Pr. Jyestha Krishna 1, Vik. Samvat 2075, Yugabda 5120: 1 May 2018

3. Include ancient BHARATIYA traditions in education system, says Dalai Lama 4. DR MOHAN BHAGWAT AT BOMBAY STOCK EXCHANGE
5. VAATSALYA MANDIR, A HOME FOR ORPHANS IN KANPUR 6. Rashtra Sevika Samiti’s new website launched
11. Bharat received $69 billion remittances in 2017, retains top slot 12. THREE WHEELS AND A DREAM TO PULL OFF 3,000 KILOMETRES
13. IAF FLIES 11,000 SORTIES IN MEGA GAGANSHAKTI DRILL 14. MIT’s Parag Pathak Honored with Clark Medal

1. FESTIVALS: Purushottam Maas: Bharatiya rishis developed a unique calendar system. Our calendar is primarily a lunar system but there is a provision of synchronizing it with the solar system. There is a provision of Adhik Maas or an extra month every three years and this month is dedicated to "Purushottam", i.e., Bhagwan Vishnu.

The position of Adhik Maas amongst the other months is variable, re-occurring about every 32.5 months. This year there will be an additional Jyeshtha month, starting from Amavasya, the May 16 and ending on June 13. No activities like weddings or moving into a new house are conducted in this month. It is a time for prayer, fasting, charity, and self-improvement. Since this is a special month which does not come every year, there are no specific festivals like Dasara, Diwali in this month. Rather this month is treated as special and holy month and many people perform the adhik mass vrat. People perform extra mala japas, pradakshinas, pilgrimages, scriptural reading and parayans. -GoTop

2. SINGAPORE PM LEADS 40K DEVOTEES IN HINDU TEMPLE RECONSECRATION CEREMONY: For the first time since assuming office in 2004, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong led some 40,000 devotees and four Ministers at a 164-year-old Hindu temple’s reconsecration ceremony in Singapore, following the completion of its SGD 4.5 million restoration work.“This 164-year-old temple has been undergoing renovations for the last one and half years to prepare for its re-consecration, which takes place every 12 years,” the Prime Minister tweeted on April 22 night from  the iconic Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in the Little India precinct.
After attending ceremony, minister of trade and industry S Iswaran said the occasion reflected the diversity in Singapore community. The temple — one of the oldest in Singapore - was re-sanctified in a consecration ceremony called the “MahaSamprokshanam”, which would be followed by a period of 45 days of cultural programmes known as the “mandalabishegam”. -GoTop

3. Include ancient BHARATIYA traditions in education system, says Dalai Lama: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama called for the revival of the ancient Bharatiya traditions and for integrating them with the modern education system, saying doing so would help fight issues such as war and global warming.
The monk, 82, was delivering a lecture on ‘Role of Ethics and Culture in Promoting Global Peace and Harmony’ on 22nd April at New Delhi. The programme was organized by Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, which aims to preserve the history of the Indian independence movement, and Antar-Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad - ARSP, a non-political society founded in 1978 with an aim to keep close interaction with people of Bharatiya origin all over the world.
“Serious discussions on how to include the ancient Indian traditions in educational system should begin. India has the capability to combine modern education with its ancient traditions to help solve problems in the world,” the Dalai Lama said. -GoTop

4. DR MOHAN BHAGWAT AT BOMBAY STOCK EXCHANGE: “We need to formulate our economic policy keeping in view our vision, values and the national needs. Different economic thoughts have been developed in the world, but we should imbibe from them only whatever is useful,” said RSS Sarsanghachalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat while addressing a gathering of eminent people associated with the business on April 16. The function was jointly organized by Vivek group, Gokhale Institute of Economics and Bombay Stock Exchange.  The Sarsanghachalak spoke on the topic of ‘Indian economy and Economic Policy: Broad Perspective’.

