A.R. Rahman is an Indian composer, singer, and music producer, who has worked in the Indian film industry as well as internationally. He is one of the most successful and influential composers in the world and is known for his unique sound that fuses Indian classical music with electronic music and world music. At A Glance: A. R. Rahman's Life Rahman was named A. S. Dileep Kumar when he was born in Madras, Tamil Nadu, on January 6, 1967. His father, R. K. Shekhar, was a film-score composer as well as a conductor for Tamil and Malayalam films. A.R. Rahman started his schooling at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan. However, he was dismissed from school due to poor academic results. Later he was admitted to Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School and showed his musical talent. But, he dropped out the school to pursue a music career. Then, he started musical training under Master Dhanraj. Read More: 5 Best Movies of Vidya Balan Rahman’s big break came in 1992 when he was asked to compose the score for the Tamil film “Roja.” The soundtrack was a huge success and established Rahman as one of the leading film composers in India. He went on to compose music for many other successful films, including “Bombay,” “Taal,” “Lagaan,” “Rang De Basanti,” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” which earned him two Academy Awards. Rahman has also composed music for stage productions, including the “Bombay Dreams” and the Toronto productions of “The Lord of the Rings.” In addition to his work in film and theater, Rahman has also released several solo albums and worked on various philanthropic projects. Rahman has received numerous awards and accolades for his work, including six National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, and two Grammy Awards. He has also been honored with the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards in India, and the Padma Shri, another prestigious award given by the Indian government. Read More: 5 Best Movies of Mel Gibson 10 Lesser-Known Facts About A. R. Rahman Composer A. R. Rahman is well known for his musical achievements, but the following are some of the lesser-known facts about him that everyone is less concerned about. Converted to Islam Although Rahman was born a Hindu, he along with other family members converted to Islam at the age of 2023 in 1989 and changed his name to Allah Rakha Rahman (A. R. Rahman). Musical Training Under Master Dhanraj Rahman took a music lesson from Ustad Dhanraj. At the age of 11, he joined the orchestra of renowned Malayalam composer MK Arjunan, a close friend of his father, as a player. He quickly mastered vocals, guitar, percussion, drums, harpsichord, fingerboard, keyboard, piano, accordion, goblet, drums, concert harp, etc. Impressed by his talent, renowned composers like MS Viswanathan and Ramesh Naidu, Raj Koti also offered him an opportunity to work with them. Read More: 2022 rewind: A year of abundance for silver screens, OTT platforms Scholarship in Trinity College of Music He embarked on a world tour with Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, and L Shankar in his teenage. At that time, Rahman got a scholarship from Trinity College London to the Trinity College of Music. Later, while studying in Madras, he obtained a diploma in ‘Western Classical Music’ from a local school.
Delhi Police have detained an Indian man accused of killing an Australian woman in Queensland in 2018. The man, Rajwinder Singh, had left Australia after killing the woman. Toyah Cordingley (24) was killed by Rajwinder, according to investigators, because “her dog barked at him,” NDTV reports. Apparently, after an altercation with his wife, Rajwinder Singh (38) headed to Wangetti Beach in Queensland. He admitted to Delhi police that he was carrying some fruits and a kitchen knife. A pharmacy employee, Cordingley, was walking her dog down the shore. Rajwinder and Cordingley got into a fight, as the latter’s dog was barking at him. According to authorities, this led to the Indian man attacking and reportedly killing Cordingley. Read more: India's tribespeople seek formal recognition of ancient nature-worshipping faith Rajwinder then tied the dog to a tree and buried Cordingley’s body in the sand. Two days later, Rajwinder Singh fled Australia – leaving behind his wife, three children, and his job. A Red Corner Notice from Interpol was issued against Rajwinder, and on November 21 the Patiala House Court issued a non-bailable warrant in accordance with the extradition laws. Read more: Indian foreign secretary cements support for Myanmar’s development during visit According to a senior police officer, Rajwinder was detained by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police along the G T Karnal Road based on information supplied by the CBI, which serves as Interpol’s central agency in India, and their Australian counterparts.
