India’s Law-maker, Dr. Patasani, Praises AIMFA And UMBC For Tirelessly Promoting South Asian Performing Arts

0
5712

“Go ahead! Pursue the disciplines of music, dance, and drama. Use them to bring peace and joy to yourself and to the world. They are sure ways of communicating with the Divine and accessing cosmic energy. Shanti! — may peace be unto you all!” Prasanna Kumar Patasani, PhD, Member of Indian Parliament (15th Lok Sabha)

By Sam Prasad Jillella – Special to India This Week

“Go ahead! Pursue the disciplines of music, dance, and drama. Use them to bring peace and joy to yourself and to the world. They are sure ways of communicating with the Divine and accessing cosmic energy. Shanti! — may peace be unto you all!” Prasanna Kumar Patasani, PhD, Member of Indian Parliament (15th Lok Sabha)

By Sam Prasad Jillella – Special to India This Week

Catonsville, MD, November 28: More than 225 performers competed in a dozen different categories in the increasingly popular annual Academy of Indian Music and Fine Arts (AIMFA) Competition that brought to light America’s outstandingly talented South Asian music and dance artists. Close to 2000 people attended the three day long music and dance fest in Baltimore.

28th Annual AIMREC Music Festival - November 2011

Dr. Prasanna Kumar Patasani (Center) with some of the prize-winners of the AIMFA/UMBC 2011 Indian Music and Dance Competition

AIMFA and the Performing Arts Department of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) have teamed up for nearly three decades to promoting South Asian music and dance through classes, competitions, concerts, and exhibition performances. The annual music and dance competition, as a practice, has always been held on the Thanks Giving weekend.

This year’s Thanks Giving weekend (November 25-27) saw one of the most successful, most attended, most exciting competitions — the 28the Annual Music and Dance Competition.

A I M F A w a s founded by the dynamic music maestro and visionary Ustad Hamid Hossain to continue the legacy of South Asian music in the US, set in motion by legendry artists such as Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in the 1960s. American audiences have always admired the combination of improvisation and classical discipline of Indian art.

Since its inception 28 years ago, the AIMFA Competition has had thousands of visitors and participants from all 50 states of the US, and from as far as Mexico, South America, Canada, and Europe.

AIMFA has not just actively promoted the growth and appreciation of classical Indian music and dance, but has also fostered diversity and friendship in the United States through its competitions.

Prasanna Kumar Patasani, PhD, India’s senior most Member of Parliament (15th Lok Sabha) was the Chief Guest of the iconic music festival. Many of the artists who competed this year were captivating performers. For a list of this year’s prize winners go to(AIMREC.COM) or to check photos and videos of performers, go to (MYDOSTI.COM).

Patasani, who in his four decades of public service, has founded many schools and colleges, lectured around the world, and tremendously inspired young and old said in his keynote address : “Go ahead! Pursue the disciplines of music, dance, and drama. Use them to bring peace and joy to yourself and to the world. They are sure ways of communicating with the Divine and accessing cosmic energy. Shanti! — may peace be unto you all!”

A tactful, balanced, and mellow politician, Patasani, like Mahatma Gandhi, brings a rare brand of persona into modern Indian politics — he synchronizes his Bhagavad Gita-brand of devotional Hinduism and Patanjali’s Yogasutra with his daily political life.

His daily life begins with chanting mantras, as early as dawn, when the birds start chirping. He spends three hours a day— two in the morning, one in the evening— practicing yoga and meditation.

A vegan and a meditation master, Patasani looks fully-charged, all day. Engaging him in a conversation could be a delight. He answers every question with an ancient wise saying, accompanied with a winning smile. In an interview with INDIA THIS WEEK, defending his lifestyle, he said he wishes that every political leader in India practices meditation so he/she can be more resourceful to the country.

Dressed in saffron kurta and lungi and carrying a “blessing baton” wrapped with the flag of Lord Jagannatha, Patasani, ‘Orissa’s living legend,’ and India’s political icon, is a winner everywhere he walks.

Every place he visited in Metro Washington, people looked at him and wanted to pick a conversation with him. He is just so friendly and welcoming, with everyone. Patasani personally met with performing artists and encouraged them. He told them India is proud of them, immensely.

The Chief Guest congratulated Ustad Hamid Hossain and his team of organizers for their leadership — “I congratulate you people for continuing the legacy of South Asian music in the US, set in motion by the legendry artists Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in the 1960. I wish your endeavors continued success.”


Courtesy: "INDIA THIS WEEK" – Washington D.C. based Newspaper

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here