Indian Classical

Odisha to request Centre to grant classical status to Odissi music

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The Odisha government on Wednesday passed a resolution requesting the Centre to accord classical status to Odissi music, calling it different from Hindustani and Carnatic music.

The Odisha Heritage Cabinet in its second meeting today adopted a slew of seven proposals, including the demand to give classical music status to Odissi like Hindustani and Carnatic. Minister for tourism, Odia Literature, language & culture, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi said while Odissi dance was recognised by Centre as a classical dance in 1964 and Odia language as a classical language in 2014, the music form is yet to find the same recognition. Incidentally, Odisha had recognised Odissi as a classical form of music in 2008.

“Odissi music, like Odissi dance, is not only very ancient but has its own characteristic features for being reckoned as a classical form. It has its own tradition, texts, ragas, talas, gita and classical style of recital. As Odissi dance has got classical status, the Odissi music should also get the same tag as the dance is based on music,” said Panigrahi.

State culture department officials said Odissi music has a rich legacy dating back to 2nd century BC when king Kharvela, the ruler of Kalinga, patronised Odissi music and dance. There is historical evidence in the form of musical instruments, singing and dancing postures of damsels in the Ranigumpha Cave in Khandagiri and Udayagiri at Bhubaneswar.

“Odissi music has codified grammar. It also has a distinctive rendition style. While tabla and mridangam are the musical instruments of Hindustani and Carnatic music, respectively, mardal is the musical instrument of Odissi. It has also its own text like Gita Govinda of Sri Jayadeva, Sangita Sara of Hari Nayak, Gita Prakäsh of Krushna Das Badajena Mohapatra, Sangitarnava Chandrika of Nilakantha, Sangita Muktabali of Harichandana, Natya Manorama of Raghunath Rath and Sangita Narayan of Purusottam Mishra and many others. Odissi music gives great importance to the lyric where words are sung without fragmentation or distortion. All songs have specific ‘raagas’ and ;taalas’,” said an official.

The classical status to Odissi music would enable setting up a centre of excellence in Bhubaneswar for promotion of the music.

The Heritage Cabinet also gave its approval to a proposal for holistic development of the birthplace of Pandit Gopabandhu Dash at Suando in Puri district through a project involving a budget of approximately Rs 11 crore. It also approved development of Odisha State Museum and Ananda Bhawan Museum into virtual entities with digitization. The cabinet resolution also increased the amounts for the Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman, Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Samman, Dharmapada Samman, and Byasakabi Fakir Mohan Samman be increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

Similarly, the amounts for awards to the various academies shall be increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh and the amount of felicitations of various Academies would be increased to Rs 1 lakh.

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