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Here’s how the most popular dhol tashe pathaks of Nagpur are bidding adieu to Bappa!

Ganpati visarjan is incomplete without music; and dhol tashe pathaks have become the most preferred way of bidding a musical adieu to Bappa in Nagpur. These groups comprise passionate boys and girls, having unmatched energy and unique style of performing. Dhol tashe pathaks, which have been traditionally hit in western Maharashtra’s cities like Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, etc, are just a four years old phenomenon in Nagpur (the first group Swarajya Garjana? came in 2012 here). But the irresistible charm and infectious energy of these wadaks (dhol players) have surely become an intrinsic part of not only the festive celebrations but also of wedding celebrations etc. in Nagpur.

dhol tashe pathaks
Members of Shiv Sanskruti group playing dhol tashe at Mahal, Nagpur

One of their striking features that set these performers apart is the fact that they follow a strict no-nonsense policy. We don’t perform for people who spread hooliganism and create ruckus on the streets in the name of celebrations. We can’t entertain people, who misbehave under the influence of alcohol during festivities, so we make sure that during our performance, people maintain the decorum and decency around us, said Swapnil Murtey, leader of one of the dhol tashe pathaks – Shiv Pratishta. Nation Next introduces you to Nagpur’s first four dhol tashe pathaks and tells you how and where are they bidding adieu to Bappa today?

Swarajya Garjana (Established in January 2012)

Performing at:

Lendra Park, Ramdaspeth at 8 pm on September 15, Thursday.

Dharampeth Ganesh Utsav Mandal at 3 pm on September, Friday.

Swarajya Garjana group, established by four Nagpurians – Saurabh Unhale, Nikhil Karkade, Pankaj Deshpande and Aniruddha Deshpande- in January 2012, performs strictly during the 10 days of Ganpati festival only.Earlier, every time before Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, along with his troops, left for a battle, his followers would play dhols and tashe to encourage them. This performance was known as Mardani Wadya. This Maharastrian culture of dhol tasha pathak was then adopted by major cities of western Maharashtra like Pune, Kolhapur, Nasik, etc, but nothing similar existed in Nagpur. We introduced this concept in Nagpur, says Aniruddha. Swarajya Garjana group has a collection of 36 dhols, seven tashe, three jhaanjs, two shanks (conch shell), three dhwajs (orange flags) and a gong. While these dhols weigh around eight kgs each, the tashe weigh around three kgs each. There are almost 70 performers belonging to the age group ranging between 18-40 years. These performers hail from backgrounds as diverse as students, government employees, doctors, bankers, etc. The group is popular for their passionate performances and foot tapping beats of Shiv Tandav, Ashwamedh taal and Shivaji taal.

dhol tashe pathaks
Members of Shiv Mudra group playing dhol tashe during a Ganapati procession in Nagpur

Shiv Mudra (Established in June 2013)

Performing at:

Tekdi road, Revati Ganga Ganesh Ustav Mandal at 5:30 pm on September 15, Thursday.

Wardha, Sawangi Meghe Ganesh Utsav Mandal Wardha, at 6 pm on September 16, Friday.

Shiv Mudra dhol tasha pathak group was started by Makrand Pandhripande, Gajanan Joshi and Jayant Baitule in June 2013. Jayant Baitule told Nation Next, We established Shiv Mudra dhol tasha pathak to channelise the youths energy and passion. We don’t give any kind of remuneration to our performers (also known as swayamsevaks), as we donate all our earnings to charity. Shiv Mudra dhol tasha pathak has 250 odd passionate dhol performers from the age group of three to 65 years, where performers from three to 35 years are on dhol, tashe and dhwaj. Performers above 35 years of age are a part of the group’s management team. People from all walks of life are a part of this group.

