Archive for Indian news and politics

Zohra Segal (1912-2014)

Tributes have poured in for celebrated Indian actress Zohra Sehgal who died in New Delhi on July 10th, aged 102. She had been ill for several days and suffered a heart attack in a hospital in the capital..

In a career spanning more than seven decades, Zohra Sehgal entertained millions through her performances in films and on stage.


Close-Up by Zohra Segal

Zohra Sehgal was born in 1912 in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

In 1930 she struck out and went to Germany to study modern dance at Mary Wigman’s Dance School in Dresden. In 1933 she returned to India, and in 1935 joined Uday Shankar’s famed dance academy in Almora, together with fellow dancer Kameshwar, whom she married in 1942. On to Lahore and the Zoresh Dance Institute and then her big move into acting: Prithvi Theatres, the Old Vic, the British Drama League, BBC television, The Jewel in the Crown, Toba Tek Singh, Bhaji on the Beach

Among the many honours and awards that have been conferred on Zohra Segal are the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1963); the Norman Beaton Award for significant contribution to the development of multicultural film and television drama in the United Kingdom (1996); the Padma Shri (1998); the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement (2004); and the Padma Vibhushan (2010).

Her autobiography, Close-Up: Memoirs of a Life on Stage and Screen, is available from Shalimar. Details here.



Sachin Tendulkar receives Bharat Ratna


Sachin – The Story of the World’s Greatest Batsman by Gulu Ezekiel

Sachin Tendulkar and eminent scientist Prof. C.N.R. Rao were presented with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, at a brief function at Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Durbar Hall attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Union ministers, Tendulkar’s wife Anjali, daughter Sara and a host of dignitaries.

“I will continue to bat for India even though my cricket has stopped, but I will continue to try my best to give the people of India a reason to smile,” Sachin Tendulkar told reporters after being conferred the award by the President of India.

“It’s the biggest honour for me and I am extremely delighted on receiving Bharat Ratna,” he said. “I am extremely proud to be born in this beautiful nation and I would like to express my gratitude for all the love, affection and support I have received for a number of years.”

Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket in November last year, is the first sportsman (and, at 40, the youngest) to be bestowed with this honour.

“I would like to reiterate what I said a couple of months ago that this award I would like to dedicate to my mother and along with her all the mothers in India who sacrifice their wishes, aspirations for their children so that their dreams come true,” he said.

He also congratulated Prof. Rao for motivating youngsters to become scientists.

“I would like to congratulate Prof. C.N.R. Rao for the Bharat Ratna. He has been instrumental in motivating and inspiring the youth of India to become scientists. I wish him all
happiness and good health.”


Sachin Tendulkar Masterful by Peter Murray and Ashish Shukla

Interestingly, and to some controversially, the wording of the award had been amended.

Before 16 December 2012, the award was for “exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order”. On that day, it was changed so that it could be awarded “in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour”.

By broadening the criteria to include “any field of human endeavour”, cynics argued that the policy was altered specifically to accommodate India’s greatest cricketer. Under the previous policy, he could not be awarded the Bharat Ratna.

But others have welcomed the change. And in view of his achievements and the joy and pride he has brought to the Indian people, who would deny him this honour?

Please visit our sport section for books on Sachin Tendulkar.


Shalimar Books at London Book Fair

Anand Kumria will be representing Shalimar Books at the London Book Fair from 15th to 17th April. Anand can be contacted on the NCBA stand – N465 – where you will find the latest titles from Yoda Press, New Central Book Agency (NCBA), and other leading Indian publishers.

Also present at the book fair will be Melanie Swan, a freelance publishers’ representative who can be contacted at or through stand N465 at the fair. Melanie handles representation to the trade and institutions of the books distributed in the UK by Shalimar.

Through our network of suppliers in India, Shalimar can supply any Indian book in print, and Anand and Melanie will be happy to discuss any requirements you may have in this area. We look forward to meeting you.