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Vaikuntam’s Telangana ఏప్రిల్ 5, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Art, Bathukamma, Culture, heritage, Identity, Mulki, regionalism, Telangana, Telugu, Vemulawada.
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Constant change
Dr Seema Bawa, Deccan Chronicle, April 3, 2011

The brightly painted figures of Telangana men and women are Thota Vaikuntam’s signature style, he exaggerated contoured of reconstructed form, with highly stylised folk features and perspective mark his paintings.

The morphemes, defined as the minimal meaningful unit of language, in Vaikuntam’s case his visual language, are the foreheads adorned with kumkum bindi amidst a plane of turmeric paste in case of women and sectarian marks for men. Textiles marked with dots, red vermillion dipped palms, red lips and elongated eyes are other characteristic features of his work for the last five decades or so.

The feminine element is exaggerated in the full form, with midriffs peeking through vivid apparel that is flowing and yet clinging. The physicality associated with fecund femininity is emphasised through the use of shringar or adornment of the female self through body marks, make-up, ornaments, coiffure and the like. The men are comparatively less flamboyant in terms of clothes and decoration but no less dramatic than their female counterparts.

So, when one comes across a show titled Metamorphosis: The Changing World of Thota Vaikuntam at Art Alive, there is a natural inquisitiveness regarding this transmutation. The change is certainly not in his style, colour or basic form. And many of the paintings do depict his typical Telangana men and women. Evolution and change is seen in the relatively complex compositions with a new interactive and at times a conversational element flowing between the figures. (మరింత…)

I want to uphold Telangana cultural identity through my art : Vaikuntam మార్చి 12, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Art, Bathukamma, Culture, Godavari, heritage, Hyderabad, Identity, Karimnagar, Personalities, Telangana, Telugu.
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My art is my aspiration for Telangana: Thota Vaikuntam
New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) The art of Thota Vaikuntam, leading Indian figurative painter, remains loyal to the aspiration for autonomy and a distinct socio-cultural identity of his native turf, Telangana.

Vaikuntam is described as the most visible face of Telangana, his lines reflecting the battle for a separate state.

Considered one of the best figurative artists in the country, Vaikuntam is often feted as the ‘Jamini Roy of the south’.

He has exhibited worldwide and has been honoured with nine national and state awards.

‘My art is my village, Boorugupally in Karimnagar district in Andhra Pradesh, the soul of the crusade for a separate identity for Telangana. My art will never move out of my village and people,’ 69-year-old Vaikuntam told IANS. (మరింత…)

Telangana agitation is against ‘cultural oppression’ too మార్చి 12, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, Andhrapreneurship, Art, cinema, Culture, Hyderabad, Identity, Mulki, Poetry & Songs, politics, regionalism, Settler, Telangana, Telugu.
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Focus on ‘cultural oppression’ too
Times of India, TNN, March 12, 2011

While some Telangana supporters maintain that Thursday’s act is an outburst against diabolical politicians and the state government shutting the city to prevent the agitation, others observe that the ‘T’ agitation is progressing or rather maturing from its focal point of Telangana region’s economic deprivation, so far, to elements of cultural and language differences between the two regions. They say the ‘T’ would no longer accept “Andhra colonial legacy” on its soil.

HYDERABAD: A retired professor from a city college easily recalls numerous incidents of his Telangana accent being made fun of by his students or friends in his childhood days.

He, like many Telangana supporters, often rued the poor representation of Telangana in mainstream media, particularly Tollywood films, and also lack of representation of ‘T’ culture and the regions icons in an “Andhra – dominated” Hyderabad.

But on the manic Thursday at Tank Bund, when agitators had just started attacking statues of Telugu literary figures, kings and statesmen, he was among those trying to stop the mob. “I tried stopping them. I could understand it was an outburst of pent-up emotions, but then I do not support this (destruction of statues),” he said. (మరింత…)

Violence mars protest march for Telangana మార్చి 10, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in agitation, Andhra, Art, BJP, Congress, CPI, Culture, Harish, Hyderabad, Identity, JAC, Kakatiya, Karimnagar, KCR, KTR, Mulki, politics, regionalism, Settler, students, TDF, TDP, Telangana, TRS, universities.
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Violence mars protest march for Telangana
IANS, 10 Mar 2011

HYDERABAD: In a major show of strength, thousands of people violated ban orders and removed police barricades to assemble at Tank Bund area here on Thursday as part of the ‘million march’ for a separate Telangana state.

The peaceful protest during the day was marred by incidents of violence in the evening.

Protesters damaged some statues of Telugu leaders on Tank Bund, set afire a police vehicle and attacked a vehicle and crew of a television channel.

