REPORT OF “A GLIMPSE OF OUR NORTH EAST”
’A Glimpse of Our North East” was conceived and designed by
My Home India as a series of cultural performances by artists of North East at Mumbai with the objective of enhancing the awareness about the people and the rich cultural heritage of the region of the country.
130 artists coming from Arunachal Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkimwere received with grand ceremonial welcome on their arrival at C.S.T. Railway Station at 3.30p.m.on 21st January in the glare of flashlights of the cameras of media men.
The first of the series was hosted by Marathi Sanskrutic Mandal of the Bhavan’s college, Andheri at the S.P.Jain Auditorium in the forenoon of 22ndJan 2009. The Students and teachers of the College, were held spellbound by the vibrant moves of the dancers in colorful costumes to the rhythmic beats of the drums as the youthful artists from North East performed their folk dances. The presence of doyen of Marathi Theatre Shri Shrikant Moghe, and a vivid narration by Shri Ramesh Bhai Mehta of the well known Sankraman studio unveiling the beauties of nature, the ethnic wisdom and the loving nature of the people of the region were other highlights of the programme.
The next programme was hosted by the IES Management College at their Manik Sabha Bhavan in the evening. Here it was a fusion of arts West and North East. The students of the Management College welcomed the artists of North East with the performance of a Marathi folk dance providing a glimpse of the art of western India to the visiting artists. A variety of folk dances presented by the artists belonging to different communities / tribes of North East enthralled the audience. The resident commissioner of Assam Bhavan, Mumbai, Shri Debashish Sharma was the Chief Guest.
The finale of the ‘A Glimpse of Our North East” was held at K.C. college Auditorium at Churchgate, Mumbai, in the evening at 5.30p.m.on 23rd January 2009. The programme began with the lighting of lamp by the Chief Guest, Shri Kiren Rijiju, the young and dynamic member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh followed by minute’s silence by all to pay homage to the departed soul of the victims and martyr of terrorist attacks around the world.
Shri Kiren Rijiju was felicitated on the dais with a Marathi Feta, garland and Arati. Another highlight of the programme was felicitation of the journalist Ms. Meghna Dokhe, of Lokmat who had won an international award for her report on Arunachal Pradesh. Former union minister Shrimati Jaywantiben Mehta, son of H. E. Shri S.C. Jamir some donors and well wishers was also felicitated by Shri Kiren Rijiju on this occasion .
A message from H.E. Shri S. C. Jamir, the Governer of Maharashtra, was read by his OSD Shri Sebastian Zumvu.
Miss Yahi of Arunachal Pradesh studying law at Pune and Prof. and Adv. Dilip Shinde shared their experiences with My Home India. Shri Sunil Deodhar introduced My Home India to the audience.
Addressing the audience Shri Kiren Rijiju said that the work of My Home India is great because it is trying to make the whole country recognize the identity of the North East as all discussion on development is meaningless without an identity. He expressed his concern over the indifference of the people in the rest ofIndiatowards the disasters in North East, including terrorist attacks and blasts while the people of North East are very sensitive and responsive to the happenings in the rest of the country. Exposing the myth of the unilateral withdrawal of the Chinese army in 1962 war, he told that the Chinese were forced to withdraw fromIndian territoryafter occupying it for a month because of the stiff resistance by the patriotic people of Arunachal Pradesh though the Indian leaders and the army had conceded the defeat. Reiterating the firm resolve of the people of Arunachal Pradesh not to yield even an inch of the land to the enemy he appealed to the nation to be with them.
Deploring the negligence of the region he pointed to the fact that not even an inch of railway line was laid beyond Murkongsalek in the last sixty years after the British left the country though the Chinese have made tremendous development in the areas illegally occupied by them facilitating very fast movements of armies and their supplies. On Indian side the soldiers still have to trek for five / six days with their weapons and rucksacks. Terming Bangladeshi infiltrations a case of demographic aggression he called for prompt action before it is too late. Listening to him with the rapt attention the audience felt that his speech was revealing, inspiring and touching.
The mesmerizing performances by the dancers of the North East hailing from different communities and states won the applauses and accolades from all. Pungcholam, Thangta, Bihu , satriya nrutya, Hojagiri Shadpliang were a few among the folk dances which left a deep impact on the Mumbaikars. The artists were full of praise for the warm welcome and hospitality at Mumbai. At the end the all artists were felicitated by the Guest of Honor Shri Shrikant Moghe.
Shri Binodkumar Bawari, the president of My Home India presided over the whole programme. Shri Preetam Barktoki proposed of a Vote of Thanks. The whole programme was compeered by the renowned Satriya dancer of Assam Shrimati Pratisha Suresh. The curtains were drown after the National Anthem.
Many social organisations joined hands with My Home India by hosting lunch and dinners and providing accommodation to the artists.
The Artists were taken round for a Mumbai Darshan on 24th January 2009. If the scene at the CST station on 21st was one of joy the farewell on 24th night was marked by the parting pangs when the hosts wished Happy Journey to the departing guests.