Indian Institute of Technology Madras students are all set to host the 27th Edition of Saarang, one of India’s largest student-run, annual cultural festivals, from 6th to 9th January 2022. Reliving the memories of fables and legends passed down through generations, the theme for Saarang 2022 is ‘Lores and Legacies’.
Saarang hosts a myriad of events every year and expects to attract around 35,000 participants virtually this year. With a rich legacy spanning 27 years, Saarang is strongly embedded into the cultural scene of South India. A team of around 800 students has been working for nearly a year on various events in the run-up to the main event. It is among the largest student-run fests in the country, comprising around 100 events.
Addressing a Press Conference virtually today (5th Jan 2022), Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “Due to these very unusual times, this is the second year in a row that our students are conducting virtually both the cultural and technical festivals, which usually take place in January. Nevertheless, from last year’s experience, students have shown that new paradigm does not necessarily mean that you have a festival that is lacking in spirit, participation or quality. We had a good festival last time. This year, I am sure with the experience gained, it would be even better.”
Further, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi said, “I congratulate our students for taking the new situation on the chin and going ahead. Though there is nothing like an offline, face-to-face festival, because cultural festivals, in particular, are all about interactions and socialization. But nevertheless, they are showing what can be done and how one can overcome challenges despite the situation and get a reasonable approximation to what would be the ideal cultural festival.”
The new events and shows of Saarang 2022 include:
Ø Indie Night
Ø ‘51 Hours Short Film Making’
Ø Anime Fest
The Entire Schedule of All Events can be found in the following link – Saarang 2022 Events (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1B7IHSx0xCbwVcZu9oR2cR2qwrgm9MUe6Yea14YELKr8/edit#gid=0)
Highlighting the unique events of Saarang 2022, Prof. Nilesh Vasa, Dean (Students), IIT Madras, said, “This year, our students have developed an online version of Saarang to provide a wonderful and memorable experience to all our student participants and audience. The organizing team has shown a very good enthusiasm in planning the online festival. The teams comprise of more than 800 students from all parts of the country and showed great coordination while working not just from home, but working from anywhere. They have organized events including workshops and shows concerning choreo, classical arts, fine arts, musical activities, oratory and word games, among others. I am sure Saarang 2022 will bring lots of people together, particularly students.”
Further, Prof. Arshinder Kaur, Faculty Advisor (Cultural), IIT Madras, said, “Resilience would be the right word for Online Saarang 2022 to represent the hard work of Saarang students’ team with their innovative and creative ideas to bring social and cultural connect despite the dynamic and uncertain situation around all of us.”
Prof. Arshinder Kaur added, “It is a commendable work by the whole Saarang 2022 Team. The good part about going virtual is that we are opening up to across India and we are trying to go global and reach out to the Exchange Students in foreign countries. This online portal has given us an opportunity to reach a wider audience and wider youth of the country to participate in this social, heritage and cultural connect.”
Apart from organizing events, Saarang undertakes a social cause every year such as cancer awareness, child welfare and water conservation through Eunoia, Sukriti and Boondh respectively.
Speaking about the social campaign of Saarang 2022, Mr. Ajmal Hussain, Cultural Affairs Secretary (Literary), Saarang 2022-IIT Madras, said, “In continuation with the previous year’s social cause, this year Saarang launched Mann 2.0, a campaign surrounding mental health awareness. Aiming to destigmatize the topic of mental health, Mann 2.0 strived to bring conversations on the topic to the forefront. A number of events were conducted under the campaign, with the goal of reaching the maximum number of people across the age groups and sparking discussions on mental health.”
Highlighting the events being conducted, Mr. Sai Prakash V, Cultural Affairs Secretary (Arts), Saarang 2022-IIT Madras, said, “Headlining the first night of the Professional Shows, ‘Indie Night,’ is Mr. Raghav Meattle. He is a singer-songwriter based out of Mumbai. He shot to fame after he auditioned for Season 2 of ‘The Stage,’ the first home-grown English singing talent hunt show. His debut album was listed among Rolling stone India’s Best Indian Albums 2018.”
Following this, Saarang has the exciting ‘Rock Night’ headlined by Mumbai alt-rock band Corner Cafe Chronicles. Their brand of music is best described as an amalgamation of Rock, Alternative and Electronic. Their debut album, Renaissance I, created a buzz across the industry, making the band feature in GQ India’s list of ‘indie musicians that need to be in your playlist in 2021’, among other reputed magazines including Rolling Stone and Elle India.
For the renowned and much-awaited ‘Carnatic Night,’ headliner Ms. Maalavika Sunder is ready to put on what promises to be a fantastic show. A regular at Margazhi concerts every season, Maalavika Sunder has recently turned into a playback singer. Maalavika has also a number of cinema songs, including a few hits like ‘Karuppu Nerathazhagi’ from Komban, ‘Gum Zaare’ from Kadavul Irukaan Kumaru.
Finally, for the star-studded ‘Pop Night,’ Saarang is excited to have singer Palak Muchhal as the headliner. She has been awarded for her exceptional work in popular Bollywood films like Aashiqui 2 (2013) and MS Dhoni (2016). Along with this, she has also sung in many regional languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada. Palak uses most of her earnings for charity work, for which she has been recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as well.
EVENTS – SAARANG 2022
Saarang Spotlight 2022 – Lineup:
1) Sucheta Dalal – Journalist
2) Aditi Ashok – Olympic Golfer
3) Dhruv Sehgal – Actor, Writer, Director
4) Vinay Rai – Actor and ex Rugby player
5) Sowmya S – Carnatic Musician
6) Anand Gandhi – Director
Professional Night Shows – Lineup:
1) Popular Fusion Night – Palak Mucchal (Headliner)
– Maalavika Sundar (Opening Act)
2) Indie Night – Raghav Meattle (Headliner)
– Talitha.(Opening Act)
3) Rock Night – Corner Cafe Chronicles (Headliner)
– Kyoto Protocol (Opening Act)