Special report from Srinagar
A three-day Jashn-e-Kashmir folk dance festival being organised by Shah Qalandar Folk Theatre, a local folk club, in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Culture is currently underway.
The festival played a big role to revive the age-old folk dance culture in Jammu and Kashmir as it gave a platform to the folk dance and folk theatre artists to showcase their talent. It also aims to provide employment to the folk artists hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival, which began on August 30, is being held adhering to the Covid protocols and a limited audience at the Tagore Hall here.
“Through this festival, the artforms like Rouf, Damabli, Daastaan were given a platform. The artists have incurred huge losses due to COVID-19. Festivals like these will help the artist to earn their bread butter and regain their lost employment,” said Gulzar Ahmad Bhat, Organiser of the festival.
Parvez Mir, a Daastan artist, vocalist, and instrumentalist. said that the festival will create awareness about their culture.
“For the last two years, we have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a festival is happening after two years. We are happy that this festival is organized,” he said.
“In the past radio and television were not so popular which gave birth to folk theatre and dance. Folk theatre and folk dance played a tremendous role to entertain people as well as highlight their day-to-day problems. Today, I felt happy that we got a platform to showcase our talent. The benefit of this program is that it will create awareness regarding our culture will be spread and the artist will get work and employment through such festivals,” added Parvez.
“Jashn-e-Kashmir is helping the artists who are in crisis right now. The administration must come forward with an artist policy to provide the artists with employment and livelihood as artists here have sacrificed a lot to keep the culture alive,” said Abida Haroon, who was present at the Tagore Hall.
“The artist of Kashmir has a great role in maintaining the peace here as they performed even during the tense environment. Such festivals will help in reviving the culture of folk dance a most of the participants are young people,” added Abida.
Rayees Ahmad, a Folk Artist said that this festival is like a celebration for artists.
“This festival is like a ‘Jashn’ to us. There are more than 100 artists who showed the composite culture of Kashmir. This is the first time I am watching such a festival where all have come together to present the art and culture of Jammu and Kashmir. We are fortunate enough that it is happening in Kashmir. Such festivals should be organised more often. These festivals will create awareness of the rich culture among the people of Kashmir,” he said. (ANI)