Champaran Satyagraha movement gets a musical touch
Champaran is a district in the state of Bihar wherein tens of thousands of landless serfs, indentured labourers and poor farmers were forced to grow indigo and similar cash crops by the British East India company.
On the occasion of 100 years of Champaran Satyagraha, the first Satyagraha movement initiated by Mohandas Gandhi, in the Champaran district of Bihar, Kalpana Patowary, a folk artist initiated a musical movement as she released a musical travelogue inspired by it.
Champaran is a district in the state of Bihar wherein tens of thousands of landless serfs, indentured labourers and poor farmers were forced to grow indigo and similar cash crops by the British East India company and subsequently, the British government in colonised India. This indigo was bought from them at a very low price to export to China as opium. That is when Raj Kumar Shukla, an indigo cultivator, persuaded Gandhi to go to Champaran and thus, the Satyagraha began.
Kalpana has dedicated this project to the land (Bihar) and the legend (Gandhi) so that the colloquial dialect of the region, Bhojpuri can be recognised as an Indian language. The musical also brings to the fore how Bhojpuri was the soul of Champaran Satyagraha and also the main tool used by Gandhiji to connect with people of Champaran hundred years ago. However,
However, unfortunately Bhojpuri is still not included in the 8th schedule of Indian constitution today and through this musical movement the artiste wants to request the State Government and Central Government to give a respectable place to Bhojpuri. By and large, it is her musical Satyagraha for inclusion of Bhojpuri in the 8th schedule of Indian constitution.
Talking about the musical travelogue Kalpana expresses, "Champaran Satayagarha was important not only for farmers who were exploited by Britishers. Actually, Champaran Satayaghara was the real freedom movement insisted by people in rural area like Champaran." She further goes on to express, "The Satyagraha connects with the rich Bhojpuri culture including the melody of Bhojpuri traditional Ramleela folktune through this project i have made and effort to make Bhojpuri as the language of intellectual literature world."
The screening saw a host of Union Minsters and Parliamentarians who attended the event to show solidarity. Present were, Parsottambhai Rupala Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Ramdas Athawale, Minister of Social & justice and Women Empowerment and Krishna Raj, Minister for Child and woman. Neelam Sonkar, Member of Parliament under whose patronage the event was initiated expressed, "Kalpana's musical contribution towards Champaran Satyagraha is laudable. Despite belonging to Assam she has spent the past 16 years in musically trying to revive Bhojpuri languages which is also the language of the people of Champaran. No one has taken such an initiative and I extend my heartfelt appreciation and support in her quest towards this musical expedition."
Interestingly, as the country celebrates the 100th year of the Champaran Satyagraha on April 14, Bollywood film Begum Jaan where Kalpana rendered her voice for 'O Re Kaharo', is all set for release on the same day.