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Kumbh 2019 Gets a Social, Political Makeover, To Feature Gandhi at the Mega Event

The proposal to feature a Gandhi Gram was decided in a meeting of the Executive Committee formed for commemoration of 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi last week.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:July 24, 2018, 12:43 PM IST
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Kumbh 2019 Gets a Social, Political Makeover, To Feature Gandhi at the Mega Event
File photo of Devotees attending the second "Shahi Snan" (grand bath) on the banks of the Godavari river at Kumbh Mela (Reuters)
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New Delhi: To commemorate 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, a Gandhi Gram is likely to be unveiled at the Kumbh Mela beginning early next year.

The mela to be held at Allahabad from January 2019 to March 2019, will see a blend of faith and freedom struggle.

The proposal to feature a Gandhi Gram was made in a meeting of the Executive Committee formed for commemoration of 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi last week. The committee was formed earlier in June under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the purpose of ‘spreading Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy among the people’. The committee comprises cabinet ministers, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, renowned Gandhians, social activists and noted public figures.

Kumbh Gets a Social, Political Makeover

An official in the ministry of culture said, “Kumbh attracts huge and diverse crowd, this makes it one of the most suitable places for propagating Gandhi’s ideologies of Satyagrah, Khadi, and vegetarianism among other things.”

The Gandhi Gram will have some of the historic moments of Gandhi’s life and political struggle.

The Uttar Pradesh Tourism department is focusing on making the Kumbh a world class event, aiming to get the UNESCO’s ‘Intangible Cultural heritage’ tag.

An official from the UP Tourism department said, “There has always been a cultural tinge to Kumbh but this time we are specially calling the cultural contingents from different states – South, North East to showcase the diversity of the country. We would want to show that Kumbh is a social event, where people from all walks of life participate.”

Setting up of Kalagram is also on cards and representatives from 192 countries would be invited by the UP government. Arrangements to ferry them from Varanasi to Kumbh will also be made as Pravasi Diwas also falls around the same date.

The Kumbh Mela will coincide with other important dates like Makar Sankranti, Paush Purnima, Mauni Amavasya (Somvati), Basant Panchami, Maghi Purnima, Mahashivratri.

The ‘Maha Kumbh’ is held every 12 years at Allahabad, while the Kumbh is organized every six years on a rotational basis in the four riverside towns of Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik, and Ujjain.

The UP government is being supported by the Union government for funds.

Other Proposals

There are proposals to bring in ‘Swachchta Express’, and spread the values of cleanliness and sanitation. How to use technology and innovation to deal with the menace of “manual scavenging was also proposed,” added the source in the Ministry of Culture. To make Gandhi popular among the youth, various activities have been suggested, like ‘Prabhat Pheris’, which means early morning rounds. On the other hand, Human Resource Development ministry has asked the Central Universities to send the best plays on Gandhi’s life to the ministry. There will be further selection of plays and the three best teams that win would be sent for the international convention planned on September 29, 2018.​
| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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