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President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates Kempegowda Festival in Delhi, says Kempe Gowda was a “just and humane” ruler of Vijayanagara Empire

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President Pranab Mukherjee, Source- Wikimedia

New Delhi, April 15, 2017: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday inaugurated the Kempegowda Festival here, and said Kempe Gowda was a “just and humane” ruler of the Vijayanagara empire.

The festival is organised by the Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Foundation, an official release said.

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“His genius lay in the fact that he could visualise and implement planned urban development that stands out, as early as in the 16th century A.D. It is a testimony to the genius of Kempe Gowda that Bangalore, despite unprecedented challenges of population, traffic and environmental pollution, remains the Garden City even today,” the release quoted him as saying.

The President was glad to learn that the Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Foundation, founded on April 17 last year, is working towards popularising the legendary king and his works.

The President also extended his good wishes to the foundation and hoped that it would achieve its objectives, the release added. (IANS)

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Unique Cross-Cultural Experience In The Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival

The Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) will once again merge local folk sounds with global ones for a unique cross-cultural experience

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Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Folk, Festival, Culture
Colors of Rajasthan at the Jodhpur RIFF. Wikimedia Commons

The desert of Rajasthan is home to a plethora of folk arts, and public festivals celebrating these folk forms are growing by the day. One such event, the Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), in its 12th edition between October 10 and 14, will once again merge local folk sounds with global ones for a unique cross-cultural experience.

The Jodhpur RIFF, as it is called, takes place annually at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, and is curated by Divya Bhatia, who feels music events or festivals are “among the few forums left that allow for a joyful, shared experience for all, irrespective of background or social standing. One needs no prior knowledge or understanding to lose oneself in the art form, he added.

Bhatia also gave IANS a sneak peek into the lineup of the upcoming festival. “We have a new thrust on original and contemporary writing in the regional traditions and will be exploring some new lyrics and poetry from Rajasthan and Punjab,” he said.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Folk, Festival, Culture
Colors of Rajasthan at the RIFF. Wikimedia Commons

The festival will also feature a collaboration between Rajasthani and Irish musicians and new work with Ballake Sissoko from Senegal, with the Authentic Light Orchestra from Switzerland and with the master of the Armenian duduk, Emmanuel Hovhannisyan.

Yissy Garcia from Cuba will be at the gala as first woman ‘Rustler’ — an artiste who collaborates with musicians of diverse forms. Ghatam maestro and Grammy-winning Vikku Vinayakram is also scheduled to perform, along with a performance by wonderful Punjabi singer Bir Singh, Afrobrat DJ Jose Marquez and some legendary Rajasthani music.

“Jodhpur RIFF recognises and celebrates our Rajasthani intangible heritage. Moreover, it creates opportunities and facilitates the judicious use of resources for the revitalisation of this heritage – providing inspiration, engagement and livelihood for traditional artists.

ALSO READ: A Visit to The Magnificent Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

“Today, because of the festival, our international collaborations and presentations across the world, Jodhpur RIFF has become the consistent single largest employer of Rajasthani folk musicians,” said Bhatia.

Does he find folk musicians stable and secure in their practice and livelihood?

“Folk musicians across India can do with much more stability and security. As listeners, I would encourage us to learn about them, discover them, buy their music, invite them to perform for us and attend all their live concerts,” he said. (IANS)