Apart from their dhol tashe performances, Shiv Mudra also entertains their viewers with their jaw dropping performances with lathis and swords. They maintain a variety of instruments that includes 60 dhols, 22 tashe, 10 jhaanj, 26 dhwaj and a gong. The average weight of a dhol and a tasha are 15kg and 6kg, respectively.

dhol tashe pathaks
Members of Shiv Mudra playing dhol tashe at Ganesh Tekdi, Nagpur

Shiv Sanskruti (Established in March 2013)

Performing at:

Mahal, Dakshinamurti Ganesh Utsav Mandal at 4 pm on September 15, Thursday.

Shankar Nagar, Bal Ganesh Utsav Mandal at 6 pm on September 17, Saturday.

Shiv Sanskruti dhol tasha pathak group was established in March 2013 by Prasad Manjarkhede, Abhishek Lambat, Prakash Durge, Pravin Basena and Prasad Pathkhede. After a year’s campaign including street plays to educate Nagpurians on the importance of dhol tashe, the group started playing during the festivals. With the slogan “Aami konAami Nagpurkars”, (Who are we? We are Nagpurians), Shiv Sanskruti started its operations. The group’s main motto is to involve youngsters in constructive activities. The group has 175 performers with a collection of 85 dhols, 19 tashe, 15 dhwaj, two jhaanj (hand cymbals), four shankhs (conch shells) and two gongs. The members of the group, who lie in the age group of three to 58 years, include students, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, etc. Their special performances include Tandav Taal, Shiv Taal and Shankhnad Taal.

Shiv Pratishta (Established in March 2013)

Performing at:

Mama road, Dharampeth, Ganesh Utsav Mandal at 7 pm on September 15, Thursday.

Two childhood friends Pankaj Pande and Swapnil Murtey started this dhol tasha pathak group in March 2013. The group ropes in members on the basis of their passion, personality and their body language. The group, which claims to have 75 members in its group, has zealous students, doctors, lawyers, etc, as its members. The major reason behind starting this group, says one of the group members, was to preserve and maintain our culture during festivals as it was somehow getting polluted due to loud music in sandals and DJs. This group has 55 dhols, 14 tashe, four jhaanj (hand cymbals), five shankhs (conch shells), a gong and a dafli (hand drum). These dhol and tashe weigh around 15 kg each and 7 kg each, respectively. Some of their signature performances of the group are on Shivstuti, Kallol taal and Paramparik taal.

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Governance

Dharavi redevelopment to have dedicated areas for manufacturing: Devendra Fadnavis

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi redevelopment will have dedicated areas for manufacturing…

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

Devendra Fadnavis

The Mah Deputy CM says that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

As Dharavi redevelopment has been announced, doubts were raised on whether this locally evolved entrepreneurial hub will retain its spirit.  In a chat on Sansad TV with Sanjeev Sanyal, Member, PM’s Economic Advisory Council and a writer, on an Economic Sutra episode telecast on Nov 6, the Deputy Chief Minister had made it very clear how he foresees the future of Dharavi and Mumbai.

Saying that his government worked on clearing all the bottlenecks, he adds, “We understood that unless we have a place to rehabilitate people, which is nearby Dharavi, this project will not take off. We found out that there is around 42 acres of land which belongs to the Railways. We approached the Central Government and told them that we’ll free up your land. We’ll buy your land and we’ll give you a share in the profit and we entered into a definitive agreement and now they have handed it over to us.”

“The Dharavi Redevelopment project will be the most unique project ever done. In fact, this redevelopment was visualized by none other than Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 but nothing happened – until 2014 when Modiji came and we started governing Maharashtra. The redevelopment will be no less beautiful than BKC. Dharavi is just not a slum but it’s also a great manufacturing cluster, so what we did was that while planning this scheme we have created areas for this entire manufacturing industry along with planning for the rehabilitation of the people. Right now, this entire manufacturing sector is informal, but after this and over time they will come into the formal sector.”

Watch the full interaction here: https://youtu.be/FNeTrm0v0dw

Also, with Mumbai undergoing so many infrastructural changes, questions have been raised about retaining the quintessential character of “aamchi Mumbai,” which apart from being the financial capital of India is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant cities.

