For a long time, art has nurtured creativity, innovation, and cultural diversity for all and played an important role in knowledge sharing, encouraging curiosity and dialogue for a long time. These are qualities that art has always had & will remain if we continue to support environments where artists and artistic freedom are nurtured, promoted, and protected. What diversity stands for is a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. There has been an increasing amount of scientific evidence that shows art can change a person’s outlook and the way they experience the world and help them grow.
Art and culture are key to the blossoming of an individual and society at large. We reflect, rejoice, and rejuvenate in our beings through art and culture, reconnect with who we are, and move forward.
To keep the traditions of classical art and dance forms alive amongst youngsters, acknowledge talents and give artists a platform, the Art of Living’s World Forum for Art and Culture, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture as part of the Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign, launched Jhankriti. It is a performance art festival and competition like no other. World Forum for Art and Culture’s quest for finding and promoting talent finds a beautiful expression in this exquisite festival called Kriti (a word born from the union of the words- Jhankaar and Sanskriti). While it is designed like a competition, it truly is a festival—a festival to celebrate the diversity of Indian classical art forms.
The concept of Jhankriti was first initiated in 2019 in Delhi-NCR with over 40 maestros and senior artists and more than 500 participants. A very well acknowledged and appreciated response to that
elicited the idea to bring it on a national level. It is yet another an opportunity for young & old to take pride in the Indian heritage and an inspiration to carry forward these forms learnt from Gurus.
A unique feature of Jhankriti is that every participant also gets an opportunity to be mentored by extraordinary mentors with the goal to create a seamless transition from the temple and proscenium traditions to the online medium of performance while maintaining the purity and integrity of performing arts. Renowned artists like Prachee Shah Paandya and Sandhya Raju, academician Dr Sandhya Purecha, Harikatha exponent Sharat Prabhat along with music maestros Pt Ronu Mazumdar, Padmashri Sumitra Guha, Pt Jayatheerth Mevunde, Vidwan Sikkil Gurucharan, Pt Debashish Bhattacharya and Vidwan K U Jayachandra Rao will be the visionary mentors to the next generation of performers of India who participate in Jhankriti 2022.
While addressing the initiative, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “It is important to save and preserve our culture.” Many years ago, it was observed that our youth were moving away from Indian classical music and dance. That’s when we decided to create a platform. With larger programs, more and more people started coming together and realising the respect and honour they received. “
Meeting of the right minds for the right initiatives for the right purpose, God always helps, and since this is for the interest of culture and art and we all have a common goal, the people that are here, all the Gurus, legends in their respective art forms, are the ones who I admire in my heart, but there is no occasion to celebrate everyone, so, it filled my heart with gratitude and enthusiasm on seeing everyone for the event, said Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture.
The competition will be conducted online, giving an opportunity to participants from every corner of the country. Jhankriti boasts of a Star Jury with luminaries like Padmavibhushan Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Padmavibhushan Pt Sajan Mishra, Padmabhushan Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, Padmabhushan Sudha Raghunathan, Padmashri Dr Puru Dadheech, and Sangeet Samrat Chitravina Ravikiran.
The event was launched on June 1, 2022 in the virtual presence of global humanitarian and spiritual master, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; Meenakshi Lekhi, and Priyanka Chandra, Chief Director of Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, at the PhD Chamber of Commerce, New Delhi. The launch event was conducted in a blended format, where dignitaries from more than 90 countries joined live through Zoom. The Art of Living foundation broadcast the event to more than 156 countries. Vibrant performances in tribute to the motherland were presented by more than 50 young artists from Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai, each performing from their respective cities to create a seamless spectacle for both the live and online participants.
The Festival of Jhankriti celebrates three fields of art: Gayan (classical/semi-classical vocal (light/folk music, Hindustani and Carnatic), Vadan (instrumental/percussion), and Nritya (classical dance forms). This is structured into three broad age groups: under 8 years, 8 to 16 years, and 17 to 25 years.
The most important aspect of this event is that the registration is free. Anyone from any strata of society can participate. There is an easily accessible format through video submissions, which makes this an equal opportunity for everyone. Applications are still open and registration will close by August 15, 2022. With prize money amounting to more than 30 lakhs, Jhankriti has come at the right time to support the younger generation trying to find their footing after the pandemic.
Important dates –
Registration Closes – 15th August, 2022
Finals – 2nd & 3rd November, 2022
Award Ceremony in November/December in Art of Living International Centre, Bangalore
Interested participants can register on www.jhankriti.org
The writer is Art of Living faculty.