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SIDBI and SPIC MACAY Joint Intervention Under PROJECT CARE for Strengthening of Hindustani Classical Music Cluster of Benaras Gharana

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15 July 2022: Kashi, the city of Shiva, has been a major centre of art and culture. The rasa-ravaged Banaras gharana holds its special place in the field of music. Pt. Bade Ramdas ji’s disciple tradition has given unique diamonds to the world of music. There have been many artists like Pt. Pashupati Nath – Amar Nath Mishra, Pt. Rajan-Sajan Mishra, Pt. Surendra-Mohan Mishra, Pt. Mohan Mishra, Pt. Mahadev Mishra and Pt. Jalpa Mishra Ji. Many singers like Siddheshwari Devi, Janaki Bai, Vidushi Girija Devi have left a mark of Benaras gharana in the art world.

The unique tabla playing style that Pt. Ram Sahai ji had evolved, was established on the world stage by Pt. Sharda Sahai, Pt. Kishan Maharaj, Pt. Anubhut Lal ji, Pt. Kanthe Maharaj and Pt. Samta Prasad (Gudai Maharaj) ji. Even today, many artists associated with this tradition are illuminating the name of Banaras.

Banaras-Shehnai and Bismillah Khan have been synonymous to each other. Khan Saheb has not only tried to bring the shehnai out of the temples to the stage in a dignified manner but has also lived the singing of Banaras through his shehnai. Even today, many shehnai players are carrying forward this tradition.

Today’s young generation is unfamiliar with the gharanas and their specialities.SPIC MACAY and SIDBI have jointly taken the lead to connect the singers, tabla players and shehnai of Benares Gharana with the youth through about 24 workshops.

These workshops will be held in many schools of Varanasi such as Sunbeam Group, Smith, Arya Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Agrasen College, Rajghat Besant School, Delhi Public School, Dayavati Modi Academy, BHU, Kashi Vidyapeeth, Dalims School etc. so that the students can get acquainted with the tabla playing, singing style and shehnai playing of the Banaras gharana. We cannot groom them into artists in five days, but can certainly arouse in them the desire to join the Banaras gharana. About thirty students will learn for five days in each workshop. There will also be a presentation on the last day. The artist’s stage performance will also take place on conclusion of the workshop.

Principal, Basanta College delivered the welcome speech.

Prof. Sharda Velankar and Dr. Sucharita Gupta threw light on the Benaras gharana. On behalf of SIDBI, Shri V S V Rao, Deputy Managing Director, SIDBI highlighted the roles and responsibilities of SIDBI and the various promotional and developmental aspects undertaken by it. Dr R K Singh, Chief General Manager highlighted the Project CARE, which is an initiative of SIDBI to revive various genres that are on the verge of extinction. He explained other aspects going on under Project Care during the current financial year. Dr. Singh also gave the background of the upcoming workshop on The Banaras Gharana. Shri Manish Sinha, General Manager and RO in-charge highlighted the key aspects proposed in 6 months, which will conclude during February 2023.

On behalf of SPIC MACAY, Dr. Kiran Seth made a video presentation on the format of the event. Shri U.C. Seth, Dr. Samarendra Singh, Dr. Madhu Shukla, Dr. Shubha Saxena, Dr. Vibha Singh, Shambhavi Shukla, Shreyas Shukla, Veena Seth and others were also present in the press conference.

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