NE art, culture, cuisines, handicrafts to be showcased at 'Madhavpur Mela' in Gujarat

New Delhi, Jan 8 (PTI) The art, culture, cuisines, handicrafts and handlooms of the Northeastern region will be showcased at the 'Madhavpur Mela' to be held in Gujarat in April, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday.

The eight states of the Northeastern region will participate in a big way in the 'Madhavpur Mela'.  The art, culture, cuisines, handicrafts and handlooms of these states will be showcased at the festival to be held for several days in the first week of April.

This was disclosed by Singh at a high level joint meeting of officials of the North Eastern Council (NEC), Resident Commissioners and senior officials of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur as well as officers of the Gujarat government to review preparations for the mega festival, an official statement said.

Singh directed officials that besides Madhavpur, events including cultural performances, crafts display and food festivals of the Northeastern region be showcased in other major cities of Gujarat including Ahmedabad to generate wider interest among the local population.  The minister suggested that a logo capturing the common roots between Gujarat and the Northeast be designed and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs), Song and Drama Division of Information and Broadcasting Ministry besides the concerned departments of the state governments be actively involved in various activities.  A multimedia publicity campaign will be launched on March 1, 2020 to popularise the 'Madhavpur Mela'.

This will mark the cultural integration of Gujarat with the Northeast under the 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat' announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said.

The 'Madhavpur Mela' of Gujarat shares its connect to the Mishmi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Mishmi tribe traces its ancestry to the legendary King Bhishmak and through him to his daughter Rukmini and Lord Krishna.

The festival celebrates the immortal journey which Rukmini undertook from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat with Lord Krishna. Bhismaknagar, located near Roing in the lower Dibang Valley district, also finds mention in Kalika Purana.

The week-long festival will see a vibrant cultural trail of art, dance, music, poetry, story-telling and folk drama from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and other Northeastern states with the aim to integrate the rich cultures of the two regions.

Madhavpur Ghed, a small but culturally significant village, is the place where, according to folklore, Lord Krishna married Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka. Madhavpur lies on the seashore, close to Porbandar. A 15thcentury Madhavrai temple marks the site.  This event is commemorated by a cultural fair held every year, commencing on Ram Navami.

A colourful chariot carrying the idol of Lord Krishna circumnavigates the village and the festivities usually continue for five days.

Madhavpur Mela this year will witness magnificent folk cultural performances from the North-East, especially Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

Troupes from Assam will perform Rukmini-Haran, a popular folk theatre of the region.

Musical troupe from Manipur will sing songs related to Rukmini in the Khullong Ishei and Nat genŕe. Dance-dramas based on Rukmini-Krishna legends from Arunachal and Manipur and folk dance of the Idu Mishmi tribe from Arunachal will be part of the varied repertoire.

An exposition and sale of art and crafts of Gujarat and handloom and handicrafts products from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and other Northeastern states will be part of the event.

A visual art exhibition on Krishna and Rukmini put together by different institutions of Ministry of Culture like the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya highlighting the variegated legends of Krishna and Rukmini will be the main attraction. PTI ACB TIR TIR