Odisha CM writes to Union Culture Minister seeking classical tag for Odissi music

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik has sought classical status to Odishi Music (Vocal and Instrumental). In a letter to the Union Culture Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel the CM said that Odishi music, the tradition of which dates back almost to second century B.C.E. is yet to be recognized as a classical music by the Government of India.

The letter said, “The Odishan music has, at least a tradition of 2000 years and is based on written Sastra and its own core Raga. It has a distinctive rendition style based on codified grammar, the characteristic giti system of classical texts and having its own tala, different from Hindustani and Karnatak music. No doubt Odishi music has all the requisite and exclusive characteristics to be recognized as a classical music.”

“The Government of Odisha have undertaken pioneering efforts to get classical status for Odishi music at an institutional level, i.e., establishment of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odishi Research Centre and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi with the purpose of promotion of music, dance and drama in the State of Odisha. Another milestone in the path of promotion of the culture, art, music and tradition of Odisha was the establishment of the Utkal University of Culture way back in the year 1999, by the Government of Odisha,” the letter also said.

Odishi music has made significant impact on Indian cultural Scenario. Several Odishan playwrights, sculptors, painters and choreographers have earned national and international fame. Odishi dance nas been recognized as one of the classical forms and stands eminent because of its characteristic bhangi, thani, lalitya, mudra etc., but ironically, Odishi music is yet to be recognized as a classical form of music at the national level – also mentioned in the letter.

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