GUWAHATI- The four-day theatre festival Arunachal Rang Mahotsav, in its final stages, commenced at the Srimanta Sankardeva International Auditorium in Guwahati on Tuesday.
With the aim of showcasing Arunachal’s rich history, unknown to the world, through drama, 4 plays are scheduled to be performed. Earlier, the four-day festival was held at Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata from July 18.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the festival here, Chief Minister Pema Khandu hailed the initiative under the leadership of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and said that the festival with its four plays, directed by National School of Drama (NSD) alumni and presently an Assistant Professor in the reputed institute Riken Ngomle, will showcase to the world the state’s transformation from the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) era to contemporary times.
“When I first saw ‘Arunachal Ek Safarnama’ at Itanagar, I was spellbound. I didn’t know that our state has such a rich history. For lack of proper documentation our rich history still remains unknown to the world. Even we, the natives, are unaware of important historical events that occurred in our land,” he said.
He termed the festival – held across four major cities of the country – a sincere initiative of the state government to tell the world about the rich history of Arunachal Pradesh.
Congratulating the theatre team put together by Ngomle for successfully performing in the four cities, Khandu said that youths of Arunachal Pradesh and the North East are super talented but need platforms to explore and expose.
He informed that the state government is in touch with NSD to collaborate in honing the skills of local youths and provide them with proper platforms to explore.
The play, Chowpha-Plang-Lu, was performed on Tuesday that revolves around the history of the state in 1839 when it became the harbinger for the revolution that was to come almost two decades later in Indian mainland, which came to be known as the first Indian Independence movement.
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has expressed delight on Arunachal Rang Mahotsav being celebrated in different parts of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Guwahati.
Sharing a tweet by Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Pema Khandu, the Prime Minister tweeted:
“Arunachal Rang Mahotsav is more than just a programme; it’s a celebration of Arunachal Pradesh’s rich cultural tapestry. It aligns with the principles of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. Good to see this programme being held in different parts of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Guwahati.”
Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma later joined the performance in presence of Khandu, Chowna Mein, MLA Nyamar Karbak, eminent theatre personality Dulal Roy, Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra Society Secretary Sudarshan Thakur and others.
The play, ‘Chowpha-Plang-Lu’, featured over 130 artists and narrated the tale of migration and uprising of great Tai Khamtis in 1839. It unravels the story of Khamti leaders like Phara Taka, a follower of Buddha who migrated from Myanmar and became the ruler of Sadia (presently Assam) and Lamtanga (presently Arunachal).
Besides ‘Chowpha-Plang-Lu’, the festival’s other three plays are ‘Arunachal Ek Safarnama’, ‘Poju Mimak’ and ‘Ninu 80’.