Shri Bhagwat released a book, ‘Socio economic dynamics of Indian society – Historical Overview’. He also launched the website of Udyog Vivek. The audience comprised of the people active in banking, fund management, foreign portfolio management, mutual fund brokers, industrialists etc. He said no policy or system is eternal. It has to be altered with the changing time and needs. “There is much discussion about ‘ism’ in our country. ‘ism’ basically limits us. Since human thinking never stops, our life too cannot be limited. Therefore the discussion on ‘ism’ should stop forthwith. Since ‘ism’ provides answers to only limited questions and many questions remain unanswered, our economic policy should not be based on any ‘ism’. The policy which ensures benefits to the last person of the society has to be adopted.
Vice Chairmen of NITI aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar said the Indian economy is ready to move on faster pace. Today the growth rate is 7.3 percent, while next year it is expected to be 7.5 percent. It is expected to be around 8.5 to 9.0 around 2022. President of Bombay Stock Exchange Shri S Ravi and coordinator of the book project Dr Sanjay Panse and Vivek group editor Dilip Karambelkar were also present for the program. -GoTop

5. VAATSALYA MANDIR, A HOME FOR ORPHANS IN KANPUR: To give the personal touch of his divine presence in everybody’s life God created- Parents. But in their case destiny seems to be bit unjust as they were pulled away from God’s biological avtar The Parents and tagged them as Orphans. Sad…. Isn’t it? Yes , but it’s not necessary that every sad story has the sad end too, some do have a happy side also, as the case of children of Vaatsalya Mandir-an orphanage- located in Kanpur city of Uttar Pradesh.
In his quest to give orphan children, especially from tribal areas, a home filled with all the love and care that a child needs, one of the dedicated RSS Swaymsevaks late Yatinder Singh ji established ‘Vaatsalya Mandir in 2004. Though Yatinder ji is not among us today but his love towards orphans is still alive in the shape of Vaatsalya Mandir that currently houses some of the very brilliant minds such as Brijesh Tharoo, who got 320 all Bharat ranking in prestigious IIT entrance and a tribal boy Pawan Pal, who is preparing for NDA. Both these young talents came to Vaatsalya Mandir, when they were at the age of just 4 years.
Located in the premises of Pandit Deendayal Sanatan Inter College, housing 28 children, Vaatsalya Mandir ensures the overall growth of a student. Whether it is computer education, music, kathak dance, sports or various vocational training all are available to these children. “All the expenses to run this Prakalp that is between 70,000 to 1 lakh rupees per month are borne by the Yatinder ji ‘s father Sh. Virendrjeet ji, who is also the Kshetra Sanghchalak of Purvi Uttar Pradesh”, tells Sh. Naval Kishor ji, Sewa Pramukh of Purvi Uttar Pradesh, adding after the untimely demise of Yatinder ji, his wife Neeta ji look after all the affairs of Vatsalya Mandir.
Most of the children here are from most backward tribal regions of Balrampur, Lakheempur, Baharaich and Manikpur. Children from tribal sections such Gaud, Thor and Kol, which are on the verge of extinction, were brought here by the volunteers of Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram. Sonam, who currently works as an office staff at Pandit Deendayal Sanatan Inter College, is one of the early lots of children landed here. She even hardly remembers how her parents succumbed to the injuries inflicted by a wild bear and that tragic incident led her to land here with two siblings.
Suresh Agnihotri, who once used to be a Sangh Pracharak, and his wife Meena Ji have looked after the children at Vaatsalya Mandir from the day one as their parents. They give all the affection to the children but simultaneously teach them discipline. At Vaatsalya Mandir day starts at 4:30 in the morning with Yoga session. Besides responsibilities such as cleaning, daily purchasing, kitchen operation and others are performed by the children themselves. Recently adding more glory to the name of Vaatsalya Mandir, Jai, Pawan and Sandhya bagged medal in 2000 meter race. ( -GoTop

6. Rashtra Sevika Samiti’s new website launched: On the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya day, April 18, Rashtra Sevika Samiti’s new website was launched by Va. Pramukh Sanchalika, Ma.V. Shanta Kumari at their Kendra karyalaya, Devi Ahalya Mandir, Nagpur. Pramukh Karyavahika, Ma. Sita Gayatri performed Ganesh puja. Purva Pramukh Sanchalika, Ma. Pramila Medhe, and other karyakarthas were present during this launch. Shantakka during her address said, we are launching our new website with new functionalities. -GoTop
The website is primed to showcase the main activities in Shakha & Sevaprakalpas. The language bar helps one to view the website in his own Matrubhasha.