The incidents, along with the attack on two Congress MPs, took place despite an assurance by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) that it would be a peaceful protest.

Thousands of Telangana activists remained on Tank Bund at 5.30 pm though the TJAC had announced that the protest would conclude at 4 pm. (మరింత…)

Guide to Telangana question : Two books సెప్టెంబర్ 13, 2010

Posted by Telangana Utsav in 1969, Andhra, Art, BJP, cinema, Congress, CPI, CPI-M, Culture, Deccan, elections, Fazal Ali Commission, Godavari, heritage, Hyderabad, Identity, Kakatiya, MIM, Mulki, Nizam, Polavaram, politics, Rayalaseema, regionalism, Review, Settler, Six Point Formula, SRC, TDP, Telangana, Telugu, TRS, Uttara Andhra, YSR.
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The twin guide to Telangana
V. Anil Kumar
Financial Express, Sep 12, 2010

The Telangana issue has been in the news for some time, and the recent byelections have just brought the focus back on the matter. While writings on Telangana are multiplying, there is considerable need for understanding the basic aspects of the problem. This needs information, as well as the point of view of the people of the region. In addition, there is also the need to fill the gap on economic, socio-cultural and historical aspects of Telangana. The two books reviewed here attempt to provide such a backdrop against which all the contemporary political commentaries could be understood to some extent. (మరింత…)

We are from Telangana – Salil Bhatt ఏప్రిల్ 26, 2010

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Art, Culture, Essays, Hyderabad, Identity, Telangana.
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We are from the Telangana region: Salil
Jemima Margaret Eliot, TNN, Apr 27, 2010 Times of India

“Every time I come to this city I come alive. There’s a spring in my footstep and the vibes are positive,” an upbeat Salil Bhatt says, before he goes on stage. That’s perhaps because he traces his roots to this region. “We belong to Andhra Pradesh. We are from the Telangana region. About three-and-half centuries ago my ancestors migrated from here to Jaipur at the invitation of Maharaja Raja Sawai Jai Singh I,” says Bhatt, who goes on to add that his grandfather even went by the name Manmohan Bhatt Telang. Coming from a family of poets, lyricists, vocalists, dramatists, musicians, priests and spiritual advisers to royalty, it’s no surprise that music comes naturally to Salil.

“I don’t believe in the 10-14 hour riyaaz. For me, two hours is enough,” says Salil, who often would be pulled up by his father for not dedicating that many hours as his other students would. “He’s a firm believer that when one enjoys one’s craft the outcome is more beautiful, otherwise it’s a ‘laboured’ performance,” he says.

Working under a tough guru like his father seems to have its benefits. “Every time I perform with dad (Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt), which is not too often as we are busy with our different schedules, I have this edge-of-the-seat feeling … almost like a challenge … that I’ve got to be at my performing best to make my presence felt.” Watching the father-son duo perform with their inventions — the Mohan Veena and Satvik Veena, respectively, is a rare treat, but still might not excite the aam janta as Salil says on a jocular note, “Except for Bollywood and cricket, nothing else matters in the country”. (మరింత…)

Life is art, says Laxma Goud the iconic artist ఏప్రిల్ 4, 2010

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Art, Culture, Hyderabad, Medak, Personalities, Telangana.
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The artist as a restless soul

Laxma Goud’s oeuvre remains undefined as the artist creates, crafts and cajoles different media into his ever morphing style. Serish Nanisetti meets the iconic artist bubbling with ideas and images

You don’t interview Laxma Goud. You let him talk and jot down the notes. What would you ask a restless artist who doesn’t mind switching styles, switching media, switching perspectives whose mind has the sharpness of a quenched and hammered Samurai sword? In an art world where artists find a style and then stick to it for a lifetime, Laxma Goud experiments. And in the process, tests himself, redefines the boundaries of his art, teases the viewer, and ensures that he remains a free artist who can do what he wants to do. His thirst for kala remains unquenched. (మరింత…)

Telangana : The 29th State of India? జనవరి 18, 2010

Posted by Telangana Utsav in 1969, agitation, Andhra, Art, BJP, cinema, Congress, Economy, elections, G.O 610, heritage, Identity, KCR, Nizam, politics, Rayalaseema, regionalism, Review, Settler, SRC, TDP, Telangana, TRS.
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Book Review
The Hitavada, Nagpur 17 January 2010

Telangana: The 29th state of India?

If one were to pick up a single subject drawing public attention which had begun in the first year of the last decade and went on to continue into the next, then it would undoubtedly be the clamour for a separate state of Telangana.

