Who's who in art & culture to showcase India's heritage at CWG
By Rajesh Ahuja New Delhi | Monday, Sep 6 2010 IST
Amid all the controversy about the delay in completion of Commonwealth Games projects, the Delhi Government today launched a grand cultural festival aimed at showcasing India's rich cultural heritage to the tourists and athletes visiting the country during the sporting event next month.
Inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Union culture secretary Jawahar Sircar here this afternoon, 'Delhi Celebrates', one of the biggest celebrations of arts, crafts, culture, cuisine, music, dance, cinema, theatre and history from all over India will witness participation from renowned artistes from the world of music, theatre and films.
Among those who will showcase India's rich heritage to the world during the two month-long festival, which culminates on November 4, include theatres and film actors Shabana Azmi and Tom Alter, lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar, Nida Fazli, Gulzar and Prof Waseem Barelvi, Ghazal maestros Jagjit Singh, Hariharan and Radhika Chopra, playback singers Kailash Kher, Shankar Mahadevan, Kunal Ganjawala Mohit Chauhan, Rekha Bhardwaj and Sadhna Sargam, pop bands Indian Ocean, Euphoria and Louis Banks, and Qawwali experts Ateeq Hussain Bandanawazi and Wajahat Jaffer Sultani Bajayuni.
Being organised by the Delhi Government in association with the Ministry of Culture, the cultural extravaganza, to be held at six different venues across the city, will involve participation from 126 well-known artistes from the world of music, theatre and films.
Notable features of the festival will be enactment of celebrated plays like 'Kaifi Aur Main' featuring actress Shabana Azami and poet lyricist Javed Akhtar, 'Ghalib' featuring Tom Alter in the lead and 'Eidgah' based on a story by renowned Urdu writer Munshi Premchand as a part of 'Jashn-e-Delhi at the Jamia Millia Islamia from September 18 to October 6.
A festival of mushairas, ghazals and qawwalis will be held at Town hall in Chandni Chowk where celebrities like Ghazal maestros Jagjit Singh and Radhika Chopra, qawwali experts Ateeq Hussain Bandanawazi and Wajahat Jaffer Sultani Bajayuni and some of the biggest Urdu poets like Javed Akhtar, Nida Fazli, Gulzar, Bekal Utsahi, Prof Sheharyar and Prof Waseem barelvi will participate in a grand mushaira and other events lined up at the venues.
The world heritage monument, Qutub Minar will come alive to the strains of music and songs during the Qutub festival from October 4 to 13 when some of the most renowned singers and performers will come together to enthrall the audiences.
The 'Delhi Celebrates' will present handicrafts and cuisines of different states to give the visitors a glimpse of the entire country. Speaking at the inaugural function, Culture secretary Jawahar Sircar said the festival is unique in that it brings together on one platform 16 cultural organisations in India, each of them representing one element of India's cultural heritage.
''I am happy that under the leadership of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, all these organisations have come together to form one matrix,'' Mr Sircar said.
He expressed hope that the festival would become an annual feature rather than being just confined to the Commonwealth Games.
''I hope 'Delhi Celebrates' becomes an iconic festival in the cultural history of Delhi, ''he said.
Ms Dikshit said the festival had something for everyone in that it included events traversing a wide range of fields of interest, be it dance, films, arts, theatres or shopping.
''We have done enough to make Delhi a happening place over the next two months,'' the Chief Minister said.
She said all the cultural organisations in Delhi had done their bit to make the festival a success.
-- (UNI) -- 06DI20.xml
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