Alsi linen for the president
Ramnath Kovind will receive a unique gift, a jacket made from alsi (linseed or common flax) based linen during his maiden visit to Chhattisgarh as President for the closing ceremony of the Rajyotsav (State Foundation Day celebrations) on November 5. A dedicated team from All India Coordinated Research Project on Oilseeds (AICRPO) has painstakingly crafted the process of making alsi linen cloth aided by a farmer-weaver from Janjgir-Champa district. The Indira Gandhi Agriculture University and AICRPO collaborated to make 40 metre of linen cloth from alsi in eight different colours. The unique cloth is very light and keeps the body cool. Chhattisgarh's five-day Foundation Day celebrations are to be inaugurated by the vice-president on November 1.
Come let's do the Sua
Many might not know the Sua dance holds the same importance for Chhattisgarh as the Bhangra does for Punjab and the Dandia for Gujarat. But the Sua has never been promoted by any official agency or cultural department of the state let alone any Bollywood film-maker. On Sunday, senior BJP leader Saroj Pandey organised an event to promote the Sua in Raipur. Over 10,000 women took part in the dance, and chief minister Raman Singh and several party leaders joined in. The organisers claimed it was a world record for the Guinness Book.
The sex, lies and videotape season
With elections coming up in the new year, no wonder the political atmosphere is warming up. The controversy over a sex tape, purportedly starring a senior minister in the Raman Singh government, has spelt open sesame for the pol khol season. After the arrest of senior journalist Vinod Verma for allegedly using the alleged sex tape to allegedly blackmail the minister, the Congress has launched a campaign against the government. To the BJP's reliefe, a local news channel piped up and played the 'real' sex tape along with the 'fake' sex tape. This is how it's going to be until the elections.
Indian citizenship for Partition emigres
After Narendra Modi government came to power, Indian citizenship was awarded to 60 Hindu families who fled Pakistan just after Partition and were lodged on the outskirts of Raipur ever since then. Last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs gave powers to collectors and home secretaries of seven states to grant certificates of naturalisation under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act. Besides Chhattisgarh, the other states to which such powers have been delegated include Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. The powers will be valid for two years. it promises citizenship to almost 3 lakh people.
Art of the heartland
Chhattisgarh has a tribal population of 32 per cent and is a crucible of tribal art and craft. However, visitors to Chhattisgarh don't need to go off the beaten track in the north Sarguja range or in south Bastar to see the state's diverse cultural heritage. Just drop in at the open-air museum Purkhauti Muktangan in Naya Raipur, spread over 200 acres, to get a glimpse of it. The museum showcases the rich arts and crafts -- particularly tribal art -- not much known beyond the state. It's an arresting panorama of the state's people, their artefacts, art forms, traditions and food habits.