Coast Guard Wednesday detained 31 Indian fishermen for illegally fishing in Bangladesh's territorial waters. Two fishing boats were also seized. Lieutenant Commander Khandaker Munif Taki, media officer of Coast Guard, said they found the Indian boats illegally fishing in Bangladeshi waters – 77 nautical miles west of the international maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Coast Guard vessel Mansur Ali conducted the operation. The detainees were handed over to Mongla Police Station Thursday, Munif said. Read: 13 more Indian fishermen held from Bay of Bengal To secure their marine resources in the Bay of Bengal, India and Bangladesh settled their maritime boundary in 2014. However, fishermen from Bangladesh and India continue to commit unlawful forays into each other's sovereign waters, leading to the enforcement of punitive measures against those accused or convicted. Such incidents not only jeopardise the fishers' livelihoods but repeated occurrences also nettle relations
The maiden shipment of 25 lakh litres of crude oil imported from India reached the country on Saturday, aiming to tackle the ongoing fuel crisis. Representatives of Bangladesh and India formally released the crude oil at Aqua Refinery jetty in Gorashal of Narsingdi in the morning. Private company Aqua Refinery Limited imported Naphtha (crude oil) from Indian Oil Corporation Limited through Indo-Bangladesh Inland Waterways Protocol Route. Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) director Rafiqul Islam, Indian Oil Corporation Limited Bangladesh country manager Mazhar Alam, Aqua Refinery Limited director operation Ershad Hossain, Shanghai ship owner Masudur Rahman, Aqua Refinery deputy managing director Sajedul Siraj, general manager GM Jahangir Alam, among others, were present at that time. Read: Fuel crisis hits filling stations in Thakurgaon After the refining process by Aqua Refinery, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) will buy the crude oil and provide it to the consumer level within one week. Amid the unprecedented situation due to fuel crisis, the government recently announced suspension of production in diesel-run power plants. It resorted to one –hour area based load shedding across the country to save energy. The government has also taken some austerity measures including reducing consumption of power at government offices to save power and energy.
A court in the northern Indian state of Punjab on Thursday sent popular pop star Daler Mehndi to jail, rejecting his appeal against a two-year prison term for trafficking migrants to the US. The singer had been out on bail since his conviction in the case in 2018. "The singer was taken into custody by police soon after the court turned down his appeal against the sentence and cancelled his bail bond. He has to undergo the prison term now," TS Bhargav, a lawyer, told the local media. Also read: James Caan, Oscar nominee for ‘The Godfather,’ dies at 82 The case was filed by Punjab Police way back in 2003 after a probe revealed that Mehndi took some 10 migrants, disguised as dancers in his troupe, to the US and returned without them. Subsequently, the singer was also booked and chargesheeted for cheating after many people lodged complaints alleging that he took large sums of money on the pretext of taking them to Western countries. Also read: Ustad Rashid Khan to sing in 'Coke Studio Bangla' Season Two The 54-year-old singer helped popularise Punjabi dance Bhangra worldwide in the late 1990s and early 2000. He also sang in several Bollywood flicks, and is best known for his dance, voice, turban, and long robes.
India's opposition parties on Tuesday named Yashwant Sinha, a former Finance Minister, as their joint candidate for the presidential polls slated for next month. "In the forthcoming Presidential elections, we have decided to elect a common candidate and stop the Modi government from doing further damage," the opposition parties said in a statement. "At a subsequent meeting held today, we have chosen Yashwant Sinha as a common candidate. We appeal to all political parties to vote for Yashwant Sinha," it added. READ: Indian High Commission celebrates 8th International Day of Yoga A former leader of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sinha served as the Finance Minister in Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government. Following apparent disagreements with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's current dispensation, Sinha quit the BJP and joined Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress party recently. The BJP, on the other hand, is yet to announce its candidate for the presidential polls. Incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind's five-year term ends on July 24.
Authorities in the Indian capital region Friday reopened schools fully in offline mode after a gap of two years. It is for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that physical attendance was made no longer optional. Schools in Delhi were first closed in March 2020 immediately after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent imposition of a countrywide lockdown. The classwork resumed after some time in online mode and students were asked to attend classes sitting at their homes while remaining connected to their school teachers via the Internet. Although the schools reopened for in-person classes multiple times in the past two years, the online mode was never called off. Last year, schools reopened briefly, however, the second wave of the pandemic, the grave air pollution levels in the capital city and then the Omicron wave forced them to shut down again. The decision to phase out online classes was taken during the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) meeting in February this year, following which schools were permitted to fully switch to offline classes from April 1, with the onset of the new academic session. READ: Govt primary schools to remain open till 20th Ramadan: Minister "It's after two years that schools are reopening and students were excited to get back to school," a local news agency quoted Sudha Acharya, chairperson of the National Progressive Schools' Conference (NPSC) as having said. Teachers say the return of in-person classes would allow students to learn properly. According to them, the closure of schools during the past two years has resulted in a significant learning gap. Reports said many schools however stated they will resume classes only from Monday. "Online classes will be completely suspended. Both students and teachers are happy since a return to the familiar routine is less stressful," said Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu Public School, Rohini told a local newspaper.
