City Bengalis to integrate Kannada-Bengali culture

Beyond barriers

In a declaration that it “rightly plans to adore Kannada”, the Association’s plan to set up two pavilions, one dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore and other to honour K V Puttappa (Kuvempu), Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre, Shivaram Karanth, Masti Venkatesh Iyengar, V K Gokak, U R Ananthmurthy and Girish Karnad.

This is the first time in the 51-year history of the association that the first steps are being taken to integrate Bengali and Kannada culture. With this in mind, the association intends to honour and felicitate three living Jnanpith awardees on October 10, the day the Puja will be inaugurated (the four-day festival will formally begin with observing Shashthi on October 13), and showcase some of their works over the next few days.

A second attraction this Durga Puja festival, named Gitanjali, will be the marquee’s integrationist design based on the temple architectures of the two states. The centre part of the pandal, where the Durga idol will be placed, will be an arch based on the architecture of Terracotta Mandir of Bishnupur in West Bengal. On either side of this the replicas of Hampi Stone Chariot and the façade of the Somnathapura Kesava temple will be placed.

“This time, the Gitanjali festival will usher in a new phase in the cultures of the people of Karnataka and Bengal. This is something we owe to the people of the State as well as Bengalis, both who have settled here and the itinerant migrants,” said Bengalee Association president Achintya Lal Roy. As part of its plan to raise funds, the association has invited the young and versatile Bengali playback singer Shaan, the nonagenarian music legend Manna Dey (who is now a Bangalorean), a Bengali band Chandrabindu, flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, and ghazal king Jagjit Singh. Tickets for the shows can be purchased online at The proceeds of the tickets sale will go towards building an auditorium somewhere in east Bangalore.

Gitanjali will host another Bengali rock band Aurko, a Delhi-based fusion music band, Indian Ocean, stage Tasher Desh, a Tagore dance drama, and another dance performance based on the poet’s work ‘Chitrangada’ in the traditional ‘Chhau’ style.

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