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Bhimsen Joshi tried to unify Marathi, Kannada cultures through his music: Sharad Pawar

A special 'Monogram' designed on Joshi by world renowned calligrapher, Achyut Palav, was unveiled on the occasion.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: February 7, 2021 5:36:37 am
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Bhimsen Joshi birthday celebrations, Pune Bhimsen Joshi, Pune News, Indian Express, Indian Express NewsNCP chief Sharad Pawar and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar attend Pt Bhimsen Joshi’s birth centenary celebrations in Pune on Saturday. (Photo: Pavan Khengre)

“Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi came to Maharashtra from Karnataka. Generally there are lots of cultural disputes between the Marathi and Kannada people, but Pt Joshi through his music tried to unify both the cultures. He served the society through his music,” NCP president Sharad Pawar said on Saturday.

He was speaking during the inaugural musical programme, ‘Abhivadan’, organised by Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal on the occasion of Joshi’s birth centenary celebrations, held at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch on Saturday.

Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Indian Cultural Relations Council president, Murlidhar Mohol, Pune Mayor, and Shrinivas Joshi, president of the Mandal, were present on the occasion.

A special ‘Monogram’ designed on Joshi by world renowned calligrapher, Achyut Palav, was also unveiled on the occasion.

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Pawar said, “If it wasn’t for the Covid-19 pandemic, we would have seen this event in a different light today. Panditji always encouraged new artistes through Sawai Gandharva Music Festival and I am happy that that tradition is still alive today. Today’s youth should get inspired by Panditji’s contribution to music. I had the opportunity to hear Panditji’s concert at the residence of senior leader, former chief minister Yashwantrao Chavan and the prominence of his personality was always felt. There was no television during those times but his music reached homes through the radio. During his Geetaramayana & ‘Abhangvani’, everyone in the household would leave all chores and would gather around the radio. His and Lata Mangeshkar’s names will live forever.”

Javadekar said, “Panditji is the last word in music. Since I live near his house in Rambagh Colony, I was lucky to listen to his rehearsals 2-4 times. The Bharat Ratna he received is the highest honour for any musician and honouring such artists can uplift the status of the country. We would want to make all the musical treasures of such artists, which are currently on Doordarshan and AIR available to all audiences on television and radio. On the occasion of his birth centenary celebrations, AIR’s concerts will be now known as ‘Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Sangeet Sammelan.”

Sahasrabuddhe said, “Panditji lived his whole life for music and he handled the grammar of classical music in a way that the general public would understand. He was very experimental and maintained the quality of music. He made his mark in the minds of fans through his ragas and awakened the love for music in them. As he has also created a distinct identity of India abroad, we are launching an International Swarabhaskar Bhimsen Joshi Fellowship of Rs 1.5 lakh for foreign students who want to come to India and learn Indian music. The course is set to begin in June.”

After the inauguration ceremony, the first session of the concert started with Panditji’s senior disciple Pt. Upendra Bhat singing Joshi’s favourite raga ‘Puriya’. He was accompanied by Sachin Pavgi (tabla), Umesh Purohit (harmonium), Ramakant Paranjape (violin), Devrat Bhatkhande, Anmol Thatte, Tejas Debu (Tanpura) and Mauli Takalkar (Taal).

AIR show named after Bhimsen Joshi

Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said that the prestigious Akashvani Music Festival will be named after Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

The All India Radio, besides its regular music broadcasts, has endeared itself to its classical music listeners by organising the Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan, in which prominent artistes from across the country perform.

Javadekar said, “Doordarshan and All India Radio have opened the doors of huge musical treasure of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi to the general public. These recordings are now available on YouTube and the Ministry of I&B is making efforts to reach them to larger audience across the country.”

“Music has many forms and it has power to motivate us. Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal could function for 67 years without a break because of the blessings of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Panditji was dear to one and all. The way he performed in foreign countries, he performed the same for people of all the strata of life,” Javadekar added.

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was conferred the Bharat Ratna in 2009 by the central government.

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was born on February 4, 1922 at Gadag, then part of Dharwad district of Karnataka. Pune was his karmabhoomi where he attained fame as a pre-eminent exponent of the Khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music – bhajans and abhangs.

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