Daily Update

“We have to Establish Colonies of Love in the World of Hatred”

The second day of “Dhai Akhar Prem: National Cultural Jatha” in Punjab

On October 28, the Jatha reached Balloval village at ten in the morning. It is paddy-harvesting time in Punjab and culturally at this time, people sing ‘Jhoomar’ to celebrate the harvest. Azad Kala Manch performed Jhoomar in Ballowal. A Nacha-Gammat (folk art of Chhattisgarh) team from IPTA Chhattisgarh has also joined the Jatha. It consists of Nisar Ali, Devnarayan Sahu, Gangaram Baghel and Jagnu Ram. The team through their performance interacted with the audience and shared the objectives of the Jatha. The Jatha members then had their lunch at a Gurudwara in Ballowal and set out for the next stop, Aujla.

Although it was a bright sunny hot afternoon, we did not realise the scorching sun while walking through the paddy fields. A large number of women, children and young people were already waiting for us under a banyan tree when we arrived Aujla. Through cultural performances, the Jatha members engaged with the villagers in a dialogue mode

Vineet Tiwari, the National Secretary of AIPWA, during this interaction, recited a poem by Sahir Ludhianvi:

rañg aur nasl zaat aur maz.hab jo bhī hai aadmī se kamtar hai
is haqīqat ko tum bhī merī tarah maan jaao to koī baat bane

nafratoñ ke jahān meñ ham ko pyaar kī bastiyāñ basānī haiñ
duur rahnā koī kamāl nahīñ paas aao to koī baat bane

(We should all accept the reality that race, complexion, caste, or religion – everything is lower than a human being. We have to establish colonies of love in a world of hatred. Staying away is no big deal, but it makes sense if we all come closer.)

The colleagues of Azad Kala Manch presented a street play based on the communal and religious hatred and rivalry spreading in the country. A local singer, Dhirendra Masani sang a song written by a famous revolutionary poet from Moga who was a blacksmith by profession, Mahendra Sathi. The song was in the original Punjabi language – mashaalen le kar chalna jab tak raat baaki hai – lets Walk holding torches in our hands till the night lasts.

The Jatha then moved towards Phagwara. On the way, at Sarhal Mudiya Chowk, the Jatha members had a brief interaction with the local people. Nisar Ali presented a song – damadam mast kalandar – highlighting the corporate loot and resource grab.

There is an Azad Kala Manch in Phagwara city of Kapurthala district, where artists have been training, practising and performing theatre for the last many years. Passing through the streets of the city, the Jatha finally reached this place. Nisar Ali’s song – jab tak roti ke prashon par rakha rahega bhari patthar – was very much appreciated. Artists of Azad Kala Manch performed a street play in the popular ustad-jamure style. The second day of the Jatha ended with a play main pher aavanga based on the life of Bhagat Singh.

Prasanna (National President, IPTA), Vineet Tiwari (General Secretary, AIPWA), Sanjeevan Singh (President, IPTA Punjab), Inderjit Rupowali (General Secretary, IPTA Punjab), Deepak Nahar, Balkar Singh Sidhu (President, IPTA Chandigarh), KNS Sheikhon (General Secretary, IPTA Chandigarh), Nisar Ali from Chhattisgarh IPTA, Devnarayan Sahu, Gangaram Baghel, Jaganu Ram, Devinder Daman (theatre artist), Jaswant Daman (film artist), Jaswant Khatkar, Aman Bhogal, Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Parminder Singh Madali, Satyaprakash, Ranjit Gamanu, Bibba Kalwant, Roshan Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Kapan Veer Singh, Vivek and a large number of local people participated at every stop in the Jatha.

Report: Santosh, IPTA Delhi | Translation: Vinod Koshti

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