“I feel privileged to have been invited to Bihar,” said the celebrated bhajan singer Anup Jalota, who performed at the SK Memorial Hall here on Tuesday as part of Bihar Diwas celebrations to mark the 99th year of Bihar’ foundation.
“There is great hunger for spiritual music in Bihar. I get immense affection from the people of Bihar. I try to come to Bihar whenever I get a chance,” said Jalota.
Asked whether popularity of spiritual music has witnessed a decline in recent times, Jalota said: “Spiritual music will never see a decline in demand. Bhajan soothes the soul and is directly connected to the heart. It is an inseparable part of human life.”
Noted vocalist of Patiala gharana, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, who also performed here on Tuesday, said, “I have come to Bihar after a gap of 15 years. Bihar has a rich cultural heritage, which is getting revived after a long period.” Chakrabarty performed at the Indira Gandhi Planetarium here.
However, he feels that passion for classical music in Bihar has taken a downswing recently: “About 25 years ago, night-long classical performances would take place during Durga Puja. But the yearning for classical music is much less in the state today.”
Chakrabarty, who has been awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi award and also Padmashri, said, “An exclusive national channel for classical music is likely to be launched by the end of this year. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given an assurance to this effect to the representatives of All India Music Group.”
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, the celebrated santoor player, also performed at the SK Memorial hall on Tuesday.