GUWAHATI, May 18 � The third edition of the Sankardeva Movement festival, promoted by socio-cultural organization Trend MMS, was held in Mumbai today in collaboration with National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA).
Entrepreneur and cultural activist Shyamkanu Mahanta, the organizer of Sankardeva Movement, said, �Mahapurush Sankardeva, the greatest Assamese of all time was a versatile personality, a saint, poet, dramatist, actor, sculptor, painter and most importantly a social engineer who united the heterogeneous society of Assam. However, we felt that the multifaceted genius has not got his recognition outside Assam and hence the need for a movement such as this. We have been really overwhelmed by the kind of response we have received in Mumbai. It really has been unprecedented and much more successful than the previous editions.�
The event witnessed a discussion on the relevance of Srimanta Sankardeva in modern India in which eminent luminaries like Governor JB Patnaik, brand ambassador of Sankardeva Movement and noted actor Victor Banerjee, actor Adil Hussain, reputed Vaishnavite scholar Dr Sunil Kothari, senior police officer Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta and Swapnanil Baruah, Commissioner Secretary Cultural Affairs Department of Government of Assam, participated, said a press statement.
All the speakers stressed upon the greatness of Srimanta Sankardeva's teachings and the need for the modern society to imbibe the ideals of the great scholar saint.
In the evening, a grand cultural programme was organised to showcase the colourful culture of Assam.
The star-studded function witnessed participation of personalities from the film industry like Hariharan, Pritam, Shantanu Moitra and Resul Pookutty, among others.
Reputed Marathi singer Ashwini Bhide Deshpande and �Bhajan Samrat� Anup Jalota presented �Borgeet� in the function which was hosted by TV presenter Sidharth Kak.
Meanwhile, in a continuing effort to encourage tourism across the country, the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, joined hands with the North East Festival to create national awareness about the North Eastern region by hosting an exclusive programme on region � �Colours of North East� � held at the Crystal Room and Ball Room of Taj Mahal Palace, Colaba, Mumbai, yesterday.
The North East Festival with the theme of �Connecting People, Celebrating Life� was also organised by Trend MMS in association with the eight state governments of the region along with the Taj with an endeavour to create more awareness about this region.
The event witnessed live musical performances by artistes from the North East including the Tetseo Sisters, Soulmate and Guru Rewben Mashangva. There was also a fashion show with top designers, including Yana Ngoba, Garima Saikia Garg and Dhiraj Deka showcasing the very best of North East fabric with Tisca Chopra and Kalki Koechin walking the ramp with Adil Hussain.
Dignitaries from Bollywood like singer Aditi Singh Sharma and industrialists were present on the occasion.
Shyamkanu Mahanta, said, �This particular event is aimed at attracting Bollywood to explore the North East region as a viable location option to shoot for upcoming movies and to encourage use of North East fabric to be used in Bollywood. The Chief Minister of Meghalaya has put in a lot of efforts into presenting Meghalaya and Assam as ideal destinations for directors and the film fraternity as film shoot destinations�.
General Manager of The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, Gaurav Pokhariyal said, "The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, is proud to host the North East India Festival. This was a perfect opportunity to assist in creating awareness about a region which, like this 110-year-old iconic hotel, is alive with heritage and a deeply rooted sense of tradition�.
Hemant Oberoi, Corporate Chef Luxury Division and Grand Master Chef of The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, said, �The beauty of North Eastern cuisine lies in its simplicity, the flavours are honest and blend beautifully with each other. Cuisine from Nagaland might just be India�s best kept secret, with nearly all recipes passed down from generation to generation, you can literally taste the history with every morsel. With wood fire cooking being the most prevalent style of cooking and smoked or boiled food almost a staple the authenticity of the cuisine stems from its unique flavour palate with hints of spice; which is extremely different from any other cuisine across the country.�
Ranjit Barthakur, Chairman GMS and Investment Advisor to the Chief Minister of Assam said, �With the help of the Taj and the efforts of everyone involved in the event, this festival has proved to be a great platform to promote the North East to a focused group of industrialists and film fraternity.�
Dance drama �Chordhora Jhumura� was performed by Assamese actresses Barasharani Bishaya, Tanvi Sarma and Mallika Kandali under direction of Dr Nirupoma Mahanta.
Noted Naga folk singer Guru Rewben Mashangva presented Naga folk blues in a unique fusion performance along with Kalpana Patowary. Sunita Khaund Bhuyan performed Bihu accompanied by violin strains. Noted singer Zubeen Garg also gave his performance.
A few Assamese cultural personalities in Mumbai including Amrit Pritam, Dhrubajyoti Phukon, Debojit Changmai and Jatin Sarma were felicitated during the event.