Jashn-e-Rekhta cancels annual event in light of Covid-19 pandemic

Rekhta Foundation decided to cancel the 2020 edition of its annual event.
Bollywood veterans Shabana Azmi, Waheeda Rehman and Muzaffar Ali have been part of Jashn-e-Rekhta.(Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)
Bollywood veterans Shabana Azmi, Waheeda Rehman and Muzaffar Ali have been part of Jashn-e-Rekhta.(Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)
Updated on Dec 27, 2020 11:06 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Late Christmas eve, Rekhta Foundation announced the cancellation of what would have been the seventh edition of Jashn-e-Rekhta, a three-day festival celebrating Urdu language held annually in December in Delhi. Known to host mushairas, qawwalis, dastaangoi, celebrity conversations, calligraphy, food stalls and so much more, Jashne-e-Rekhta could rightly be attributed with reviving the syncretism Urdu brought with it when it entered the sub-continent. It has to its stellar repertoire artistes such as late poet Rahat Indori, actors Waheeda Rehman and Shabana Azmi, filmmakers Imtiaz Ali and Nandita Das, lyricist Javed Akhtar and singer Harshdeep Kaur among others.

Founder of Rekhta Foundation Sanjiv Saraf, says, “Untoward circumstances have compelled us to scrap the 2020 festival. Like everyone else, we thought that Covid-19 will be a temporary crisis and we were still hopeful of hosting the annual event.” Citing that the digital realm is cluttered with online events, Saraf and his team is channelizing all their energy into “keeping the audience engaged in the landscape with something more meaningful.” He adds, “We are producing multi-media content of celebrated art forms of Urdu that are being recorded at Rekhta Studio. They will be broadcast and streamed throughout the year.”

(L-R) RJ Sayema Rahman, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and filmmaker Nandita Das at the festival. (Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)
(L-R) RJ Sayema Rahman, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and filmmaker Nandita Das at the festival. (Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)

The studio, which was a long time in the making, will also help bring to the fore new and unheard talent. “We are working on series of biopics on noted poets. We already have a presence on various podcast platforms,” says Saraf.

Although the team is gung-ho about expanding its digital reach, there is a certain pang of missing out on creating a live event. “Nothing beats the euphoria of a live festival wherein the audience is not only a spectator but also participates actively. It is the audience that gives this festival its heartbeat. For three days every year, Urdu lords over Delhi. A sea of Urdu lovers, especially the youth, throng to listen, to learn, to enjoy. The love for the language has been most rewarding,” adds Saraf.

Lyricist-poet Javed Akhtar applauding a performance.
Lyricist-poet Javed Akhtar applauding a performance.

Rekhta’s literal meaning is scattered, a vernacular language that may have had its roots in Persian, but one which found its footing in Hindostan. Jashn-e-Rekhta, then, means a celebration of this language, its adaptability and resilience. Saraf, celebrating this spirit, concludes with a couplet by poet Sahir Ludhianvi: “Hazaar barq gire laakh aandhiyaan utthe vo phuul khil ke rahenge jo khilne vale hain.”

Interact with Etti Bali @TheBalinian

Follow @htcity for more

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Etti Bali reports on Page 3 parties and cultural events for the daily entertainment and lifestyle supplement, HT City

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The officials said the driver fell asleep and the car collided with the truck that was parked alongside the highway. (FOR REPRESENTATION PURPOSE)

    8 killed, three injured as SUV rams into parked truck in Siddarthnagar district

    Eight people were killed while three others were critically injured on Sunday as a sport utility vehicle (SUV) carrying 11 persons collided with a roadside parked truck on the national highway 28 in Siddharthnagar district, said senior police officials. “He has expressed deep condolences on the loss of lives in the Siddharthnagar road accident,” said Chief minister Yogi Adityanath office in a tweet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed his condolences over the loss of lives.

  • Around 200 Lucknow residents painted graffiti on the walls in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow. (HT)

    Young & old join hands in battle against air pollution

    Uttar Pradesh chapter of Lung Care Foundation organised an awareness drive, 'SHAPE UP', with the support of the Lucknow municipal corporation authorities near Mithaiwala Chauraha in Gomti Nagar on Sunday morning. The drive was organised under the direction of Dr AP Maheshwari, patron, LCF and former DG CRPF, Dr Arvind, pulmonary head of Medanta, and Rajiv Khurana. Over 200 people joined in, making it a more significant public movement.

  • Dr Agarwal mentioned in the FIR that the unknown mobile user hacked her wife’s mobile following which the incoming calls to her number were blocked. (FOR REPRESENTATION PURPOSE)

    Mobile of KGMU doctor’s wife hacked

    The mobile phone of a King George Medical University doctor's wife was hacked by an unknown user and messages were sent to Dr Avinash Agarwal, the resident of KGMU faculty flats on Jagat Narain Road in Wazirganj's contacts seeking financial help on Thursday, said senior police officials here on Sunday. Dr Agarwal mentioned in the FIR that the unknown mobile user hacked her wife's mobile following which the incoming calls to her number were blocked. He said the WhatsApp instant messaging applications of her number were also blocked.

  • The racket mastermind Chandra Bahadur Khatri, who himself was a Nepali national and was terminated from the Indian army in 1991, was arrested from Varanasi on October 23, 2017. (FOR REPRESENTATION PURPOSE)

    Army recruitment scam accused held in Bihar

    UP anti-terror squad on Saturday arrested a wanted accused, suspected to have been recruited to Gorkha regiments of Indian army through forged documents in 2015-16, from Bihar, said senior ATS officials here on Sunday. They said the racket involved in getting recruitment of Nepali nationals using force domicile certificates and identity proofs was unearthed after the mastermind behind a recruitment racket Chandra Bahadur Khatri by the UP ATS in October 2017.

  • Nabbed gang members with stolen vehicles. (HT PHOTO)

    Prayagraj: Tech-savvy vehicle lifter gang busted, six held

    Joint teams of Civil Lines and Colonelganj police arrested six members of the gang and recovered two dozen stolen motorcycles from their possession worth over 20 lakh, officials said. Civil Lines police first detained Arjun Singh of Koraon, Indra Bahadur Pal and Vijay and recovered 15 stolen bikes. Nine more bikes were recovered among which 6 were found from Manish Kumar of Industrial Area automobile workshop in the Naini area.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 22, 2022