Volume - 3 : Issue - 1

Published : Jan. - Mar. 2004

Group : From the Editor's Desk

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by - Ranjit Butani


A dreamer, a visionary, a fighter for the Sindhi    cause Panditji Prakash Bharadwaj, leading astrologer and Vastu Pandit and President of Bharatiya Jyotish Vidyapeeth added yet another ‘first’ to his long list of accomplishments.

A dreamer with a difference – if he takes up a challenging task, dear to his heart, he leaves no stone unturned to achieve his goal without waiting for others to give a helping hand. He is the rare Sindhi who first puts his money where his mouth is – show that it can be done and then invite others to hop onto the wagon, if they want to.

So when sometime in October 2003 he related his plans for an “All India Sindhi Youth Festival 2003” to be held in Mumbai on 29, 30 and 31 December 2003, I could only say, “You don’t have the time to plan and organise such a mega event at such short notice” But he would have none of it and I thought to myself this is one time Panditji is going to fall flat on his face.

But I am extremely pleased to report – HE PROVED ME WRONG! By tapping the fantastic organizing and administrative skills of Shri Thakur Chawla and Shri Ram Lalchandani – he ensured that the first ever ‘All India Sindhi Youth Festival’ held at Sita Sindhu Bhavan turned out to be a major cultural event in Mumbai.

The 3 day festival was held under the Presidentship of Panditji Prakash Bharadwaj, the main sponsor. Participants in the age group of 15-30 years, hailing from Ajmer, Jalgaon, Jaipur, Vadodra, SindhuNagar, Ulhasnagar, Mumbai and other parts presented a 5 hour cultural show every evening with the theme being “Revival of Sindhyat and Sindhi Culture and making Sindhis aware and proud of it”.

Over 150 artists participated and were presented with ‘Certificates of Participation’, a Silver ‘Shree Yantra’ for prosperity and a token amount of Rs. 500/- in cash by Panditji, in appreciation.

The first day of the festival was devoted to music and dance. The singers rendered devotional songs in honour of Jhulelal. The dominant feature was the performance of 4 Bhagats, dressed in typical Bhagat costumes, singing and dancing with gay abandon they had the crowds on their feet, interacting with them.

The second day began with a salute to the Sindhi martyr Hemu Kalani, who was hanged by the British when he was just 20. A film on Hemu Kalani produced by the Children’s Film Society brought tears to the eyes of the spectators. The latter part of the evening was dominated by magic shows that held the crowds thrilled.

On the third and final day three, one act plays were presented, “Shok Sadha”, “Baap re Baap” and “Sarhad se Sarhad tak” highlighting the failure of young Sindhis to respect their mother tongue. The highlight of the 3rd day was the Fashion Show which gave a glimpse of how the Sindhis lived in the past and their costumes, dresses, etc.

The grand festival came to an end with the cutting of a 11 kg. cake which represented the numerological number 11 (2003 + 2004) and the President Panditji thanking Thakur Chawla – Chairman, Kishan Jagwani – Chairman Reception Committee, Ranjit Butani – Treasurer, Jairam Chawla – Vice President and Ram Lalchandani – General Secretary for their efforts that led to the grand success of the All India Sindhi Youth Festival – 2003.

Panditji concluded by saying “We will hold a Sindhi Sports Festival in 2004”!

Has he put his foot in his mouth this time? But No. Knowing him – there’s nothing that can stop this Panditji once he’s set his mind to it.