While the state government might be basking in the glory of hosting the world famous conductor, Zubin Mehta next week, the Kashmiri Sufiana singers are feeling ‘disheartened’ and ‘discouraged’ by the lack of patronage from the authorities here.
The singers say that even if government is ready to shell out crores of rupees for hosting the German based classical music maestro, the future of their family and career is bleak in the wake of being ‘persistently neglected’ over the years.
Notably, Zubin Mehta will perform in the ‘Ehsaas-e-Kashmir’ concert on September 7 at Shalimar garden here. The state government is busy in the preparations for the mega event, which is being organized by the German embassy in collaboration with the State and Central government.
“Been in the profession of singing for the last many years, I don’t know what orchestra is all about!” admits noted Sufiana singer, Gulzar Ahmad Ganie to CNS while adding: “How can the people of Kashmir understand what is totally alien to their musical tastes.”
He added that the central and state government including Doordarshan, Radio Kashmir and Cultural academy has totally forget the contribution of Sufiana singers towards the preservation and promotion of one of the greatest assets of culture in Kashmir.
“Now, I have heard that some Mehta from Germany is coming to perform here and what he is going to perform is somebody told me is called orchestra.
“It only suits the interests of J&K government to ignore its own singers and spend lavishly on someone who is unknown to the audience here,” added Ganie.
While criticizing Doordarshan for ‘demoralizing’ the Kashmiri singers, Ganie said, “Recently we approached one of the higher officials at Doordarshan for providing coverage to a performance we had organized in memory of great Sufiana singer Abdul Rahim Bhat.”
But to our amazement, Ganie added that not only did the official denied the coverage but also used his means to scuttle any chances of highlighting Rahim Bhat’s contribution for Sufiana singing in Kashmir.
Noted singer Abdul Rashid Hafiz told CNS that state government has kept the local singers on the beck of its call— depending upon the concerts and programmes every year.
“The state government including Doordarshan, Radio Kashmir and Cultural academy have kept us confined to limits. If an influential minister or business person has to be impressed we are called in for our services, otherwise nobody cares how we make our both ends meet,” said Hafiz.
Feeling disjointed from their profession owing to the uncaring attitude of government, versatile Sufiana singers Mohammad Yousuf Charari and Abdul Gaffar Kanihami said that Zubin Mehta is only coming to Kashmir to add to the apathy they have been subjected to in Kashmir.
“Kashmiri culture is already dying a slow death and the way steps are being taken for its preservation by the authorities here it seems that it would be no more on the list very soon,” the reputed singers said.
The duo criticized the Central as well as the state government for spending millions of rupees on Zubin Mehta’s show and letting the Kashmiri Sufiana singers to strive hard for sustaining of their family and careers.
“The authorities should have approached us and we would have apprised them about the deplorable condition of the families of some of the greatest Sufiana singers in Kashmir.
“We would also show them that how we are fighting it out for persevering Sufaina Mosiki and running our family affairs on meager sums,” added Kanihami and Charari.