Till about the end of last year, this oldest movement for a separate state had just sporadically attracted national attention and media coverage. Despite a plethora of national leaders and parties talking about the issue, this movement in particular surprisingly never revved up to accelerate its political momentum, both at the state of Andhra Pradesh and the central level. With the fast-unto-death of K Chandrashekhara Rao (KCR) and the subsequent violence in the state, this movement has now effortlessly reached the top of the media ‘must-cover’ news stories.

In 2001, after a much-publicised spat with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and name calling with the party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu, one of its earliest members and party veteran, KCR quit the outfit and floated his own Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). The raison d’ etre of TRS was that this erstwhile Nizam-ruled region of the state has been successfully discriminated against and its people overwhelmed by the influx of ‘settlers’ from other regions of the state ever since the formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956.

The emotive issue has since then remained at the centrestage of the state’s politics and has been raised as a key campaign issue during the two elections of 2004 and 2009, both for the Parliament and the Assembly elections.

Unlike the ‘issue-less’ and rather painless creation of three new states in 2000 – Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand, Telangana had, till now remained confined as an issue to be dusted for animated campaigning during elections and ‘special’ occasions. In recent memory, it was in 1998 that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in general and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in particular broached the subject at its convention in Kakinada, in coastal Andhra Pradesh. Armed with a slogan ‘one vote, two states’ the campaign could not gather much steam as TDP, the dominant political partner of NDA in Andhra Pradesh took a dim view of this clamour for separation and did not find it appropriate enough.

A recently released book Telangana: The State of Affairs (AdEd Value Ventures, Hyderabad) quotes thus: “Andhra Pradesh has the dubious merit of ruling parties espousing a separatist demand. It becomes imperative here to distinguish people’s aspirations for just opportunities and established political parties seeking to dominate the people, under the pretext of uplifting them. Civil society is yet to create the intellectual tools and action plans that can distinguish people’s politics from power politics.

Today, the problem of sub regionalism is compounded by a) its abuse by forces in power and b) its co-option by transient separatist forces. The nature of the demand for a separate Telangana has undergone a radical shift in the last four decades. From being the demand for justice by the people of an oppressed region, it has turned into a potential tool for oppressors wanting to renew and perpetuate the exploitation of the vulnerable masses. But once out of power, the same oppressive forces have chorused the demand for separate state. We have witnessed this trend particularly during the past two general elections (2004 and 2009). The ruling party Congress-I and the main opposition party Telugu Desam, have by turns acted in a similar manner with regard to the demand for separation.” (మరింత…)

Telangana village – Vaikuntam అక్టోబర్ 15, 2009

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Art, Culture, Personalities, Telangana.
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‘I avoid drama in drawings’
By Megana Ramaswami

Bold, striking, and vivid — these are the words that come to mind when one thinks of Thota Vaikuntam. Known for his brightly hued paintings depicting rural Telangana life, Vaikuntam shows art-lovers a different phase of his work in Vaikuntam: A Deep-Rooted Tale, an exhibition of his early compositions at Kalahita Art Foundation.

Vaikuntam early compositions -DC June 22, 09

Primarily done in charcoal, this series of black and white sketches retains the same vibrancy that his later, colourful paintings are famous for. “Black and white represent freedom,” explains Vaikuntam, “Every artist begins with charcoal or pencil, and many techniques are easier to achieve with charcoal than paint. It is used for exploration and learning.” And indeed, these sketches show the start of his trajectory in depicting his native Telangana roots. (మరింత…)

Laxma Goud- Sketch line poetry అక్టోబర్ 2, 2008

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Art, Telangana.
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Laxma Goud’s prolific career, which spans over four decades, has been marked with tremendous versatility, both in style and medium. He has worked effusively in etching, gouache, pastels, painting and sculpture. Undoubtedly, though Goud is a master draftsman who, against the long-held dictum in the Indian market that an artist can only be successful by producing large-format painting, developed a writhing, bleeding line as his idiom of choice. By fleshing out the possibilities of sketching, he connects the rustic and raw qualities of his practice to his subjects’ physicality and psyche, generating a rather intimate relationship with his creations.


Retrospective of Laxma Goud in Aicon Gallery , NY

Early in his career, in the 1960s, Goud was thoroughly fascinated with the erotic. His distinct etchings investigated impulses and aggressive passions within a male and female sexuality as well as a pan-natural context. Hierarchies are completely dismissed as man becomes beast and trees are spotted with vaginal openings– the libidinal and the surreal tread alongside the fantastical and poetic. As he immerses his so- called rural and tribal imagery with Eros, they transcend folklore and unfurl a deeper psychological landscape reminiscent of Picasso, Klee or the Neue Sachlichkeit. (మరింత…)