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Rekhta is a movement to preserve and promote the rich literary and cultural heritage of Urdu by availing technology and social media platforms as well as by celebrating its versatility and splendour through live events and festivals.
Rekhta Foundation, a non-profit organization, operates a free online resource www.rekhta.org - world's largest website and resource for Urdu poetry and literature and presents more than 2000 poets and with over 25,000 Ghazals and Nazms from the thirteenth century to the present day in three scripts—Persian, Devnagari, and Roman.
Rekhta also organizes, Jashn-e-Rekhta, a festival that celebrates Urdu, which is back to its third edition this year. Since its debut in 2015 in New Delhi, it has grown to become one of the largest literary and cultural events with an attendance of 85000 visitors in 2016. Rekhta does not engage in for-profit activities and any support will help us ensure that the festival continues to remain free and open to all.
HIGHLIGHTS OF JASHN-E-REKHTA 2017
Inaugural to be graced by Gulzar and Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, followed by a musical performance by Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash
The 3 day festival, to be held from February 17-19 at IGNCA, will celebrate the timeless glory of Urdu through Mushaira, Qawwali, Dastangoi, Ghazals, Book Exhibition, Film Screening, Panel Discussions, Calligraphy Workshops, Baitbaazi, Plays, Urdu Bazaar and more
• Over 100 most distinguished writers, poets, artists, litterateurs, singers and acclaimed personalities from across the world to attend the 3rd edition of the festival.
• Gulzar, Gopichand Narang, Javed Siddqui, Prasoon Joshi, Irfan Habib, Sharmila Tagore, MS Sathyu, Annu Kapoor, Wasim Barelvi, Ashok Chakradhar, Kumar Vishwas, Prem Chopra, Saurabh Shukla, Hans Raj Hans, Justice TS Thakur, Nadira Babbar, Salman Khurshid among many others will come together to bring alive Urdu’s radiant charm and rich heritage.
• Tamseeli Mushaira will feature a dramatic reading of great poets like Faiz, Jaun Elia and Khumaar with the performers impersonating the character of these literary giants.
• Audience will enjoy the unique experience of different flavours of mushaira, such as Mazahiya Mushaira, Tamseeli Mushaira and Khwateen ka Mushaira.
• Audience will not only interact with the stars of Urdu literary cosmos, but also will be given an opportunity to share their poetry and stories in various open forums.
• Aimed at developing an inclination for Urdu language and culture among children, we have a Children’s Corner where storytelling, dastangoi, audio installations, drawing contests and fun conversations will make for an unforgettable experience.
• A Food Festival to host a grand feast of cuisines like Kashmiri, Awadhi, Hyderabadi, Mughlai and Sindhi along with the finest selection of popular street food from Purani Dilli.
• Entry to the festival is free upon registration at www.jashnerekhta.org
Organized by the Rekhta foundation, that curates the largest online repository of Urdu poetry in the world www.rekhta.org that has brought authentic Urdu poetry at a click to its lovers; the Jashn, in the past, has been honoured with the presence of eminent personalities like Zia Mohyeddin, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar M.K.Raina, Muzaffar Ali, Irrfan Khan, Tom Alter, Nandita Das, Imtiaz Ali and legends of Urdu literature Shamsur Rahman Farooqui, Gopi Chand Narang, Intizaar Hussain among many others, who came together to celebrate Urdu through various performances and sessions. It has been heartening to witness the swelling crowd of Urdu lovers, especially the youngsters nurture an undying passion and appreciation for the language.
Jashn-e-Rekhta 2017 is delighted to host Gulzar who is back to enchant us all with his poetry and gripping anecdotes. He will be in a conversation with the noted lyricist, Javed Siddiqui and will talk about how all literary creation is a dream that the writer/ poet lives. Annu Kapoor will add warmth to the evening with ‘Urdu Suroñ ka Mausam-e-Bahaar’. To add to the spirit of the festivities, Rekhta will host a Sufi evening with Hans Raj Hans and a qawwali performance by Dhruv Sangari. A panel discussion on the old and forgotten practices and forms of theatre will witness the presence of the inimitable Saurabh Shukla. Prasoon Joshi is set to discuss the presence of Urdu in Bollywood lyrics and how the language helped him expand his literary expression. Javed Siddiqui and Sharmila Tagore, Prem Chopra along with Bhawana Somaaya – noted journalist and film historian will share the stage to narrate the journey of Urdu over the years of evolution of the Indian cinema.
