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Musician rejected from ICCR upgradation by panel

February 19, 2009
Classical flautist, music composer for dance and arts administrator, GS Rajan rejected from ICCR panel.
The panel itself is constituted of eminent people.
Many artistes have written in support. Here are some comments from well known personalities from the field of performing arts towards his rejection of ICCR upgradation as a classical flautist.


Shovana Narayan (Kathak exponent):

Dear Rajan,
Your music has enchanted one and all. I have personally found it moving and sensitive. Appreciation by the people and rasikas are the truest of all awards and recognition.
Shovana Narayan

Ashish Mohan Khokar (Performing Arts Historian):

Dear Rajan bhai,
In Kaliyuga what else do you expect? Take heart that all good artists suffer in some way. This is ICCR's way of making you work harder and more creative because in their wisdom (or rather lack of it, mostly) they must have read somewhere (if they do read anything!) that creative people must suffer in order their art improves!

An artiste of your depth, calibre and range - a fine composer to boot - does not need any sarkari patronage or should not be limited by it. Amitabh Bachchan was rejected by the All India Radio in 1967 for his voice being too heavy! And Pt. Ravi Shankar was not given an A- Grade in 1957 until the Beatles touched him with their magic wand and made him world famous! Van Gogh died in penury and my own parents, pioneering dance figures, have not even got the most basic of Padma awards till date. Did that stop any one of them from being respected, loved, known for their art or worth? Only substandard, power and patronage seeking artistes need sarkari support to survive; we in rest of India work mostly without it.

What is questionable is inclusion of non-Carnatic specialist on such a selection panel, in your case. What does a quasi-bureaucrat know of raga-tala system and structure of Carnatic music, to sit on such a panel? Please file an RTI to question such a decision and also how these public institutions, run on tax payers' monies can take such arbitrary decisions?

Please write to Dr Karan Singh, MP, President of ICCR, so he knows how underlings of ICCR are sabotaging genuine art activity.

And finally, play your flute and carry on your divine music....
Ashish Mohan Khokar

The Dhananjayans (Bharatanatyam gurus):

My dear Rajan,
You have been recognized by all music loving connoisseurs as an excellent flautist and your music compositions have been enjoyed by both exclusive music lovers and classical Indian dancers, irrespective of any style or discipline.

You have been invited by organisations abroad and you have been travelling frequently abroad without ICCR help. So why do you worry? WE have been like that for all these years. The only ICCR fully sponsored tour was the India festival in USSR 1987. There were one or two partial sponsorship (just air ticket only) during our five decades of successful career.

So take it easy, keep doing your duty. All the best to you. We as accredited artistes, proclaim you as one of the best flautists.
V P & Shanta Dhananjayan

CV Chandrasekhar (Bharatanatyam guru and musician):

Dear Rajan,
The soft melody of your flute has always haunted me. I'm no one to comment on any committee's decision. But I'm sad about the decision. I can only say that I'm an artiste who has always loved listening to you again and again. Continue to love your chosen field of music.

Katharine and Kunhiraman (Bharatanatyam gurus, USA):

Dear Rajan,
Yes, you are a good musician! I like your music, and your cassette is in my car where I need it most. Somehow I don't see you kissing butt up in Delhi as much as one needs to for survival, and you must have faith in YOURSELF, and not wait for other bodies to underscore what you already should know.

Prabha Bala:

Dear Rajan,
I think you are a great flute player. Your music has a rare quality, sweetness in both the sound of your flute and the sensitivity of the music. For whatever value I bring as a rasika to the world of music and dance, I want to assert my strong endorsement of your artistry as a musician and flute player.

With deep regards,
Prabha Bala
Founder Member - Classical Arts Society of Houston

Sarathi Chatterjee (Hindustani vocalist):

Dear Rajan
I am not surprised with this news as Delhi is not a place for proper recognition of a quality musician. I think I am one of your old partner & friends & I still remember some of your beautiful compositions & flute performances. My submission is do you think a higher grade empanelled artist of ICCR gets concerts regularly or even occasionally? Does this give you any extra recognition in your field as composer or performer? I don't think so as thousands of empanelled quality musicians are there but they don't get even one concert tour. On the other side, lots of new artists are getting enough encouragement from ICCR.why?????????? You never know the actual reason.
I have no doubt about your honest & pure form of musicality. Why do you stop your music profession? Nothing can stop a genius...rather a genius can put lessons to anyone if he wishes to do that. My best wishes are always with you. You are made for music only continue with full energy...
Good luck

Indrani (Bharatanatyam exponent):

Rajan ji,
The sad yet soul filling music for the Madhurashtakam stirs my tender feelings for the lord as a performer and yet leaves me calm at the end of the dance. You are a wonderful composer and fabulous flute player. Please keep playing and there are many of us all over the world who will wait to listen to you and get inspired.

Sesh Bala (Music promoter):

Dear G S Rajan:
You are a great flute player. I enjoyed your flute very much during your visits to Houston, both at the formal performances where you were accompanying, and also at the rigorous practice sessions at home. One particular occasion I will remember for ever is your spontaneous solo session at night in our backyard in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, sitting facing the creek. It was so divine and so soothing, we hardly thought of what the Hurricane had done.

I am not familiar with the upgradation process you are referring to, but I do know you play for the love of music and you play with passion. I also know you will put any setbacks aside, just move on and continue to be the fine musician you are!

All the best to you,
Sesh Bala

Rama Vaidyanathan (Bharatanatyam dancer):

Dear Rajan
Your flute playing and music composition skills are absolutely extraordinary and I have known of several choreographers who have enhanced their productions with your music. I personally have experienced your deep sensitivity towards music and have also witnessed your total dedication and involvement in your profession. I have seen rasikas weep in ecstasy at your music. Do you need any other endorsement? !!

Sudhir Gandotra (classical art promoter):

Dear Rajan,
They are ignorant. Forgive them.
Keep going your way with your resolve, without bothering about their acknowledgement.
Like the fool who doesn't get the emotional points, these clerical-mentality people cannot understand the music, emotions etc. They just push files...
This is something that should not bother you.
We all love your work and your ability.

Menaka Bora (Sattriya exponent):

Dear Rajan
What had happened? Do share with me...but I strongly believe in your case. You are one of the finest Indian musicians and composers who is able to understand both the fine artistic and complex management of today's globalized music world.
All the best

Ram Rehman (Scholar/Photographer and son of Indrani Rahman):

Dear Rajan,
I know how you feel as an artist. Unfortunately institutions like the ICCR and the Akademis and the stamp they bestow can matter materially regarding touring and concerts etc. But you should also know that the recognition from fellow artists and the public is ultimately the most important. It may not fill your bank account or help you keep the home fires burning, but it fills the heart.

Do not be depressed by rejection of this sort. It does not count in the larger scheme of things!

Play on...
XX Ram

In addition Shobha Deepak Singh, Anita Ratnam, Shanta Sarbjeet Singh and many others have spoken to GS Rajan to extend their support.

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