Naveen Patnaik writes to Centre, seeking classical status for Odissi music

Says Odissi music has a distinctive rendition style based on codified grammar, the characteristic giti system of classical texts and has its own tala, different from Hindustani and Carnatic music

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Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Centre to accord classical status to Odissi music as it has at least 2,000-years old tradition and is based on Shastra having its own Raga. Patnaik in a letter to Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel on Friday said, “It (Odissi music) has a distinctive rendition style based on codified grammar, the characteristic giti system of classical texts and having its own tala, different from Hindustani and Carnatic music.”

“No doubt Odissi music has all the requisite and exclusive characteristics to be recognised as classical music,” the letter said.

Patnaik’s letter came a few days after the state’s Heritage Cabinet approved a proposal to move the Centre seeking classical tag for Odissi Music (vocal and instrumental). The chief minister in the letter said the Odisha government has already undertaken pioneering efforts to get classical status for Odissi music at an institutional level by establishing the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi with the purpose of promotion of music, dance and drama in the state.

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The state government had also established the Utkal University of Culture way back in 1999.

“Odissi music has made significant impact on Indian cultural scenario. Several Odishan playwrights, sculptors, painters and choreographers have earned national and international fame,” he said.

The chief minister said while Odissi dance has been recognised as one of the classical forms, Odissi music is yet to get the recognition as a classical form at the national level.

“I would, therefore, request you to kindly appreciate our heritage, the elegant and classical elements of Odissi music and confer classical status to Odissi music (vocal and instrumental) to fulfil the long cherished dream of music lovers of Odisha and that of India,” Patnaik said.

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