Our first Prime Minister eloquently described India as “a bundle of contradictions held together by strong but invisible threads.” Ours is a nation of material prosperity and cultural splendour, and a country of hundred tongues and thousand traditions. Cultural festivals, which usually begin after monsoon, offer a glimpse of quintessential India as a microcosm.
Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav
Conceived last year by the Union Ministry of Culture under the aegis of Government of India, Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav celebrates the spirit of time-honoured traditions, indigenous culture, legendary heritage, and well-known diversity. This festival will be held between October 15 and October 23 in the national capital, Delhi. In this evolving era of transition and information, there is a pressing need to rekindle relations between multi-faceted native culture and ourselves, youngsters and seniors alike. Learning about our glorious history is the easiest way to get familiar with our country’s culture. With an intent of “Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat,” this utsav will showcase our motto of unity in diversity.
The seven Zonal Cultural Centres under the Indian Ministry of Culture – East, West, North, South, North Central, South Central and North East – are organising the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM). The event will have specific pavilions/zones assigned to various themes to bring to the national stage both folk art and artistes, who are the foundation all the classical traditions that make India proud. All the other autonomous organisations functioning under the Ministry are also associated with the event.
Attractions, Venue and Timings
This free event will be held in the sprawling 24-acre premises of Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) on Janpath near India Gate. Each day will begin at 10am with exhibitions and cultural activities which will continue until 10pm. These nine spectacular evenings, from 6pm to 10pm, will be performed on an opulent main stage by regional acts, dancers and popular singers. For each of the seven zonal centres, a Shilp Haat will be put up to display their regional specialities. Reportedly, about 150 performances of 10 nukkad naatak all over in the city will spread important socio-cultural messages among people.
The opening and closing programmes will be the main highlights of this event featuring a fusion of folk and contemporary art forms. A number of impromptu performances, showcasing fringe folk art, near the pavilions will entertain the guests all day. The Aangans will be adorned with skilled folk painters and sculptors, in styles most evocative of the regions that each of the zones represents. Along with these festivities, two engaging photo exhibitions will run concurrently in the lawns and in the Art Gallery of the IGNCA.
Day 1: The inaugural programme will be a splendid affair and a choreographed event showcasing the overall heritage of India, from tribal to contemporary. A thrilling hour-long aerial show is too good to miss out on this day.
Day 2: This day will focus on the North East of India and the events will be hosted by North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC). The best of the folk dance performances from the eight states of the North East and a special performance by Zubeen Garg will entertain the crowd.
Day 3: Events on the third day will be hosted by South Zone Cultural Centre (SZCC). Art forms from Tamil Nadu to Lakshadweep and classical dancer Padma Subramaniam will captivate the audience.
Day 4: The fourth day will feature the events by North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) and it will feature the best of Punjab as well as Jammu and Kashmir.
Day 5: Singer Usha Uthup and Bengali folk artistes will entertain people on the fifth day, which will focus around the East Zone Cultural Centre (EZCC).
Day6: Tribal dances from Madhya Pradesh to Uttarakhand will be presented by the North Central Zone Cultural Centre.
Day 7: Musical shows will be hosted by the South Central Zone Cultural Centre (SCZCC) to promote the art forms of south central India.
Day 8: Tales of Rajputana warriors and folk-fusion programmes will be the highlight of the eighth day hosted by the West Zone Cultural Centre (WZCC).
Day 9: The final day the festival will be a gala choreographed programme featuring folk traditions from all regions of the country.
So save the date on the calendar and clear your schedule to attend this colourful festival. Keep in mind, five Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav will be held in this financial year. The next RSM will be held in Varanasi from the November 18 to 25.