Since it was formed in 1989, Sahmat has brought together diverse artists, performers, and writers on a common programme of resistance against attacks on freedom of artistic expression and dissent. Today, as the idea of India is being revamped into a singular, homogenised nation, severed from its composite and diverse heritage, ICF celebrates plurality and building of political solidarity of cultural expression.
In this ten-part series, the Indian Cultural Forum will showcase Sahmat’s work over the years — in visual, theatrical, musical or written form.
Soon after the Babri Masjid had been destroyed, in 1993 Sahmat organised Muktnaad – the free sound – in the contested city of Ayodhya. The festival that started at the midnight of 14th August, featured some of India’s most celebrated musicians, dancers, and theatre artists, who performed for an audience of over a thousand people from across India. Muktnaad sent a message that the rich heritage of music and dance of this country remains free, and belongs to the people.