Chambal Literary Festival: Celebrating the Beauty & History of the Chambal Region
Chambal Literacy Festival- 2 illustrious days of celebrating the Chambal region for its rich heritage and historical significance.
 Chambal Literary Festival: Celebrating the Beauty & History of the Chambal Region

Chambal Literary Festival 2022 – THE ANTS

Chambal Literary Festival 2022 - THE ANTS
Chambal Literary Festival 2022 – THE ANTS

Two glorious days of celebrating culture, and traditions, & honoring the history of Chambal- Chambal Literary Festival was a huge success! Chambal, a region along the Chambal and Yamuna river valleys has an immaculate historical significance. As the renowned historian, Devendra Singh Chauhan rightly said, “Chambal is a land of rebellion and rebels”. But the river Chambal and its region are infamous for myths and factually incorrect information. Along with acknowledging the art and culture of the Chambal region, Chambal Literacy Festival was also an attempt to give a new perspective to view Chambal and understand its significance beyond the bits and pieces of information that have been popularly spoken about it. 

Chambal Literary Festival: Celebrating the Beauty & History of the Chambal Region

The event took place at the Commander Arjun Singh Bhadauria College, Uttar Pradesh, and was managed by THE ANTS along with Virbhan Singh Bhadauria (manager of the college). It was 2 days of ecstasy divided into 4 sessions. 

The event was inaugurated by Dr. Ramkant Rai. He also talked about the infamous myth associated with the Chambal river. There is a common misconception that the river is cursed as it originated from the blood of animals that were killed by King Rantideva. Because of this, it is also considered to be an unholy river. However, all of it is untrue and the rich wildlife that surmounts the river is evidence of that. Dr. Ramkant Rai tapped into that and explained that it is important to hear the history of the region from the people of Chambal itself instead of outsiders.

Inauguration of Chambal Literacy Festival 2022 - Event by The Chambal Foundation and THE ANTS
Inauguration of Chambal Literacy Festival 2022 – Event by The Chambal Foundation and THE ANTS

The event kickstarted with the first session where the history and culture of Chambal were recognized and appreciated. Historian Devendra Singh Chauhan elaborated on how during the years of colonialism Chambal region saw an upsurge of rebellions against British rule. The 1857 revolt notoriously called the ‘Sepoy Mutiny’ by British officials witnessed a great deal of rebellion from the soldiers in Chambal. Phoolan Devi is another example from the Chambal region who fought against casteism and women abuse. However, it has seldom been shown from a positive perspective. 

The second session of Chambal in poems listed everyone’s spirits when several famous poems were recited. Poet Vijay Pal Singh’s noted poem ‘Mere pir’ was the highlight of the session followed by Jitendra Biseria’s poems full of vigor and Gayatri Misra’s youthful poems.  The second session added charm and fun to the two-day Chambal Literacy Festival. The night ended late with the folk singer Saddiq Ali and Anjana Party’s enchanting performances. 

Session iii- Film & Folk arts was graced by the presence of renowned and experienced personnel from the industry. Filmmaker Devendra Singh highlighted how Chambal has only been shown as the land of revolution in movies. The audience has been served the same stance time and over again which has built a unilateral image of Chambal. He also announced that because of this he is also making a feature film on Chambal keeping the language, women, culture, and children in perspective. THE ANTS’ founder Khaalid Naik who is also associated with the film industry stated that justice can only be done only by showcasing the beautiful heritage of the Chambal Valley in the films. The famous costume designer Sanjiv Raj Singh Parmar stated that Chambal is full of real and inspiring stories all one needs to do is make them engaging with the right dialect and perspective.

Chambal literary festival 2022 guest book stall visit
Guests Visiting Book Stall at Chambal Literary Festival 2022

The renowned novelist Mahesh Katare gave a positive start to the last session of the literary festival by telling that Chambal’s valor and intelligence are widely discussed. He revealed the geographical and cultural specialties of the Chambal valley by telling about its association with Satyaketu Jabali in the Upanishads. He stated that the Chambal division encourages hard and honest work. He also chuckled around the fact that the myth about the Chambal river being cursed proved to be a blessing in disguise since now it is one of the least polluted rivers in the country.

He elaborated on how literature is timeless by explaining that only the time period is different but everything in the literature is utterly true and relevant today as well as tomorrow. He delighted the audience by telling about his book on Chambal ‘Kaali Dhar’. He told that the book is an extensive document on Chambal with intricate details as he spent 5 years solely on his research. The session concerned the creator intended to throw light on the richness of the Chambal region in terms of literature and it was successful to do that. 

The event was followed by an exuberant exhibition that displayed books, photographs, and posters in an effort to bring the history, culture, and literature of Chambal place in front of everyone. The event also consisted of 3 competitions to ensure equal participation from the student community as well. Over 10 schools participated zealously in the competitions. Winners were given medals and everyone was awarded a certificate of participation to acknowledge their efforts. 

Dr. Ramakant Rai shared that they have been making consistent efforts for the last three years to showcase Chambal for what it is and break all the myths around it. The Chambal Literary Festival was another successful attempt at it. The 2 days of festivities ended with giving the Chambal region a new identity.

  • Khaalid Naik

    I founded THE ANTS with a tiny group of people to bring good stories and creative events to life. We are inspired by and big fans of ants for how they all work together to support each other and create a happy world for their community!