February 08, 2011

Economic Potential of Kurumbhera Fort

The Kurumbhera Fort in West Midnapur, West Bengal -- that we had 'discovered' in my previous post -- holds interesting possibilities for the economic and cultural life of South Bengal. We are aware of the dance festivals at Konarak and Khajuraho so why can we not conceive of a similar cultural festival at Keshiary with the Kurumbhera Fort as the venue ?

Located on almost one acre of enclosed space and with a ready made stage already built in -- as is evident in the picture of the North West corner shown above -- the fort will lend itself very readily to any kind of dance or dramatic performance with room to spare.

Keshiary is located 30 km south of Kharagpur on perfectly motorable roads and there are enough bus routes that connect it not only to Kharagpur but also to traditional tourist spots like Digha in East Midnapur. However hotels or other forms of accomodation are hard to come by in this corner of the state that has missed the economic opportunities that have become available in the more vibrant regions. Which is why we need a catalyst or stimulus to kick start some socio-economic activities here. 

An annual festival of dance, drama and music -- perhaps with bauls, jatra troupes and other folk performers -- could easily be organised here by the Keshiary Chamber of Commerce ( if such a body exists ) or a newly created Kurumbhera Festival Committee with the assistance of district administration. The only real challenge could be accomodation of the guests but I am sure that enterprising farmers -- whose lands lie fallow after the paddy is harvested -- could easily set up tents for accommodating visitors and earn money in the process. 

Rural Bengal is awash in culture but rarely have we made an attempt to monetise it for the economic benefit of either performers or the environment from where they emerge. Rabindranath Tagore conceived of the Pous Mela at Shantiniketan not just to patronise the bauls but because he realised the need to stimulate the moribund economy of Birbhum. A Kurumbhera Festival in this lovely venue could play a similar role for West Midnapur -- a region that has become synonymous with poverty and violence.


Uttoran-SakalDupurRatri said...

Sir, with all due respect may I ask you whom you are expecting to take this initiative and why you, yourself cant take such noble steps.

Prithwis said...

hello U-SDR : as a fulltime employee of a university it is unlikely that i will have the time or motivation to do this to the level of intensity required to make this a success. Residents of Keshiary and the neighbourhood are the obvious beneficiaries of this endeavour and so it would be some club, some traders association or something similar that should ( or could) take the initiative.

The suggestor is not necessarily the best implementor !!

Anonymous said...

পৃথ্বীশ আমরা সকলে স্ব স্ব ক্ষেত্রে প্রতিষ্ঠিত ! বিনোদন বা শিল্প সংস্কৃতির জগত থেকে কোনো ব্যক্তি যদি এই ব্যাপারে এগিয়ে আসেন তাহলে ভালো হয় আর আমরা বড় জোর নতুন এই জায়গাটিকে লাইমলাইটে এনে দিয়ে ঐ জগতের মানুষদের দৃষ্টি আকর্ষণ করতে পারি আর সেখানেই তোমার জায়গাটি এক্সপ্লোর করার সার্থকতা !

sourabh said...

Good idea...i hope new govt will listen to it!

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