The divine appeal of Kirtan
Kirtan is the call-and-response chanting inspired and popularised by the great saint Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The roots of Kirtan go back over 500 years. During this period the influence and style of Kirtan became the focal point for the upsurge in religious expression in Bengal led by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
A musical programme featuring Kirtan was held in Kushtia last Sunday. The event also included a reception for renowned Kirtan artiste Nirmol Halder.
Dhrupadi, a music organisation of Kushtia, arranged the programme at Tagore Lodge, the ancestral homestead of Rabindranath Tagore.
Nirmol Halder, president of Bangladesh Sangkirtan Society, inaugurated the programme as chief guest.
Advocate Subrato Chakrabarty, president of Dhrupadi, chaired the inaugural programme. Among others, Dr. Arbind Saha, Associate Professor of Accounting, Islamic university, Kushtia; classical singer and general secretary of Bangladesh Sangkirtan Society, Uttam Chakrabarty; artist Shankar Bagchi and Dhrupadi general secretary Mir Jahid, spoke on the occasion.
Nirmol Halder was born in 1943 at Gournadi in Barisal. He is one of the oldest Kirtan singers in the country. He had his music lessons in Kolkata. Nirmol stayed with Satya Narayan Community and Purbobanga Community in Kolkata for seven years. He came to Bangladesh in 1971 and formed Satyanarayan Community. He is still performing as a member (chief) of the community.
It should be mentioned that Nirmol Halder has played a significant role during the Liberation War. He encouraged freedom fighters at camps in India during the war in 1971.
In his speech, Halder urged the government to take initiatives to open up a music school specialising in Kirtan, under the national Shilpakala Academy.