Kathak maestro Chitresh Das in solo performance in the San Francisco Bay Area Sept. 27-28, 2008 at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. (Scott Chernis)

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The India-Russia strategic partnership received a shot in the arm in a brief time of about twenty-two hours of the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi, Dec. 10-11, last year. A slew of deals were inked in the short visit that ranged from defense, nuclear energy, oil and gas, aeronautics, and diamonds. Besides the agreements, India and Russia also signed a Joint Statement marking a reaffirmation of old bonds that have for decades underlined the strong bilateral relationship, writes Priyanka Bhardwaj.

The rape of a young executive by an Uber cab driver in Delhi has again focused attention on the issue of safety of women in public spaces in India. Uber was at fault for not verifying the credentials before allowing the driver to join Uber but there is one other aspect of the whole story, the government and the system, which in this case, shows clearly broken, writes Siddharth Srivastava.

The last few days of December witnessed a heinous attack ever by any terrorist group, the target – school kids. Close to 500 people from all walks of life gathered together at the steps of the California State Capitol building in Sacramento, Dec. 20, to participate in a Candlelight Vigil to remember the 132 school children and 9 staff members killed by terrorists in Peshawar, Pakistan, writes Ras Siddiqui.

Over 250 business, non-profit, government, and philanthropic leaders from around the region attended the event to support the Akshaya Patra USA’s dual mission of addressing childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India. Siliconeer presents a report.

Chitresh Das, a renowned Bay Area Kathak dancer passed away on Jan. 4. He was an icon of Indian Classical dance and music here in the Bay Area and his sudden demise has left a space that will be hard to fill.

Born in Calcutta, Das was a performer, choreographer, composer and educator. He was instrumental in bringing Kathak to the U.S.

In 1979, Das established the Chhandam School of Kathak and the Chitresh Das Dance Company in California. In 2002, he founded Chhandam Nritya Bharati in India.

Pandit Das performed and taught to audiences around the world, frequently touring through India, North America and Europe. He was well known for his virtuosic footwork, rhythmic adeptness, compelling storytelling, as well as his own innovation of “Kathak Yoga.” [Excerpted from Wikipedia.org]

Siliconeer would also like to wish all readers a very happy new year!