BHUBANESWAR: Three weeks after the state’s heritage cabinet approved the proposal, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday formally moved the Centre seeking classical status for Odissi music, one of the very ancient forms of music in the country.
In a letter to Union minister of state for culture and tourism Prahlad Singh Patel, the chief minister said it is a matter of concern that Odissi music, the tradition of which dates back to second century BC is yet to be recognised as a classical music by the Centre. Naveen’s letter also accompanied by a brief report on classical aspects of Odissi music prepared by the Odia language, literature and culture department of the state government.
“The Odishan music has, at least a tradition of 2000 years and is based on written Sastra and its own core Raga. It has a distinctive rendition style based on codified grammar, the characteristic giti system of classical texts and having its own tala, different from Hindustani and Karnatak music. No doubt Odissi music has all the requisite and exclusive characteristics to be recognised as a classical music,” said Naveen in his letter.
The heritage cabinet on September 2 approved a proposal to move the Centre seeking classical tag for Odissi music (both vocal and instrumental).
Naveen in his letter also said that his government has undertaken pioneering efforts to get classical status for Odissi music at an institutional level by establishing Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi with the purpose of promotion of music, dance and drama in Odisha. Establishment of the Utkal University of Culture in 1999 was also another milestone in the path of promotion of the culture, art, music and tradition of Odisha.
“Odissi music has made significant impact on Indian cultural scenario. Several Odishan playwrights, sculptors, painters and choreographers have earned national and international fame. Odissi dance has been recognised as one of the classical forms and stands eminent because of its characteristic “bhangi”, “thani”, “lalitya”, “mudra” etc,” said Naveen adding its its ironical that Odissi music is yet to be recognised as a classical form of music at national level.
The chief minister said conferring classical status to Odissi music will fulfil a long cherished dream of the music lovers of Odisha and that of India.
While Odissi dance has already been recognised as a classical dance by the Centre in 1964, Odia became the sixth Indian language after Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Sanskrit and Tamil to get the classical tag in 2014.