Calligraphers come together to celebrate Independence Day

The National Anthem in Devanagari script   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

When the nation turns 74 on August 15, calligraphers from across the country are coming together to celebrate the linguistic richness of India. ‘Akshar Bharat’, a virtual event conceptualised by National Award-winning calligrapher Achyut Palav, honours the National Anthem through different scripts of the country.

“In 2016, I had done a project, ‘Jan Gan Man’, where I inscribed the National Anthem on a large canvas in Devanagari script. This year I wanted to feature regional scripts as well, thus making it a festival of letters. You get to see the beauty and magnificence of each script,” Achyut says.

Achyut Palav

Achyut Palav   | Photo Credit: Vaibhav Kapadi

‘Akshar Bharat’ brings together 15 scripts, 15 calligraphers and 15 vocalists. As the National Anthem is rendered, the calligraphers will showcase the lines in different scripts. The video will be released on August 14.

Diverse scripts

The scripts and calligraphers to be featured in the video are Odia (SK Mohanti), Telugu (Navakanth Karide), Kannada (GV Sreekumar), Malayalam (Narayana Bhattathiri), Gujarati (Gopal Patel), Urdu (Mehmood Ahmad Shaikh), Tamil (Manoj Gopinath), Kashmiri (Anwar Lolabi), Bengali (Hiren Mitr) and Assamese (Manisha Nayak).

Mehmood Ahmad Shaikh

Mehmood Ahmad Shaikh   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Achyut Palav will write in Devanagari script and Prabhsimar Kaur in Gurumukhi. While Ketak Gaidhani will put down a line in Modi script, an ancient variation of the Devanagari used from the 15th to the 17th century, Rupali Thombare will pen a line in Maithili, an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Bihar and Jharkhand. Siddham script, once used to write Sanskrit, will be used by Avdhut Vidhate.

“It feels good that calligraphy is being highlighted on such a momentous occasion. I have written the line ‘Thava shubha naame jaage’ for the initiative,” says veteran Malayalam calligrapher Narayana Bhattathiri (Artist Bhattathiri).

Narayana Bhattathiri

Narayana Bhattathiri   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

This is a joint venture of MIT University, Pune, and Achyut Palav School of Calligraphy. Adinath Mangeshkar, son of Hridyanath Mangeshkar and secretary general of MIT Viswashanti Sangit Kala Academy (MITVSKA) has composed music for the video. The 15 vocalists are from MITVSKA.

“When the country is going through hard times, we calligraphers are doing our bit to keep people motivated and instil patriotism,” he adds.

The video will be released on the official Facebook pages of Achyut Palav ( and MIT ADT University ( on August 14 at 5 pm.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 4:19:47 AM |

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