Bridging cultural nostalgia in adopted homeland
Dimapur, August 16
IN NAGALAND we have recently seen the establishment of several Music Academy’s and Schools of Music and Orchestra giving the youth an opportunity to hone their talents.
But a quiet pre cursor of this vision is the Dimapur Music College which was established in 1978 under the leadership of Lila Thadani with the help of Arothi Rai and Anjali Rai. Space has been no bar for this co ed college in its endeavour to teach several different Indian classical dance forms and music. It is perhaps one of its kind in the state and reflects the multi cultural ethos of Dimapur often touted as the gateway to Nagaland and its commercial nerve centre.
More than just being a centre of learning of the arts the Dimapur Music College, is an intrinsic part of the social life for communities who have adopted Nagaland as their home but feel the need to remain connected with their traditional forms of art.
Enthusiastic parents can be seen daily waiting patiently outside the music college for their children to complete their dance or music lessons at the end of a school day.
Several thousand children have walked through the doors of this venture in the last 35 years. Presently, the college has 450 students from different corners of the country and there is no bar on age limit. You can see students as old as 50 years and as young as four years taking lessons.
Nagas generally have scant regard or little interest in other cultures other than their own but this could be changing.
Three Naga children are now enrolled to learn the Indian classical music .
The college has deliberately kept the fees at minimal costs to make its facilities affordable for all strata of society. Sarmistha Mukherjee, Principal in-charge of Dimapur Music College says, “We charge less fees because we want everyone, both rich and poor, to learn as there should not be any class distinction to learn our Indian culture.”
The admission fee is Rs. 280 and monthly fees are a minimum of Rs. 80 and a maximum of Rs. 150 in a month. The college is affiliated to Bhatkanti Shankar Vidyapeeth, Lucknow and Sarbabharatiya Sangeet ‘O’ Sanskriti Parishad, Kolkata.
The college recently received a shot in the arm with one of its studners 13 year old Samarpita Dey receiving the runners up title in the “little champs North-East” contest in Guwahati. There is something to be learnt in the dedicated and undeterred journey of this institute despite the many odds, and in its belief to share the beauty of the great Indian classical art forms.