M A I N   N E W S

Sangeet Natak Akademi awards for 3 veterans
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 17
Ever since the inception of the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1952, Punjab has for the first time bagged the highest number of awards in the performing arts category for 2009, the highest in a year, claimed Bhai Baldeep Singh, akademi board member, representing Punjab. The winners of the coveted honour include Ustad Lachhman Singh Seen (82), Jalandhar (classical music tabla), Ustad Vilayat Khan (90), Goslan, Khanna (ragi/dhadi) and Neeta Mahindra, Amritsar (theatre). Besides Kamal Arora (theatre make-up) from Chandigarh is another recipient. The award carries a citation, a shawl, a memento and a cash prize of Rs 1,00,000 and will be presented by the President of India at a special ceremony in March.

Living legend Ustad Lachhman Singh Seen is an eminent musician and scholar based in Jalandhar though his charismatic performances on the tabla have charmed music lovers the world over. Initiated into the art by his parents, he learnt the finer nuances of tabla from Mian Kadir Baksh and that of sitar from Pandit Jia Lal Basant at Lahore.

Ustad Vilayat Khan Ragi, born in a sleepy village Ghoslan near Khanna, has an enviable voice at the ripe age of 90. The last remaining bearer of the dhadhi tradition, Vilayat Khan is a master of the ancient tradition of akhada and is known for his breath control when he renders hek. He is famous for his oratory skills and interpretation of the texts.

Neeta Mahindra is one of the best female acting talents in the entire north India, as evidenced by the fact that she had been recommended by five akademi award winners, who are major acting talents in the country. Her contribution to Punjabi theatre is very well recognised in India and abroad. Her unique contribution to Punjabi experimental theatre is derived from her fusion of two art forms - acting and painting.

It is unfortunate that despite abundant talent, the region has been ignored as far as the akademi awards are concerned, rues Bhai Baldeep Singh, at present General Council Member (Punjab) and member of the executive board of the akademi.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |