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Archive for March, 2010

Dalai Lama Biography

Posted On March 15th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day – Dalai Lama”

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

His holiness Dalai Lama, also known as Tenzin Gyatso, happens to be the 14th head of the state as well as the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born to a family of farmers on July 6th, 1935, in a small village situated in north-eastern part of Tibet: Taktset, Amdo. He was named Lhamo Dhondup and by the age of two, he was believed to be the reincarnation of Thubten Gyatso, Dalai Lama the 13th. The Dalai Lamas are the patron saints of Tibet, known to be the manifestations of Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara.

Education

His holiness Dalai Lama initiated his ascetic education when he was six years old. His course structure included five minor and five major subjects. The major subjects included Tibetan art & culture, logic, medicine, Sanskrit and Buddhist ideology. The Buddhist philosophy was later divided into five different categories such as Prajnaparimita, Madhyamika, Vinaya, Abidharma and Pramana. He chose the five minor categories as astrology, music and drama, poetry, synonyms and phrasing. He appeared for his concluding examination at the age of 23 during the annual prayer festival of 1959 in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. He passed the examination with honours and was also awarded the highest level degree (Geshe Lharampa). Such a degree is equivalent to the doctorate of Buddhist ideology.

Leadership Responsibilities

His holiness, Dalai Lama was invited to grant complete political power in the year 1950, after China invaded Tibet in 1949. He later went to Beijing in 1954 and conducted peace talks with Chinese leaders such as Mao Zedong, Chou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. However, in the year 1959, with the brutal revolt against the Tibet national uprising by the Chinese troops in Lhasa, Dalai Lama was required to exile. He then escaped to Dharamsala in Northern India, which is also the place for Tibetan administration in exile. Ever since the invasion of China, Dalai Lama has requested to the UN (United Nations) committee about the condition of Tibet.

Democratization Process

In the year 1963, Dalai Lama was given a draft of the democratic constitution of Tibet, which led to a number of reforms so as to democratise the administrative set-up. He issued some important guidelines in 1992, for the future constitution of free Tibet. He proclaimed that when Tibet would become free, it would require an interim government who would then elect the constitutional assembly to strategise the democratic constitution of Tibet. His holiness would then transfer all of his chronological and political authorities to the provisional President and continue to live his life as an ordinary man. According to him, he wanted all the three provinces of Tibet (Amdo, U-Tsang and Kham) to be democratic. The reforms formed by Dalai Lama, saw its realisation in May 1990. Another major step in democratisation was taken in September 2001, when the Tibetan electorate directly appointed the most senior minister of the cabinet, Kalon Tripa. He was the first minister to elect his own cabinet that had to be approved by the Tibetan Assembly. This was the first time in the history of Tibet that the masses appointed the leaders.

Peace Initiatives

His Holiness planned the “Five Point Peace Prize” in September 1987, which was considered to be the first step towards improving the worsening conditions in Tibet. He often spoke of his vision of Tibet, which involved the country to become a sanctuary. Dalai Lama worked towards making the country, a region of peace where all beings can survive in harmony and preserve the environment. So far, China has failed to respond to several peace proposals brought into existence by His Holiness. The “Five Year Peace Plan” comprised of the basic components such as bringing about peace in the country, abandoning the population transfer policy of China, respecting the fundamental and democratic rights of the Tibetans, protecting the natural environment of the country and abandoning the use of nuclear weapons and nuclear waste from China.

The Strasbourg Proposal

During his address to the European Parliament members on June 15, 1988 in Strasbourg, he elaborated on the peace plan. He proposed peace talks between Tibet and China, leading to democratic government entity for all the provinces of Tibet. Such an entity would be in association with the Chinese Government and would continue to be responsible for the foreign policy and defense of China.

Global Recognition

Dalai Lama is known to be the man of peace. In the year 1989, he was given the Nobel Prize for Peace to recognise his non-violent effort for the liberty and freedom of Tibet. He consistently propagated policies of truth and non-violence, while facing extreme aggression. He was one of the first Nobel Laureates identified for this concern over environmental problems all across the globe.

Dalai Lama has traveled across 62 countries, stretched across 6 continents. He has had meetings with rulers, prime ministers and presidents of prominent nations. He has also held conferences with different spiritual leaders and renowned scientists. Ever since 1959, he was won more than 84 awards, prizes and honorary doctorates for his efforts on peace, inter-religious tolerances, compassion as well as universal responsibility. He has authored 72 books so far and yet he addresses himself as a mere Buddhist monk.


Amitabh Bachchan Biography

Posted On March 1st, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan was born on 11th of October, 1942. He is one of the prominent Indian film actors who gained popularity as the ‘angry young man’ during the 1970s. Throughout his journey in the Indian cinema, he has won three national awards and thirteen Filmfare awards.

Early Life & Family

Amitabh Bachchan was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh and belongs to a Hindu-Sikh family. His father, Dr.Harivanshrai Bachchan was a famous poet and his mother Teji Bachchan belonged to Faisalabad. Amitabh was originally named ‘Inquilab’ inspired from the Indian independence struggle, however was later renamed as Amitabh, which means the ‘light that would never go off’. Although his surname was ‘Srivastava’, his father used ‘Bachchan’ as his pen name to publish all his works. Later on, Amitabh debuted in the film industry with the same last name.

Amitabh was the eldest of the two sons in the family, the other one being Ajitabh. His mother had some amount of influence on his career choice since she insisted that he should take up theatre. He attended Jnana Prabodhini and Boy’s High School in Allahabad, followed by the Sherwood College in Nainital where he took up majors in art. He later went to the Kirori Mal College of the Delhi University and completed his Bsc. During his twenties, he ended up with a job as a freight broker with Bird & Co in Kolkata. Amitabh Bachchan was married to film actress Jaya Bhaduri in the year 1973.

Career

Amitabh Bachchan made his Hindi film debut in the year 1969 and happened to be one of the seven protagonists in the film “Saat Hindustani”. Although the film did not do well commercially, he was awarded the National Film Award for the Best Newcomer. His first commercial success came with the film “Anand” in the year 1971, followed by “Parwana”, “Reshma Aur Shera” and a guest appearance in the film “Guddi”. He was recognised for his deep baritone voice and was offered to narrate the initial part of the film “Bawarchi”.

After “Bombay to Goa” in the year 1972, there was a significant progress in Amitabh’s career. Director Prakash Mehra offered him a lead role in the film “Zanjeer” in 1973. With this role, he was famously known as the “angry young man” of the Indian Cinema. The film was a huge hit all across India and there was no looking back thereafter. He also did non-conventional roles in the films like “Abhimaan”, “Namak Haram”, “Majboor”, “Mili”, “Chupke Chupke” and “Faraar”.

“Deewar”, released in the year 1975 went on to become one of the “Must-Watch Bollywood Films” of all times. In the same year, Amitabh was a part of the highest grossing film in the history of Indian cinema, “Sholay”, earning a total of $60 million. Bachchan became a pre-eminent action hero of India after the phenomenal success of Sholay and retained the top spot from 1976 to 1984. A series of comedies and romantic films attributed its success to Amitabh Bachchan, which includes “Amar Akbar Anthony”, “Kabhie Kabhie”, “Don”, “Trishul”, “Kasme Vaade” and “Muqaddar Ka Sikander”. François Truffaut, the French director referred to Indian cinema as a “One Man Industry” due to the unprecedented success of Amitabh Bachchan.

He continued to give breath-taking performances in films like “Kaala Patthar”, “Dostana”, “Mr.Natwarlal”, “Shaan”, “Ram Balram”, “Silsila”, “Lawaaris” and “Shakti”. Throughout his career, he was pitted against the other legendary actors of the Indian film industry and successfully carved a niche of his own.

The Crucial Injury of Coolie in 1982

While filming a fight scene in the film “Coolie” with the co-actor Punit Issar, he suffered intestinal injury. Bachchan was supposed to perform his own stunts in the movie and in one of the scenes, he was asked to fall on the table and then roll off on the ground. However, while jumping on the table, the angle of the table stuck hard on his abdomen, resulting into a splenic rupture and loss of blood. He was rushed to the hospital immediately and remained crucially ill for several months. The massive public response included prayers and long queues of fans outside the hospital.

Politics

Amitabh took a sabbatical from acting in the year 1984 and entered politics to support a long time family friend Rajiv Gandhi. He contested from Allahabad for the 8th Lok Sabha against the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, H.N. Bahuguna. His political career was pretty short lived and he resigned within three years. A newspaper implied his involvement in the “Bofors Scandal” and was later found not guilty in the ordeal.

The Decline

Amitabh Bachchan returned to films in the year 1988, with the film “Shahenshah”. After the success of this film, his star power started weakening since all the films thereafter failed at the box office. “Hum”, “Agneepath, “Khuda Gawah” and “Insaniyat” did not create the same success as before and he chose to retire for a while.

During his retirement, he became a producer by setting up ABCL (Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd.) in the year 1996. However, the company did not make any profits, instead lost a lot of funds on some events such as the “Miss World Beauty Pageant” in Bangalore. The company was declared bankrupt in the year 1997 and Bachchan decided to revive his acting career. “Bade Miyaan Chote Miyaan” was a moderately successful film followed by box office failures of “Lal Baadshah”, “Sooryavansham” and “Hindustan Ki Kasam”.

The Return

Amitabh Bachchan stepped up the television platform with the Indian version of the entertainment show “Who wants to be a millionaire?” He gained immense popularity with the show and soon returned to silver screen with the film “Mohabbatein”. With astonishing performances thereafter, he soon regained the losses of his company and was highly rewarded for his work in recent films like “Baghban”, “Black”, “Sarkar”, “Sarkar Raj”, “Aankhen”, “Baabul”, “Viruddh”, and “Bhootnath”. One of the latest films “Paa” happens to be the most challenging film of his career where he plays a character of a 12 year old.

Despite a few rough years of his life, Amitabh Bachchan remains to be one of the most identified names of Indian cinema all across the globe. His popularity and his dedication towards films are unparalleled even today.


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