COVID-19: Ramanavami concerts put on hold

According to organisers, artistes too are not committing to programmes

Around this time of the year, Bengaluru is usually gearing up for month-long Ramanavami concerts. But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many sabhas have either cancelled performances or put them on hold. Ramanavami is on April 2. Nearly 25 organisations hosting as many as 300 concerts ranging from classical music to dance performances had been planned as part of the celebrations.

One of the biggest organisers, the 82-year old Chamarajpet Ramaseva Mandali, which was scheduled to hold its first performance on April 2, has postponed its programme. A revised 31-day programme will be announced in April.

“Pandal work is progressing as our near-70 concerts in the 31-day programme were fixed two months in advance. But if the situation demands that we don’t go ahead, we will follow the rules as human safety is our priority,” said S.N. Varadaraj, general secretary of Chamarajpet Ramaseva Mandali. The mandali’s mammoth pandal, which can hold 4,000 people, is spread 300 feet by 150 feet. It will have an imported sanitiser machine for use after each concert.

Rama Bhaktha Bhajana Sabha, the oldest in the city, has put off Ramanavami celebrations that were scheduled to start on March 25. “Never has it been cancelled in over hundred years. We will have a puja, which will be restricted to our family,” said C.V. Venkatesh of the sabha.

Many organisers said that artiste cancellations have already begun. “As of now, the N.R. Colony Rama Mandira Trust has put off the cultural programme due to the prevailing uncertainty. Many artistes may find it difficult to come to the city due to the precautionary measures that the government has put in place,” said R.K. Padmanabha, senior vocalist who is one of the advisers to the Trust.

The Kaaranji Ramaseva Samithi Trust in Basavanagudi has called off their Ramothsava, and the Shankarapuram Sreerama Seva Mandali too will announce their decision to skip their cultural offerings this year .

Seshadripuram Ramaseva Samithi Trust has decided to postpone its Ramanavami programme that was scheduled for April 2 to 23. “We have informed all the artistes. But as the Ramothsava runs on sponsorship, it would be our duty to hold the same at a later date,” said Ramakrishnan, secretary of the Trust.

Jayaram Seva Mandali in Jayanagar will also take a decision soon “that will not inconvenience the artistes and the public.”

According to organisers, artistes too are not committing to programmes.

“It is as uncertain as it can be. Many State governments have issued advisories asking people not to travel, and a lot of artistes hail from neighbouring States Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala,” said violinist H.K. Venkatram, senior advisor to Vani Kala Kendra in Basaveshwara Nagar. The Kendra has already cancelled the first 15 days of concerts scheduled to begin on March 25. “It’s not just the concerts that have taken a back seat, most sabhas carrying on with just their puja too have done away with Kosambri and Panaka, given the fact that distribution is out of the question,” said Mr. Venkatram.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:29:52 AM |

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