Imphal: Shumang Leela has become a powerful medium for mass education besides giving entertainment and relaxation, Manipur governor La. Ganesan said at the inaugural function of 50th All Manipur Shumang Leela Festival 2021-2022, held on Saturday at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen at Palace Compound in Imphal.
Originally Shumang Leela started as a comic genre presented before the kings and noblemen which ultimately developed into the present form of courtyard enacted play. Shumang Leela groups of those days attempted to preserve and promote humanism, tolerance, confidence, devotion, truth and justice through their performances, Ganesan said.
Stating that Shumang Leela has today developed both theatrically and artistically, Ganesan said that the present day Shumang Leelas have been trying to focus on the issues of moral values, unity and integrity. It has also been trying to strengthen the bond of brotherhood and friendship among various communities in the state. Hence, it acts as a catalyst in bringing peace and harmony in society. It is the responsibility of all of us irrespective of caste, creed, religion and language to preserve and promote the unity and integrity of the State. Governor appealed to all sections of the people of Manipur to contribute their best in their respective capacities with sincerity, discipline and confidence for ensuring peace in Manipur so that the State can move towards progress and prosperity.
He thanked Manipur State Kala Akademi for their relentless efforts in organizing festivals, exhibitions, seminars, workshops and instituting awards and scholarships for art and culture personalities over the years.
Chief minister N. Biren Singh said Shumang Leela Festival is an encouraging event in the field of art and culture of the state. Shumang Leela is an important art form which is indispensible to the society. It has been taking a great role in educating people in many aspects of life and also in bringing reforms in the society.
Shumang Leela is an effective medium for mass awareness and education. During Covid-19 pandemic, the medium took a great role in educating people about the disease and awareness of how it can be minimized, Biren said.
He further said women participation in this art form is very much encouraging and it will definitely help to bring about a change in society.
He said, CM’s Pension Scheme for Artists has been implemented and separate budgetary allocation has been made for organizing Shumang Leela Festival. He said, under AYUSHMAN BHARAT and CMHT all artists will be covered and health cards will be issued. Though the state has limited resources, steps to extend help to the artists will be taken up in future too. He appealed people to cooperate each other in all productive works for the development of society in days to come.
Biren informed that Linthoi Chanambam, who claimed a historic gold medal at the World Cadet Judo Championship in Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo, becoming the first from India to win a medal in the tournament across any age-group, will be honoured.
The governor distributed medals to the winners of 49th All Manipur Shumang Leela Festival, 2020-21. Altogether 25 Shumang Leela groups-11 male and 14 female are participating in the festival.