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Itanagar

Arunachal Festival Sets Benchmark- Food Fest Regains Glory

Itanagar 

By Denhang Bosai, Deputy Director, IPR

The habitual critics will not hesitate to blame the administration or the government even for the rains because their only duty is to criticise. Some even unabashedly display their naivety by saying that someone’s tears cause rains without realising that any low pressure building up in the Bay of Bengal can trigger rains in the whole North-East.

The critics are loved and respected around the world because their criticism is always constructive and useful. In the film world there is an award instituted as ‘Critics Award’ as a mark of tribute to the critics who criticise constructively and help the film makers to make improvements in their work.

However, most of the critics, especially in our state are not actually critics but cynics who tend to find fault everywhere and every time because they criticise for the heck of it and derive sadistic pleasure by doing that. They always look at the emptier side of the glass of milk because pessimism rules their thought process. For such born again critics there is absolutely no dearth of issues to air their willing and ready criticism.

They even criticise a person who walks through the river by saying ‘he does not know how to swim.’ Yes, the rain did try its best to dampen the spirit and mood of the festival revellers of the Arunachal Festival celebrated from 20th to 23rd February to commemorate the 31st Statehood Day at the Indira Gandhi Park, Itanagar but thanks to the indomitable spirit, grit and tenacity of the people, the festival was a huge success by any yardstick.

In fact, the 31st Statehood Day celebrations had set a new benchmark to beat in the future thanks to the great effort put in by the Deputy Commissioner of Capital Complex Sandeep Kumar Singh who was the overall in charge and his team of dedicated officers ably backed by the state government under the Chief Minister Pema Khandu. The Festival Committee Members travelled the proverbial extra mile to ensure that the celebrations were absolutely flawless and memorable. As a simple participant and as an eye witness, I dare say that they were indeed successful in their mission and the people did enjoy the programmes and events fully.

The Bollywood stars including Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigam and other performers from different states enthralled the mammoth spectators on 20th and 22nd February in spite of the inclement weather. The young people defied the unrelenting rain and danced in frenzy to the foot-tapping rendition of the latest Hindi hit songs sang brilliantly by the popular singers.

This is the magic of music that knows no language barriers. It transcends and penetrates through even the hardened hearts and minds. As expected some critics are vociferous in opposing hiring of Bollywood stars during such important events. But the fact is that since the state is yet to produce stars of the caliber of these established stars, the event managers and the state government have to rope in the services of the Bollywood stars not only to attract the crowd but also to show-case the state through these immensely popular celebrities.

They are seen as Ambassadors who can popularize the state outside. More importantly, the ordinary denizens feel happy to come face to face with these stars. Having said that a time will dawn soon when the stars from Arunachal Pradesh will take the places of the Bollywood stars for which they have to toil harder and make themselves worthy.

The singing sensation Jeli Kayi and other upcoming performers from the state were also given the chance to display their latent talents. The chief guest of this year’s Arunachal Festival Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister was mighty pleased with the grand and spectacular show presented by the state government. This was evident in his address during the inauguration programme.

The decorations of the whole IG Park, traffic management, lighting, music, stalls and the overall management of the whole event was excellent to say the least. Unlike in the past the food stalls were managed and monitored brilliantly by the flying squad under the hawk like vigil of the Deputy Commissioner and his officers from the administration. In fact, the food stalls had regained their lost glory.

It was for the first time that no IMFL was allowed to be sold in the stalls and the price of the food items including local beverages were meticulously regulated and followed from the beginning to the end. No meat of any wild animal was allowed in the stalls. The stalls were prohibited even from playing music. Little wonder then there was no complaint whatsoever vis-à-vis the food stalls.

The flying squad from the Food and Civil Supplies department led by DFCSO Amit Bengia and assisted by the Police did a laudable job in making the food stalls a great success. The members of the flying squad kept a strict vigil on the food stalls from the day one to the very end. They created awareness for the vendors before the start of the festival that helped in educating the stall owners. It is hoped that the vendors and the administration in collaboration with other organizations will clean the leftovers of the mega event properly. However, one important event held in the sideline of the Arunachal Festival; The Arunachal Film Festival quietly stole the show. The film festival jointly organized by the department of Information and Public Relations and the Film Federation of Arunachal from the 21st to 23rd February at the IG Park was a roaring success that attracted many film buffs.

It may be mentioned here that the Arunachal Film Festival started from the year 2013 and has become an annual affair during the Statehood Day. Last year there were only 9 films making entry in the film festival but this year 37 films including short films, documentaries and feature films were screened. The chief minister Pema Khandu who graced the valedictory function as chief guest was highly impressed by the way the whole film festival was managed and assured all possible help and support to the film fraternity of the state. He told the film enthusiasts that the film and Television training with 20 selected candidates would begin from this year at SC Continental.

In conclusion we must applaud the tremendous effort of the state government in making the Arunachal Festival a grand success that provided so much joy to the people and also a platform to all the departments, artistes and individuals to show-case their products and talents. Arunachal is one of the wettest states thanks to the high rain it receives. So, it is imperative to plan mega events from February to October with the rain in mind. A plan B is sine qua non by creating more covered areas to accommodate more people in the event of rains. The activities of earth moving may be stopped from now on wards as the IG Park is large enough to hold any programme of any magnitude. Phase-wise grass carpeting may be started by taking the advice of Experts to make the Park give a green look and save the hapless people from the dust.

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