Governor addresses 41st Shumang Leela Festival

IMPHAL, May 6: Speaking at the Inaugural Function of the 41st Manipur State Shumang Leela Festival organized by the Manipur State Kala Akademi,  Governor Gurbachan Jagat congratulated the award winners of the last edition of the Festival while noting that this year, 20 groups are participating. He expressed his confidence that the competition will be much stiffer as compared to last year and the audience will be enthralled by the shumang leelas during the festival.

He went on to say that he need not go into the details regarding the genesis Shumang Leela as everyone in Manipur is aware of it but it may be said that this performing art form of Manipur  loosely translated as courtyard theatre has provided entertainment to the general public  for decades.

The Governor pointed out that even though it started with comic genre to humour the kings and noblemen, it became a powerful tool for conveying social messages and the older generation still  remember the leelas based on Khamba- Thoibi, episodes from Moirang parva,  Mahabharata, Ramayana, etc. Later on the genre of Eshei Leela which was popular  among the youngsters came as it was styled on modem Hindi films but its popularity did not last long, he noted.

The Governor then said that such a vibrant performing art is now finding it difficult to maintain its popularity because of the onslaught of modem entertainment forms like cinema, television, etc.

He maintained that it must be the responsibility of every citizen of the State to ensure that the rich tradition of Shumang Leela is preserved and propagated for posterity while emphasizing that research needs to be done on it so that this rich and vibrant art form is understood in its totality.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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