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“At the core of the country’s ethos are its democratic principles and one of its variables is folk life and folk arts”: Shri Rambahadur Rai

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Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts held book discussion on the book “Lokgeet Manjari” authored by Dr. Malti Rai Sharma and published by IGNCA. The speaker on the occasion was Dr. Sanjeev Rai, prominent educationist .The book discussion session was chaired by Shri Rambahadur Rai and welcome address was given by Dr. Sachichidanand Joshi. The other esteemed guests present on the occasion were Shri Mata Prasad Pandey, Former Minister and Former Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Assembly; Prof. Alok Rai, V.C, University of Lukhnow; C. P. Rai, Ex. Minister Uttar Pradesh; Prof. Molly Kaushal, Director, NMCM, IGNCA; Prof. Anil Kumar, HoD, IGNCA; Asif Azmi, Convenor, Maati cultural organisation; Dr. Yati Sharma, Dr. Prabhat Ojha and Pratibha Shukla. The session was moderated by Abhay Mishra, Assistant Director NMCM, IGNCA.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Malti Rai Sharma said that ‘Lokgeet’ (Folk Songs) represents and is symbolic of society’s intrinsic ethos and its values. She further told everyone of how the anthology came into being through the questions put to her by the self as to how and where the folk songs have disappeared. She thanked Shri Rambahadur Rai for writing the pretext and Dr. Sachichidanand Joshi for writing the preface of the book. She eventually expressed satisfaction over the fact that the years of toil saw the light of the day in the form of this book. Dr. Sanjeev Rai while addressing the audience touched upon different issues while discussing the book, prominent among it was the inclusion of emotional dimensions of folk songs in the book. He further added that Society is reflected as a rainbow in the book through inclusion of different genres of folk songs. He also said that folk songs are based on community living and is the collective effort of the community. He concluded by saying that folk songs build on commonalities and it strengthens relationships in society and the book “Lokgeet Manjari” is like conserving our heritage. Prof. Alok Rai, C. P. Rai and Shri Mata Prasad Pandey also expressed their views on the subject. Prof. Molly Kaushal under whose supervision the work on the anthology began and she while speaking on the occasion said that “Lokgeet Manjari” is a very essential work in area of conserving folk songs. She also raised the pertinent question that are we doing enough to conserve and teach folk culture at primary level and she urged everyone that everyone should do their bit in preservation of culture and safeguard it.

Dr. Sachichidanand Joshi while giving his welcome address said that while studying culture understanding the ethos of civilization is very important. He further reiterated the migration of people from villages is not just migration of people but shrinking of cultural and civilisational landscape. He further added that the book will take us towards an empirical approach of culture and traditions. He eventually said that “Lokgeet Manjari” traces how folklife dynamically changes with time. Shri Rambahdur Rai while speaking on the occasion said that folksongs will never be forgotten and shall keep emerging in different forms. He also lauded the efforts of IGNCA in encouraging and promoting all forms of arts and folk arts and literature. “Lokgeet Manjari” is the fruit of all the efforts made in that direction. Shri Rai also expressed his opinion on how the efforts have been made by the Prime Minister in conserving all forms of arts and particularly folk arts as it wipes out the signs of colonialism from the country. He concluded by saying that at the core of the country’s ethos are its democratic principles and one of its variables are folk life and arts. In the end Prof. Anil Kumar extended a formal vote of thanks.