Britain is encircled by painful memories of COVID-19 epidemic. While other parts of the world are becoming active gradually, the United Kingdom has been locked down for a long time.
It seems that this stinging life never ends. Despite many tragic incidents, people have not lost their desire to live, hoping that this boring life will end one day. Therefore, even though it will not take place vastly, at the beginning of this year, Scottish charitable organization, Scottish Indian Arts Forum (SIAF) is going to introduce Indian culture online once again.
‘SIAF’ has tied India and Scotland together for almost 26 consecutive years. ‘SIAF’ was started by a handful of expatriate Indians, and today it is now an established organisation in Scotland. People of Scotland are going to have a wonderful cultural evening on 30th January, 2021 with some creations by Robert Burns and Rabindranath Tagore.
This wonderful online evening program will be organized by the members of ‘SIAF’. The expatriate Indians here are very happy to have such an evening in the life of Scotland.
Literature and culture are spread from one end of the world to the other, regardless of the country. Robert Burns of Scotland or our poet Rabindranath Tagore whose talents are so vast that their influence has spread all over the world and forever. Glimpses of the creation of some of these two talented pieces will be seen in the online program on 30th January.
The president of ‘SIAF’ Mr. Abhijit Chakrabortee said “It has been a disappointing 2020 for all of us around the world with this pandemic still prevailing in 2021. So many of our loved ones have lost their lives and situation is still very concerning. We are one of the well-established ethnic minority charity organisations in Scotland trying to upheld our culture and identity for the past 26 years.
We are Pan India, ours is a multi-religious organisation covering the length and breadth of India. We have tried our best during these difficult times by organising and taking part in couple of charity events, organised few digital events as well. Robert Burns is our National Bard, we are delighted and honoured to have organised the event this year.
Moreover, who can forget Nobel Laurate Rabindranath Tagore’s association with Robert Burns. We are lucky to have the support of the community here in Edinburgh along with the support of Edinburgh Council and the local government. I hope that things return to normal very quickly.”
Multiple Indian children living in Scotland will recite Burns’ poems that day. Scottish pipe and fusion music performed by Dholis will be the main attraction of this evening. Burns’ biography will be discussed in the evening. Children will dance to the tune of the Tagore’s song “Phule Phule Dhali Dhali”, and few eminent artists will dance to the tune of Rabindra Nritya.
The program will be absolutely magnificent, but it will be entirely virtual. This is not the end, ‘Dhrupad’ artist Anirban Bhattacharya will perform the dance finally. Well known Anirban Bhattacharya is currently one of the winning artists of Indian TV programs.
Professor Bashabi Fraser, the co-founder and director of the ‘Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies’ of Edinburgh Napier University will be a special guest at the event. She will highlight the close connection between Robert Burns and India, during pre-Independence era. She will talk about the association of Robert Burns and Rabindranath Tagore, the similarities between them.
The national poet of Scotland is Robert Burns; in each of his writings, there is a bridge between Scottish with English, full of romanticism in the melody of his own creating songs. Burns said, “My life is like a red rose.” In his writings, he has fluently highlighted the unseen aspects of life.
Not only is the Scottish poet Burns alone, another great poet has plunged into the sea of romanticism, he is our world renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore, whose every creation is full of joy, enormous beauty of his art. So he is holding on to the success of fame all over the world. The western tune “Purano Sei Diner Kotha” or “Ajji A Basanta” has found in Tagore’s song, ringing in everyone’s ears.
He is Rabindranath Tagore whose enormous creation makes us to think positively in life, and so in the midst of thousands of evils during this epidemic, the words of the Tagore “More Aro Aro Dao Pran i.e. Give me more and more life” come to mind again and again. The evening of 30th January, hosted by ‘SIAF’ president Mr. Chakrabortee will witness a special colourful moment in Scottish and Indian literary culture.
Sumana Adak, Edinburgh