Chennai: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today attended and addressed the Vitasta Festival at Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai.
Addressing the gathering, the Lt Governor said that the 4-day festival is the biggest celebration of J&K’s culture, literary legacy, cuisine, arts & music and the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
Events like Vitasta in Chennai open up the limitless world of literature, art, history, heritage and culture and encourage us to think and expand our horizon, he further added.
“There is a timeless bond between Tamil Nadu and Jammu Kashmir. I strongly believe that Jammu Kashmir and Tamil Nadu are eternally connected since time immemorial. Both the regions illumined the entire nation with intellectual brilliance & glorious tradition of peace & harmony”, said the Lt Governor.
Underscoring the need to promote the rich history of Jammu Kashmir, music and social cultural tradition across the country through Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme, the Lt Governor said that different cultures and diversity of our country serve to enlighten society and throughout our history, have proved to be powerful instrument to strengthen our unity.
“I am truly grateful to Hon’ble PM for unlocking the power of diversity with the spirit of oneness. Continuous cultural exchanges are taking place among the youth of J&K and Tamil Nadu under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Programme exposing young generation to each other’s language, literature, performing art, cuisine and traditional festivals”, the Lt Governor added.
Union Territory of Jammu Kashmir, the northernmost state of the country is connected with Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of our great nation to really indicate the diversified culture and customs and spiritual link between Vitasta and Kaveri River, observed the Lt Governor.
The richness of our tradition lies in our diversity. From Kalhana to Vallathol, Thiruvalluvar to Lalleshwari and from Subramanya Bharti to Nund Rishi, we have been blessed with an unbroken lineage of great personalities who continue to inspire the nation, the Lt Governor added.
Speaking on the traditional wisdom and cultural heritage shared by the two regions, the Lt Governor said, the creative expression of civilization rooted in Vitasta and Kaveri river always embraced the totality of human experience. Seekers from both Jammu Kashmir and Tamil Nadu have made enormous contribution to enrich this experience and by strengthening the literary and cultural heritage they have served the society well, he added.
Sharing the changing scenario of the UT of J&K, the Lt Governor said, Jammu Kashmir has shown remarkable improvement on sustainable development goals which has been recognized by NITI Aayog, among other agencies.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor also paid homage to Smt Rukmini Devi, the founder of Kalakshetra Foundation.
Dr R. Nataraj, Governing Board Member, Kalakshetra Foundation spoke in detail about the Vitasta festival. Sh Siddharth Kak, renowned Filmmaker spoke on the culture and heritage of Jammu Kashmir.
Sufi, Kashmiri and Dogri folk music by renowned folk singer Aabha Hanjura and troupe; theatre presentation and Vitasta by National School of Drama and Bhand Pather and Therukoothu presented by Dr VR Devika remained highlights of the evening.
Pertinently, the State of Tamil Nadu is paired with Jammu Kashmir under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Programme, which aims to integrate the nation culturally.
Moreover, the Vitasta Festival will be travelling to Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim after Tamil Nadu before it culminates in Jammu Kashmir – the land of curiosity for intellectuals, philosophers, spiritual seekers, travelers and historians. This festival as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav by the Union Culture Ministry provides glimpses of river Vitasta and its influence on socio-political, cultural heritage and Sufi, Buddhist and Shaivite philosophy of Jammu Kashmir.
A host of activities like Classical and folk performances, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, craft bazaar will showcase the legacy of Jammu Kashmir during the festival. The people will get an opportunity to get acquainted with the dance forms, Sufi music, art, handicrafts, cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr CK Gariyali, retd. IAS and author; Smt. Revathi Ramachandran, Director Kalakshetra Foundation, experts in various fields and prominent personalities from J&K and Tamil Nadu were present on the occasion.
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