At USA’s Boston University (BU), students are looking towards India. The Detour India Fest 2017, organised by the university’s Indian Organisation, on November 10 and 11 this year, is celebrating the immense diversity that India has to offer.
The purpose of the event is to get Indian achievers from cultural, social, entertainment and political fields under one roof to talk about their respective path-breaking journeys and their take on issues concerning India.
After the organisation members conceptualised the idea, after noticing the prevalence of global Indian stereotypes in the community, they pitched it to the university authorities who promised them the required support. Friends and acquaintances were then contacted to help to reach out to achievers in their network who would be able to speak on the theme. Official invites were then issued.
“From conceptualisation of the fest to the next step leading to the final event – so far it has been an emotional roller coaster ride of excitement, eagerness, rejection, confirmation, tension, and sometimes confusion. All in all, we’ve learned some life lessons and are more than proud to have pulled off this event with success,” says Devika Gholap, president of the Indian Organisation.
On the other factors that led to the fest, Gholap says one reason was the ongoing sociopolitical climate of the world where it’s becoming almost a norm to play on people’s insecurities. “The recent unfortunate chain of events in the United States against the Indian community is an epitome of ethnic prejudice. The fest aims to deliberate on these pre-existing prejudices by bringing together brilliant speakers to talk about their journey of detouring from the conventional path and advocate the importance of the evolving Indian culture. This event celebrates the diversity that India has to offer, which goes beyond the preconceived skewed narrative of being Indian,” she adds.
The speakers who are likely to attend are John Abraham, actor; Indian director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, producer and writer; Anu Chitrapu, senior vice-president and executive at Bank of America; former cricketer Ajay Jadeja, comedian Rohan Joshi of the AIB group; Karambir Kang, area director of USA for Taj hotels; Ashish Kashyap, founder and CEO of the Ibibo Group.