Posts filed under ‘Jitendra Haripal’
SAMBALPUR: Jitendra Haripal, the voice behind ‘Rangabati’, had never hoped for a Padma Award. A Dalit with no formal training in music who took to singing out of passion, he hopes the recognition might help him change his financial condition.
It was ‘Rangabati’, which took him to the zenith of popularity in the mid-70s. The song was recorded by All India Radio, Sambalpur in 1975-76 for Surmalika special programme and re-recorded (Disc) later on in Indian Record Company (INERCO), Kolkata in 1978-79. So far, he has sung in over 1,000 Koshali and Sambalpuri songs.
Even today, his voice continues to create euphoria among crowd whenever he sings at functions.
His first song recorded and broadcast was ‘Bhalu Palala Patarake’ followed by ‘Hai Kustan Hai Kustan’, ‘Mandal Bajila’, ‘Lenjera Ghanti Delana’ and many more such songs but it was ‘Ranagabati’ which made him popular.
However, his struggle for existence continues till date with one of his son, Paras driving an auto rickshaw to support their big family while he had lost another son, Pratap, who worked as a daily wager and fell to death at a construction site. Haripal has been bestowed with many awards including the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2001, Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) by Utkal University of Culture, Bhubaneswar, in 2015 for his unparalleled contribution to folk music.
Haripal got the news of his being chosen for Padma Shri Award from this paper while returning to Sambalpur from Panchmahalla in Ulunda block of Sonepur district.
BHUBANESWAR: Three eminent personalities from Odisha have been chosen for this year’s prestigious Padma Shri awards for their contribution to the fields of cinema, performing arts and music. Actor-director Sadhu Meher, Odissi dancer Aruna Mohanty and singer of the popular Sambalpuri song ‘Rangabati’, Jitendra Haripal, have been selected to receive the Padma Shri Awards-2017. Odisha-born, Dr Mukut Minz, now based in Chandigarh, has also been selected for Padma Shri.
Although a delayed move, the veteran Sadhu Meher is happy that he has been chosen for the award. “I am delighted that my contribution to both Hindi and Odia cinemas has been recognised,” said Meher, who has acted in 38 Odia films and directed five __ ‘Abhimana’, ‘Aparichita’, ‘Abhilash’, ‘Gopa Re Badhhuchhi Kala Kanhei’ and ‘Babula’.
The 77-year-old artiste has also directed a Hindi film, ‘Yeh Jaan Meri Hai’. In fact, Meher began his acting career with Hindi films like ‘Bhuvan Shome’, ‘Ankur’ and ‘Mrigaya’ and then moved on to do Odia films.
He, however, is unhappy with the present set of actors in Ollywood. “There are two kinds of actors. Someone who loves to act and one who likes to see himself on the screen. Today’s actors in Odia film industry belong to the second category. They just wear make-up and fancy clothes to appear on screen but have no dedication to learn the nuances of acting,” he said.
For Aruna Mohanty, the award is a recognition of her contribution towards propagating Odissi across the country and abroad. “I am extremely happy that the country has recognised my efforts towards promoting and propagating this ancient dance form,” said the dancer, who dedicated the award to Guru Gangadhar Pradhan.
Talking to ‘Express,’ Haripal said he owed his success to his wife Mallika. He said the award will give a boost to folk song.
Dr Minz successfully undertook a kidney transplant surgery on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Minz is a native of Sundargarh district.
When Sambalpuri singer Jitendriya Haripal hit the stage recently at a festival dedicated to western Odisha’s music and dance, the 65-year-old was welcomed with huge rounds of applause by thousands of fans gathered at the venue to see him perform. The voice behind the cult song Rangabati rangabati kanakalata was as energetic as ever. Haripal spoke exclusively to The Telegraph about life, music, the reason behind his passion for the stage even at this age and more.
How did you feel performing in front of such a huge gathering of your fans in Bhubaneswar?
I keep coming to the city to perform for college functions and have always been touched by the overwhelming response of today’s young crowd. But at this festival, which was focused on the folk traditions in music and dance, it was stunning to see the huge gathering.
More than 30 years after it was first performed, what do you think makes your cult hit Rangabati so popular even today?
First of all, it was not just my song but also my co-singer Krishna Patel’s. I think it was the pure folk base of the music that has a strong effect on people. The energetic beats and the simple folk words used in the lyrics make it a perfect combination to keep up the popularity of the song even after 34 years.
|Haripal sings folk songs of western Odisha at the Rangabati festival in Bhubaneswar. Telegraph pictures|
From being sung all over the country to abroad, what do you think is the high point of Rangabati?
Every time the music is played at wedding processions anywhere in the country, people simply break into a dance and that is the magic of the song. But the best and most memorable thing for me that happened to the song was when the BBC London Radio broadcasted it.
Having sung over 1,000 songs and performed at almost as many stage events, is there anything you still wish to achieve?
Many felicitations and praises have come my way from listeners over the years. But honestly, I’m sad that mostly people remember me for just one song whereas I have composed many other varieties of songs including patriotic albums. The new Sambalpuri songs use crude and indecent expressions and the pure folk we used to create have taken a backseat. I want to keep folk music safe and promote it.
Your family is also into music. You must be a proud father.
My youngest son Prabhat is a well-known percussionist while his wife Minu is a popular singer. Their daughter Ghungroo seems more inclined towards folk dances. (Smiles) I lost my eldest son Paras in an accident though. But I am happy to have carried on the legacy of my father Mandhata Haripal who had trained many artistes.
You always wear a cap while performing. Tell us the secret of your cap.
(Laughs) It is my logo actually! To be honest, the reason I started wearing a cap was Rangabati. This song became so popular, we used to be invited on stage shows regularly but air-conditioned facilities hampered my health. So I started protecting my head from the cold wearing this cap! Now it protects my bald head! I do take it out while singing bhajans.
How was your experience being a brand ambassador for Western Samurai, Rourkela T-20 team for the Odisha Premier League?
It was memorable. While the ambassadors included film stars for almost all teams, I don’t know how I was chosen. But the response of the crowd was great wherever I went with the team. It was really a special experience.
-Reported by NAMITA PANDA for the Telegraph
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitating singer Jitendra Haripal in Bhubaneswar