Different 'Ram Kathas' convey same message

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) Dr (Mrs) Kapila Vatsyayan, a leading scholar of classical Indian dance, art and architecture, today said India has a great tradition of Ram Katha, ranging from several written versions to oral and traditional perfromances.

"There are different aspects of "Rama Katha" in our country.

We should try to gain more knowledge about the relationship between the written, oral and traditional performance," Dr Vatsyayan, founder-trustee, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) said while inaugurating a seminar on Ram Katha at the IGNCA.

Different forms of Ram Katha and the relationship between its written form, oral and performance traditions--"Ankan", "Manchan "and "Vaachan"--were discussed at the seminar, on the opening day of the nine-day celebrations.

She also described various regional forms of Ram Katha like tribal Ram Katha' and 'Kumaon Ramkatha' stressing the need for taking a broader view and understanding on these forms.

Several of the participants pointed out to the similarities or divergences in the literary form and oral form.

"But in contemporary world there is a need for, what we call 're-invention of knowledge'. This issue is related to the deepest psychological attachment of people in the country and also some others parts of the world," Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty, member secretary, IGNCA, said.

At the four-day seminar, scholars will discuss various forms of Ram Katha--'Wari Leeba' (Manipur), 'Lok Ramayan'(Himachal Pradesh) and 'Ram Katha' (Garhwal).

'Wari Leeba' is a narrative form of story telling tradition over the centuries in Manipur. 'Ram Katha' in Himachal is sung often accompanied by dance, rituals and offerings.

Scholars, including Radha Vallabh Tripathi, Shiva Prakash and Paula Richman, in their speech, called for a clear view of the various forms, text adaptations and narrations. They also focussed on Rama's divine status.

"'In various texts, incidents related to Rama are found to have been replaced by some other incidents," Shiva Prakash said.

The 'Bundeli Ramkatha' was also presented by Anandi Lal Kurmi, a traditional artiste of Damoh in Madhya Pradesh. He was initiated into the style of 'Tamula Bhajan'(singing of devotional songs to the accompaniment of one-string instrument) by his grandfather.

An exhibition and performances of different types of Ramkatha-- 'Kumaon Ki Ramkatha' (Kumaon), 'Sumang Lila'(Manipur), 'Sundar Katha' (Mathura) and 'Ramman'(Garhwal)-- will be organised during the celebrations that conclude on March 20.


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