Noted Bengali ‘Folk Musician’ Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee died in a car accident in Hooghly district’s Gurap town on Tuesday morning. Known for his immense research in the field of folk and tribal music, Kalika was often called as encyclopedia of music. His death has snathched away a significant voice which continued a relentless work in music. The void created by Kalika will never be filled. Kalika will live in the heats of music lovers. By Pallab Ghosh
Barely a week after iconic singer Banasree Sengupta had left for her heavenly abode, another iconic Bengali singer Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee left this world at a prime age of 47 on Tuesday early morning. Kalika Prasad is a well known name among Bengali households for his immense contribution in the field of Bengali Folk Music. Kalika began his musical journey with Bengal Folk Music Band “Dohar” in early 90’s. Before that most of the bands would feature rock, acid rock and fusion music in Bengal. The only exception was Bengali band ‘Bhoomi’, which was a mix-bag of folk and modern Bengali music band. ‘Dohar’ was the first to infuse age old ‘nostalgic’ folk numbers (Procholito in Bengali) taking people by storm and soon large section of Bengali speaking people began to follow ‘Dohar’. The most popular number that had made waves was “Kun Gange…Kun gange ailo pani ..” All the songs sung by Kalika became huge success. Later Dohar had split and become ‘Mokam’.
Kalika had immense research and had done extensive study in his subject. Infact,he was called an encyclopedia on folk and tribal music by his fellow musician friends. Well, not a bit of execration, since Kalika would explain and narrate the details of the songs from reason why it is sung to the region where it belongs to and even at time would add the attire or habitat of that particular region. Most recently Kalika was seen in the Bengali SaReGaMAPa on Zee Bangla channel.
On Tuesday early morning, Kalika and three others were on their way to hit by a truck. Following the collision, his car fell into a ditch on Durgapur expressway at Gurap, Hooghly. He was in the front seat beside the driver. According to preliminary reports, the Inova car in which they were travelling had hit a metal strip after which its presumed that the Inova car in which they were travelling had smashed into a series of fencing and had hit a culvert before failing into a 20 feet ditch from where the locals had recovered him and other. Others have survived though are still in critical condition but God was not so kind for Kalika who was taken to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, where he was declared dead. The news of his death had spread like wild fire taking entire music fraternity and his fans crying and mourning his untimely death.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who shared a cordial relationship on personal level had tweeted that she has lost a friend. She also paid her tributes to the singer while his mortal remains were brought to Kolkata. Banerjee had come out of Nabanna (Secretariat) and waited for the hearse to arrive on the Kona Expressway. His mortal remains were taken to his house and then to Rabindra Sadan where it was kept for people to pay their last respects. Around 6 PM his mortal remains were take to Keoratala Burning Ghat in Kolkata where his mortal remains were consigned to flames. On entering the crematorium, he was given 21 gun salutes. Twitter and Facebook was filled with messages and condolences.
With that an era came to end, era of folk music. He will be missed by those who love and admire folk music. Kalika Prasad will be missed more in the days and years to come since Folk and Tribal music has remained largely untouched. There are not many people who take the initiative to work in the the field of tribal and folk music. The new generation will always be benefited from the immense research work done by him. Kalika is survived by his wife and five-year old daughter.
Kalika Prasad was full of life and infused energy in others with his music, he will be always remembered through his music…