weekend brought some good news for those clued to culture in Chandigarh. Three
luminaries from Punjab, playwright Dr Atamjit Singh, Hindustani vocalist Pandit
Yash Paul and London-based gurbani (kirtan) vocalist Ustad Harbhajan Singh
Namdhari, feature in the list of the 2011 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. "I
am elated with the news, but there is a pressure and expectation attached to the
award, which Iím dealing with," says Singh. He was also chosen for the
2008 Sahitya Akademi Award in Punjabi language, for his play Tatti Tawi Da Sach,
based on the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev.
earlier award was well-received, but it declared that I am a theatre person, a
performer. This award establishes me as a playwright. I am not only a Punjabi
playwright, but an Indian playwright, and itís both a huge honour and
liability," says Mohali-based Singh, who recently retired as the principal
of ASSM College in Mukandpur.
maestros from region to get Sangeet Natak Awards by SD Sharma
maestros from region to get Sangeet Natak Awards
Three maestros of performing arts, including Pandit Yashpaul, Dr Atamjit and
Ustad Harbhajan Singh, have been chosen for the prestigious Sangeet Natak Award
for 2010 from the region. The awards carrying a citation, memento, shawl and a
cash prize of Rs 1 lakh will be presented to each of them by the President of
India at a national-level function to be held shortly. In all, 38 maestros will
get the coveted awards for excellence in their respective realms of art besides
two fellowships to classical vocalist Girija Devi and danseur Nataraj
Ramakrishna. Here is the brief detail of awardees from Punjab and Chandigarh.
Yashpaul "Sagun Piya" will get the award for his contribution in the
Hindustani classical music. He is an innovatory genius-performing artiste of
International eminence since 1952. Holding allegiance to Agra Gharana, he had
received training from acclaimed gurus, including late Ustad Vilayat Hussain
Khan Saheb. A proponent of the guru-shishya tradition, artistic values, purity
of the ragas and compositions, he emulates his mentors but with his
individualistic aesthetic approach, insight and creative ability. Decorated with
Sangeet Sumeru Award, Punjab State Award and the Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy
Award, the former principal of MCM DAV College and chairman of Panjab University
Music Department, Pandit Yashpaul is one of the finest vocalists of his
generation propagating classical vocal music in the region.
Atamjit will be awarded for for his contribution to playwriting in Punajbi. An
acclaimed academician, actor, playwright, author and theatre director, Dr
Atamjit is a blend of many fine traits. Credit with quality work in performing
arts, especially theatre, and authoring over 30 publications and editing 25
has given new dimensions to Punjabi theatre. On invitation from Canada and other
countries, he had staged his plays there grooming and training their actors.
Recipient of many prestigious honours, including national honour of Sahitya
Academy besides Punjab Sahit and Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy awards, Dr Atamjit
feels recognition of his contribution has inspired him to scale new horizons of
meaningful theatre and literature.
Harbhajan Singh Namdhari is being honoured for Gurbani kirtan. Recognising his
exceptional talent, Sri Satguru Jagjit Singhji undertook the of training him in
Gurbani sangeet. His talent was nurtured by prominent gurus and Sarod maestro
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. He has inspired Gurbani aspirants, taught kirtan,
classical music and performed in Thailand, Kenya, Canada, the US and the UK. As
the prominent exponents of Gurbani Kirtan parampara and the senior most among
the Namdhari community, he stands tall among his contemporaries.
I P Singh, TNN, Jan 26, 2011, 04.27am IST
: Punjabis have bagged eight Sangeet
Natak Akademi Awards in two years,
including three this year, but two winners of this years - Harbhajan
Singh Namdhari and Pandit Yash Paul, have
remained uncelebrated though having made immense contribution to their
Last year five Punjabis bagged the award including Ustad Lacchman Singh Seen for
tabla, Dhadhi Vilayat Khan Ragi (for ballad singing), Neeta Mohindra for acting,
Kuldeep Singh for music for theatre and Kamal Arora for theatre make-up. And
this year apart from Atamjit (for theatre playrighting) Harbhajan Singh Namdhari
(Gurbani kirtan) and Pandit Yash Paul (Hindustani vocal music) have been
selected for the awards. However even the state government showered praise only
on Atamjit while leaving out Namdhari and Yash Paul.
Of late a trend has been seen where the akademi has recognized those unacclaimed
artistes also who have been quietly working for the perpetuation of their
respective arts. Bhai Baldeep Singh, executive board member of the Sangeet Natak
Akademi has been rooting for such accomplished but unrecognized names.
Harbhajan Singh, 66, is one of the top exponents of Gurbani kirtan who combines
it with the use of instruments of antiquity.
While he had the privilege of training under Ustad Tara Singh, Bir Singh
Namdhari and Pandit Mahadev Prasad which was followed by eight years of training
by sarod maestro Ustaj Amjad
Ali Khan, he has been focusing on
propagating rare compositions from his musical repertoire that comprise rare
Gurbani kirtan and dhrupad-dhamar compositions. He has also emerged as an
Pandit Yash Paul , 74, is a vocalist of Agra Gharana of Hindustani classical
music. Apart from training under Pt. Kasturi Lal Jassara he also learnt under
the guidance of late Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan and late Ustad Yunus Hussain
Khan. He is considered among the finest vocalists of his generation.He has
received many awards and honours including Sangeet Sumeru Award, besides Punjab
State Award and Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy Award.