I want ten more Kaushikis to come up: Padma Bhushan Pt Ajoy Chakraborty | Kolkata News


KOLKATA: Nine years after being awarded a Padma Shri in 2011, the central government decided to confer the Padma Bhushan award to veteran vocalist Pt Ajoy Chakraborty. A torchbearer of the Patiala gharana, 68-year-old Chakraborty told TOI that he is “happy” with the news and wants to continue doing more work to propagate Indian classical music.
On being reminded that he had got the Padma award nine years ago, Chakraborty said, “I have not calculated when I received the Padma Shri. Of course, I am happy and feel this is a result of the blessings of my guru, Pt Gnan Prakash Ghosh. I hope I can carry on doing the work that I want to do.”
Explaining this “work”, he referred to this passion of grooming youngsters rather than dwelling on his own recitals. “Nowadays, my performances have become very secondary for me. I don’t care for that. I want to groom more students,” he said.
Conversation soon veered towards his daughter – the talented Kaushiki Chakraborty. “She has become famous all over the world. But I would have been happier if she had more competition. I want ten more Kaushikis to come up. I come across many with a lot of potential. If their parents are sorted, I think they have it in them to go as far as Kaushiki has,” he said. Referring to his wife who also had a lot of contribution as a guardian, he said, “It is rare to come across another Chandana Chakraborty. It requires talent, fire in the belly and good support from the guardians for students with potential to go far.”
On being asked what needs to be done on behalf of the government to promote Indian classical music, he said, “If we are to assess the reasons for which our country is known globally, Indian classical music will have to be featured in the top three position. There should be more people in positions of power who love Indian classical music. Earlier on, there were more such people. That number has to increase. Media too has to do its bit to promote our music. Unfortunately, very little space is devoted to our music in the media. If youngsters are featured in the newspapers, it will inspire young talents to put in more hours of riyaaz.”
Dismissing views in circulation about how Indian classical music is patronised only by the elderly, he said, “There are thousands of young listeners that Kaushiki has. It is really wrong to say that only veterans listen to our music. I do a lot of workshops across the world. I am overwhelmed to see so many young faces there. If they put in all their efforts, they can change the world. Let’s not forget that only one person can become Rabindranath Tagore,” he added.
On being asked if he has any personal dreams now, he said, “I really don’t think about that. I just want to know my notes. I want to know my ‘madham’ and ‘gandhar’. Most importantly, I want to be happy.”

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