A three-day festival — ‘Kashi Utsav’ being organised by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) began here at the Rudraksh International Cooperation and Convention Centre on Tuesday.
IGNCA director Priyanka Mishra said that the programme is being hosted on behalf of the Union Ministry of Culture with the support of the Uttar Pradesh government and Varanasi administration under the aegis of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
Varanasi has been chosen for this festival because of its rich cultural heritage, splendid history and resplendent beauty.
A theme has been dedicated to each day of the festival, which include ‘Kashi ke Hastakshar’, ‘Kabir, Raidas ki Bani aur Nirgun Kashi’ and ‘Kavita aur Kahani – Kashi ki Zubani’.
The first day will focus on eminent literary figures, including Bhartendu Harishchandra and Jaishankar Prasad while the second day will highlight prominent poets, Sant Raidas and Sant Kabirdas and the final day will have Goswami Tulsidas and Munshi Premchand as the focal points.
The event will emphasize on these personalities from Kashi through panel discussions, exhibitions, film screenings, music, drama and dance performances. Dr Kumar Vishwas will be presenting a performance on ‘Main Kashi Hun’ on November 16, while Manoj Tiwari, BJP MP, will be delivering a musical presentation on ‘Tulsi ki Kashi’ on the final day.
The festival will also have several devotional performances by artists like by Kalapini Komkali, Bhuvanesh Komkali, Padma Shri Bharti Bandhu, and Maithili Thakur.
A play based on Rani Laxmi Bai, ‘Khoob Ladi Mardani’ directed by Bharti Sharma from National School of Drama (NSD), will be presented by artists from NSD on November 18.
Another theatrical presentation on ‘Kamayani: Dance Drama’ based on the classic poetry of Jaishankar Prasad will be presented on November 16.
IGNCA films, including ‘Banaras Ek Sanskritik Prayogshala’ by Virendra Mishra, ‘Meri Nazar mein Kashi’ and ‘Manbhawan Kashi’ directed by Pankaj Parashar, ‘Kashi Pavitra Bhugol’ directed by Deepak Chaturvedi, ‘Made in Banaras’ by Satyaprakash Upadhyay, ‘Kashi Ganga Vishveshvarai’ and ‘Muktidham’ by Radhika Chandrasekhar, ‘Kashi ki Aitihasikta’ and ‘Kashi ki Hastiyaan’ by Arjun Pandey will be screened during the event.
An exhibition of books and six literary personalities will be showcased in the festival; the themes of which have been planned and prepared by IGNCA and Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.