7. SRI ITAMAR OMAR AKA NARAD MUNI: THE LIFE OF A JEW WHO BECAME HINDU SANYASI”: A unique event in Gonikoppa, Kodagu district, has brought a new dimension to Bharat-Israel ties. It was the punyatithi of Sri Itamar Omar, a Jew who took deeksha as a Hindu Sanyasi. Omar, was born as a Jew in 1945. He visited Bharat and was impressed by its culture and traditions. Consequently he took Deeksha from Swami Muktanand of Ganeshpuri near Vashind on Mumbai Nasik Road. Omar’s Hindu name was ‘Narad muni’. He returned to Israel but led the life of a Sanyasi. He breathed his last on 24 April, 2012. However, he is popular amongst Israelis even today for forging the everlasting ties between the two countries.
He spent several years propagating ‘Soham Yoga’ among Jews in Israel. Though he breathed his last in Israel, he wished to be buried as per Hindu rituals ordained for a sanyasi. Sri Kuppanda Rajappa and Smt. Chaya Nanjappa have graciously given the required land to construct his Samaadhi in their coffee estate in Attur village near Gonikoppa in Kodagu district of Karnataka.
The event commemorating the life and contribution of Sri Itamar Omar was held on 25th April and was attended by more than 500 people, including around 50 from Israel. Several renowned writers and leaders of various organizations were part of the event and addressed the gathering.
RSS Pracharak Shri Ravikumar, Shivaram Malavalli of Swami Rama Himalayan University, Surendra Jain, joint general secretary of VHP, and many other dignitaries were part of the event. -GoTop

8. ‘SERVE MANKIND LIKE LORD BUDDHA’  - PM MODI: Urging people to spread the message preached by Lord Buddha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on disseminating the message of peace and equality in society. The PM took part in Buddha Jayanti celebrations on 30th April.
Addressing the celebration, he stressed on carrying forward the principles of compassion, truthfulness ahead. Evils like casteism, terrorism, injustice, differentiation- the factors inhibiting the human’s growth must be left behind.
Lauding Bharat’s ideologies, PM Modi said “we are proud that whatever ideology originated from India kept moving forward in view of the interests of the whole mankind. Service of mankind was the basis of all the ideologies served in Bharat. Our tradition, culture & history are evidence that we have never been the aggressors. We have never attacked any country." -GoTop

9. BHARAT HELPS TRANSLATE ANCIENT INSCRIPTIONS IN MY SON SANCTUARY: The Sanskrit inscriptions on stone columns at the UNESCO world heritage My Son Sanctuary in central Quang Nam province will be translated into Vietnamese and English as part of a joint project between Vietnam and Bharat. Under the project, which started on April 3, specialists from Bharat will study the columns and help Vietnam translate the epitaphs from Sanskrit, the ancient liturgical language of Hinduism, to Vietnamese and English. The move aims to aid the preservation of the sanctuary and shed light on its cultural, historical, religious and architectural values hidden in the towers there for thousands years.
Once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, My Son Sanctuary is located in a hilly landscape in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, about 43 miles southwest of central Da Nang city and 25 miles from Hoi An city. It comprises eight groups of 71 monuments built throughout the 7th to 13th centuries. The first construction of My Son dated back to the 4th century under the reign of Bhadravarman for the worship of God Shiva-Bhadresvara. But later on, the temple was destroyed. At the beginning of the 7th century, King Sambhuvarman had it rebuilt and re-baptised Sambhu-Bhadresvara. -GoTop

10. ALL BHARATIYA VILLAGES NOW HAVE ACCESS TO POWER SUPPLY: Manipur's Leisang village became the last non-electrified inhabited village to join Bharat's mainline supply network at 5.30pm on 28th April, an important milestone in the country's journey towards universal electricity access.
This means that all 597,464 inhabited villages in the country now have access to power, fulfilling a promise the PM had made on August 15, 2015, when he announced that all unelectrified villages would get power over the next 1,000 days.
The last inhabited village to be powered through the off-grid system — isolated supply networks, mostly with solar power plants — was Pakol, also in Manipur. While basic infrastructure such as distribution transformer and lines need to be set up in inhabited localities, including Dalit hamlets, a village is considered electrified if 10 per cent of its households and public places such as schools, panchayat office and health centre have access to electricity. At the time of announcement in August 2015, data showed 18,452 villages without power.-GoTop

11. Bharat received $69 billion remittances in 2017, retains top slot: Bharat has retained its position as the top remittances receiving country with its diaspora sending about $69 billion back home in 2017, the World Bank said on April 23. Remittances to Bharat picked up sharply by 9.9% to $69 billion in 2017, reversing the previous year’s dip, but were still short of $70.4 billion received in 2014. Payments from immigrants back to their home countries rebounded to reach a new record in 2017 but the costs of transferring funds also increased, the World Bank said in a report. -GoTop

