Kolkata’s First ‘Queen of Cabaret’ Dead

Aarati Das (76), popularly known as Miss Shefali, who was Kolkata’s first cabaret sensation during the 1960s-1970s, died at her Kolkata suburb home on Thursday. Das acted in films and theatre but lived her final years amidst constant financial difficulties. Das learned dancing in her early teens by secretly watching the members of an Anglo-Indian family, whom she served as a maid. Gradually, she became synonymous with the nightlife of Kolkata’s Park Street that never sleeps. She appeared in two Satyajit Ray films. It was poverty that forced her into the profession during her teen years and it was penury in her twilight years again that forced her to turn into a recluse. Her autobiography, titled Sondhya-Rater Sephali (Shefali of the evenings and nights) was published in Bengali in 2015. Actor-filmmaker Konkona Sen Sharma few months ago launched a project to film Miss Shefali’s life for a web series.

Sonia’s Hindi tutor’s son joins BJP

Former Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi (74), an ex-Delhi University Hindi professor, used to teach Hindi to Sonia Gandhi. On Tuesday, his son, Samir, a former colonel in the Army, joined the BJP. “I had no idea of Samir joining the BJP,” Janardan Dwivedi told The Sunday Guardian. Janardan Dwivedi has been the party’s longest-serving general secretary in-charge of organisation and has worked with six Congress presidents—Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao, Sitaram Kesri, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. He had also worked as head of the Congress media cell.

Demand For NRJ For Media

A section of media wants a “National Register of Journalists” (NRJ) to keep a check on fake news writers, blackmailers and those creating communal disharmony and indulging in anti-national and fraudulent activities. The National Union of Journalists’ (NUJ’s) executive committee in its meeting in Jaipur some days ago demanded that the Modi government should initiate the process to have a countrywide NRJ. The NUJ is believed to be a “supporting arm” of the BJP. The NRJ demand was made by the NUJ’s former president, Ras Bihari (from Delhi), and was unanimously endorsed by all the delegates.

“The NRJ will tell the population of journalists state wise. This record will ensure that any journalist indulging in creating fake news and any unprofessional and unethical activity can be thrown out. The government will be able to implement effectively security and welfare related rules and regulations and schemes for journalists,” said Bihari. “Our organisation’s representatives will soon meet the Information and Broadcasting Minister and other authorities concerned to launch the NRJ,” he told The Sunday Guardian. Delhi Journalists Association president Rakesh Thapliyal appealed to the media fraternity to support the NRJ and demand from the government to make a Media Council to replace the Press Council of India and also go for a Media Commission.

Israel At DefExpo

DefExpo in Lucknow, Israel’s participation was a star attraction, not only for key defence and armed forces delegates but also for the global. Israel, over the years, has become a major seller of strategic warfare equipment to India. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which is Israel’s largest aerospace and defence company and a globally recognised technology leader, signed a collaboration memorandum of understanding with a focus on UAVs with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Dynamatic Technologies Limited. The MoU is aimed at promoting the production of UAVs in line with the government’s “Make in India” policy. IAI is the global UAV leader for 50 years, and is the exclusive UAV supplier for all of India’s military arms.

The IAI also entered into an MoU with defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited for collaboration on establishing a new centre for providing product life cycle support including repair and maintenance services support to armed forces for air-defence systems.

Boxing Champ On Silver Screen

Legendary Indian heavyweight boxing champion Captain Hawa Singh will come alive on silver screen soon. Actor Salman Khan announced on Twitter on Tuesday that Bollywood will showcase Singh’s life and Sooraj Pancholi will play the protagonist in Hawa Singh, a True Story.

Hawa Singh was national heavyweight champion in 1961 and won the Asian Games gold medal in the category in 1966 and 1970. He remained national champion for 11 years in a row and was given the Arjuna Award in 1966 and Dronacharya Award in 1999. He had put his home-town Bhiwani (Haryana) on the world map of boxing. His son Sanjay Singh, a boxing coach, told The Sunday Guardian that he was training Pancholi in Mumbai for the film.

Boxing experts say that Hawa Singh, who was over six feet tall, was perfect world champion material. In his youth, he had the courage to challenge world champion Mohammad Ali, but never got the chance to face him. Hawa Singh was born in Umarwas village of Bhiwani district on 16 December 1937 and joined the Army at the age of 19. After retiring from the Army, he joined the Sports Authority of India in 1986 and started coaching at Bhiwani’s Bhim Stadium. He died on 14 August 2000.