Speaking on the land issues, Fadnavis says, “The usable space in Mumbai is very little. It has length, but has limitations on the breadth so taking into consideration all these problems we wanted to design a very robust system for Mumbai for commuters and for vehicles. That’s why the all the new Coastal Road, which will decongest the western side of Mumbai. It will be a ring road type structure along the coast and this Western Expressway carries 60 percent of the Mumbai traffic right, so all that traffic will be mostly accommodated here.”

Commuting in Mumbai is a killer and every day Mumbaikars spend a lot of time on travel. Saying that he wants to reduce travel within Mumbai from anywhere to anywhere to an hour, Fadnavis explains, “Our Metro three is a very unique 40 kilometers of underground Network, which will be the lifeline of Mumbai. It is estimated to carry around 1.7 million passengers per day! All this work will be finished in two or three years and I want that from any place to any place in Mumbai one should reach within less than one hour – that is the planning. We are also trying to integrate the transportation system. Right now, our Suburban Railway is the lifeline of Mumbai. This Suburban Railway carries around 9 million passengers. The new Metro Network which we are creating will be carrying around 7 million or 8 million passengers, almost doubling the current number.”

Adding to this, the Deputy CM says that the 22 kilometers of Sea Bridge that will connect us to the hinterland, “so we have Mumbai, we have new Mumbai and that will be the third Mumbai that will be a land mass which will be bigger than Mumbai with new Mumbai airport. I think the future growth of Mumbai is on that side!”

Also read: Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Governance

Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm…

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm.

Dharavi

Is squalor for cameras, money more important than dignified living for the residents…  

Former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy’s Dharavi comments kicked off a storm when he said on Twitter that Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, ‘is not actually a slum but a tribute to the great entrepreneurial spirit of the weakest and smallest person fighting for his or her livelihood in Mumbai. It is also a model in collective coexistence in one of the toughest cities in the world, where nothing else matters. Not caste. Not faith. Not where you come from. But trust and togetherness.’

While this may be true, what is equally true is the squalor and subhuman conditions that reign supreme in this slum. Netizens felt that Nandy, by romanticizing poverty in this manner, was only feeding poverty porn and tourism. Nandy clarified that he was seeking to keep the spirit of Dharavi alive by “researching the architectural grammar, the cultural history that builds integrated and interdependent societies like Dharavi that have survived and flourished over decades and make that the base for the new redevelopment plans. Not just look at the future but also build in the past.”

The Maharashtra Government had on November 29, opened the financial bids for Dharavi redevelopment project.  While 3 companies Adani Realty, DLF and Naman Group had submitted bids, the Adani Group clinched the project with a INR 5,069-crore bid. The timeline for the entire redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, might take close to 17 years, the rehabilitation of slum dwellers should be complete in seven years. 

Also read: Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Crime

Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai
The Bombay High Court said ex-minister Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues.

Anil Deshmukh

The Bombay High Court said, as per prima facie, 74-year-old former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, said that when Deshmukh’s bail plea was moved on medical grounds, then a fresh medical report needed to be called for. 

Singh said, “There is a compilation that has been given now. There are medical papers attached. We need to go through it. Even though this is not a bail application on merit of the case, it is still being circulated under medical issues. He is getting medical treatment as required. Moreover, medical issues are not static. We need a check on what his condition is right now.”

Deshmukh’s advocate Vikram Chaudhari said the senior NCP leader was being treated but has been suffering from several ailments that require constant treatment and care. Chaudhary said, ”He needs to be released. He is a chronic patient.”

Justice MS Karnik said that the court would hear the bail plea on merits. He said, “I am satisfied that we can proceed with the hearing on merits and give it priority. This is my prima facie opinion that priority should be given. One of the medical ailments (that Deshmukh is suffering from) is degenerative.” Deshmukh’s bail plea would now be heard on December 6.

The bench asked Singh whether he was ready to argue on the merits of the case immediately, to which Singh said he would require a week while Chaudhari said that he was ready to argue. However, Justice Karnik said, “We need to give them a fair opportunity.”

Also read: 10 lakh spectators across 50 km; PM Modi makes history with road show for BJP in Ahmedabad

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