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Voice Of Bengal::Politics
Pinaki Chakraborty



Keep the appeal of Rabindrasangeet intact


    Last year, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal introduced a novel way of celebrating the 150th birthday of Rabindranath Tagore-playing Rabindra Sangeet on microphones at the important traffic crossings. It was something unprecedented and created a congenial atmosphere for remembering the great poet on the way to and from our places of work.
    More than a year has passed since then and the effect of the songs has virtually ebbed out. The daily office-goers no longer take interest in the songs. The casual passers - by look away from the microphones to focus on something of higher priority to them. It simply means that the songs, played repeatedly for over a year, have outlived the purpose they were supposed to serve - enlivening our spirit on a great occasion.
    What is more unfortunate is the reaction of the so-called 'marginal' people in petty occupations, who breathlessly struggle for existence from dawn to dusk. They are often heard saying "Rabindra Sangeet is good but will it fill our stomachs?" They are not to blame for such apparently unpleasant remarks. They say what they feel in the inmost part of their minds. They are reeling under countless problems and serious music does not bring them immediate relief. Some of them have even started to believe that the whole show was designed to divert the public attention from more serious issues.
    It is high time for the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to ponder over whether it will be proper to play Rabindra Sangeet at traffic crossings any longer. It is neither adding glory to Rabindranath nor proving the Ministry?s respect to the great poet's legacy.
    Rabindra Sangeet is a part of our cultural wealth. It expresses our subtlest emotions of joy, confusion, hesitation, love, respect and anguish in ways which are found in the compositions of few great poets. Nothing will be as agonizing as Rabindra Sangeet losing its appeal and becoming a source of monotony because of its presentation at a wrong time and place.
    Rabindranath wished to be immortal through his songs and we should do our best to fulfill it.


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