Sundeep Bhutoria

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A finger on Patna's cultural pulse

With Smt Sita Sahu, Mayor of Patna
27 June, Patna: I landed in Patna on Friday (23 June) and checked in at Hotel Maurya. In the evening I had a meeting with some of my journalist friends.
On Saturday (24 June) I took some time off and met the newly-elected Mayor of Patna, Smt Sita Sahu. 
In the evening there was a session of Kalam with Chitra Mudgal in conversation with Geeta Shree.
Later at night I attended a dinner hosted by the patrons of Navras School of Performing Arts - Dr Ajit Pradhan and his wife Anvita Pradhan – at the Hotel Maurya which was attended by the literati, authors, industrialists and the art and cultural fraternity of Patna.
At the dinner hosted by Navras Society in my honour
On Sunday (25 June) I attended a music concert “Yaadein” at the Birla Auditorium in Patna organized by the Navras Society to celebrate 100 years of Baba Alauddin Khan’s Maihar Band and it also paid rich tributes to Jaipur-Atrauli gharana vocalist Kishori Amonkar. The venue was packed and turned into a music lovers’ throng.
At the Birla Auditorium event "Yaadein" paying tributes to vocalist Kishori Amonkar
Among those present were, Vidushi Sania Patankar, an accomplished musician belonging to a family of music lovers. She is a certified Company Secretary and has rendered over 50 performances abroad, mostly in the US and Australia. At the concert, she performed few ragas. She was followed by a performance rendered by Maihar Band. Prabhu Dayal Dwivedi, the lead vocalist of the Band, explained the nuances and intricacies of music to the audience.
With Anvita Pradhan, Aradhana Pradhan and Usha Kiran Khan
I think the Navras Concert is perhaps the only concert in India that still continues to celebrate the contribution of legendary Baba Alauddin Khan’s Maihar Band. Also present at the Concert were Justice Dinesh Singh, Tripurari Saran (IAS), Ravindra Kumar (DC), N Vijaylakshmi, organizers Dr Ajit Pradhan, Aradhana Pradhan and Anvita Pradhan and others.
With poet Alok Dhanwa
At night, I had dinner at the house of Dr Ajit Pradhan. It was an honour to receive a book “The Life and Works of Rakhaldas Banerji” from Anvita Pradhan.
Late Rakhaldas Banerji (1885 - 1930) is forever etched in history for Indians as the “Discoverer of Mohenjo-daro” civilisation. Textbooks tell us that John Marshall, the longest-serving director general of Archaeological Survey of India (1902-28) discovered Mohenjo-daro, which is one of the many blatant historical “theft of credit and intellectual property right” for discovery of Indus Valley Civilisation. 
The first report on the discovery of Mohenjo-daro was submitted by Banerji in 1920 and was suppressed by Marshall who visited the ruins three years after Rakhaldas Banerji filed his first report. Banerji’s subsequent reports were also suppressed by Marshall.
Rakhaldas was a historian par excellence and one of the biggest names in archaeology, epigraphy and paleography that India has ever had. His discovery of Mohenjo-daro lead to the excavations and confirmation of The Indus Valley Civilisation. He was also the first to study proto-Bangla script or the original form of Bangla script.
With Padma Shri Sharda Sinha - musician and folk singer
On Monday (June 26) I met Padma Shri Sharda Sinha, a musician, folk and playback singer, who sings in Bhojpuri and Maithili. She is also very popular for her chhath puja-theme songs. She has also received many awards and accolades.
With Moni Tripathi
I also had a meeting with the Navras Society team over lunch.
Patna seems to have its cachet of those who love music, art and culture and have kept alive India’s rich cultural heritage and I congratulate the citizens of Patna. I must say my visit to Patna was unique for it was a very different Patna and I got to see a very bright and rich cultural side of this ancient city. I returned to Kolkata via evening flight yesterday.
ess bee

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