In a first, Urdu Her­itage Fes­ti­val to be held in CP

SIX­DAY EVENT Po­ets, sufi and qawwali singers to per­form dur­ing an­nual fest that starts to­day. Pro­gramme be­gan in 2010 and has al­ways been held in Old Delhi

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO - Parvez Sul­tan parvez.sul­

NEWDELHI: Break­ing the re­gional bar­rier, the Urdu Her­itage Fes­ti­val will take place out­side the Walled City for the first time.

More than 50 artistes, in­clud­ing well-known Urdu po­ets, sufi and qawwali singers will per­form at a six-day event at Cen­tral Park in Con­naught Place from Fe­bru­ary 15.

The an­nual event is or­gan­ised by Delhi’s depart­ment of art, cul­ture and lan­guages in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Urdu Academy to cel­e­brate the lan­guage’s con­nec­tion with Delhi and its in­tan­gi­ble legacy.

Along with cul­tural events, there will be book ex­hi­bi­tions, mushairas, cal­li­graphic dis­plays, food stalls, ghazal ren­di­tions and lit­er­ary com­pe­ti­tions in which stu­dents will par­tic­i­pate.

Live per­for­mances by young tal­ents from Old Delhi will be an added at­trac­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to a Delhi gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial, this is an at­tempt to pop­u­larise Urdu by keep­ing the tra­di­tion of the city’s cul­ture and art forms like ‘chaar bait’ (dis­tinc­tive style of singing) and ‘kissa goi’ (sto­ry­telling) alive.

“The pro­gramme, which was or­gan­ised ev­ery year, used to be a quiet af­fair. Hardly 1,000 peo­ple would at­tend the event as ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple were ei­ther un­aware of it or chose not to at­tend due to its lo­ca­tion. So we thought why Urdu should re­main con­fined to the Walled City. We chose Cen­tral Park as the fes­ti­val’s new venue as the idea is to bring Urdu to the main­stream,” said the of­fi­cial.

The Delhi gov­ern­ment be­gan the Urdu Her­itage Fes­ti­val in 2010 to show­case the city’s rich art and cul­tural her­itage dur­ing the Com­mon­wealth Games. The venue was the Red Fort grounds.

Deputy chief min­is­ter Man­ish Siso­dia said the gov­ern­ment hopes to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment of har­mony and love through such pro­grammes. “We are pleased to present the Urdu Her­itage Fes­ti­val in a big­ger and bet­ter avatar. Urdu is an in­te­gral part of Delhi’s cul­tural and lit­er­ary his­tory. It is an im­por­tant marker of Delhi’s com­pos­ite cul- ture. We want to en­sure that Urdu is not only well pre­served, but also ad­vances lin­guis­ti­cally and so­cially. Reach­ing out to a new au­di­ence is im­por­tant in do­ing so. This cel­e­bra­tion will bring to­gether all the lovers of Urdu, who can en­joy the use of the lan­guage in its var­ied forms.”

With the shift­ing of the venue and re­struc­tur­ing of the pro­gramme, the Urdu Academy is ex­pect­ing more than 2,000 guests ev­ery day.

“We have added sev­eral fea­tures to bring vi­brancy such as ‘Qissa Urdu Zabaan Ka’, ‘chaar bait’ (an art form on its deathbed), ‘Qissa Bach­pan Ke Kh­elon Ka’, ‘Das­tan­goi’ with mu­sic, recita­tion of Ghalib’s let­ters and many more. Young artists have been roped in to at­tract younger au­di­ence,” the of­fi­cial said.

Delhi Archives will hold an ex­hi­bi­tion of rare doc­u­ments and pic­tures nar­rat­ing the his­tory of the city at the venue.

The fes­ti­val will con­clude on Fe­bru­ary 20 with a mushaira (poetic sym­po­sium) in which fa­mous Urdu po­ets such as Ra­hat In­dori, Mahtab Haider Naqvi and Nikhat Am­rohi will par­tic­i­pate.


The gov­ern­ment launched the Urdu Her­itage Fes­ti­val in 2010.

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