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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Gujrat Confidential: Mum’s the word

At a recent literary festival held exclusively for the czars of the little-known world of India’s translators at IIT-Gandhinagar,a demure Tamil woman in a green silk saree caught everyone’s eye.

July 29, 2013 3:45:33 am

At a recent literary festival held exclusively for the czars of the little-known world of India’s translators at IIT-Gandhinagar,a demure Tamil woman in a green silk saree caught everyone’s eye with her articulate comments during sessions. A little enquiry revealed her name: Rajalakshmi Srinivasan,an award-winning translator and scholar of Tamil literature. Noted for studying and researching texts from both Tamil and Sanskrit,including Valmiki’s Ananda Ramayana,this gifted writer let slip the fact that she happens to be Gujarat’s senior bureaucrat Jayanti Ravi’s mother. What’s more,a collaborative translation of Anand Ramayana,from Sanskrit into Tamil,is on the cards for the talented mother-daughter duo who are currently on the lookout for some good publishers. Ravi,Commissioner of Technical Education in the state,is also a noted Carnatic music exponent. Talent seems to run in the family.

Figure this!

The data Gujarat Tourism recently shared with the media show some interesting details. While arrival of tourists from states like Maharashtra,Madhya Pradesh,Rajasthan and West Bengal is very meticulously compiled,some states seem to have been entirely left out. The data for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that have been clubbed together show that the people of the two states made up 18.3 per cent of the inbound tourists that Gujarat attracted last year. All Indian states from down south have been unceremoniously clubbed into “South India” and another list of tourists fall under “Other North/East Indian states”. It looks as though some of the states and their tourists do not even merit a separate compilation. Maybe it’s time for the tourism department to brush up their geography lessons.

Education v/s tourism

The current Commissioner of Schools C V Som seems to be nostalgic about his earlier job as Managing Director of the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited (TCGL) way back in 2005. So much so that visitors often return with more inputs and details on his experiences of tourism in the state than on education. Visitors are treated to a presentation on his three-month stint in the TCGL as an MD,which includes initiatives like developing tourism website in eight different languages,making attractive and informative presentations on exploring tourism in the state and delivering the same at national and international fora,among several other “first-time” concepts he designed and implemented. Though he cites draining work schedule as an MD to be the reason of his short stint,what is remembered in the corridors of TCGL and shared by Som’s few old staff members is the differences of opinion between the former Managing Director and other bureaucrats.

Birthday boys

Former Union Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and ex-Chief Minister Madhavsinh Solanki has almost withdrawn himself from politics for reasons of age and health. But he is spotted on the public radar on his birthday – July 30 – when his close friends get together. This time round,however,Solanki has cancelled the birthday bash over Uttarakhand floods. Congress Legislature Party Leader Shankarsinh Vaghela too had put off his birthday (July 21) celebrations. But after some people pestered him to “do at least something”,Vaghela called a hurried “briefing” at the Circuit House Annexe where the “regulars” among scribes had a hearty lunch,thanking Vaghela profusely in the end. Former CM and Gujarat Parivartan Party president Keshubhai Patel couldn’t be left behind. Keshubhai’s close aide Gordhan Zadaphia said Patel was in the US and had decided not to celebrate his birthday (July 24). However,his party had organised some religious programmes in the state and distributed fruits to the poor. The tragedy seemed to bring a modicum of unity among these politicians of different hues.

Fast forward

The Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be on a fasttrack when it comes to putting in place its organisational matters ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In contrast,its main rival Congress still remains crestfallen after the defeat in the local body by-elections in June and early July. The BJP is coming up with novel methods to attract people,like organising ticket shows of Chief Minister Narendra Modi outside Gujarat It has also almost completed the formation of frontal organisations and all morchas and cells. While no one quite knows what exactly is going on in the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan at Paldi,Deen Dayal Bhavan at Khanpur is abuzz with activity.

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