The Sixth North East Annual Cultural Day at Jamia Millia Islamia

The Sixth Edition of the North East Annual Cultural Day at Jamia was organized by the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research with the theme ‘The Road to Peace: Take Me Home’ on 23 February, 2016. Borkung Hrangkhawl also known by his stage name BK from Tripura along with Alo Wanth from Nagaland and the Brahmaputra Bihu Group from Assam enthralled a packed and excited audience of over 2000 consisting of students, faculty and staff from Jamia and universities across the NCR.

Dr. Abdul Malik, Joint Registrar, Jamia Millia Islamia, Dr. Shekhar Pathak (Padma Shri) and Mr. Rajendra Desai, Director, National Centre for Peoples’ Action in Disaster Preparedness (NCPDP) were present with other delegates of the International Conference on ‘The Eastern Himalaya III: When the Mountains Move and the Waters Rise—Coping with Earthquakes and Flooding– The Health and Housing Dimensions’ which was simultaneously organized by the Centre on 22-23 February, 2016 at Jamia.

North East Annual Cultural Day at Jamia Millia Islamia has become a major highlight of the University’s cultural events Calendar since its inception in 2011. The celebration of the North East Cultural at Jamia is part of the Centre’s initiatives to bridge the existing gap between the people from the North Eastern states and the rest of the country. Renowned performers from the North Eastern Region (NER) such as Soulmate, Lou Majaw from Meghalaya, Rueben Mashangva from Manipur, Alobo Naga, Nagaland Singing Ambassadors from Nagaland, Girish and the Chronicle and Urban Inc. from Sikkim have performed in the said events.

The Brahmaputra Bihu Group kicked off the event with Bihu Dance setting the mood for the evening with their lively and energetic dance steps, traditional Assamese folk songs, with flute and rigorous drum accompaniment. An enchanting performance by Alo Wanth followed mixed genre of jazz, blues, modern rock and alternative pop.

BK the star of the evening, then strode into the stage, mesmerizing the audience with his magical performance blending different musical genres. His songs are based on life themes including struggles against discrimination, racism, and injustice.

BK, who has emerged in recent years as one of India’s best known rappers brings the young crowd to its feet, jumping into audience and connecting with them. Known for his sensitive portrayal of the socio-political climate of his home state, he has carved a niche for himself with his strong opinions on social issues through his songs and music.

On a more serious note, he shared with the audience how he was stabbed thrice for “looking different.” Discrimination on the basis of looks was unacceptable, he declared, to cheers and said “we are all Indians at the end of the day and that is what matters.”

He sang his anthemic The Reality: Spoken Words, about racial discrimination against people from the Northeast, the violence they face and how the ‘mainstream’ needs to leave behind its biases. Some of the other songs included The Journey and Never Give Up.

Earlier, introducing the evening Prof. Sanjoy Hazarika, Director, CNESPR, JMI said that dialogue and not confrontation was the way to travel to peace. People needed to oppose ‘trail by media’ as well as respect the rights of other to their views.

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