12. THREE WHEELS AND A DREAM TO PULL OFF 3,000 KILOMETRES: The wanderlust of a rickshaw puller from Kolkata, which took him on a 3,000 km journey to Ladakh, has been recognized at the 65th National Awards. Ladakh Chale Rickshawala, a documentary by Kolkata-based filmmaker Indrani Chakraborty, has been awarded the Best Exploration/Adventure Film at the National Film Awards this year.
The 64-minute documentary tells the story of Satyen Das (44), who lives at Naktala in South Kolkata and realized his dream of travelling to Ladakh in his cycle rickshaw. “I started on June 11, 2014, reached Ladakh on August 14, and returned by October 20. After crossing Punjab and reaching hilly areas, I could not pull the rickshaw and pushed it instead,” Mr. Das said. -GoTop

13. IAF FLIES 11,000 SORTIES IN MEGA GAGANSHAKTI DRILL: The Indian Air Force IAF flew as many as 11,000 sorties during the recent massive Gagan Shakti exercise, which saw the force testing its war-fighting drills on both the western front with Pakistan and Northern one with China, with even CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) attack scenarios coming into play.
“Of the 11,000 sorties during the pan-India exercise from April 8-22, around 9,000 were of fighters like Sukhoi-30MKIs, Mirage-2000s, Jaguars, MiG-29s, MiG-21s, MiG-27s, Tejas and the Hawk advanced jet trainers (in a combat support role),” said an officer.  
“Tejas was able to match other fighters with six sorties each day. Overall, we ensured 80% serviceability (operational availability) of different aircraft during the exercise, with 97% for radars and missile systems. During actual war, we would also take calculated risks to generate even more sorties,” said the officer.
The first phase of the high-voltage exercise saw a staggering 5,000 sorties by fighters during a three-day “surge” in air combat operations on the western front, with the IAF then switching its forces in 48 hours to the northern borders with China from Ladakh to Arunachal. -GoTop

14. MIT’s Parag Pathak Honored with Clark Medal: The American Economic Association recently honored a Nepalese American Professor of economics and microeconomics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT ,  Parag A. Pathak, with a Clark Medal. The association said in an April news release that Pathak is “clearly the researcher under age forty who has contributed most both to the general field of market design, and, in addition, to what has been its most important application in the last decade or so, that of education policy.” -GoTop

15. ABVP ORGANIZES 'TECHNOTSAV 2K18': Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad Jammu and Kashmir organized a Technotsav for the engineering students from across Jammu and Kashmir on 20th April. The Chief Guest of the occasion was All India Council for Technical Education – AICTE Chairman Dr Anil D. Sahasrabuddhe who mentioned about the various initiatives taken by the AICTE in the field of engineering students like SWAYAM which somewhere promotes the hidden talent in an engineer and allows one showcase that on a platform. -GoTop
ABVP joint organizing secretary Sriniwas said that ABVP has been organizing such type of programme from last 30 years in Mumbai in the name of DIPEX which is a Engineering fest of 3-4 days. He further appreciated this initiative of ABVP JK as this type of programme is first of its kind in North Bharat. Guest of Honor Dr. Ankur Gupta thanked ABVP for making him be the part of this event and shared his valuable experience with the AICTE Chairman.

16. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Visitors: Govind Sovale – Switzerland, Hariom Bhat – UK
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Let nothing short of Perfection be your ideal in work and you are sure to become a true instrument of the Divine. – Shree Maa -GoTop
Hinduness and Hinduism X-rayed
Ranga Hari 

