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Women contributing to India’s culture through art and music - Expert views by Sanchaita Ghoshal!

Women have always been involved in making of art, either as innovators or creators of new forms of art. Being an integral part of art, the music world has so many examples of women’s representation. Women have been active both onstage and offstage, combining their talents, and mix-and-match personalities; women artists have found a purpose that is all their own. Sanchaita Ghoshal, Hindustani Classical Vocalist and Co-Founder of ‘Raagreet’ in an exclusive conversation with Business2Business shares her expert views on women's contribution in giving back to our culture through art and music, thus keeping our cultural heritage alive. Ms. Ghoshal has been privileged to learn the principles of singing from one of India’s well known sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb since 1977. For years Khan sahib honed the vocal chords of Sanchaita, bestowing her with the aesthetic nuances of inimitable ‘Gayaki’ of ‘Itawah Gharana’ that was renowned by great singers like Ustad Bande Hussain Khan, Zinde Hussain Khan and Begum Akhtar. 

Ms. Ghoshal shares, “People worldwide are fascinated by the glories of ancient India and the contribution of women has been undeniably significant to keep these art forms alive. The very famous Assamese dance form Satirya and Bihu would have lost the luster had it not been for the efforts of Rani Savita Devi. Moving to Northern India, Rajasthan has been a center of attraction because of the colorful Katputli plays which are intricately designed by women for ages. Banaras and Lucknow have been the epicenter of semi - classical music. Badi Motibai, Rasoolanbai, Siddheshwari Devi, Begum Akhtar, and Smt Girija Devi have enthralled the world with their inimitable styles. The Kalbeliya dancers of Rajasthan with their fluid and ethereal movements and the colorful Katputli plays that are intricately designed by women have kept the culture alive. Mrinalini Sarabhai for not letting Odissi dance fade away.”

“Bharatnattyam being one of the oldest forms of art would have been wiped off, without the training centers set up very passionately by Mrs. Rukmini Devi Arundale. Gujarat hails Mrinalini Sarabhai for not letting the folk drama fade away,” says Ms. Ghoshal. She adds, “Talking of Western India, women have also significantly contributed to the revival of traditional Marathi culture. It is no exaggeration to say that the culture of Maharashtra has always sought the heights of splendor through the path of austerity. During the last twenty five years, Maharashtra has found expression in classical music and semi- classical music through the voices of Smt. Mogubai, Smt. Kesarbai , Dr. Gangubai Hangal, Smt. Kishori Amonkar, and Smt. Shobha Gurtu.

It’s time we realize women not just rock the cradle, but have very successfully been ruling the world too. To all the women spreading magic in this world with their art and talent, Happy Women’ Day!

Thus, it’s our culture and traditions that makes us unique and gives us the feeling of belonging. Women have played an exceptional role to promote as well as to preserve our culture and art forms’. Outside of the Bollywood dhinchak and the thumps of EDM, music in India has had an older and longer history whose traditions is kept alive by many musicians, both young and veterans’.  On this Women’s Day, we salute the women entrepreneurs who have contributed in keeping our heritage alive!

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