Silchar, Sept 11: On his 51st birth anniversary, legendary folk singer, Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee was remembered with reverence by people in Silchar amidst 'Loko Sanghati Divas' organised by the Regional Office of Information and Public Relations, Barak Valley Zone under the aegis of the Cachar District Administration.
In the programme held adhering to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour at Gandhi Bhawan here on Saturday, District Development Commissioner, Rajiv Roy presided over the function. MLA, Silchar, Dipayan Chakrabarty graced the occasion as the chief guest. Floral tributes were paid at the portrait of the eminent folk artist by Silchar MLA Chakrabarty, other distinguished guests, artists and government employees. The 51st birth anniversary of the folk artiste was also observed in the offices of District Information and Public Relations, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts as well.
Addressing the gathering MLA, Chakrabarty said, "Today I take this opportunity to pay my tribute to late Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee, a versatile folk singer of international repute, folk researcher and song archivist all rolled into one, who was born and brought up in Silchar".
Elaborating on the activities of late Bhattacharjee, Chakrabarty said, "Music, rhythm and tune were an intrinsic part of his growing years with his musical inspiration being his uncle late Ananta Bhattacharjee. He took the tabla as naturally as he learnt to walk and was gradually propelled towards various ethnic percussion and also trained in vocal music".
"His keen interest in music eventually led him towards the folk music of Bengal and Bangladesh, Barak Valley in Assam and North East India, and the search for traditional vibrant, melodious folk songs. In 1999 he co-founded the band called 'Dohar', a group of folk musicians with the intent to revive the folk music tradition of northern and eastern Bengal and unnoticed folk songs flowing from time immemorial in order to reach out to innumerable people through the albums produced by his band."
"He also directed many television reality shows like Saregamapa and got worldwide acclamation. We lost him in a terrible road accident on 7th March 2017. His passing is a big loss to Bengali music, However, our government has taken the initiative to observe 11th September, his birthday, as 'Loko Songhoti Divos'. I shall extend all possible help to make the occasion a grand success in the coming years", Chakrabarty quipped.
Other distinguished guests, Dr Amalendu Bhattacharjee, retired professor, Makbul Bari, Nikhil Paul, Subrata Bhattacharjee, District BJP president Bimalendu Roy, Nandini Chakraborty, elder sister of late Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee and renowned singer Mitali Das also spoke on the occasion. Earlier, Deputy Director of Information and Public Relations, Barak Valley Zone, Silchar, Sajjadul Haque Chowdhury explained the purpose and significance of the day. As part of the programme, selected songs of Bhattacharjee were relayed over the fixed loudspeakers in the morning and evening hours. Artists from different cultural organisations of Silchar rendered popular songs of the noted artist as a mark of tribute to him.
Meanwhile, Minister for Environment and Forest, Fisheries and Excise, Parimal Suklabaidya also paid tribute to the popular folk artist. In a tweet, Suklabaidya said, "Remembering the legendary Bengali folk music singer Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee on his 51st birth anniversary which is being observed as Loko Sanghati Divas in Assam."