Hinduism, as it is termed, is not Hinduness (Hindutva). Hinduness is the identity of the land and the people whereas Hinduism is the spiritual belief-system of the individual. Hinduness is always collective whereas Hinduism is ultimately personal…’
Hindutva, a word that draws very much attention these days, can rightly be termed as Hinduness. Hinduism is a word that has come down to us since the advent of the British. Both these words are twins as it were, yet they distinctly differ from each other.
Each one has its own different connotation and is conceptually different. Still, due to lack of understanding inherent or created, confusion at thought level does prevail. Here is a humble attempt to clear it.
Hinduness connotes the identity of a people residing in Hindoostan as it was known till the period of Clive and Warren Hastings. Since the collective life of the people in this part of the globe was millenniums old and the land stretching southwards was well-walled by The Himalayas in the north, an identity unique and abiding got evolved all along. Vedas, the first recorded thoughts of humankind moulded the life, vision and perception of the inhabitants. Their men of wisdom, Rishis as they were called, spelled out to them their revelations which were basically humanistic and universal. In due course, that became the legacy of the populace as a whole and passed on from generation to generation. That came down to them as their Dharma which in essence included the entire gamut of all the human pursuits, mundane as well as ultra mundane. Resultantly that gave them a solid Value System beyond the limits of climes and times.
To cite a few of such values:-
Readiness to accept noble thoughts from any quarter.
Truth is one but termed differently by the different as per their inner light.
The pursuits of the wise are as infinite as the tracks of birds flying in the skies and fishes swimming in the seas.
The earth belongs to all whom it bears and rears.
The entire creation has within the self same energy though in varying degrees.
To visualise unity in multiplicity is true knowledge.
Man can make or mar himself as he alone is his final master.
All such dicta were called Mantras. Mark them they never warranted any special type of worship. There was nothing dogmatic about them.
It is this value system that resulted in the evolution of a distinct culture, civilization and social life in Hindoostan. It was quite natural that it got manifested in all the endeavours of the people. When it reached the realities of the relationship between man and his maker it took the shape of religious belief. All these things put together gave to this huge chunk of humanity its own identity, its own Selfhood - National Persona. Verily that is termed as Hinduness. Actually, it is not a product of human effort. Rather it is an unconscious organic consummation. It operates more at the psychic level than physical. Subtly but surely it influences all the pursuits of the people of Hindoostan, be it philosophy, religion, literature, art, politics, economics, even sports. Directly connected with the ever flowing life of generations, it is never static. It can never be. It has to be ever blossoming and so ever renewing.
History stands testimony to the fact that Hinduness is a movement and a growing tradition truly reflecting the uninterrupted life of this nation. It is the raison-deter of Bharat. In short, Hinduness is the selfhood of Hindoostan evolved and developed through centuries. It is the vital force that keeps the nation going and doing. It belongs to all the children of soil without any discrimination. It enters one's inner being as a legacy and not as a choice.
It creates in every child born in this land a sense of belonging to the nation. In other words, an individual develops into a national by inheriting Hinduness. The singular becomes the collective.
Hinduism, on the other hand, is a part of Hinduness in the field of religious belief. The spiritual craving of man is also an innate quality. In that direction when Hinduness guides and goads Hinduism comes up. In fact, Vedas of Hindus do not advocate any fixed form of external worship. The king among Mantras, the Gayatri is a prayer to the life-giving Supreme Energy to develop the human intellect to a sublime stage of enlightenment. Here no particular deity is invoked. Anybody belonging to any religion, even an agnostic need have no objection to such a prayer. It should be notified that there are hundreds of such Mantras in the Vedas. But as years rolled on Brahmanas, the procedural manuals were composed and Hinduness applied to religious impulses gave rise to very many forms of beliefs, rituals, functions and festivals. Eventually, Hinduism, as we see today, got stratified.
When the western colonialists landed on the shores of Hindoostan it is this Hinduism that they saw. For them virtually it was a forest of creeds with no elements of religion according to their yardstick that identified and defined Semitic religions. It was almost impossible for them to name it. So prudently they pushed these incomprehensible faiths and creeds under one single umbrella ‘Hindu,’ the name of the people and the land, and straitjacketed it as ‘Hinduism,’ all the while maintaining that it was no true religion at all. In fact, none in India said he was a Hindu when questioned about his religion. He always replied he was a Vaishnava, Saiva, Sakteya or the like. Truly, Hinduism is a misnomer. If at all one is insistent about the word Hindu, he may call it Hindu Religions, ever plural as in the case of some constellations like Saptarshis. That would be more sound and true. To be scientifically precise it should be called ‘Dharmic tradition.’ Anyway, right or wrong, Hinduism has come to stay well anchored in European Dictionaries.
Hinduism, as it is termed, is not Hinduness. Hinduness is the identity of the land and the people whereas Hinduism is the spiritual belief-system of the individual.
