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Fest to celebrate spirit of city

The Maharashtra government wants Mumbai to get back to its colourful days after 26/11.The state’s tourism and cultural affairs department has planned a weeklong festival dedicated to the city this month, reports Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2009 01:03 IST
Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit

The Maharashtra government wants Mumbai to get back to its colourful days after 26/11.The state’s tourism and cultural affairs department has planned a weeklong festival dedicated to the city this month.

The festival, called Mumbai Saptarang (seven colours) will be the first public event in the city post the terror attacks. “The state government wanted Maharashtra to take the lead in organising a festival like this for some time now. After the terror attacks took place, we felt it should be held soon to restore confidence in the people of this city,” said a government official who did not wish to be quoted because the official announcement of the festival is pending. “This is not a celebration but more like a tribute to the martyrs of 26/11.”

The government is pitching the festival as a ‘cultural salute to courageous Mumbai’ and will rope in semi-government agencies like the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the Mumbai Housing and Area Development Authority and other non-government partners to put it together.

During the seven days, beginning January 23, cultural programmes will be held at seven spots across the city. Apart from well-known places like the Gateway of India and Shivaji Park, shows will be held in Ravindra Natya Mandir and in open spaces in Mulund, Andheri (East), Parel, and MHADA grounds at Bandra and Chembur.

“Two hundred folk artistes from all parts of India will participate in the festival and showcase their art forms,” the official said. While the programmes at Gateway and Shivaji Park will have patriotic themes, poetry recitals, dance performances and music shows will be held at the other venues. The event will also include a ballet festival and a painting workshop.

The state plans to hold this festival every year and an official announcement with more details of the festival is expected early next week.

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