New Delhi: The premier Indian Institute of Management in Lucknow is all set to host a Ram Leela competition at its annual fest, Varchasva, with help from an unusual source — the Yogi Adityanath government.
The UP government’s culture department is sponsoring the Ram Leela event, a rendition of the Ramayana epic, but officials are tight-lipped on how much funds have been released.
The decision was taken after the IIM fest committee had presented a proposal to the culture department, saying it wanted to organise an event based on the Ramayana to inculcate cultural values among the youth. The department accepted the proposal and will provide the funding, reliable sources told ThePrint.
The annual fest, which will be held between 15 November and 19 November this year, attracts the participation of students from most of the top-notch management institutes and colleges across the country. This is the 33rd edition of the festival.
A modern Ram Leela event
According to the theme of the Ram Leela competition, festival coordinator Adrash Chaurasiya told ThePrint, the participants will enact a contemporary version of the epic. He said such a competition has been made part of the festival for the first time in the college’s history.
“Students from other institutes apart from IIMs will participate in this contemporary Ramayana event,” Chaurasiya said, adding the theme will lend itself to innovation and help in interpreting the epic in different ways.
“The question as to how the Ramayana and its values can be connected to the needs and issues of today’s generation is more important than a classical rendition of Ram’s saga,” Chaurasiya said. “All performances will be judged by the IIM Lucknow faculty and the top three participants will be rewarded.”
Online quiz on Ram also part of the fest
IIM-L’s media coordinator Vikas Shrivastva said apart from hosting a show on contemporary Ramayana, an online quiz on Lord Ram will also be part of the festival. Chaurasiya said that all details regarding this quiz will be made available on IIM-L’s website and Facebook page.
The UP culture department will also organise an exhibition based on images related to the Ram Katha and various forms of Ram Leela as organised in different countries.
According to a source associated with the culture department, the UP government is using the festival as an opportunity to “introduce the younger generation to the moral values of Lord Ram’s life”. The culture department has been instructed to extend its wholehearted support to this cause.
IIM Lucknow and the Yogi Adityanath government
In a way, the UP government’s backing of the event is a reciprocal gesture.
In September 2019, the entire Adityanath cabinet had received special training at IIM-L. UP ministers as well as Chief Minister Adityanath had attended sessions at the premier institute to learn various lessons related to good governance, management, leadership skills and public participation. The institute had organised three special sessions for the Cabinet.