India classical music saw lot of changes by turn of 20th century

Bhubaneswar: Indian classical music and dance witnessed a lot of changes by turn of 20th century, President Pranab Mukherjee today said.

“This essentially meant spreading the performing arts to practitioners and audiences outside the traditional families and communities that had been the repositories of these art forms in pre-colonial times,” Mukherjee said inaugurating the golden jubilee function of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya here.

The new thrust resulted in India re-discovering its culture in a manner and scale not previously seen, he pointed out adding the introduction of gramophone, the radio and later on, the cinema served to further popularise these classical music and dance forms across India.

Stating that the performing arts traditionally found patronage and flourished under enlightened rulers, who themselves, at times were great exponents of music and dance, the President said that the system of royal patronage of the arts, however, ceased to exist during the colonial period.

Mukherjee, however, said the state funding of the performing arts was instituted by the government in the post-independence and three national Akademis were set up in the early 1950s for documenting and disseminating knowledge of these art forms as also for their training and performance.

Setting up institutions like Bhatkhande Music Institute, Lucknow and Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya in Bhubaneswar, is a continuation of the tradition wherein the state funds and promotes various forms and aspects of India arts, music, dance, drama and culture inherent in this is the realisation that the classical art are link with the past and thus both the foundation for current thoughts and the platform for the future action, he said.

While highlighting the achievements made by different personalities in the art and music in the state, the President said the Gurus appointed since the inception of Utkal sangeet Mahavidyalaya such as late Shyam Sunder Kar, late Pankaj Charan Das, Late Sanjukta Panigrahi, Dr Bidyut Kumari Choudhury and Umesh Chandra Kar have been legends who have not only excelled in the Odiya art and culture, but have also been instrumental in propagating it throughout the world.

The President also named certain students of the Mahavidyalaya who have excelled in their fields bringing name and fame for the nation.

Mukherjee, who began a two-day visit to Odisha today, also paid homage to the founder of the Mahavidyalaya, the then chief minister of Odisha Biju Patnaik, an ardent lover of Odiya art and culture.

Odisha Governor S C Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Kumar Patsani, Odisha’s tourism and culture minister Ashok Kumar Panda and others spoke on the occasion.