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Plea to set up Chhau dance centre

Correspondent

Prime Minister urged to grant the request


The people of Mayurbhanj district stage a dharna

Copies also sent to the Governor and the Chief Minister


BHUBANESWAR: Various cultural outfits across the country are mounting pressure on the Union Government to set up the proposed National Centre for Chhau dance at Baripada in Orissa.

While several such outfits from New Delhi, Hyderabad, Puducherry, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Bhubaneswar have appealed to the President of India to review the decision of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, to set up the Chhau Centre at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and decide it in favour of Baripada, the people of Mayurbhanj district -- known as the land of Mayurbhanj Chhau -- have submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister to press the demand.

On Tuesday, the people of the district, led by the local cultural outfit Bhanja Sena, sat on a dharna in front of the office of the district Collector at Baripada town. Several Chhau dancers, including leaders of the well-known Uttara Sahi Chhau Nrutya Pratisthan of the town, joined the dharna. “It is indeed great news that Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, has decided to set up the National Centre for Chhau for the promotion and research of Chhau dance. However, it is a matter of great disappointment that the Akademi has announced to set it up at Jamshedpur rather than at Baripada in Mayurbhanj district of Orissa where the Mayurbhanj Chhau originated centuries ago. Jamshedpur is famous for producing steel and not for Chhau dance,” said Kalinga Keshari Jena of Bhanja Sena . A memorandum, addressed to the Prime Minister and signed by hundreds of people, was submitted to the District Magistrate by a delegation and copies of the memorandum were dashed to the Orissa Governor, State Chief Minister and the two Members of Parliament from Mayurbhanj.

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