. Rafsanjani chaired.
Mr. Rafsanjani’s death is a huge loss for both reformists and moderates, as he stood as a pillar for the two camps.
Born on August 25, 1934, in the village of Nough in southern Iran into a wealthy family, Rafsanjani studied theology in the holy city of Qom before entering politics in 1963 after Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s police arrested the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
A confidant of Khomeini, Mr. Rafsanjani was the Speaker of Parliament for two consecutive terms until Khomeini’s death in 1989. Towards the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, his presidency was marked by reconstruction, cautious reform and repairs to Iran’s relations with its Arab neighbours.
But it was also marred by human rights violations, rampant inflation and difficult relations with Europe, not least with Britain after the “death sentence”, or fatwa, handed down to writer Salman Rushdie by Khomeini.
Serving a maximum of 2 consecutive terms, he supported reformist Mohammad Khatami, who succeeded him as President from 1997 to 2005.
Mr. Rafsanjani was always a member of Iran’s top clerical body, the Assembly of Experts, charged with appointing - and if required dismissing - the country’s supreme leader.
▼ Well known Sri Lankan jurist CG Weeramantry no more [01-9-17]
Well known jurist CG Weermantry passed away on 5th Jan 2016 at the age of 90. He was the first Sri Lankan to be appointed to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
He began his judicial career in the 1950s, and became Sri Lanka’s youngest Supreme Court judge.
He later was appointed as a senior judge there before moving to Australia as the Sir Hayden Stark Professor of Law at Monash University.
In the early 1990s, he was part of the ICJ when the WHO sought information on nuclear deal legality.
Justice Weeramantry set up the Colombo-based Weeramantry Centre for International Peace and also served as president of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms, a non-governmental organisation headquartered in The Hague.
Know About About CG Weeramantry
- Sri Lankabhimanya Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, AM was a Sri Lankan lawyer.
- He was a Judge of the International Court of Justice from 1991 to 2000, serving as its Vice-President from 1997 to 2000.
- Born: November 17, 1926, Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Died: January 5, 2017
- Education: University of Ceylon, University of London, Royal College, Colombo, King's College London
- Awards: Sri Lankabhimanya
▼ Veteran film actor Om Puri passes away [01-9-17]
Veteran film actor Om Puri has passed away after suffering a heart attack. The 66-year-old Puri was known for his acting in films like Ardh Satya, Aakrosh, Jane Bhi Do Yaaron, Bhavni Bhavai, Mirch Masala and Dharavi.
He was a graduate of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, and he won the National Film Award for Best Actor for Arohan in 1982.
The famous actor delivered some stellar performances in mainstream commercial Pakistani, Indian and British cinema.
He also entered Hollywood with his roles in 'City of Joy', 'Gandhi' and 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'.
Puri lent his voice for the character Bagheera, the black panther in the popular television animated Hindi series “Mowgli” and for the Hollywood movie, “The Jungle Book.”
Among the British films that earned him name are “My Son the Fanatic,” “East Is East” and “The Parole Officer.” He appeared in Hollywood films such as “City of Joy,” “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” and most recently in Steven Spielberg’s comedy drama “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”
He also made a cameo in Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi.”
Puri was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors, in 1990 and received an honorary OBE for his contribution to the British film industry in 2004.
▼ Noted classical singer Ustad Fateh Ali Khan passes away [01-6-17]
Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, the classical singer known for the Thumri “Mora Piya Mose Bole Na” has passed away on Jan 4, 2016 at the age of 82.
Ustad was under treatment at Islamabad’s PIMS Hospital for the past 10 days and was suffering from a lungs disease.
Nephew and famous singer Shafqat Amanat Ali took to his social media handle to share the news along with a picture of the legendary Qawal.
Born in 1935 in Patiala, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, at the age of 12, and his elder brother Amanat Ali Khan, at the age of 14, became the king’s chosen singers at his darbar/ court.
The music legend received the President’s Pride of Performance and many other awards.
▼ Noted Manipur historian Gangmumei Kamei passes away [01-6-17]
Noted Manipur-based historian, litterateur and scholar Gangmumei Kamei, who had also served as a minister, passed away in Imphal on 5th Jan 2016 following protracted illness.
Kamei was currently a member of the North Eastern Council (NEC). Born on October 21, 1939 in Imphal. He specialized in history.
Kamei, who had specialised in the history of the North-eastern region, had served as a professor of History in Manipur University, and was also elected president of the Northeast India History Association (NEIHA) in its Kohima session of 1986.
Kamei was also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Anthropological Survey of India (1984-87), and a member of the ICSSR panel on Tribal Studies.
In 2010 he was awarded the Platinum Jubilee Samman by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad for his contribution to history and tribal culture.
He was also awarded a National Fellowship by Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla in 2010-2012.
He hailed from the Zeliangrong community which exists across Manipur, Nagaland and Assam, and was also into active politics and public life, having founded the Federal Party of Manipur in 1993.
He was also elected to the state assembly twice, in 1995 and 2001, and had also served as a minister on two occasions.
In 2013 Kamei joined the BJP, to contest as the party’s candidate for Lok Sabha from the Outer Manipur constituency in the 2014 general election. In July 2015, the Narendra Modi government appointed him as a member of the NEC.
As president of the Manipur History Society and coordinator of the Centre for Manipuri Studies & Tribal Research of Manipur University he had guided several major research projects in history.
Well Known Books of Gangmumei Kamei
- A History of Modern Manipur (1826-2000),
- A History of Manipur: Pre-colonial Period,
- On History and Historiography of Manipur,
- History of Zeliangrong Nagas: From Makhel to Rani Gaidinliu
- Ethnicity and Social Change, Lectures on History of Manipur.
