Bengaluru striking a musical note for anti-corruption

As the chorus demanding for Jan Lokpal bill is rising, 40 musicians joined in with their musical notes in Bengaluru.

Far away from the booming crowds of Freedom Park, the protest for Jan Lokpal turned several notes melodious on Saturday, 20th August. An all-night concert was organised by Kumaresh, one half of the sibling violinist  duo, Ganesh-Kumaresh to express their support for Anna Hazare’s protest.

Over 40 musicians performed at the 106 year old Gayana Samaj on K R Road in Basavanagudi, one of the oldest cultural organisations in the country. The concert went on from 6 pm in the evening till the wee hours of the next morning. Over 100 people attended the concert.

Varijashree Venugopal, of ‘Antardhwani’, playing the flute during the group’s performance.Pic: Yogaraj Mudalgi

Among the artists who performed at the concert were acclaimed guitarist Amit Heri, veena maestra Jayanthi Kumaresh, singer M D Pallavi, the duo of violinist brothers Ganesh-Kumaresh and many others. It was a mix of Carnatic, Hindustani, vocal and instrumental performances at the concert. "During this struggle for Jan Lokpal , there is rising frustration and anger among people. We want to bring some harmony through music and also express our support to the movement for Jan Lokpal Bill. Music is an uncorrupted art form and is probably the best way to talk about anti-corruption," said Kumaresh.

Indian choir group ‘Antardhwani’ performing at the concert. Pic: Yogaraj Mudalgi

Even though it was past midnight when the violinist brothers took the stage, they enthralled the crowd with their jugalbandi. Accompanied by percussionists, the brothers played compositions in the Carnatic style with a hint of Western style. Kumaresh’s wife, Jayanthi Kumaresh, an accomplished veena exponent herself, performed compositions of Thyagaraj in the Panthavarali raga. Earlier in the night, a quartet of Amit Heri, M D Pallavi, Khanjira artist Amrit and drummer Karthi Mani  performed at the concert.

Heri and Pallavi look on as Karthik Mani (right) and Amrit (not in picture) indulge in a percussion duel. Pic: Yogaraj Mudalgi

Shridhar Murthy, 57, a General Manager in a public sector enterprise said he was there with his sister and her family because of their love for music. When asked about the Jan Lokpal movement, he said, that people have been driven to the wall because of rampant corruption in the government but people too were also at fault because they allowed it to creep in to their daily lives. "Hazare has struck a chord with the masses by pressing for Jan Lokpal. However, the Bill is not a panacea for corruption. Indian minds are fertile in the matters of corruption. We will always find ways to circumvent the law to make money" he said.

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