Sunday, August 26, 2012

NSD joins hands with Sankardeva group for social harmony cause

Abdul Gani

Guwahati: The teachings of 15th-century saint-philosopher Sankardeva — espousing religious tolerance and social harmony —could just be the answer to the paranoia gripping the nation.

A Guwahati-based nongovernmental organisation (NGO) in association with Assam Association and support from Assam government and Union ministry of culture is organising an awareness event on the message of the saint-reformer at the Kamini Auditorium in New Delhi on September 13.

Srimanta Sankaradeva Movement Delhi Initiative, the title of the event, is being organised by Trend MMS, a socio-cultural group based in Guwahati. The programme will comprise a presentation on Sankaradeva followed by an hour-long thematic performance of a dance-drama, “Chordhora Jhumura”.

The National School of Drama (NSD) is providing technical input for the programme. “The event has been conceptualised to highlight the teachings of Sankardeva and the inherent universal brotherhood as well as displaying the rich cultural movement during his age that still is the soul of Assamese culture,” said Shyam Kanu Mahanta, a member of the organising panel.

National celebrities too have involved themselves in this noble mission. Noted act or Victor Banerjee will be a part of the event. He will be seen anchoring the whole event.

“We are happy to have Banerjee in our mission. He will also be our ambassador in the event. He spent his entire childhood in Moran in Assam, studied at Kanoi College, Dibrugarh and made it big in Tollywood, 
Bollywood and acted in international movies,” Mahanta said.

Besides, acclaimed filmmaker Jahnu Barua too would be involved in spreadi ng the movement to popularise Sankaradeva at the national level.

“Our aim is to make people aware of the great teachings and rich cultural heritage of Assam initiated way back in the 15th century. We are also looking to build a bridge in terms of cultural integration with the people from other parts of the country,” he said.

“Jhumura”, a unique style of drama was introduced by Madhavdeva, the most prominent and devoted disciple of Sankardeva in order to preach and popularise the tenets of Vaishnavism among the masses.

“His literary and artistic contributions are living traditions in Assam today. The religion he preached is practiced by a large population, and Sattras (monasteries) that he and his followers established continue to flourish and sustain his legacy. In reference to his personality, teachings and oeuvre, he is a Mahapurusha, or ‘Great Man’. 

He propagated a casteless society and bringing people from different castes and religions as a part of his team. We hope this initiative will help us in spreading his message to wider section of people,” Mahanta further said. (Seven Sisters Post)


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