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After viral ‘UP mein ka ba’, a nation-wide Congress talent hunt for the ‘next Neha Rathore’

Talent hunt will be part of 'Bharat Jodo' call raised by Congress at Udaipur Chintan Shivir this month & will include 7 categories, such as dance, rap, stand-up comedy, mimicry & nukkad natak.

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New Delhi: UP mein ka ba (what is happening in UP) — a lyrical jibe at the Yogi Adityanath government’s alleged failures — might not have hit the right note with voters in the assembly election in the state earlier this year, but Neha Singh Rathore, its singer, seems to have inspired the Congress to turn to mass culture to make a public impact.

The party is now on a hunt for someone similar to Rathore, to come up with more such songs, dance, or comic presentations, with Indian Youth Congress (IYC) — the youth wing of the Congress party — set to organise a ‘political talent hunt’, ThePrint has learnt.

The event, titled ‘India’s Rizing Talent’ will be a part of a “Bharat Jodo” call, raised by the party at its Udaipur Chintan Shivir this month.

The ‘Bharat Jodo’ programme is a take on Mahatma Gandhi’s famous ‘Bharat Chhodo’ slogan against the British, and will include a padyatra from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, starting 2 October — Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, ThePrint has learnt.

According to an IYC functionary, the talent hunt will have seven categories for participants to register in. These include singing, dancing, rapping, stand-up comedy, mimicry and nukkad natak (street theatre).

The event will be held across at least 15 states where auditions will be held, ThePrint has learnt. Selected participants will then take part in the grand finale.

“We are trying to onboard youth who are politically neutral who can express their politics through their various talents,” said the functionary quoted above.

Call for participation was made Saturday the death anniversary of former Congress leader and Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, at an event titled the ‘Rajiv Kranti Bharat Jodo’ at Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium.

“India has a rich history of art and culture. We believe that expression through art is important for our society”, said IYC President, Srinivas B.V. “Being a youth organisation, we strive to provide a platform for youth to express themselves,” he added.

Also read: Major ice-breaker but ‘main issues’ unaddressed — Congress leaders’ takeaway from Chintan Shivir

Use of ‘modern technology’, ‘revolutionary social ideas’

Speaking to ThePrint, the IYC source quoted above said that the idea was “one-of-a-kind”. The search, the functionary added, was aimed at finding the next political talent that can come up with songs like the famous UP mein ka ba by singer Neha Rathore, which went viral during the Uttar Pradesh elections.

“We believe that art is the best way to hold a discussion on politics with the youth who are now expressing themselves through comedy, dance, Instagram reels and other art forms,” the IYC functionary added.

Participants are expected to use Youtube and Instagram reels, “modern technology” and “revolutionary social ideas” to make their mark in the seven categories of the talent hunt, sources in the party told TheParty.

A glimpse of the kind of talent expected in the successful candidate was revealed partially by the party through social media teasers that have been put out across its platforms over the past few days.

In one such video on the IYC’s Twitter page a young girl can be seen doing hip-hop, while in another a young man can be seen rapping about unemployment.

Sources in the party said they’re looking to register participants from at least 15 states as of now.

“The entire process is expected to take about six months. First, we will go to at least 15 states and hold auditions there. After that the selected participants will either be brought to Delhi or some other city for the grand finale,” said a second IYC functionary involved in the organisation of the talent hunt, being touted as the “country’s biggest”.

The ‘Rajiv Kranti Bharat Jodo’ programme will also aim to sensitise the youth for them to “understand the work done by them (youth) in national building”.

The IYC is also planning to hold blood donation camps across the country as well as a photo exhibition based on Rajiv Gandhi’s life.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Congress can hold a million ‘Chintan Shivirs’ but can’t defeat BJP until Rahul is around


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