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Delhi’s culture calendar: Here’s how you can enjoy the winter with poetry, music, drama

From organising events in community parks and digitisation of archives to keeping people updated about upcoming functions and hosting cultural events at neglected monuments — several steps have been taken to invigorate Delhi’s cultural life

delhi Updated: Jan 18, 2018 12:52 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Delhi culture calendar,Delhi events,Voices of People
The first ‘Voice of People’ concert was held on October 28 with a performance by activist couple, Vinay Mahajan and Charul Bharwada, at Central Park in Connaught Place.(Photo: Sourced)

The Delhi government is undertaking a series of initiatives to revamp the arts and culture calendar of the capital. The idea, officials said, is to bring the finest forms of art and culture to people in a hassle-free manner.

In a recent message to residents, Delhi’s minister of culture and languages, Manish Sisodia, said that art helps people find meaning of life amid personal and social struggles and hence the government is committed to facilitating and promoting creative expressions and cultural diversity in a range of art forms.

From organising events in community parks and digitisation of archives to keeping people updated about upcoming functions and hosting cultural events at neglected monuments — several steps have been taken to invigorate Delhi’s cultural life.

Here is a look at some of the upcoming events:

1. Dastak — arts and culture no longer a Lutyens’ monopoly:

Beginning November last year, Delhi government’s art culture and language department started Dastak, a series of cultural programmes organised at local venues such as community parks across the national capital.

The idea behind the initiative is to break the norm of restricting cultural programmes to Lutyens’ Delhi and instead take it to residential neighbourhoods. Hence, the name ‘Dastak,’ which means a knock on the door.

Since November 2017, the events are being organised once in a month, every second Sunday in different locations of Delhi. The next Dastak programmes will be held in Uttam Nagar and Old Delhi in February.

2. Historical monuments to be sites for weekly cultural events:

Neglected historical structures will get a new lease of life as the Delhi government plans to promote and preserve them as centres of arts and cultural heritage, by holding weekly performances and exhibitions from February. Many of these historic sites have been deteriorating due to lack of proper mechanism for their safety, less footfall, lack of popularity, and vandalism. To overcome these issues, the department recently decided to organise frequent cultural events — mushairas, exhibitions, kavi sammelans, dastangoi sessions, plays, folk dances and musical events — at 52 historical buildings on Saturdays.

Official said the arts, culture, and language department will play a significant role in this initiative as its various wings — Sahitya Kala Parishad and language academies — will be roped in to curate the functions.

3. Delhi for Democracy — dance and song competitions to celebrate ‘spirit of democracy’:

This Republic Day, a series of dance and song competitions will be organised to celebrate the “spirit of democracy and deepen its understanding among youth” of the national Capital. Termed ‘Delhi for Democracy’, the 280 programmes — primarily competitions — will start with mohalla-level events and culminate in a grand finale at Central Park in Connaught Place.

To kick start the festivities, local artists will perform from the weekend before Republic Day at open venues across municipal wards. The best performers in each ward will participate in a similar event organised at the assembly-level, followed by a district-level event before the finale by January-end.

These events will start from January 20 till the grand finale in first week of February.

4. Voices of People — a musical platform for dissent

Voice of People is a series of musical concerts providing a platform to express dissent through songs and poetry. The government has decided to make it a monthly event. The theme of the performances is social issues like farmer suicides, religious prejudices and apathy of ruling politicians. The first concert was held on October 28 with a performance by activist couple, Vinay Mahajan and Charul Bharwada, at Central Park in Connaught Place, who sang a satirical critique of politicians.

The next event in the series is a performance by Shubha Mudgal on January 20 at Central Park. Mudgal will sing songs about communal harmony and freedom of speech written by poets such as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Sahir Ludhianvi, Gopaldas Neeraj and Ibn-e-Insha.

5. Information about upcoming events

Arts and culture enthusiast in Delhi can now get information about upcoming events on the phone, thanks to a missed call initiative started by the government. You can get information about any performing arts or cultural event organised by the government of Delhi by giving a missed call at 9323300300.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 12:48 IST