▼ Renowned sitar player Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan of Sitar Trinity no more [01-6-17]
Renowned sitar player Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan- the last survivor of the Sitar Trinity - has died at the age of 88 on Jan 4, 2016.
The Sitar Trinity comprised him besides Late Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan. He was the last surviving member of the Sitar Trinity till his death.
He is succeeded by eminent sitar player and son Zunain A. Khan. Conferred with the Padmashri, Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi awards, Khan hailed from the Indore Gharana and is credited for innovating the unique music style of Jafferkhani Baaj.
Born in 1929 in Jawra, Madhya Pradesh, during his music career spanning over six decades, Khan played the sitar for various Bollywood films, including Mughal-E-Azam, Kohinoor, Goonj Uthi Shehnai and Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje.
He was the son of renowned singer and musician Jaffer Khan. He started his musical career with AIR in the 1940s. Among the earliest trendsetters of Indian classical musicians collaborating with western musicians, in 1958 he partnered with jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, and with English classical guitarist Julian Bream in 1963.
Khan Saab was the youngest of the famous Star Trinity of India. Known for his unique musical innovation Jafferkhani Baaj, he created a synthesis of precision in technique and a unique playing style.
He was known for bringing Carnatic music ragas Kirwani, Kanakangi, Latangi, Karaharapriya, Manavati, Ganamurti and others into the Sitar repertoire with a Hindustani music touch in the Jafferkhani style.
Khan became the first Hindustani classical musician who collaborated in Carnatic music with legendary Veena exponent, Emani Sankara Sastry.
In 1976, he set up the Halim Academy of Sitar in Mumbai to impart training to young Sitar players and among his renowned students are son Zunain, Prasad Joglekar and Gargi Shinde, Director, Jazz Programmes at Chamber Music America.
Know Abul Halim Jaffer Khan
- Born: February 15, 1927
- Place of Birth: Madhya Pradesh, India
- Died: January 4, 2017 (aged 89) Mumbai, India
- Genres : Hindustani classical music
- Prominent as: Sitarist, Composer, Innovator, Author
- Instruments: sitar
- Associated acts: Ravi Shanker, Vilayat Khan, Julian Bream, Dave Brubeck, Zunain Khan
▼ Former NPCC President KV Pusa no more [01-4-17]
Former President of the Pradesh Congress Committee/ NPCC KV Pusa passed away on Jan 2, 2016 a the age of 63.
He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
Other than serving the political career, Pusa led various farmers, student and sports organizations.
He was a sitting member of AICC.
He had served as Minister for Veterinary and Animal Husbandry during 1998-1999.
He was also Minister for Roads and Bridges in the 2000-2003 period in the Jamir state government in Nagaland.
He joined the Congress in 1998.
Pusa won the state assembly elections in 1993 as an independent candidate from Southern Angami in Kohima.
He served as PRO/PS of the CM during 1979-1982 and as Protocol Officer from 1984 to 1998.
A member of the Naga Assembly in opposition for two terms (2003-2008 and 2008-2013).
He was chairman of renowned educational institutions like Baptist English and Mezhur HSS.
▼ Huston Smith, ambassador to world's religions, passes away [01-4-17]
Huston Smith, called the “Ambassador to the World's Religions” who said he believed in the best of all faiths has died at the age of 97 on Jan 3, 2016.
He travelled the world visiting mosques, temples, ashrams, gurdwaras, monasteries and churches.
He was also close to swamis, gurus, lamas, monks and maulvis.
The Indophile was an inter-faith leader.
One of the greatest historians of religion and philosophy, he believed in numerous religions from Hinduism to Islam.
He was known for his classic book “The Religions of Man” published in 1958.
He remained in the Methodist faith and said he moved to a new idiom for expressing the same basic truths.
He practiced and studied Vedanta after graduating from University of Chicago.
|Chronology of events
Barbara Tarbuck, the busy actress who played Lady Jane Jacks on General Hospital for more than a decade and recently appeared on American Horror Story, has died at the age of 74.
Veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Eknathrao Vikhe-Patil, popularly known as Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil, passed away in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra after a prolonged illness. He was 84.
John Berger, the British art critic, intellectual and prodigious author whose pioneering 1972 book and the Ways of Seeing - the BBC series it spawned redefined the way a generation saw art, passed away on Jan 2nd 2016 at age 90.
Imtiaz Ahmed, a member of Pakistan's first-ever cricket Test team, died in a Lahore hospital after a brief illness in Jan 2017.
Karnataka Cooperation and Sugar Minister H S Mahadeva Prasad passed away in Chikamagalur following a massive cardiac arrest at age 58.
Veteran All India Forward Bloc leader and former West Bengal minister Saral Deb passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 82. He was a six-time state legislator.
British singer-songwriter Peter Sarstedt has died at the age of 75. Best known for the 1969 number one hit ‘Where Do You Go To My Lovely’, his family announced that he died after a six-year battle with progressive supranuclear palsy.
Senior Congress leader and former Tourism Minister of Maharashtra Chandrakant Chhajed passed away in Pune on 14th Jan 2017 due to prolonged illness. He was 67.
Dick Gautier, who starred on Broadway in the original production of Bye, Bye Birdie and then famously played Hymie the Robot on the sitcom Get Smart, has died. He was 85.
Senior Congress leader and former state minister Tarun Prasad Chatterjee passed away in Raipur on Jan 19, 2017 following a cardiac arrest. He was 68.
Sir John Hurt, who won Oscar nominations for the Elephant Man and captured the hearts of millions for his roles in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, has died.