Include Karaga in `Bangalore Habba', says Krishna

BANGALORE Dec. 7. In the absence of the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, and the Jnanpith award winner, U.R. Ananthamurthy, the chief guests, "Bangalore Habba", which got under way here on Sunday, was rather devoid of the expected sheen.

Apart from the organisers, artistes, representatives of the sponsors and presspersons, only a few members of the public were present at the venue — Bangalore University Convocation Centre at Central College.

The Higher Education Minister, G. Parameshwar, read out a speech by Mr. Krishna. "There has been hue and cry that the `Habba' is not focused on local art and culture. But such art forms have been included in this festival.

"The Karaga festival, Kadalekai parishe and Anammadevi utsava should also be included in the festivities," he quoted the Chief Minister as saying.

The Tourism and Information Technology Minister, D.B. Inamdar, said all big ventures such as the "Habba" started in a small way. "I wish it soon becomes a national and an international event too," he said and wished the "Habba" success.

The Governor, T.N. Chaturvedi, wanted the "Habba" to ``carve a niche for itself and re-invent the identity of Bangalore."

"Karnataka is known for its rich heritage, art and culture. A cultural bonanza and celebrations such as the Bangalore Habba are testimony to that," he added.

The Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University, M.S. Thimappa, wanted folk art and culture to be a part of education in schools. "This cultural festival is of more relevance now than in the past. This should be taken seriously," he said.

The "Habba" includes a Kannada play festival at Samsa auditorium, a folk carnival at the Cubbon Park and a film festival at the Badami House. It is a fusion of folk theatre, magic shows, visual arts, Bollywood nights, classical dance, jugglery, pub nights, jazz, puppetry, street theatre, food festival, sculpture, handicrafts and regional sports.

A violin concert by L. Subramaniam, Bharatanatyam recital by Vani Ganapathy, Odissi dance recital by Meera Das, ``Singaravva Mathu Aramane'', a theatre presentation in the Ekaarth tradition by Lakshmi Chandrashekar, Yakshagana by Keremane Shivananda Hegde and Girish Karnad's ``Tughlaq'' kept Bangaloreans entertained today.

Though a few Kannada activists and associations had given a call for protest, they withdrew it as the organisers urged them not to do so.

The Mayor, P.R. Ramesh, was not invited to the inaugural function.

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