Telangana’s tableau for Republic Day is out and it highlights one of the largest tribal festivals of the world that is held right here in our state. Artist M.V. Ramana Reddy has chronicled the auspicious celebration that takes place bi-annually in Warangal district — Sammakka Saralamma Jatara or Medaram Jatara — one that promises to bring out the culture of Telangana.
And his endeavours have not only impressed the State, but also the Central government, who has selected his tableau for the Republic Day celebrations (2016) in New Delhi. “It’s an honour. After a series of meetings where they wanted me to make certain changes, I found out that the work has been selected for the final display only three days ago. Not just the state, but now people across the country and the world will know about our cultural heritage,” says Ramana, whose work has been selected for the Republic Day celebrations for the second time now. Last year, his tableau on Bathukamma chronicling the vibrant floral festival of Telangana was part of the celebrations on January 26 in New Delhi.
The theme proposed by the artist for selection were four very unique celebrations that take place in Telangana — Bathukamma, Ramappa-Perini Shivatandavam, Nagoba Jatara and Sammakka Saralamma Jatara, out of which Sammakka Saralamma Jatara was finalised.
“According to the statistics in 2006, 20 lakh people visited Haj, whereas 90 lakh devotees attended Sammakka Saralamma Jatara. After Kumbh Mela, this festival attracts the largest numbers of devotees. My proposal pitch stated that on this very day, one per cent of the country’s population gathers at one place and this is one of the cultural representations that is often ignored and forgotten. Unlike other festivals, where you have a sculpture or images to pray to, Sammakka Saralamma Jatara is a celebration of the wilderness,” he says.
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