The New Year has begun on a happy note for Indian classical musicians. In what could prove to be a major step in boosting indigenous talent, the coming months will see the central government extending its support to preserve the country’s musical reservoir through various steps.
Says santoor maestro Shivkumar Sharma, who along with other leading Hindustani and Carnatic musicians, formed the All Indian Musicians Group (AIMG) to initiate dialogue with the government, “Last year we had a very fruitful meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and we have received confirmation from them that all over the country, 100 Indian classical gurus will be identified, who will train three to five disciples each according to traditional Guru Shishya Parampara (teacher-student tradition). They will be financially supported by the Cultural Ministry and have freedom in selecting their disciples.”
Sharma reveals that talks are also on with the Ministry to have a TV channel dedicated to classical music as well as folk, bhajan, ghazal, qawwali and sufi genres.
“This channel would be based on all non-Bollywood genres of music. It’s high time we have a dedicated channel for authentic traditional and entertaining programmes for that audience which is missing this content in the present channels,” he says, adding, “We are also trying to persuade the government to have music as a subject for young students in schools.”
Kumar will be performing at Nehru Centre tonight, with Zakir Hussain. Ask him about his experience of sharing stage with the tabla virtuoso and he says, “Zakir started accompanying me from a very young age. In the last 30 years, he has performed with me around the world and I have always enjoyed performing with him. I am looking forward to this concert as it is going to be our only show at the Nehru Centre this season.”
Catch the concert tonight from 7 pm onwards at Nehru Centre Auditorium, Worli. Passes available at Rhythm.
House- 2432 2727 and Nehru Centre Auditorium- 2496 4680.