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Musical performance on Meera Bai highlights women’s empowerment

Highlighting Saint Meera's life and times, the musical performance featuring Kathak dancer, Shinjini Kulkarni, well-known vocalist Vidushi Sumitra Guha and her disciple Dr. Samia Mahbub Ahmad, brought to the fore the ardent Krishna devotee's contribution to empowerment of women

The Delhi audience was treated to an enthralling performance of song and dance on Wednesday which brought to the fore the unexplored aspects and attributes of Sant Meera Bai. An ardent devotee of Lord Krishna in the 16th Century, she hailed from the Rathore Rajput royal family in Nagaur district and was venerated as a saint and mystic poet.

The show titled “Veer Meera – A musical on empowering women” presented by Sumadhur Hansadhwani Trust was performed at Capital’s Kamani Auditorium, featured veteran vocalist Vidushi Sumitra Guha, her senior disciple Dr. Samia Mahbub Ahmad and Kathak dancer Shinjini Kulkarni. The performance through Meera Bai’s life, songs, bhajans, and spirit talks about empowerment and liberation of women.

Talking about this music-dance show, Guha, who is a Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee said: “It highlights and celebrates the lesser-known characteristics of Meera who revolted against the Sati Sahaganaman society and animal sacrifices during auspicious pujas. What she accomplished through hard work, dedication, and determination should encourage the Veer Naris in every society.”

The veteran vocalist describing Meera Bai as “a true feminist who stood against the patriarchal world” observed she is “an inspiration for women across ages even today.”

Talking to India Narrative, Kathak dancer Kulkarni called the show as “an amalgamation of music and dance” and said it has been “designed in a way that people will not only enjoy the classical music and dance but also the set, costume, and lights.” She added that while highlighting the saint’s time and life, it also celebrates the courageous women of today’s time and attempts to tell their tales.

Meera Bai Musical2
A scene from the performance

About her role in the show, she said while being factually correct about the subject, she made an “effort to lend the performance a new edge.” She said while this historic personality has been depicted many times, she has attempted to make her movements in the dance thought-provoking.

The musical was scripted by Pandit Vijay Shankar Mishra, a renowned writer and musicologist from the Benaras Gharana. The accompanying artists included Suman Chatterjee on tabla, Anurodh Jain on percussion, Abhishek Kumar on keyboard and Devendra Kumar Bhatt on flute.

The Chief Guest for the evening was N. K. Singh, Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, and President of the Institute of Economic Growth.

The event also honoured some well-known women achievers including Bhagwani Devi Dagar, the 95-year-old athlete; Dr. Patil Pranjal Lahensingh, IAS, District Magistrate Shahdara, New Delhi; and Shivpreet Pannu, Professional Speed Climber, Asian Youth Champion, and National Record Holder.