ANINDITA ACHARYA, Kolkata: Sarod maestro Debojyoti Bose, who is one of the torchbearers of the Senia Bangash gharana, is the latest musician from Kolkata to join Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.
Wait, for the surprise. Debojyoti, who is fondly known as Tony in the Kolkata musical fraternity, has decided to give up on music and join politics as a full-timer. Yes, you read that right.
A disciple of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Debojyoti joined TMC on Monday when Mamata announced his name at Netaji Indoor Stadium where the party’s latest campaign ‘Banglar Gorbo Mamata’ was launched. However, Debojyoti hasn’t informed Ustadji about this decision of giving up music after the political plunge till now. “I cannot tell Guruji about this. He will not be happy to hear that I have decided to leave the music world and join politics as a whole-timer. I remember during my birthday in 2018, he was so happy and we celebrated together,” said the sarod virtuoso, who had composed music for Bengali film Jogajog (directed by Sekhar Das).
Of course, there have been musicians like Nachiketa, Indranil Sen, Kabir Suman and Babul Supriyo who have joined politics. However, besides politics, they have also maintained their singing career too. So, what made Debojyoti to take such a drastic decision of giving up on his well-built career? Let’s not forget, he is the fourth generation musician in the Bose family. His brother Pandit Kumar Bose belongs to the Benaras gharana style of tabla. After a momentary pause, he said, “I have been a member of Rajya Sangeet Academy since 2012. I have been associated with Didi since 2012. I might not be officially associated with the party, but I have been going for a lot of their programmes since 2012. And let me tell you this with a heavy heart. Classical musicians are self-obsessed. Also, how many classical musicians are really practising and preaching ‘pure’ classical music. Everybody is trying to make the audience happy. If I need to keep both the professions — politics and music — then it would be difficult. Practising classical music takes 4-5 hours of daily reyaaz. In that case, I would not have done justice to any of the either professions. Therefore, I had taken the decision to give up music and take up politics as a full-timer,” said Debojyoti, who had composed music for 40 serials, 15 telefilms and five feature films.
However, there are some students whom he would continue to teach. And on April 26, he would probably do his last musical show in Bengaluru with Haimanti Shukla. The West Bengal chief minister is also aware of his plans. Now, given that the CM herself is such a connoisseur of music, didn’t she oppose to the idea of him giving up his first love — sarod? “I explained to her my position and how I do not want to juggle both professions,” he said.
And how did his family react to him joining politics giving he has such a musical lineage, especially his brother Kumar Bose? “Well, they took it casually. I have been associated with social work for a long time so they knew it was coming,” he said.
Thankfully, more than brickbats, the sarod maestro has received compliments for his bold decision from his contemporaries. “I could have hold on to my music profession and made my political career too. But I let go my hard-earned musical career to associate myself with politics. So, most of my contemporaries are praising my honesty. I am the first classical musician who left music world and joined political party as a whole-timer,” he signed off.