The fourth edition of ‘Nadi Utsav,’ a celebration of India’s rich river culture, begins today on September 22nd and will continue until September 24th, 2023. Organized by the National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM) of IGNCA (Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts) in collaboration with the Janapada Sampada Division, this year’s ‘Nadi Utsav’ promises to be an enlightening and culturally immersive experience. The event will be hosted in the vibrant city of Delhi, situated on the banks of the sacred River Yamuna.
Rivers: The Lifeblood of Indian Culture
In the tapestry of Indian culture, rivers occupy a central and revered position. They are not just a source of life but also a symbol of spiritual significance. Rivers have played a pivotal role in shaping civilizations, with countless cities, villages, and towns thriving along their banks. Rivers are not just geographical features; they are an integral part of our cultural identity.
The Vision Behind ‘Nadi Utsav’
The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), an institution dedicated to promoting art and culture under the Ministry of Culture, has been the driving force behind ‘Nadi Utsav.’ This noble initiative was conceived by Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi to raise awareness and sensitize people about the ecological and environmental importance of rivers.
A Journey Through the Previous Editions
‘Nadi Utsav’ embarked on its journey in 2018, with its inaugural event in Nashik, situated on the banks of the River Godavari. Subsequent editions were held in Vijayawada, on the banks of the River Krishna, and Munger, along the River Ganga. Each edition aimed to celebrate the unique cultural heritage associated with these rivers.
Distinguished Guests and Patrons
The fourth ‘Nadi Utsav’ boasts an impressive lineup of guests and dignitaries. The chief guest for the event is Hon’ble Justice Prakash Shrivastava, Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal. The guest of honor is the renowned philosopher and scholar Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami, while the head and spiritual guru of Parmarth Niketan, Swami Chidanand Saraswati, serves as a special guest.
A Multifaceted Three-Day Celebration
The three-day ‘Nadi Utsav’ will kick off at the Umang Conference Hall, IGNCA. The event promises a diverse array of activities, including:
Numerous discussion sessions will delve into topics such as the mention of rivers in ancient texts, cultural heritage along rivers, and rivers in folk and cultural traditions.
A total of 18 films will be screened during the event, with six produced by IGNCA. These films offer unique perspectives on river culture and its significance.
A highlight of the event will be the puppet show titled ‘The Yamuna Gatha,’ performed by Puran Bhat, which promises to captivate audiences with its storytelling.
A book fair during the three-day event will feature a wide range of publications related to rivers and the environment, providing an opportunity for attendees to explore and acquire knowledge.
Documentary Film Awards
Five out of the 18 documentary films screened at the event will be awarded. These films, from various states of India, offer diverse insights into the importance of rivers.
The event will host three types of exhibitions: ‘Sanjhi’ exhibition showcasing 16 Ghats of the country, a photography exhibition related to river civilization, and an exhibition of paintings created by school children of Delhi, reflecting their thoughts on rivers.
The cultural program will include mesmerizing performances by folk singer Chandan Tiwari from Bihar, along with Ms. Shweta Devendra and her team from Bhopal, presenting Narmada Stuti and Dashavataram.
‘Nadi Utsav’ is more than just an event; it’s a heartfelt tribute to the rivers that have shaped India’s cultural tapestry. In the fast-paced modern world, it’s an opportunity to reconnect with our roots and express gratitude to these lifelines that have sustained us for millennia.