The pace of fund disbursement under the India-Bangladesh Governmental Lines of Credit (LOC) has nearly doubled in one year, as USD 238.68 million has been disbursed in this time, despite the serious challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Total disbursement will soon reach the $1-billion milestone, a press release of the Indian High Commission said on Monday. It was noted that the India-Bangladesh development partnership has grown significantly in recent years. Bangladesh is India’s largest development partner under its Line of Credit programme with total commitment under LOCs being USD 7.862 billion. The 2nd Meeting of the High-Level Project Monitoring Committee to review projects under the India-Bangladesh Governmental Lines of Credit (LOC) was held on Sunday at the Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh. It was co-chaired by High Commissioner of India Vikram Doraiswami and Fatima Yasmin, Secretary, Economic Relations Division of Ministry of Finance. Delegates included officials of the Economic Relations Division, the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Board of Revenue, Finance Division and Ministry of Home Affairs on the Bangladesh side and High Commission of India and the Exim Bank of India, through which the LOCs are being administered. This bilateral mechanism is one of several joint initiatives to further expedite execution of projects, by addressing procedural issues and suggesting the way forward. The two sides reviewed the status of implementation of the decisions taken by the 1st High Level Project Monitoring Committee Meeting held on January 3, 2021. Both sides noted with great satisfaction that significant headway has been made under the GoI LOC framework, it said. Both sides discussed the entire spectrum of implementation issues during the meeting, including the need for standardization of the interpretation of GoI LOC processes and procedures by various Project Authorities of Bangladesh, expediting project preparation and Development Project Proposals (DPP), rationalizing bid qualification criteria, shortening and simplification of bill processing cycles, expediting award of finalized contracts, simplifying visa issuance procedures etc. The High Level Committee also identified the next steps to be taken by the Technical Committee, which would meet in due course to discuss issues at an operational level.
Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla called on the visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister in Delhi on Tuesday to discuss ways on bolstering bilateral ties in several areas. "Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla called on the visiting Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Prof. G. L. Peiris. Discussed strengthening of the relationship in multiple spheres including a people-centric development partnership," Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted after the one-to-one meeting. READ: 7 Indian soldiers found dead near China border On Monday, Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar held talks with Peiris in the national capital. Officials said that the two Ministers discussed investment initiatives and tourism opportunities to boost Sri Lanka's economy, as well as steps needed to enhance the island nation's energy security. Peiris's three-day visit to India comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's US dollars 500 million financial assistance to the island nation. READ: Indian scientists claim to have designed vaccine against all variants of coronavirus Separated by the Palk Strait, India and Sri Lanka occupy a strategic position in South Asia and have always sought to build a common security umbrella in the Indian Ocean. The two countries are also close on economic terms, with India being the island's largest trading partner though Sri Lanka is said to have moved closer to China in recent years.
Veteran Indian playback singer Sandhya Mukherjee, who sang the iconic song 'Bangabandhu Tumi Phirey Ele' when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was freed from prison, has been hospitalised in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata. The 90-year-old was rushed to Kolkata's premier state-run SSKM hospital on Thursday after she complained of breathlessness. Hospital doctors told the local media that she was suffering from a lung infection that triggered her breathlessness. "A medical board has been constituted at SSKM Hospital to treat Mukherjee," a doctor said. Also read: Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar hospitalised with Covid A recipient of Banga Bibhushan, the highest civilian honour of the eastern state of West Bengal, Mukherjee began her music career as a classical vocalist. Apart from several Bengali songs, she sang, as a playback singer, in 17 Bollywood films. During the Bangladesh Liberation War, she raised money for the millions of Bengali refugees who came to Bengal to escape the fighting. Also read: Film director Kazi Hayat hospitalised Mukherjee subsequently became one of the first foreign artists to perform at an open-air concert in Paltan Maidan in Dhaka to celebrate the first Ekushey February after Bangladesh became independent in 1971.