Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Jul 05, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus
Published on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

The unknown morrow

Rajshekar Mansur is worried for the future of the arts in the country



`A country that doesn't treat its artistes well is certainly not an enlightened one.' — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

RAJSHEKAR MANSUR, the musician son of the legendary maestro of Jaipur gayaki, Mallikarjun Mansur, was here in Bangalore to be part of the two-day Mansur festival. This man, who received the award instituted after his father-guru, never had it easy to free himself from the shadow of his overpowering father, and bestow his music a personality of its own. And so, when you ask him if he wants to talk about his father, he says politely "I've said enough." Instead, the mild-mannered Rajshekhar says how deeply troubled he is by the way society treats a heritage as rich as ours. Excerpts:

"If nothing is done to save our tradition, there will soon be a day when one has to visit the museums to see our glorious past. It's time we stopped depending on the government. Individuals and corporate houses should take on the responsibility of preserving our tradition. After all, the government gives so many sops to big corporate houses, and don't they owe something in return? It's a pity that we just one ITC music school in the country, while we have hundreds of such companies.

"When someone asked me the other day what can be done to promote music, I told them it doesn't begin and end with having a music festival. In turn, they should sponsor interested learners. This not just helps the learner, but also the guru. And if we want to produce Ravi Shankars and Ali Akbar Khans it can happen only with such single-minded devotion. Nevertheless, it's also important for us to think what they can do after their training is complete.

"For instance, at one point in time, we had so many harmonium players in Dharwad. But today, there are hardly any. They've moved to places such as Mumbai and Chennai looking for opportunities. It's not their fault. They have to survive. I think this is a frightening scenario.

"Today's traditional artiste is in a fix. He doesn't know what's going to happen to him when he gets old. He can't obviously perform forever and so has to willingly make compromises. Media is also largely to blame. Political, economic, and social issues are not the only issues that need to be discussed in the papers. And when you talk of culture it is cinema, rock music, and fashion. And then you slander a musician who demands his price. I agree that one cannot treat the arts like business. But then he has to save up for a rainy day, considering that he gets no support. It's sad, but a country that doesn't treat its artistes well, is certainly not an enlightened one.

"I've decided to take the plunge. I will move to Bangalore shortly and teach six interested students. True, I'm very happy and comfortable in my home town, where I was born and bred, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice."

(As told to Deepa Ganesh)

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2004, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu