Even as one is delighted that celebrities like Anupam Kher and Kamal Hassan would be seen, doubts persist over their visit

What could perhaps have been a rich cultural jamboree involving more than 30 countries across the globe, has apparently reduced to a mere fulfilment of formality, thanks to the minimalist approach adopted by the organisers.

Lack of proper homework in the ‘Vishwa Kalaa Mahotsavam’, a multi-cultural art form festival being organised at Pamarru in Krishna District, is clearly seen through the haze which did not clear even on the eve of the festival.

Local media personnel had no hint whatsoever about the festival which associates itself with celebrity names like Kamal Hassan and Anupam Kher from the cinema field, former President Abdul Kalam and a galaxy of luminaries from different walks of life, until an invite popped up in the inbox of a few reporters.

Billed as ‘flagship’ event

Dubbed as a flagship cultural event organised by Integrated Rural Development Association (IRDA), Movva, in association with Nirneetha and Sahitya Academy, the brief summarising of the event speaks of participation of 32 countries.

“We are confident about participation of representatives of at least 25 nations. Representatives of Australia and France have arrived, delegates from Turkey and Korea, Russia and Japan are coming in a day or two,” P. Vinay Kumar, president of IDRA told The Hindu on Thursday.

Even as one is delighted that celebrities like Anupam Kher and Kamal Hassan would be seen, Mr. Vinay Kumar informed that doubts persisted over their visits. “Anupam Kher is not coming. As of now, Kamal Hassan is coming by road. Tomorrow what happens, we do not know,” he said.

Impressive list

The remaining list of the guests expected to visit is long and impressive. But how many of them will actually be part of the festival is to be seen. Dozens of foreign dignitaries, it is said, will participate in the cultural exchange programme.

Ironically, lack of publicity defeats the basic objective of the Mahotsav which is to identify the rare and perishing art forms of the world, protect and promote them, establish worldwide cultural relationship with different associations and pass on the rich traditions to the next generations.

The manner in which the whole exercise is restricted from the public domain barely leaves any scope for people to know that a large number of foreigners flitted in and out of this tiny village for a ‘cultural swap.

“Yes, there has been a lack of publicity as arrangements for the festival were delayed. We failed to inform the media also,” admits Mr. Vinay Kumar.

The bandh called by the APNGOs on Friday, incidentally, comes as a face-saver for the organisers.

More In: Vijayawada