Goan Folk Performance in Manekshaw Auditorium, Chandimandir, Chandigarh

Folk dancers from the villages of Bangladesh.

Excellency Mr. Azizuddin Ahmadzada, the Representative of Secretary General of
SAARC Secretariat, Mr. Manmohan Singh Mitwa, Vice President of FOSWAL,
and the President of FOSWAL Ajeet Cour.

Leather Puppet Dance, after elaborate stage preparations,
from Andhra Pradesh.

Ajeet Cour welcoming legendry Ila Arun at the Folklore Festival

Academic Seminar on Folklore

The Academic Seminar of the second SAARC Folklore Festival was held at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID). It was a milestone event in terms of its artistic and intellectual content, with participation of the most eminent folklore research scholars from all over the eight SAARC countries.
The main concept of the Seminar was: FOLKLORE : HERITAGE AND IDENTITY IN THE SAARC REGION.
The Participants included Folklore Scholars, Historians, Artists, Writers, Sociologists, Social Activists etc., from all SAARC Countries including India who have done work on Folklore of the SAARC region, or have innovated folk traditions and used them in literature, theatre and film.
More than 25 Folklore Research Scholars from all over the eight SAARC countries and from different regions of India participated :
• Mr. Azizuddin Ahmadzada, Director SAARC, SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu.
Mr. Azizuddin Ahmadzada is actually from Afghanistan, and so, he represented both the SAARC Secretariat, intellectually and his country Afghanistan.
• H.E. Mr. Tariq A. Karim, Bangladesh High Commissioner, participated with his wife Naghma Karim.
• Dr. Abid Hussain, eminent scholar and diplomat. A genuine scholar with a clear world-vision; he is an excellent orator and is in great demand from Think Tanks all over the world.
He is the Executive Chairman of FOSWAL, and heads the Foundation’s Think Tank.
• Dr. B.N. Goswamy, eminent scholar. He is one of the most respected scholars in the sub-continent whose cultural vision and ideas on Indian Miniatures and Ancient Paintings are historical milestones.
• Prof. A.K. Rashid, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of Afghanistan, India. He was one of the first poets from Afghanistan, to be invited by FOSWAL to participate in the FIRST-EVER SAARC WRITERS CONFERENCE IN ARPIL 2000.

Ajeet Cour joins with her intellectual and creative inputs and comments.
Excellency Mr. Azizuddin Ahmadzada in the Chair, presiding over the Session.
Dr. B.N. Goswamy presenting his Paper. Extreme left : Arpana Caur,
one of the most eminent painters today.

View of the Academic Seminar of SAARC Folklore Festival. From Left : Dr. Abid Hussain,
Dr. Sitakant Mahapatra, Ajeet Cour, Prof. K. Satchidanandan, Dr. Lubna Marium

• Mr. Irfan Ahmad, eminent journalist from Pakistan.
• Prof. Shamsuzzaman Khan, eminent scholar, Director General, Bangla Academy, Bangladesh. Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mohtrima Sheikh Hasina Sahiba.
• Mr. R.K. Sharma, Attache SAARC, Ministry of External Affairs, India.
• Ms. Selina Hossain, eminent fiction writer from Bangladesh. She was one of the first scholars from Bangladesh to be invited by FOSWAL to participate in the FIRST EVER SAARC WRITERS CONFERENCE IN ARPIL 2000.
• Dr. Abhi Subedi, eminent poet, playwright and theatre director from Nepal. He was one of the first poets from Nepal who were invited by FOSWAL to participate in the FIRST EVER SAARC WRITERS CONFERENCE IN ARPIL 2000.
• Prof. K. Satchidanandan, leading Indian poet, who writes in Malayalam and English. Former Secretary of Sahitya Akademi. He is Editor, of Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature.
• Dr. Abdul Ghafoor Shukoori, eminent journalist and scholar from Afghanistan. He has been Editor of Kabul Times.
• Dr. Raza Rumi, eminent scholar and freelance journalist from Pakistan.
• Dr. Molly Kaushal, eminent scholar from IGNCA.
• Dr. Ram Kumar Mukhopadhyay, eminent Bangla fiction writer, and Regional Secretary of Sahitya Akademi, based in Kolkata.
• Prof. C.M. Bandhu, eminent writer and scholar from Nepal.
• Dr. Saymon Zakaria, eminent writer from Bangladesh. His poems, songs, novels, plays, TV drama and film scripts and his perseverance in research have earned him fame, honour and recognition in the international community. In his professional life, he works as Manuscript Editor, in the Folklore Department of Bangla Academy.
• Ms. Dolly Guleria, eminent Punjabi folk singer, daughter of legendary Surinder Kaur, she has inherited her mother’s melodious voice, and has chiselled it further with her own sensitivity.
• Dr. Lubna Marium, General Secretary, ‘Shadhona – A Centre for Advancement of South Asian Dance and Music’ Bangladesh, is a dancer-researcher-writer.

Arpana Caur with Dr. B.N. Goswamy and Mr. Manmohan Singh Mitwa

•? Mr. Puran Das Baul, eminent Baul singer. It was soul-stirring to hear his views.
• Dr. Sitakant Mahapatra, eminent Oriya poet and scholar. He has delved deeply into Oriya Tribal poetry, and has translated several tribal songs from Oriya to English. One of his books has been published by UNESCO.
• Ms. Rakshanda Jalil, eminent scholar and poet. Director, Media and Culture, Jamia Millia Islamia.
• Manmohan Singh Mitwa, eminent Punjabi poet. Chief Co-ordinator of the SAARC Folklore Festival in Chandigarh as well as Shimla, where he is so popular that he is almost a household name. A great social activist, has flown his aircraft over Siachin Glacier numerous times, when he was in Indian Air Force.
• Paramjit S. Sahai, IFS (Retd.), Principal Advisor, Centre for Caucasian Studies.
•? Ms. Stella Dupuis, eminent painter