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Jan 11, 2013 at 10:28am IST

Odisha: At Konark festival, Indian artists use their talent to spread messages

Konark: In an era of breaking news and sensationalism, the space for India's rich traditional art and culture is gradually shrinking in the media. But thanks to the relentless dedication and passion of artists, they continue to hold high India's rich tradition.

In the backdrop of the glittering Sun temple, some distinguished classical dancers brought beauty alive at the annual five-day Konark festival organised by the Odisha tourism department. Foreign tourists flocked to the festival to be enthralled by Odissi dancer Madhavi Mudgal and Kuchipudi dance guru Raja Radha Reddy.

"I understand that this traditional art form does not sell in the media. But in order to preserve our rich art and culture there should be a dedicated TV channel for this like they have in the west and which has its own potential of viewers and sponsorship," Madhavi Mudgal says.

Renowned sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik, along with ten others of his ilk, showcased his creative genius at the Konark festival. In the midst of scams and depressing news, Patnaiak tries to spread some cheer through his art on the beaches of Puri and Konark fortnightly.

"As we switch on the TV, we hear of scams. We get so upset after seeing these negative news all around. But we too as artists try to spread the message on various issues through our art and I think that might give the viewers a break from negativity around us."

For these cultural ambassadors, this festival is the perfect way to connect with our rich traditions of the past. For the past few years, Odisha government has initiated several efforts to make Odisha an international tourist destination and to make that happen festivals like this one can play an important role.

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