Implementation of the 70th Anniversary Project “Film Screening of the Mahabharata” in Varanasi

On December 17, the Embassy of Japan in India, in collaboration with SAI Inc. (Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project), organized the "Film Screening of The Mahabharata" directed by Mr. Hiroshi Koike at the Rudraksha International Cooperation and Convention Centre (RICCC), Varanasi. RICCC was constructed with Japan's Grant Aid as a “Symbol of the Friendship between Japan and India,” making it the ideal venue to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-India diplomatic relations.
* You can read further about the Rudraksha International Cooperation and Convention Centre here:
The screening was inaugurated amidst the presence of hundreds of people of Uttar Pradesh and Varanasi. Hon’ble Minister of Labour, Employment and Coordination, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Anil Rajbhar and Hon'ble Minister of State (I/C) for Stamp, Court Fee and Registration, Mr. Ravindra Jaiswal graced the occasion respectively. The event saw several officers from the Government of Uttar Pradesh and the City of Varanasi, university professors and teachers from educational institutions, representatives of economic and cultural organizations, and members of the media in attendance.
The film, “The Mahabharata,” was produced over nine years, starting from 2013. The theatrical representation combines traditional Japanese performing arts and other forms of expression. Further, it incorporates cultural diversity by casting local artists.
At the outset, a representateive of the Embassy of Japan in India, delivered an opening address, introducing the Rudraksha International Cooperation and Convention Centre as a symbol of the India-Japan friendship. He expressed his gratitude to all the parties concerned to make this event to take place.
This was followed by remarks of Mr. Hiroshi KOIKE, director of the film, “The Mahabharata.” He gave an overview of the film, including the fact that it took 10 years to stage the film and that all chapters were finally completed last year. He further illuminated various aspects of the film, specifying that the film combine seven languages and ten different types of dance. He concluded his speech by wishing the audience an enjoyable watch.
Moving on, Hon’ble Minister of Labour, Employment and Coordination, Mr. Anil Rajbhar, addressed the audience. He mentioned, “It is indeed a matter of pride and honour for us, that the traditions and legends we take pride in are now being valued by the world. It is truly wonderful that the Japanese have been researching ways to incorporate the lessons of the “Mahabharata” into their daily lives.” He then welcomed and thanked the artists, the researchers, those who trained the actors and those who brought the Mahabharata to life through their art.
The final opening remark was from Hon'ble Minister of State (I/C) for Stamp, Court Fee and Registration, Mr. Ravindra Jaiswal. Highlighting that the RICCC was constructed through the support of Japan's Grant Aid, he noted, “with the screening of the film made in Japan by Japanese crews and casts at this special place happening today, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the cultural opening of “Rudraksh” had in fact taken place today.” He also appreciated that Japan had recognized that at its heart it offers life lessons, and was able to realize this on stage. He concluded his speech by mentioning that Prime Minister Modi had met Mr. Hiroshi Koike during his visit to Japan.
The Embassy of Japan in India sincerely appreciates that the film on the historical epic “Mahabharata” could be screened at the symbolic venue of India-Japan friendship as a part of the 70th anniversary events and was watched by a large number of audience.
We hope that this event was a happy reminder for our friends in India of the friendly ties between India and Japan and to further boost cultural and people-to-people exchanges between our two countries towards our glorious future.