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Uddhav Thackeray’s Aerial Photography at BMM Convention in United States

For those who feel that Maharashtrian culture is waning, here is a story to lift your spirits. Maharashtra’s very own Uddhav Thackeray will be traveling to Philadelphia, USA for the Brihan Maharashtra Mandal’s (BMM) cultural convention to be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Centre, Philadelphia, between 2nd July and 5th July, 2009. The convention will be attended by over 4,000 Maharashtrians from the US as well as India.

BMM has invited Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray for the convention for an exhibition of his aerial photography of Maharashtra, India. A BMM spokesperson made it clear that Uddhav Thackeray was invited for his camera skills and not as a politician.

“The visual vocabulary of Maharashtra is mystical. From the centuries-old Ajanta and Ellora Caves to Shivaji Maharaj’s forts to the towering skyscrapers of Mumbai, Maharashtra’s rich history and heritage, natural beauty, architectural wonders, vibrant people and a colorful and diverse culture are poetic. I have made a humble attempt to capture the magic of Maharashtra through the lens of my camera. This exhibition of my photos are a small token of my gratitude to Maharashtra, the land that I’m blessed to be born in and whose denizens have given me unconditional love,” says Uddhav Thackeray.

Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Ashok Chavan will inaugurate the convention on July 3. Socialist activist Anna Hazare will be the chief guest. Industrialist Baba Kalyani, chairman, Kalyani Group, will be the key note speaker. Spiritual speakers like Shankar Abhyankar and Swami Madhavanand will also be present.

BMM’s 14th convention of the Marathi speaking community in the US will be a bonanza for participants given the cultural, literary, theatrical-cinematic and social treats on the card.

Legendary singer Asha Bhosale will be honored with Vishwa Gaurav Puraskar on July 4. Over 100 Marathi artists and theatre personalities like Nana Patekar, Vikram Gokhale, Pradeep Patwardhan and Vandana Gupte will attend and performing the event which will host 30 cultural programs will attend and perform at the three-day convention.

Achanak, Gabhricha Paus, Tandala, Wavtal and Made in China are the five Marathi films that have been shortlisted for the festival. Live performances by renowned artists in music, dance and drama will be staged.

“I am here as a photographer and not as the leader of the Shiv Sena. For me, this convention is an opportunity to display Maharashtra’s rich cultural heritage to future generations,” Thackeray explains.

Uddhav Thackeray is looking forward to the opportunity of making his contribution to the promotion of Marathi culture, and hopes that the younger generation will embrace their heritage with pride.

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