“Ram Bijoy- Ankia Naat” was performed for the art and culture lovers of Delhi NCR at Mavalankar Hall on 24th May. This is an endeavor by the Assam Tourism Development Corporation, Government of Assam in association with Raginee-a socio-cultural organization of Guwahati to showcase the rich and glorious cultural legacy of the state Assam.
“Ram Bijoy” was designed and directed by Madhurima Choudhury. “Ankia Naat Bhaona” is a traditional art form of the 15th century - A style of drama conceived by Srimanta Sankardeva (1449-1568) that displayed spiritual music encompassing a combination of dance and dramaturgy.
Ustad Amzad Ali Khan and his wife Subhalakshmi, Actor Adil Hussain, Dr Hemoprova Saikia were also present along with other dignitaries.
"Ram Bijoy"-Ankia Naat performed by a group of women who are top actresses of Assam including Moloya Goswami, Nishita Goswami, Madhurima Chaudhuri, Rasarani Chetana Das and Barsha Rani Bishaya. The play was performed in “Brajavali”-concoction of Assamese, Hindi, Oriya and Maithili.
Ankia Naataks were performed only by men, even the female characters were enacted by male actors till 1949. Women performing an Ankia Naat which is considered to be a religious performance is self-explanatory of women empowerment and liberal culture of Assam.
“I wanted to turn the tables. These are the times of women revolution, this women driven performance aids in empowering us”, said Madhurima Choudhury, designer and director of the play who essayed the role of Lord Ram.
“After my marriage I got the opportunity to explore the music of Sankardev. There is a need to recognize his contributions across the country.” Choudhury added.
"A key aspect of tourism is introduction to the culture of a place. As a part of our efforts to promote cultural tourism, Government of Assam has decided to introduce and expose cultural traditions of the state of Assam to audiences across India and global destinations. Assam has a rich cultural heritage and we see great opportunity in building tourism properties around our cultural heritage," said V S Bhaskar. IAS, Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam, Department of Tourism & Transport.
Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev was the fountainhead of the "Ankia Naat” a kind of one act play, to propagate Neo-Vaishnava religion in Assam. The great saint and social reformer created "Ankia Naat”, by bringing various aspects from the ancient Sanskrit drama, traditional dramatic art forms and his own innovative ideas to create a conventional performing art form in the field of dramatic arts of India. His “Cihna Yatra”’ is regarded as one of the first open-air theatrical performances in the world.