Hinduness is always collective whereas Hinduism is ultimately personal. Hinduness is a legacy, a tradition whereas Hinduism is a matter of choice or as of today a patrimony. The mould of Hinduness is nature, history and tradition; the mould of Hinduism is individual family and society. Hinduness has been always inclusive right from Vedic times. But to say so of Hinduism can only be partially true. In the sense that Hinduism accommodates all the newborn religions or modes of worships it is inclusive.
But when we think of it entering its worship rooms, it is as exclusive as the Semitic faiths even though not that intolerant. To dilate, in the Vaishnava Sanctum no Saiva is welcome and in a Tantric ritual, no Vedantist is admitted. Each one of the Hindu religions fastidiously keeps up its purity to the exclusion of the rest. Yet they all religiously hold on to the eternal values embedded in Hinduness.
Any individual belonging to any nation has the right to choose his religion. So anyone can become a Hindu from any corner of the world by choosing Hinduism. But his Hinduism as time passes by will be influenced to a certain extent by the National Identity of the chooser. In that sense, American Hinduism or Indonesian Hinduism need not be cent per cent identical with Bharatheeya Hinduism.
It shall develop its own special features in tune with its national identity. Similarly, Christianity and Islam that have entered India from the land of their origin are bound to be different to the extent influenced by Hinduness. In fact, it is already so. Islam in India has to a certain extent accepted worshipping symbols and monuments as seen in the dargah worship all over. In Kerala, Islam has regular religious festivals exactly on the lines of Hindu temples. They have their own special names like Urus and Chandanakkudam. Caparisoned elephants are an inevitable item of those functions. The mosque on the way to the famous Sabarimala pilgrimage distributes Bhasmam (sanctified ashes) as prasadam to the devotees. As far as Christianity is concerned, one is liable to mistake it for a new sect within Hinduism.
The flag masts of the church, the music, the gallantry, even the theological vocabulary so closely resemble Hinduism. Both the Semitic religions are influenced by the Hindoostan’s Hinduness. Without any fear of contradiction, one can say Indian Christianity and Indian Islam have upon them the indelible impress of Hinduness. This is not to say that they have changed their fundamentals regarding their philosophy and theology.
In short, Hinduness and Hinduism are not mathematically identical with each other. At best, you may say they are twins. Exactly because of that, a casual observer gets confused but not a keen one. And a true seeker is not expected to be simply casual. (The writer is former Akhil Bharatiya Boudhik Pramukh of Rashtriya Swayamsevak  Sangh,  Organiser Weekly 13 April 2018) -GoTop
Aradhana Takhtani 
From inquisitions to shows being banned, Ramli Ibrahim, 65, has faced all kinds of problems in his home country for promoting Indian classical dance as well as other indigenous art forms of Malay origin. The Malaysian, who was honoured this year with one of India's top civilian awards, the Padma Shri, recalls how the wave of fundamentalism in the early 90s changed the freethinking so pervasive in the society those days, and branded him an 'apostate.'
Today, the dancer-choreographer stands as a fearless symbol of artistic creativity in an increasingly conservative Malaysia.
His affinity to Indian classical dance goes back to the sixties, when the Malaya peninsula was a more liberal place famed for its rich music, art and dance traditions. Ramli Ibrahim, born to Muslim parents, is a product of that age.
While he did, what most boys did in an economically forward and culturally rich Malaysia of that decade; — studying in the Royal Military College and moving out to University abroad, the lure of dance kept him in a state of quest. So much so that he began learning ballet from the Australian Ballet School while doing his Bachelor of Engineering from University of Western Australia.
His search got another beautiful twist when, in Sydney, Ramli met Adyar K Lakshman, who got training and exposure under the famous artist Rukmini Devi Arundale. It was here that Ramli began studying Bharatnatyam seriously.
The Australian Arts Council also sponsored Ramli's Odissi training in Odisha, under the well-known exponent Debaprasad Das.
In 1983, he made his debut in Malaysia. "I performed to a packed audience, which included some ministers of the present-day government too. My solo dance included both Bharatnatyam and Odissi. Every abhinaya and movement was applauded," he tells TOI.
But soon fundamentalist elements hit back. There were times when his dance performances were stopped.
Once Ramli had to face an inquisition by the Jakim (the government Islamic body formed as per the Shariah) on his salutations to Hindu gods such as Ganesha and Shiva during his dances. He recalls a room full of stern faces and grilling questions, which he faced without a lawyer. "I countered that everything in art is metaphorical," he says.
Today, however, his Sutra Dance Theatre is attended by hundreds of wannabe dancers, cutting across race and religion. Ibrahim says the universality of his work has muted the 'apostate' tag.
Ramli was conferred by the Datukship by 'The Agong', the Malaysian equivalent of King. The Sangeet Natak Academy award, the Chausath Yogini Pitha Award, and many other awards in India has added to his worldwide recognition. Recently, on his Padma Shri, he received a congratulatory message from Malaysian PM Najib.
Yet Ibrahim Ramli believes it is the audience that has sustained his art and passion through the decades. "A lot of the Indian Malaysian cultural heritage has remained vibrant over the centuries because of this human connection nurtured by individual artists." (Excerpts from article in Times of India 30th April 2018) -GoTop