At a programme to felicitate artistes from the field of music at the Balgandharva auditorium yesterday, Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar expressed satisfaction that the sangeet natak genre was still liked by music lovers. The event was a part of the yearlong celebrations in the city in honour of renowned sangeet natak singer-actor Narayan Shripad Rajhans alias Balgandharva.
It is the centenary year of Balgandharva’s music company, the Gandharva Sangeet Mandali. Classical singer Rahul Deshpande and Dr Sadhana Shiledar, playwright Dr Meena Nerurkar and tabala player Sai Banker were felicitated with the Sena Gaurav Puraskar on the occasion.
It was reported earlier that the felicitation ceremony was supposed to be held on July 15, the death anniversary of Balgandharva, but was postponed to accommodate the busy schedule of the minister. Undeterred by the low turnout at the event, Pawar delivered a speech full of anecdotes related to sangeet natak and his life and said Balgandharva had taken the genre to new artistic heights.
“Of the various genres of music, the genre of sangeet natak is at the supreme level, and Balgandhrva was one of the few sangeet natak singer-actors who contributed to taking it to a higher level,” Pawar said. Revealing his fondness for sangeet natak, he said that on long journeys he always took along records of some popular Balgandharva numbers as these helped him refreshed in spite of his hectic political schedule.
“When I had gone to visit (Bal) Thackeray when he was recently admitted to a hospital in Mumbai, we talked a lot on music, and Thackeray shared anecdotes about the lighter moments he shared with Balgandharva when he (Balgandharva) used to live in Mahim (Mumbai),” Pawar said. Pawar said it was important to take note of the efforts of those from the young generation who were making extensively efforts to popularise the sangeet natak among people.