Indian classical music has lost a voice. An era has come to end with the sudden demise of noted Indian classical singer, ‘Thumri Queen’, Girija Devi fondly called fondly known “Appa ji”.She was 88.
Born in a zamindar family at a village near Banaras on 8 May 1929, Girija Devi had taken up classical music in the very early age. An exponent of Thumri, Tappa, Chaiti, Kajri, Hori, Tarana, Sadra and other forms of Hindustani classical music, Girija Devi was groomed in the tradition of the Benaras and Seniya gharanas. She had made her public debut on All India Radio Allahabad in 1949.
She was conferred with all three Padma awards. Girija Devi was conferred with Padma Shri in 1972, Padma Bhushan in 1989 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016. She also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship.
Girija Devi was not keeping well since long, she was suffering from various old age related ailments. On Tuesday afternoon, Girija Devi was admitted to BM Birla Hospital in Kolkata in a critical condition after suffering a cardiac arrest. Girija Devi breathed her last around 9 pm.
Noted musician and vocalist Rashid Khan said, “She was so full of warmth, I always saw her like a mother. I am deeply shocked to hear the news. I recall the special moments I have shared with her on tours and at home”.
Eminent vocalist Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty recalled his association with Girija Devi and said, “I cannot believe the news, everybody called her ‘Appa ji” while I used call her ‘Amma’. I cannot believe that ffrom tomorrow I won’t be meeting her. I know she will fill with music where ever she is. I am loss of words”. From musicians to her disciples and numerous admirers began reaching her residence to pay their last respects.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tweeted to mourn the demise of Girija Devi. West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee has also paid her tributes to Girija Devi. She recalled that her government had conferred the Sangit Mahasamman and Bangabibhushan awards on the singer in 2012 and 2015 respectively.
The state government has made arrangements for people to pay their last respects. Her body will be kept at Academy on Wednesday.
Her mortal remains will be consigned to flames on the banks of River Ganges (Ganga) Thursday in Varanasi.
Is religion really over humanity? Swami Vivekananda was once asked this question and he immediately said, religion has immense significance but that does not mean that religion will overpower humanity. Swami Vivekananda had said “religion is people, people not for religion”.
Well, I have been watching a particular news channel running a segment on what has happened in Bengal and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s fuming over Governor seeking a reply from her over deteriorating situation across Murshidabad, Bashirhat and Baduria. Since afternoon, this segment is on and is going overboard. I have no issues against the segment since the channel has brought the facts on the table which were being suppressed since long. My question is why people pay heed to politicians and fundamentalists who fan communal sentiments.
Since ages, Hindu and Muslim have been staying like one entity then why, what has gone wrong that communal tensions have become a regular feature. Rabindranath Tagore had raised his voice and used “Rakhi Bandhan” to bridge the gap. In the words of famous poet and writer Nazrul Islam who said “mora ek brinte duti kusum Hindu-Musalman, Muslim tar nayan moni Hindu tahar praan” (we are same flowers from same tree Hindu-Musalman, if Muslim happens to be the eyes then Hindu is the bossom). Another great poet Iqbal said, “maz’hab nahin sikhata apas men bayr rakhna hindi hai hum, watan hai hindostan hamara” (religion doesn’t teach enmity among each another, we are one and our country Hindustan is one, hail Hindustan”.
Why can’t people take a call and stand firm against these politicians, fundamentalists and tell them that these elements have no place in the society, such people are just not welcomed.Let’s now take the call and show these politicians and fundamentalists the door, they deserve that…
Please read this, it’s really important and exposes the situation women face. A 27-year old woman in Ranaghat, Nadia district of West Bengal was gang raped sometime back on her way back after dropping her daughter at school studying in class three. According to the victim, she was forcefully taken to a building at gunpoint where a group of four people gang-raped her. She had recognised one of them who happened to be her neighbour. Since then her ordeal began, these goons began demanding ransom from her. She too continued to give money (by begging, borrowing) since they had threatened to kill her husband and daughter. They had also threatened to upload the video of rape on social media. She had accepted her plight and did not tell anybody.
As if this was not enough, more was in store for this young lady. A few days back, when the victim was returning home after dropping her daughter, these goons once again had started following her on the bike. Helpless, trying to protect her dignity the woman jumped into the river as she felt it was better to commit suicide than falling prey in the hands of these goons. The people taking bath in the river saved her. A police complaint was lodged after she narrated her ordeal in details to her husband. Police have arrested one of the accused and are on the lookout for the others…
know this is not an isolated incident, there are many like this yet nothing is done…It may not be out of context here, Mamata Banerjee rather than fuming on Governor seeking an explanation on the deteriorating law and order in the state, should pull up her administration and take special steps in securing dignity of woman…
Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj, President of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Belur Math has passed away after prolonged illness. He was 99. He had been under treatment since 2015 at the Ramakrishna Seba Pratishthan in Kolkata, West Bengal.
A statement released by the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, said, “Despite the best medical attention, his condition deteriorated over the last few days and he passed away around 5.30 pm today at Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan hospital.”
The mortal remains of Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj, will be kept at the Belur Math which will remain open whole night.
His mortal remains will be consigned to flames at Belur Math on Monday evening at about 9.30 pm.
Swami Atmasthanandaji had travelled extensively all over the country and abroad and visited several branches of the Order and some unaffiliated centres spreading the messages of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and Vedanta, besides giving ‘mantra diksha’ to disciples.
Never in the history of Kolkata and Bengal, people had witnessed such “pomp and show” to celebrate Ramnavmi. There had been people celebrating the festival but not on such a big platform. Saffron brigade has been eyeing Bengal, for quite some time now, and tried every possible poll tactics to woo voters during the last Assembly polls. Trinamool Congress had given BJP a tough fight. Once again the BJP is gearing up for the forthcoming Panchayat polls slated to take place later this month. The Saffron Brigade seems to have gained extra ‘confidence’ and ‘calories’ after they won in Uttar Pradesh. The enthusiastic BJP on Wednesday today, tried to en-cash the festival of Ramnavmi. The Saffron Brigade had invited large number of Trinamool MPs and MLAs.
Trying to spread and woo masses, the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sagh (RSS) alongwith its ally BJP had taken out large processions across the state which were attended by women and children with naked swords and other weapons. On Tuesday, Bengal Pradesh BJP President Dilip Ghosh had said, its an exhibition ‘shakti’ and there is nothing wrong in exhibiting swords and weapons. Well, Saffron Brigade is mistaking Bengal with other states where they have taken help of Hindutva. Someone must tell them that Bengal is the last state to heed to ‘communal card’.
This may turn a boomerang for the Saffron Brigade which had may had some chances, if at all it had. Trinamool Congress too is not much behind, it has announced that they will offer special prayers at all the Bajrangbali Temples across the state.
Pity! Lord Rama and Lord Bajrangbali are pitted against each other for political gains, in real, Lord Bajrangbali had been such a big devotee of Lord Rama and I am sure would never had approved the filthy way of en-cashing religion…