Media should expose strength of classical music: Zakir Hussain

Media should expose strength of classical music: Zakir Hussain

"The tradition of our music is rich and is not restricted to a few individuals. Our music is enjoying incredible popularity at present. But this will go away if the next generation is not recognised," Zakir said.

He feels it is upto the media to not get caught with what's written on the marquee but also see the talent hidden behind it and provide visibility to musicians.
"Then they will realise the bench strength of Indian music," said Zakir.

The 58-year-old maestro believes that there are about 10 to 12 tabla players among his contemporaries who were as good as him if not better, but people hardly know about them.

"Some of them are even better. But only I am in the public eye," he said.
Zakir also cited the example of sitar maestro Pt Ravi Shankar who gained popularity at a young age but people did not realise that there are other good sitar players too.
He also lamented that the media had failed to highlight the fact that mridangam vidwan Umayalpuram K Sivaraman was the only musician to be conferred the second highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan, or that veteran sarangi player Ustad Sultan Khan was honoured with the Padma Bhushan.

"The media highlights only that what they want to. If they see behind the marquee, they would do Indian art and culture a great service," he added.

Talking about himself, Zakir said that even though he was the eldest son, his father legendary tabla player Ustad Alla Rakha, did not force him to continue with the tradition.
"He did not force me until the time I approached him and said I was ready. He waited for the spark to come from me to light the fire," said Zakir.
The musicican also said that he had to play and practice for 25 long years before being accepted as a top tabla player.

"Classical music is not a one-hit wonder. You have to prove yourself for 15 to 20 years to emerge as a genius. The young generation of tabla players are good and they have the makings but it is too early to say whether they will evolve into the geniuses of yesteryears. They have to prove themselves over a period of time," said Zakir.

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