News and Events
Festival of Bhand Pather at the IGNCA
New Delhi, India 5th to 7th, April, 2013
The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) organized a three-day festival on the traditional folk theatre of Kashmir titled ‘REVISITING BHAND PATHER’ from 5 th to 7 th of April, 2013. The Pathers (plays) were directed by Mr. M.K. Raina, an eminent theatre, cinema and film personality.

A group of 23 artistes from Kashmir performed the Pathers in their own style accompanied by the traditional musical instruments like Surnai, Dhol etc.. This was a rare occasion that such a spectacle was being held in the Amphitheatre (open-air theatre) of the IGNCA, New Delhi.
The details of three-day festival were as follows:

Day 1 – Date 05.04.13– Inauguration followed by the performance of Gosain Pather at Amphitheatre at 5.30 pm onwards.

Gosain Pather is a traditional play from the Bhand Pather repertoire performed by Bhands for many centuries. The play deals with the concept of realizing God's ultimate truth. The play operates at many levels of consciousness from physical to abstract through the teachings of indigenous Shaiva Rishis and Sufis of Kashmir represented by Lal Ded and Nundrishi.

Day 2 – Date 06.04.13 at 5.30 pm -- Panel discussion (Auditorium)

A panel discussion will be held in which eminent scholars of the field and theatre persons like, Prof. T. N. Ganjoo (Kashmir), Prof. Kamalesh Dutt Tripathi(Varanasi), and Prof. Farooq Fayyaz(Kashmir) will discuss the historical background of this particular theatre art-form, its evolution, journey, its contemporary scenario, etc.; while Mr. M. K. Raina, Director of the programme will be the moderator. The discussions will pave the way for the revival and survival of this art-form for posterity.

After the panel discussion, Shikargah Pather was performed at Amphitheatre at 6.30 pm.

Shikargah Pather is a traditional Bhand Pather play revived after 30 years, although the play has been in the Bhand tradition for centuries. It deals with the kingdom of Pashupati, the Shiva and his forest beings – the trees, humans, animals and the birds.

Day 3 – Date 07.04.13 at 6.00 pm – Introduction and Performance of Badshah Pather at Amphitheatre

Badshah Pather is based on King Lear of Shakespeare and it narrates the story of two fathers namely, Badshah and Bedar and their sons. The play talks about the relationship between a father and a son and puts in perspective the duties and responsibilities they have towards each other.

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Just went through the recent issue of Shehjar .In this issue you have highlighted Bhand Pather by eminent theatre personality Sh .M.K.Raina at IGNCA. Before this IGNCA organised a two day seminar on Vaakh and Vachna highlighting the great mystic poetess Lalded of which i sang more than dozen Lalvakhs . It is pity that this seminar did not catch the attention of Shehjar editors,which is meant for family members/eminent personalities only . Keep it up.
Added By Sushma Kalla