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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Katrina Kaif

Model-turned-actress Katrina Kaif’s skirt length has become the point of contention among the khadims (caretakers) of the Ajmer’s famous Moinuddin Chisti’s dargah and has divided the purists from the liberals.
While purists have strongly criticised Katrina’s entry into dargah wearing a knee length skirt and has even termed it as “skimpy skirt”, liberals on the other side say that dargah never had a dress code and hence there was no question of any violation.
“Women should cover their head. This is what is followed. Row over actress’ skirt is completely unjustified”, said Sarwar Chishti, spokesperson, Khadim Association, Ajmer Dargah.
But purists led by Irfan Rizvi, a senior Khadim of the dargah, are in no mood of reconciliation.
"The actress came here wearing a very short and skimpy dress. It was like a frock that exposed her legs to a large degree. This is totally wrong and uncalled for," said Rizvi.
Row over Kaif’s dress has largely been blamed to television news channel that showed video footage where Kaif was seen wearing a peach coloured knee-length skirt and carrying a basket of rose flowers on her head while shooting a scene for her forthcoming film Namastey London inside the dargah.
This led to a debate over the dress code violation by the actress.
This is not the first time that purists and liberals are at loggerheads over the issue. Earlier this year a section of the kahdims called for banning the entry of women in the dargah to offer prayers. But a strong condemnation from different sections of the society led to its withdrawal.
Recently, a woman Sufi singer from Pakistan, Maria Balocha was interrupted midway and asked to stop singing at the shrine. The opposition was justified on grounds of tradition rather than religion.
The tussle between the liberals and purists among the dargah’s khadims was evident during the uplifting of the ban on women offering prayers. Then Khadim’s committee had imposed a sanction on the khadim who had proposed the ban and boycotted him.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Vipul Shah apologised for the episode and assured that he would delete the particular scene from his film.
“My intention was not to hurt any religious sentiments, I am not the kind of man who would go to any extent for a movie,” Vipul said.
He however, added that he had earlier informed the khadims of the dargah that Kaif, who is playing a NRI character in the film in search of her Indian root, would be wearing a skirt.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Himesh Reshammiya

Playback singer and music director Himesh Reshamiya has created a controversy by visiting the Holy tomb of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer by wearing a burqa for which he apologized later. According to him when he along with 4 others came to Ajmer for Ziarat (pilgrimage) in order to avoid attention he wore a burqa but the people who when got to know that it was him behind the burqa they objected to it, but according to the “Anjuman Committee” the official committee of the dargah khadims (servers) said Reshamiya did not commit a crime by offering Ziarat in a burqa. While Reshamiya wrapped it all up by saying that a dargah khadim Qutubuddin Saki had advised him to wear a burqa.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Educational Institutions

Ajmer is home to one of the prestigious engineering institutes of India - Engineering College Ajmer. ECA has also started its MTech and MBA programs besides its core strength BTech. Besides Government Engineering College Ajmer, few new engineering institutes have also been established like Mahila Engineering College Ajmer and the private institute named Ajmer Institute of Technology.
Ajmer is also home to Mayo college, founded by the British Raj in 1870 to educate the children of Rajputana's nobles on the lines of an English public school. Ajmer is also home to the prestigious St. Anslem's High SchoolSophia Girls' School and Sophia College, and the historic Ajmer Music College, founded in 1942, which was the first accredited institution in Rajputana for teaching classical Hindustani music. One of the four NCERT Demonstration Schools of India is also located in Ajmer.
Other educational institutions which prominently shaped the academic environment of Ajmer before India became independent are the Government College, Savitri Girls' School & College, D.A.V. College, Government High School, St. Mary's Convent Girls' School, King George Royal Indian Military School, St. Paul's School,, Moinia Islamia High School, Oswal Jain High School, Husband Memorial High School, Govt. Central Girls' High School, Arya Putri Pathshala, and Saraswati Balika Vidyalaya.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Some More Pictures Of Mayo College

