Closure of a Gharana

Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’
It’s ironical that whenever a concept gets acclaimed, we are hell bent upon to take a back step just to drag ourselves being criticized by one and all. But we seldom care about the same and are always at the forefront to satisfy our ego. Usually it happens in every field but when it comes to Art arena, then undoubtedly the percentage is very high as the artists, promoters as well as those at the helm of affairs always indulge in destructive politics rather than fulfilling the motto for which different art bodies have been framed.
Recently, a very popular monthly event of JKAACL has fallen victim to same attitude in the pretext of alleged complaints and internal feud. But it had to be sorted out within Academy. Why the artists have to suffer?
It is pertinent to add here that Gharana, a musical program that was widely appreciated by music lovers as well as critics for its wonderful concept was not liked by some elements in JKAACL for the reasons best known to them. The reasons putforth by them do not hold water as Secretary JKAACL had himself appreciated the concept on numerous occasions. Then, what prompted him to suspend the same? Speculations are in air that suspension will not be revoked and a beautiful concept will die unnatural death.
Gharana is defined as a system linking musicians and dancers by adherence to a particular style. It also indicates a comprehensive music ideology. Actually, the word Gharana is derived from Hindi word “Ghar” which has originated from Sanskrit word”Griha” that means house and refers to a place where certain music ideology originated. There are different types of Gharanas like Vocal Gharana, Instrumental Gharana, and Dance Gharana etc. We find different Gharanas in different fields of music and dance like Agra, Gwalior, Indore, Jaipur, Kirana and Patiala etc.
If we cast a look at “Gharana” of JKACCL Jammu, then concept wise, it was a wonderful one and those who took the initiative need to be applauded for the same. It did offer the most desired platform to the those local artists also, who are living in far fulung areas and are fully devoted to art thereby having passed on their art to the next generation predominantly their own family members. Within a span of two years, 28 episodes were staged that covered the celebrated artists having marked a niche in art arena not only at national scene but abroad too and those artists also who had not even dreamed of getting recognized for their commitment to art. To name a few include Jitendraa Singh Family, Krishan lal Verma Family, S. Pritam Singh Family, Bishan Dass Family, Surpal Singh Jaspal Family, Dev Dildar Family, Ashutosh Mangotra Family, Romalo Ram & Family, Ghulam Mohd Family, Dhanjaya Koul, Dharmesh Nargotra Family, Th. Balwant Singh Family, Surinder Singh Manhas Family, Ravi Sharma etc. More than 300 artists have performed their art in Gharana series. When tears rushed through their eyes out of emotions after the performance, it was most satisfying moment for all art lovers and Academy too. At least, the mission behind setting up art bodies seemed getting justified. But all of a sudden, it was suspended that shocked the artists fraternity and the reason given behind the same was shocking.
The way, Gharana Series had become so popular with jam packed hall every time, even the critics were forced to appreciate. But Academy has itself dragged into unwanted controversy once again. The artist community has nothing to do with the alleged administrative problems, they are here to perform and march ahead with all dedication and devotion for a noble cause. They need the encouragement.
It is expected that Secretary, JKACCL who has always been at fore front to provide all possible help to aspiring talent and has so much to his credit during his tenure as secretary will realize the soul of this event and “Gharana” will get back to stage. When the aspirations are high and you are used to stand by, then such decisions demoralize the artists. One should avoid playing with emotions of artists particularly keeping in mind that artists are emotional beings. Give due regards to such feelings and rather come up with more innovative ideas while retaining such concepts that have always proved image building for Academy.