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Noted Malayalam theatre doyen Kavalam Narayana Panicker passed away

Veteran Malayalam theatre artist and poet Kavalam Narayana Panicker passed away on 26 June 2016 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was 88.

•    Born on 28 April 1928, Panicker attended CMS College in Kottayam.
•    He obtained a degree in Economics from S D College, Alappuzha and later a Bachelor of Law degree from Madras Law College.
•    He started his career as a lawyer in 1955.
•    In 1961, he was nominated as Secretary of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi.
•    He has written over 26 Malayalam plays, many adapted from classical Sanskrit drama and Shakespeare.
•    In 1993, Erin B. Mee directed his play Ottayan in New York City.
•    His notable works are Madhyamavyayogam, Kalidasa's Vikramorvasiyam, Shakuntalam, Karnabharam, Bhasa's Uru Bhangam, Swapnavasavadattam and Dootavakyam.
•    He also directed two movies, Mani Madhava Chakyar: The Master at Work, and Parvati Viraham in Kuttiyattam form. Kuttiyattam is a form of Sanskrit theatre.
•    In 1983, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Direction.
•    In 2002, he was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship.
•    He was awarded with the Padma Bhushan in 2007.

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Pioneer of Indian quizzing, Neil O'Brien passed away

Neil O'Brien, a pioneer of quizzing in India and leader of the Anglo-Indian community, died in Kolkata on 24 June 2016. He was 82.

•    A former member of Lok Sabha, Neil O'Brien was also a three-time nominated Anglo-Indian MLA in West Bengal and an educationist.
•    His son Derek O'Brien is an Indian television personality and Member of Parliament for All India Trinamool Congress.
•    He conducted the first well-organized, formal quiz in 1967 at Christ the King Church Parish Hall in Calcutta.
•    He has served the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) as its chairman from December 1993 till July 2011. CISCE is an all India examination body which conducts the ICSE and ISC Examinations. 
•    He served Oxford University Press, India as its managing director.
•    Being the leader of the Anglo-Indian community, he was the president-in-chief of All-India Anglo-Indian Association.
•    He also headed the Frank Anthony group of schools

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Assam PCC president Anjan Dutta dies

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President Anjan Dutta passed away on 16 June 2016 following cardiac arrest at the AIIMS hospital, New Delhi. He was 64.
Dutta donned many hats in his eventful political career.
•    Born in 1952, Dutta started his political career at an early age.
•    He was handpicked by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to lead the state Youth Congress in 1988 and then his son Rahul Gandhi to lead Assam PCC in December 2014.
•    The three-time legislator from Amguri in Sivasagar district, Dutta had literally worked overtime during the tenure of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
•    Dutta was a leading light of the state unit and the Opposition when the Congress lost elections in 1985 and 1996. 
•    He was also the chairperson of the Northeast Youth Congress Coordination Committee. 
•    He was credited with reviving the declining Assam State Transport Corporation when he was Minister in the first Tarun Gogoi cabinet (2001-2006).
•    He was also a Minister in the Hiteswar Saikia-led Congress government in 1991.
•    He also had an interest in writing, which led him to start a monthly magazine Anubhuti and a daily newspaper Ajir Dainik Batori.

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Renowned Hindi novelist and critique Mudrarakshas passed away


Renowned Hindi novelist and critique Mudrarakshas passed away due to old age related causes in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Distinguished Hindi writer, activist, thinker and cultural personality Mudrarakshasa passed away on 13 June 2016 following a prolonged illness in Lucknow. He was 82.
•    Born in Behta near Lucknow in 1931, He graduated from Lucknow University and was then employed as Assistant Editor of Gyanodaya that was published from Calcutta from 1955 to 1958.
•    He was the editor of Anuvrata, a Calcutta based magazine.
•    He worked as Editor at All India Radio from 1962 to 1976.
•    His works of theatrical criticism includes Rang Bhumikayen and a book on Nemichandra Jain.
•    He has about thirty stage productions to his credit.
•    Loved as he was for his iconoclastic ideals, well wishers, friends, fans and public gathered at Baikunth Dham for the last rites of the acclaimed writer after he passed away at his home in Khurshaed Bagh. 
•    A memorial service for the writer will be held at 4 pm on Wednesday at the Ambedkar Mahasabha office on Vidhan Sabha Marg followed by another one at Press Club at 5.30pm.