Assembly Hall

Ajmer House

Jaipur House

Jodhpur House

Kashmir House

Rajasthan House

Tonk House

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mayo College

Main Building

Lord Mayo, Viceroy Of India

Mayo College is a public school founded by Richard Southwell Bourke, the Earl of Mayo, who was Viceroy of India from 1869 to 1872 and was popularly known as Lord Mayo in India.Bourke was born on February 21st, 1822 and died on February 8th 1872.
The school is located in Ajmer, in the state of Rajasthan, India.The architecture of the school buildings evoke the grandeur of Rajasthan.
With a view to providing the leaders of the princely states with an education at par with British standards the British Raj proceeded to construct a school, house students and impart education to the Indian elite, particularly the princes and nobles of Rajputana.
The idea for the college was first proposed on May 28, 1869 by Colonel Walter. The school was founded in 1875 and Col. Sir Oliver St. John became its first principal.
The founder's intention was to create an Eton of India. Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, Viceroy of India said in a speech on campus in 1879:
" The idea was well expressed long ago by Colonel Walter in an excellent and most suggestive report which may have influenced Lord Mayo when he founded the present college. In that very sensible report Colonel Walter pointed out that what was then most needed for the education of India’s young rulers and nobles was an Indian Eton. Ajmer is India’s Eton and you are India’s Eton boys.”
Mayo College is often considered as one of the best boarding schools in the country.Students from the school refer to themselves as Mayoites.Mayo College has a well established exchange programme for students to travel overseas to enrich their studies.
The architecture of the school buildings evoke the grandeur of Rajasthan.
Mangal Singh from Alwar was the first student to be admitted to the institution in October 1875. The second student was Mahatab Singh of Nindar.
A number of illustrious Principals have guided the schools since its founding, but the most noteworthy is J. T. M. (Jack) Gibson, Principal from 1954-1969, who gave Mayo College its current post-independence identity by hiring young faculty, upgrading the curriculum, and persuading families other than the nobility of Rajasthan to send their sons to the school.
One of the finest schools in India and founded by the British Viceroy Lord Mayo, the College is famous not only for its education but for its architecture as well. Designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, the state engineer of Jaipur, Mayo College is built of white marble. Founded in 1875 as a school for Indian princes, its first pupil was the Maharaja of Alwar. Keeping tradition and royalty in mind, the prince arrived at the college perched on an elephant along with a massive entourage of servants, camels, trumpeters and whoever wished to come along. College Groomed Princes to Behave like a British gentlemen.
Rudyard Kipling’s father designed Mayo’s coat of arms, and the college’s students normally proceeded to Oxford or Cambridge universities after being groomed on how to behave like `British gentlemen’. The college premises also have a hospital and a museum with portraits of its illustrous alumni and souvenirs from princely pasts.
The school befitted princes, with its huge gardens and rooms for their servants to live. Not to be outdone, some princes built their own mini palaces within the school premises. Today, Mayo College is no longer restricted to children of the rich and famous. Although the British left India 50 years ago, Mayo College still retains its Imperial aura.
Coat Of Arms
This was composed from the design furnished by Mr. Lockwood Kipling, a former Principal of the School of Arts, Lahore and father of the famous Rudyard Kipling.
In the Upper Centre of the Shield are Mayo Arms, and Quarterings, a Lion Rampant and an Open Hand. On the right and left are the Sun and the Moon, typical of Suryawanshi and Chandrawanshi, the two great families of Rajputs. Below are the Panch Rang, the five sacred colours of the Rajputs, Red, Gold, Blue, White and Green. In the centre of which is a Rajput fort - two towers connected by a curtain. The Supports are on the right, a Bhil warrior with string bow and quiver full of arrows. On the left a Rajput, armed at all points, wearing a steel helmet with three plumes, a shield on his back, a dagger and quatar in his belt, and a suit of chain covered with embroidered cloth and gauntlet on his hand.
The motto is " Let there be Light ". The badge is a peacock, the sacred bird of Rajputana, standing on a two edged, two handed Rajput Sword Khanda.

School Stamp

On April 12th, 1986, the post and telegraph department of the government of India released a special stamp of Mayo College with the magnificent Main School building on its face recognizing the school's pre-eminent role in the field of education.

Some facts about the school:
.Mayo's first student, H.H. Maharaja Mangal Singh of Alwar, arrived at the school gates in October 1875 on the back of an elephant accompanied by 300 retainers and a menagerie of tigers, camels and horses!
.One of the school's long standing traditions is meeting for tea in the lawns known as Mughal Gardens immediately after the Annual Prizegiving Ceremony; it is believed that Mr. MN Kapur (who subsequently went on to become one of Modern School New Delhi's most respected & beloved principals) did away with the act of using a rope to divide English guests and Indian guests at this ceremony.
.The Annual Prizegiving, one of the oldest ceremonies at Mayo, has seen many a respected and well known individual presiding as Chief Guest including Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India, Lord Chelmford, Governor General of India, Dr.Rajendra Prasad, Ex President of India, HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur, HH Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur, Mrs Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Dr Zakir Husain, Ex President of India, Dr Karan Singh, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Ex Prime Minister of India, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, H.H. Sayyid Faher Bin Taimur of Oman, HM Birendra Shah, King of Nepal, Sardar Khushwant Singh, HH Madhavrao Scindia, Sir Peter Ustinov, Mr Jasant Singh, etc.
.Other traditions at Mayo include an Annual Horseback Parade by the students and a number of Sporting fixtures between Old Boys and Current Students (including a Polo Match).
.Mayo College has Sports Facilities of the highest standard for students and staff consisting of many playing fields for Football, Hockey and even a picturesque Cricket Ground with a view of the Aravali Hills and a beautiful old Red Sandstone Pavillion. The Squash Players may choose between the Modern Glass Backed courts or the Historic Fanshawe Courts, open to sky. Currently, a Golf Course is being constructed on campus.
.Visitors to Mayo College often stay in the heart of the sprawling campus in the Oman Guest House located in close proximity to the Principal's Residence and the Basketball Courts.