The three-day mega event celebrates the culture and arts of the North-Eastern region. The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), in collaboration with the RSS inspired intellectual forum Prajna Pravah and the Union Ministry of Culture, has organised the event.
The Union Minister of Culture G. Kishan Reddy, today (March 25) inaugurated the three-day mega cultural event 'Ishan Manthan', which celebrates the culture and arts of the north-eastern region in Delhi.
Speaking about the development of the north-east Bharat, the minister said that the Union government is pioneering many development projects in the region. In addition to spending one lakh crore for the rail network and 55 lakh crores for the road network in the northeast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also created a 'political network' with the regional parties that ensures smooth governance and development of the states.
"It was the then Prime Minister A B Vajpayee who set up a separate ministry for the North-East. People in the north-east are contributing a lot to conserve forests and protect environment," the minister said.
Ishan Manthan is an attempt to celebrate the plural expressions of North-East India. It can be understood as "North East Brainstorming". The North-Eastern part of India holds great importance in the imagination of our Nation-hood.
Delivering the keynote address, Prajna Pravah National Convenor J Nandakumar said that the cultural diversity of the northeast is essentially the manifestation of the cultural unity of Bharat.
"The underlying unity is manifested as diversity. We have developed the habit of Over emphasising differences and ignoring the threads of unity. The continuance of colonial education even after seven decades of independence perpetuates the myths created by the British. There are rampant distortions and misinterpretations of our history, culture, religion and society," J Nandakumar said.
Prof Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, the vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, also addressed the gathering and said that Bharat has never conquered any part of the world by means of military power but through culture, trade and commerce. She also said that Bharat has culturally influenced the entire South Asian region.
The inaugural session also witnessed the release of two books titled 'Lok Beyond Folk', a book on the Lok Culture which was edited by J Nandakumar and 'Jewels of North East India'.
Dr Sachidananda Joshi, Member Secretary of IGNCA, said that the northeast region which we refer today was once the heart of the Akhand Bharat. Priyanka Mishra IPS, director of IGNCA, delivered the vote of thanks.
The IGNCA, in a release, said that the to and fro cross-movement of poems and hymns from North-East to other parts of India has maintained a well-knitted cultural and spiritual connection. The unity of India can be well understood from the example of the confluence of Manipuri Raas Leela with Mathura's Raas; Manipuri Raas stands as one of the astounding illustrations of the ancient connection between various parts of India.
Despite the vicissitudes faced in the medieval and colonial era, this dance form has inspired and transgressed the boundaries of time and space and became a harbinger of cultural expression of India. This idea is the core of the cultural unity of India, which says that we are one but expressed in different colours. In other words, our diversity is proliferated in unity.
There are food stalls from all over the North-East, and there are multiple seminars every day focusing on the art and culture of the region. Entry to the festival is free.
In his concluding remarks, the Union minister requested people to join the mega event with their family and friends and experience the artistic and cultural richness of the region.