BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: Anirban Bhattacharya recited his translation Shob Mone Rakha Hobe of Aamir Azir’s poem Sab Yaad Rakha Jayega to rousing applause. And Sudiptaa Chakraborty’s Hindi recitation of young actor Avinash Dwivedi’s Chalo Ek Din Ke Liye Tum Hindu Ban Jaao also found equal appreciation from the audience. Around 30 artistes, singers, performers and poets came together in support of Citizen Speak India and voiced their concern during the maiden edition of ‘Chorus’ at Nazrul Mancha.
The evening was aptly summed up by Parambrata Chattopadhyay who said, “This was about making a statement and a political one. We have a political stand but it is not in favour or against a political party. It is a voice, unputdownable and robust that will keep rising whenever humanity is at stake.”
What followed next was a chorus with the classic medley of Ek He Chilo Raja and Halla Rajar Sena spontaneously weaved together on stage with Parambrata, Rupam Islam, Anupam Roy, Satadal, Anirban, Rwitobroto Mukherjee and Riddhi Sen. This was followed by all the performers coming together on stage, led by founder member of Citizen Speak India — Aparna Sen. Then the National Anthem was sung loud and clear in company of the 1,500 audience at Nazrul Mancha.
Earlier, the Ghawre Bairey Aaj director reminded about the birth hour of the association when 49 of them had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concern about the rise of violence and intolerance in the country.
“Our stand remains the same. We stand for humanity. We stand against intolerance, violence, jingoism and bigotry in any form or under any garb. We don’t believe in the philosophy of “with us” or “against us”. We have and will always raise our voice for preserving humanity and the show of solidarity from you all inspires and motivates us to continue,” said Aparna.
“We don’t want to be identified by race, colour or religion. We just want to be identified as Bharatbashi. And united we can fight off the rising evil of separatism,” said Rupam, who had penned Dogdoge Itihasher Ghaa after the Delhi riots.
Anupam’s song was his philosophy as he grooved: Jodi ora tomai chinte chai/ prosno kore bole tumi ke?/ Hashi mukhe jobab dio bhai/ sobar upore manush sotto/tahar upore nai.
Kaushik and Reshmi Sen’s recitation of Najma gave goosebumps. Equally enthralling was Riddhi-Surangana’s Kachei Karo Ekkhana Hath Dhoro. Fidler’s Greens suave rendition of Bella Ciao was matched by the pulsating performances by Iman who sang Ekdin Jara Merechilo or Bidipta and Satadal’s singing of Salil Choudhury’s Dheu Utche.
Rwitabrata’s letter to his grandmother and poems recited by Srijato, Srikanta Acharya or Ranjan’s Bengali version of Imagine captivated the audience unequivocally on an evening that talked of love and humanity.