The Union Ministry of Culture, usually in the news for organising jamborees across the globe to showcase our diverse country, is organising a unique festival in South Africa, centred around cricket this June.
The weeklong festival is likely to be held in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban. The star attraction would be -- the over 2,000 exhibits -- showcasing cricketing ties between the two-countries.
Sources said, BCCI vice-president and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla has offered to loan his personal collection of bats signed by all 16 teams that participated in the 2002-03 World Cup in South Africa.
To provide that element of novelty, the government is likely to rope in Sachin Tendulkar to inaugurate the festival, while historian Ramachandra Guha will be approached to curate it and provide a social, historical and cultural context to ties between the two countries. The BCCI will foot his fees, sources added.
“To make sure that festival has the usual Indian razzmatazz, dance and food festivals will be simultaneously held. Dance troupes and chefs from five-star hotel will be flown in. A range of souvenirs like t-shirts and mugs are being designed to appeal to the youth,” said a source.
The festival-cum-exhibition will take place with active support from the BCCI. This at a time, when the cricketing body is in talks with the South African Government to hold the latest season of IPL there, after the Centre refused to provide security for matches here on account of the LS elections.