Tanariri Festival: Celebrating Indian classical music
Yesterday I had the opportunity to present the Pandit Omkarnath Thakur Samman to renowned classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj and to Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra. I presented the Tanariri Award to Kishori Amonkar and Begum Parveen Sultana as well. It was wonderful to have these great musicians in our midst and honour them on behalf of the people of Gujarat.
Indian music is unique and it has established its identity across the world. Our historical texts and ancient works are a rich source for Indian classical music. From our classical vocalists to world-renowned instrumentalists to Bollywood and beyond, the world has recognized the vastness of our music.
I firmly believe that cultural and artistic freedoms are the cornerstones of a vibrant society. No society can call itself developed if they do not give their creative minds complete freedom to express their creativity.
Art and literature should never be dependent on the State. As Governments, our role is to promote and popularize, not curtail and influence art and literature.
We envision a Gujarat that is extremely vibrant in the cultural sphere. From classical music, dance to paintings and beyond we are making constant efforts to popularize all forms of art, music and culture among our people. Apart from being a skill, these are important linkages between our glorious past and the future.
One such effort of ours is the Tanariri festival, which began yesterday on 11th November 2013. This festival celebrates both Indian and Gujarati classical music. It is held in Vadnagar, a land that has a very strong link with music.
The Tanariri festival is held in honour of the twin sisters from Vadnagar, Tana and Riri. It is said that when legendary musician Tansen felt the burns in his body due to extensive singing of Raga Deepak (The Raga dedicated to Agni, the Lord of Fire), Tana and Riri sang Raga Malhar (A Raga dedicated to Megh, a cloud that brings rain) and their song pacified the fire in Tansen.
Tanariri festival is celebrated on the 9th day of Kartik (the first month after Diwali). Famous classical singers from India along with accomplished Gujarati classical singers are invited and it truly becomes a fine treat for music lovers.
You would be delighted to know that the festival entered the Guinness Book of world Records when classical vocalist Dhari ‘Panchamda’ set a record for continuously singing for 101 hours and 23 minutes during the Tanariri Festival in 2010, which was also Gujarat’s Golden Jubilee Year. Another record was created during the festival by the same singer when she presented 214 Ragas and 271 Bandish during the 2010 Tanariri festival.
Gujarat is forever committed to honour musicians and artists who have influenced the world through the power of their creativity and that is why during the Golden Jubilee Celebrations we initiated the Pandit OmkarnathThakur Samman and the Tanariri Award. Pandit Omkarnath Thakur holds a special place in history of India music. He hailed from Bharuch and did his Sadhna in Surat. People still remember his singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ with immense pride and respect. We have also added Folk Music as a category for Gaurav Puraskar.
I seek your support in these efforts so that together we can make Gujarat shine even further in the cultural sphere.