Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi will for the first time stage a play based on the life and times of Assam’s Vaishnavite saint-reformer Srimanta Sankardev to spread his philosophy and teachings.
A report published in the The Telegraph stated that taking the entire initiative is the international satriya cultural exponent Bhabananda Barbayan. Barbayan informed that staging of Dhanyatoho Srimanta Sankardev in October would be the first step to instill teachings of the saint in the students of JNU.
The report further stated that Barbayan is also in touch with senior JNU officials to introduce ‘Sankardev’ as a subject in the university’s curriculum at the School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies.
“For the first time a play, based on the life and times of Sankardev, will be staged in JNU. It is a renowned university which has produced some great minds and thinkers of independent India who contributed immensely in the social and cultural development of the country. The entire concept has been chalked out by me and it will involve JNU students, my team members, besides monks from Majuli,” Barbayan said.
A team of 25 performers from JNU and his Delhi-based school, along with satriya monks from Majuli, the seat of Vaishnavite culture, will be part of the play to be performed on October 27 at the convention centre of the university. An extra team comprising traditional satriya musicians will also be part of the play that will be performed in Brajabali language. The workshops and rehearsals will begin on September 15 next.
“As of now there has been only verbal assurance of incorporating Sankardev’s teachings and philosophy in the curriculum. He has so much to offer in arts, performing arts, spirituality, philosophy and other aspects that cover a vast area. The faculty has shown interest. We are still awaiting a formal response from higher officials of the university. It is time Sankardev’s teachings are propagated and promoted through higher education and JNU is the right place to start with,” Barbayan added.