Delhi arts fraternity’s naman to the Pulwama martyrs
‘Nanha munna rahi hoon desh ka sipahi hoon bolo mere sang Jai Hind...’ My patriotism ran high since I witnessed two wars in my childhood, with blackouts and curfew sirens. Yet, I only tried to become an Army doctor - my parents refused to let me apply for permanent commission and nobody in my family joined the forces. That is all our patriotism is about, standing up when the National Anthem is played in the movie halls. Thinking about the families of the martyred soldiers can give you a shudder. So first of all, I take this opportunity to pay my tribute to the defence forces of this nation.
The country is not at war. As civilians, we are going about our lives normally, but reading about Kargil, Uri and now Pulwama... and for that matter, the everyday news about soldiers dying in J&K can totally shatter you. It is not about the numbers, how many critically injured and how many dead. Each life lost is important because that person is an only son, an only husband, an only father, an only breadwinner. Thinking about the families can rattle you. Few have the courage to face what these families face in their sacrifice. Bharat mata’s aanchal is still wet with tears and the splatter of each one of her children’s blood. Anybody who can reach out to these families in whichever way should do so. A terrorist is not the son of any soil and not the believer of any faith. He is a madman, a servant of the devil who destroys. Any terrorist attack anywhere in the world should be condemned and shunned by the entire world, which now lives like one family. Any dastardly, cowardly attack on the spirit of humanity should be outdone by an international outcry. The Pulwama victims, the ones before them and the ones after them should not have been martyred in vain. There should be an end to this barbarism. Hence, if I write, I shall dedicate my words to you, the brave souls of our nation.
As a humble gesture, the classical artist fraternity paid their homage to the Pulwama martyrs at an event held at the IHC on the 17th of March. The evening was put together by Shovana Narayan and Naresh Kapuria. Each artist in their own way and in the language of their own art. The entire fraternity was dressed in either white or black.
|Dr. Shanno Khurana
The first to take the stage were vocalist Dr. Shanno Khurana and Romi Chawla. ‘Eh kafna cha sajde munde na twade hain na saade,’ they recited and sang a very hard-hitting verse about the dead soldiers in a war.
|Madhup Mudgal and Sawani Mudgal
|Guru Geeta Chandran
Pratibha Prahlad in Bharatnatyam danced to ‘Veeradhwajam ati shoor dhwajam’, a composition which was full of veer rasa. She depicted praying in all three religions, calling out to Allah, the aarti and the prayers of Christians, describing the Himalayas and the great geography of this country. The act of hoisting the flag and the salute evoked patriotism and valour.
Guru Madhavi Mudgal enacted a shloka from Atharva Ved in Odissi. The music of this composition had been beautifully composed and summarised the emotion, let there be concord among our people, even among strangers, as the lord of war shoots his arrows on us.
|Guru Ranjana Gauhar and her troupe
|Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan
|Guru Gitanjali Lal
| Loveleen Thadani
|Guru Sharon Lowen
Sadhna Shrivastav reiterated the fact that the arts need a free atmosphere to prosper while reciting ‘Phool ki chah’.
A canvas signed by all the artists and a sculpture of a soldier were presented to the DG of CRPF. Various artists from all walks of life in varied art forms, in different languages, paid their tribute to all the soldiers martyred in the Pulwama attack.
When asked about the motivation behind organizing the tribute, Shovanaji said, ‘I just had one thought when I approached IIC and got together all my artist friends - namely, that our forces are facing bullets so that we can live in peace, and the least we can do is to show that we are with them and that we respect their sacrifices. We are classical artists and we speak with our hearts, with emotions.’ In her introduction of the artists and her narration of the programme, she skilfully recited excerpts from some famous poems and compositions like ‘Sipahi’ and ‘Rashmirathi’ by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, ‘Path ki pehchan’ by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, among others.