Renowned historian, Irfan Habib will chronicle the ancient and medieval history of Delhi while Shamim Hanfi will present the blazing legacy of Firaq Gorakhpuri. While Kumar Vishwas will present some untouched, untold stories from the life of Jaun Eliya, other participants will also exchange views on the converging themes, metaphors and form in poetry in Hindi and Urdu, besides also delineating the relationship Indian languages share with the global market. The festival is not only a celebration of Urdu, but also of the other languages from which it has borrowed. Fittingly, a session on Premchand will highlight his contributions to Hindi as well as Urdu literary tradition. While scholars and critics deliberate upon ‘Urdu mein Hindustani Tehzeeb ka Jashn’, another discussion will highlight the presence of Urdu in the Western world.
As Gulzar had pertinently pointed out in Jashn-e-Rekhta 2016 that Urdu has created its basti wherever it has travelled, the discussants will find themselves conversing about the magical capabilities of the language to not only create its home in distant lands, but also to offer itself as a home, as a refuge to myriad sensibilities. A performance by Vidya Shah and Danish Hussain will celebrate the poetry of the Progressives and the revolutionary spirit of their craft. Carrying the celebrations forward would be sessions like ‘Ghalib, Hali and Urdu Renaissance, ‘Urdu Mein Insaan-dosti ka Naghma’ and a discussion on popular literature. Dastangoi will take the audience on a time-travel as the storytellers unearth old, forgotten tales at the festival.
Justice Aftab Alam, Salman Khurshid and Justice TS Thakur will be touching upon the contributions of Urdu to the judicial discourse in India. Several open forum spaces and interactive sessions will give chance to the audience to read their poetry and stories to a wide audience, to encourage people to write and recite their poetry. The festival will also witness numerous new talents from the Urdu literary and cultural cosmos. Salman Akhtar, US based author & Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior will share how Urdu poetry has managed to absorb words from English, while Pushpesh Pant and others will take the audience on a gastronomic adventure with a talk on local food heritage.
The spell of Urdu Bazaar remains unbroken since 2015, so the festival is back with the fragrance of itr, the antiquities of old Delhi, handicrafts, the delicate beauty of chikankari along with an elaborate book exhibition spanning across Urdu, Hindi and English.
Dr. Sanjiv Saraf, founder of Rekhta Foundation and the force behind Jashn-e-Rekhta says, “Rekhta is a movement to preserve and promote the rich literary and cultural heritage of Urdu, by availing technology and social media platforms as well as by celebrating its versatility and splendor. Jashn-e-Rekhta is an extension of the same commitment to reclaim our rich heritage. I feel overwhelmed to see the response, the previous two editions of the festival have received and can now see Urdu starting to emerge and resonate among hundreds of thousands of people cutting across age, gender, social, economic, religious or geographical divides. Jashn-e-Rekhta, in its third edition will continue to keep Urdu alive in the public consciousness and I invite all to come and be a part of this Jashn with us”
About Rekhta Foundation:
Rekhta Foundation is a non-profit organization for the promotion of Urdu language, literature and culture. The Foundation launched the website www.rekhta.org in 2013, which has since organically grown to become the largest online repository of Urdu poetry in the world, with visitors from over 225 countries. The website displays works of over 2100 well-known and lesser known poets from the 13th century, to the present day and showcases over 25,000 Nazms and Ghazals in Persian, Devanagari and Roman scripts. It features a comprehensive dictionary with meaning of Urdu words at a click to facilitate reading of texts. Also, maintaining an ever-growing library of over 20,000 e-books, over 4,500 audios and over 4,600 videos, the website features poets reciting their works and experts rendering them with remarkable competence.
The objective of Rekhta is to highlight the secular character of Urdu and to promote and disseminate Urdu literature, especially Urdu Poetry, to a global audience having roots in our sub-continent, particularly those not conversant with the Urdu script.
For full festival schedule, visit: www.jashnerekhta.org || Aparna: firstname.lastname@example.org