Read about the four stalwarts nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India

President of India Ramnath Kovind has nominated 4 people for the Rajya Sabha today. The stalwarts nominated are Sonal Mansingh, Rakesh Sinha, Ram Shakal and Raghunath Mohapatra. According to article 80 of the constitution of India, from the total 250 members of the Rajya Sabha, 12 are nominated by the President of India. The nominated persons are usually people who have made their mark in the fields of literature, science, art and social service.

Here are some details about these 4 people and their contribution to the Indian society:

Sonal Mansingh:

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Born in 1944, Sonal Mansingh learned Manipuri and Bharatnatyam as a child. She went to Bangalore to learn Bharatnatyam when she was 18. Mansingh has degrees in Sanskrit and German literature. She learned Odissi from Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra and has been performing professionally since she was 18. She is one of the greatest names associated with Bharatnatyam and Odissi world-wide. She is the founder of the Centre for Indian and Classical Dances (CICD) in Delhi and has many honorary doctorates from renowned Indian Universities for her contribution to classical dance.

Sonal Mansingh was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1992 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2003, making her only the second Indian classical dancer after Balasaraswati to receive India’s second highest civilian honour. Known for her legendary ‘abhinaya’ (expression) style, Mansingh has experimented with several dance forms like Chhau, Kuchipudi etc. Her performances are inspired by mythology and Indian traditions. She is also an illustrated speaker and ardent admirer of Indic art forms.

Rakesh Sinha:

courtesy: Aaj Tak

Professor Rakesh Sinha is a renowned author and columnist. Born in rural Bihar in 1964, he is an alumnus of Delhi’s Hindu College. A professor at the Motilal Nehru college under Delhi University, he is the founder of the think tank India Policy Foundation and also a member of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). He is the author of the biography of RSS founder Dr Hedgewar and often writes for several newspapers and magazines. A renowned journalist and political analyst and speaker, Professor Sinha is the author of several highly acclaimed research papers on social and political issues and has received awards and recognition for his works.

He created ripples in the political circles after his research papers and speeches over the Sachar Committee report. He termed the Sachar Committee report objectionable and stated that it is unconstitutional and secessionist. A vocal critique of appeasement politics and anti-Hindu secularism practised by many Indian politicians, professor Sinha is a regular face in political debates and has a larger number of followers on social media.

Ram Shakal:

courtesy: Amar Ujala

55-year-old Ram Shakal is a Dalit leader and campaigner for farmer’s rights. He has represented the Robertsganj constituency 3 times as an MP in the Lok Sabha. He hails from the Baiswar community. The community has members in Madhya Pradesh too. He has been a popular leader who has fought for the rights and socio-economic growth of farmers, labourers and migrant workers. An alumnus of Gorakhpur University Ram Shakal has been associated with public work and social service for four decades.

Raghunath Mohapatra:

courtesy: Dsource.in

Sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra is a household name in Odisha. The 75-year-old artist learned ancient ‘Shilpa Shashtra’ from palm leaf scriptures and is known as one of the very few sculptors in the country with knowledge of traditional style stone carving in temple architecture. He is a direct descendant of the great architects who had carved the sun temple at Konark and Jagannath temple in Puri.

Shilpakar Mohapatra has been working since 1959 and has trained over 2000 students in the intricacies of the art. He has also worked on the renovation projects of the Jagannath temple and other ancient temples in Odisha. He was appointed as the President of the Odisha Lalit Kala Academy in 2016. He was awarded the Padmashree in 1975 and the Padma Bhushan in 2001. He was nominated by the Ministry of External Affairs as a member of the Indian Council of Cultural Research in 2000. He has been the senior instructor and superintendent in the handicraft training design centre run by the Government of Odisha.

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