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Veteran journalist Inder Malhotra passed away

•    Malhotra worked as the resident editor of The Statesman in New Delhi from 1965 to 1971.
•    He was the also the India correspondent for The Guardian from 1965 to 1978.
•    He held the position of editor at The Times of India from 1978 to 1986.
•    Since 1986, he had been a syndicated columnist for numerous dailies and periodicals in India and abroad.
•    In 1991, he authored a political and personal biography of Indira Gandhi.
•    He received the Ramnath Goenka Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
•    Malhotra was the resident editor of The Statesman in New Delhi from 1965 to 1971. 
•    He was the India correspondent for The Guardian from 1965-1978, until becoming editor at The Times of India, a position he held from 1978-1986.
•    Since 1986 he was a syndicated columnist for numerous dailies and periodicals in India and abroad. 
•    In 1991 Malhotra authored a political and personal biography of Indira Gandhi.

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Veteran theatre personality, playwright and doyen of Assam’s mobile theatre movement Achyut Lahkar passed away

Noted playwright and actor Achyut Lahkar, doyen of Assam’s mobile theatre movement, passed away on 12 June 2016 following a protracted illness. 
•    Lahkar was the pioneering dramatist, veteran actor director and producer who staged numerous memorable plays in mobile theatre.
•    Born in 1931, Lahkar, a theatre enthusiast from his childhood days.
•    He founded Nataraj Theatre, the first Mobile Theatre Company of Assam in 1963 which performed across Assam and in other states for nearly 40 years.
•    Lahkar was considered to be the father of the Bhramyaman or Mobile Theatre of Assam.
•    Before venturing into mobile theatre, Lahkar published and edited an Assamese illustrated magazine called Deepawali for some time in 1952.
•    He was awarded the Kamal Kumari National Award in 1997.
•    He also received the Bhaben Barua Award, Mancha Prabhakar Award and Braja Nath Sarma Award.
Distinguished journalist, editor and author Inder Malhotra passed away

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Legendary Canadian ice hockey player Gordie Howe passed away at Toledo, US.

The legendary Canadian ice hockey player Gordie Howe was died on 10 June 2016 after a lengthy illness. He was 88.
He was nicknamed as Mr. Hockey and is considered to be one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time.
• He was born in 1928 in Floral, Saskatchewan.
• He played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) and six seasons in the World Hockey Association (WHA).
• He led the Detroit Red Wings to four Stanley Cup titles.
• He was the all-time leader in career goals and points.
• He retired in 1971 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1972.
• He was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
• He continues to hold NHL records for most games and seasons played.

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Gordie Howe, legendary ice hockey player dies

The legendary Canadian ice hockey player Gordie Howe was died on 10 June 2016 after a lengthy illness. He was 88.
He was nicknamed as Mr. Hockey and is considered to be one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time.
• He was born in 1928 in Floral, Saskatchewan.
• He played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) and six seasons in the World Hockey Association (WHA).
• He led the Detroit Red Wings to four Stanley Cup titles.
• He was the all-time leader in career goals and points.
• He retired in 1971 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1972.
• He was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
• He continues to hold NHL records for most games and seasons played.

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Manohar Aich, India’s first Mr Universe passes away

Legendary Indian body builder and India’s first Mr Universe, Manohar Aich died on 5 June 2016. He was 104.
•    He was born in Comilla district, now in Bangladesh.
•    He was famously called Pocket Hercules as he was 4 feet 11 inch tall.
•    He won gold medals for three times in Asian Games.
•    He was the first Indian to win the Mr Universe title post-independence in 1952.
•    He started his career as a coconut vendor at Sealdah station.
•    Age never a bar for the veteran body builder who kept a stringent routine and even performed in his eighties.
•    He began his career as a stuntman performing with the legendary magician PC Sorkar.
•    He even tried his luck in politics he contested in the Lok Sabha elections of 1991 from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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Veteran actor Sulabha Deshpande passed away

Eminent actor and theatre personality Sulabha Deshpande passed away 4 June 2016 in Mumbai. She was 79.
Deshpande was considered to be one of the pioneers of the experimental theatre movement that swept Mumbai in the 1970s.
•    Sulabha Deshpande was an acclaimed Indian film, theatre and television actress and theatre director.
•    She started her career as a teacher at Chhabildas Boy's High School in Dadar, Mumbai.
•    Apart from Marathi theatre as well as Hindi theatre in Mumbai, she acted in over 73 movies mainstream Bollywood.
•    She also acted in art house cinema, like Bhumika, Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan and Gaman as a character actor.
•    In 1971 she co-founded, theatre group, Awishkar with her husband Arvind Deshpande.
•    Soon, she established the Chandrashala, the children's theatre wing of Awishkar. Notable Bollywood actors Nana Patekar and Urmila Matondkar have been students of Chandrashala.
•    In recent years, she acted in serials like Jee Ley Zara, Ek Packet Umeed, Asmita and films like English Vinglish.

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