Traditions and culture reflect the heritage of a nation. It represents the history of the country and gives us an understanding of our cultural roots. Even though we see very little of this culture still being practiced by the people, there are many organizations that strive to make sure that these traditions do not die out.
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Mangaluru Chapter has been working towards preserving the heritage of Karnataka. The NGO which was established in the 80s has almost 200 chapters all around the world. The Mangaluru chapter deals with the Heritage issues of South Canara with respect to architecture, art, craft and music.
“We strive to create exposure and awareness for art and artists so that we all become participants in the preservation of culture,” said Subhas Basu, convenor of INTACH, Mangaluru Chapter. The organization held a musical evening- ‘Baithak at Kodial Guthu’ on March 25 in association with Art Kanara Trust featuring the Hindustani vocals of Dr Mithun Chakravarthy. This was the third program in the series celebrating the Musical Heritage of Karnataka.
Art Kanara Trust focuses on art education through innovative methodologies of teaching to support artists through capacity-building and together with INTACH Mangaluru chapter, they work closely with art practitioners and make sure that the talent reaches out to the future generations.
Rajendra Kedige, trustee of Art Kanara Trust said that the Trust believes that art plays an essential role in molding future generations. “In the future, we plan to create different platforms for different/new types of art forms, thus providing space for the artists lifting restrictions that hampers creativity, he stressed. Basu is a firm believer that artists utilize any form to express their thoughts and imagination and hence it is important to create an opportunity.
Dr. Mithun Chakravarthy is the disciple of Pt. Rajshekhar Mansur, son of the legendary musician Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur of the Jaipur Atrauli Gharana tradition. Speaking to News Karnataka about the various problems and challenges that the classical musicians are facing in today’s world, Dr. Chakravarthy said that traditional music is not safeguarded. “After the British left, classical music came under the mercy of private agencies for their sponsorship,” he notes and adds that that though government funds art and culture, a different kind of environment or growth is needed for music to flourish.
“A sustained effort has to be created to safeguard music and tradition by investing in the full growth of art and artists, by making sure that they can earn a living through this art form,” observes Dr. Chakravarthy emphasizing the need for sincere commitment of various organizations and the government to make sure that the artists do not have to compromise on anything. “When an artist has to make compromises on music for the sake of making a living, it kills the spirit of music,” he expressed.
“As I am working as an Asst, Prof at M.S.R.S College, Udupi, I can make a living outside of music. But there are a lot of musicians that I know who struggle daily to make ends meet which discourages them from following this path,” he said.
Dr Chakravarthy ended the conversation by saying that people who can invest money on art and culture, sadly do not have a long-term vision to see a student grow and develop into an artist. He wished that the tradition of music and art does not die out due to lack of stability and opportunity for the artist.