Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
While inaugurating the eight edition of ‘Kathakar- International Storytellers Festival’ at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev observed that, ‘A story or storytelling is similar to the modern technology of creating a virtual reality. We came up with a way to make the experiences of life come true to us through stories thousands of years ago.’
From Left- Dr Sachidananda Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA, Singer Mohit Chauhan and Sadhguru
Sadhguru also added that, ‘Indian stories were not designed to be moralistic unlike in the West. We didn’t ask at the end of a story that what the moral of it is. Our stories were made to stir up the humanity, and therefore, morals were an inherent part of the same.’
In a session moderated by well-known singer Mohit Chauhan, on November 16, 2018, Sadhguru persistently emphasised the significance of the Indian methodology of storytelling. He remembered his grandmother’s method of storytelling which usually had “stories within stories”, and which was not racing towards some end. The experience of the stories continued, and narrative was given more importance over facts, information and chronology.
Polish storyteller Michal Malinowski narrating his story in the morning session of the festival
Sadhguru kept offering intriguing anecdotes from his own life and it kept the audience bound in keen attendance for over one and a half hours. He also offered insights by narrating the story of Shiva and Punyakshi by linking the vast geography of Bharat in the cultural retellings of Puranas.
Kathakar- New Edition
Kathakar- International torytellers Festival is India’s only Oral Storytelling Fest and it was started in 2010 under the aegis of UNESCO as part of the Ghummakkad Narain- travelling literature festival by NGOs Nivesh and HHACH, with the aim to preserve, promote and celebrate the tradition oral art form of storytelling.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Mohit Chauhan and Sadhguru inaugurating the Kathakar Festival at IGNCA, New Delhi
In its 8th edition of the festival organised from 16 to 18 November at IGNCA, New Delhi, storytellers from around the world have come together to regale the audiences with their tales.
The storytellers include, Sadhguru, film personalities like Imtiaz Ali,Pankaj Tripathi, Danish Hussain and Mohit Chauhan. International storytellers include Godfrey Duncan (UK), Xanthe Greshan (UK), Michal Malinowski (Poland), among a host of others.
Kalyan Joshi is going to present the Phad tradition, which is a Rajasthani storytelling tradition dating back at least 700 years. Shagun Gahilote has come up with ‘Bapu ki Kahani’ to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. One of the major attractions of the festival is ‘Powada- Tales of Shivaji’ by Shahir Shri Adinath Bapurao Vibhute.
A Vanishing Tradition
Giving his keynote address in the inaugural session of the festival in the evening of November 16, 2018, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju linked the idea of storytelling to his native village in Arunachal Pradesh. Rijiju said, ‘There were no electricity, vehicles, computers, and other modes of entertainment in my village. We used to listen to stories! Now when I go back to my village, there are all the modern facilities, but that pristine lifestyle has also changed. The tradition of storytelling is getting vanished and the while society is responsible for it.’
He also appealed to the people in attendance that, ‘We must keep our traditions alive, and that’s why I keep coming back to this Kathakar festival.’
Dr Sachidananda Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA, New Delhi formally welcomed all the guests.