Tuesday 20 February 2018

The making of Mahagami - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

How does a performing arts institution in India germinate, grow and gather momentum? What are its birth pangs like? How does it overcome the initial hurdles and hardships? What kind of planning process is called for at its multiple stages of progress, with a sampling of its products? And, can there be a final cheer alongside a cherished dream? Here is the connected story - from absolute nothing to a near pinnacle of sweet success of Mahagami Gurukul in Aurangabad, the heritage city of India, providing the gateway to Ajanta and Ellora.

At its core has to be a seed of demand-supply matching, even for performative arts which need to create its own environment. As a wit observed, "Culture is man-made environment." Within the 70-acre arid campus of Mahatma Gandhi Mission, its spirited Chairman had an early vision of a centre of technology, medicine, fine arts, dance, music and a lot besides. Einstein said once, "Visions are only hallucinations, until experimented." MGM Chairman and his Secretary - both staunch Gandhians and devout art-lovers - believed that education in its different forms could change the face of society and took on the daunting task to transform a barren land into a universally accepted learning centre where students from different shores would gather to get groomed in sundry disciplines.

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