Music Fair celebrates Bengal's cultural diversity: Mamata

Kolkata, Dec 4 (PTI) Music has its own language which crosses all barriers and connects people, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday while inaugurating the 'Bangla Sangeet Mela.' The annual music fair reflects the rich cultural mosaic of Bengal celebrating different genres of music - from folk music to modern songs, she said.

'Look at the turnout on stage, from legendary Sandhya Mukhopadhyay to Ustad Rashid Khan, Kaushiki Chakroborty, Ajoy Chakraborty. Everyone is present here,' Banerjee said.

'From Usha Uthup to Kumar Shanu and Abhijit Bhattacharya - everyone has come on the podium at today's inauguration. All these names have given a distinct cultural edge, a unique identity to Bengal and made us proud with their creativity,' the CM said.

She said 5,000 artistes will take part in cultural functions to be held across the city till December 12.

Indian pop icon Usha Uthup, singer-composer Jeet Gannguli, singers Abhijit Bhattacharya, Kumar Shanu were chosen for the 'Bisesh Sangeet Mahasamman' honour at the inaugural function.

Bisesh Sangeet Samman and Sangeet Samman awards were also given to several singers - both from present and earlier generations - on the occasion.

Sandhya Mukhopadhyay rendered 'Ganga stotro' (hymns) and a few lines of a film song when she was felicitated by the chief minister.

At a particular moment, Kaushiki Chakraborty started singing a thumri and was joined by Ustad Rashid Khan, Pt Ajoy Chakraborty and even Bollywood singer Abhijit to thunderous applause of the audience.

'I love you Kolkata,' Uthup crooned as the audience cheered.

'This is the power of music,' the CM commented.

The CM also inaugurated the 'Biswa Bangla Lok Sanskriti Utsab', to celebrate the folk music of the state, which will take place from December 5 to 8. PTI SUS NN NN