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August - September 2009
Film, Art,Music & Culture
MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT AWARDS FUNCTION
Amidst great fanfare and in the presence of stalwarts from the Hindi film industry, the Maharashtra government’s 46th grand award ceremony took place at Shiva Chhatrapati Kreeda Nagari, Balewadi, Pune. Actress Rekha was given Raj Kapoor Award by Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. Rekha said that Maharashtra is like her mother while Raj Kapoor was like her father, and the award was like a blessing from her “parents”. Rekha was to get the Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement Award, but she had declined to accept the award unless its name was changed from lifetime to some other award. The Maharashtra government decided to change the title from Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement Award to Raj Kapoor Pratibha Gaurav Puraskar. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena of Raj Thackeray had demanded that the award be withdrawn because Rekha had “insulted” the state government, and demanded an apology from her for declining to receive the award. It was feared that the MNS activists might disrupt the function by staging some demonstration at the venue. But, no untoward incident was reported at the venue. Actor –producer Aamir Khan was also awarded the Raj Kapoor Pratibha Gaurav Puraskar. Aamir Khan generally does not attend award functions, but he personally received the award as it was being given by the government. Oscar award winner music director A.R. Rahman was felicitated at the ceremony. Famous Marathi actor-director Mahesh Kothare, and legendary Marathi musician Jagdish Khebudkar were given the V. Shantaram Puraskar. Well-known Marathi music director-singer Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Playback singer Udit Narayan and actress Helen were also felicitated on the occasion for having been awarded National titles of Padmashri. Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and cultural affairs minister Harshwardhan Patil joined the Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in felicitating the artistes.
Probably for the first time, devotees will have a religious 9 day cruise around Europe. A Laxminarayan Yagya will be performed by Swami Shree Satyamitranand Giriji Maharaj on 3 days during the cruise beginning on the 16th August 2009 from the U.K. Popular Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota will present bhajans aboard the ship. Others, who would sing bhajans are Ashit Desai, Hema Desai and Alap Desai. It is a religious and cultural event with all facilities on the cruise liner, except alcohol and non-vegetarian food. The ship has a capacity for 352 passengers only.