Sursingar, Karakattam & Mandolin


    In Context

    • In his Mann ki Baat address, the Prime Minister spoke of several musical instruments and folk artists who he hoped would “continue to inspire everyone at the grassroots towards making performing arts more popular”.


    • Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar: 
      • Sangeet Natak Akademi instituted “Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar” from the year 2006 to be awarded to artists who have shown / demonstrated conspicuous talent in the fields of music, dance and drama.
      • Young outstanding practitioners upto the age of 40 years are eligible and it  would not be given posthumously.
      • Yuva Puraskar will be given annually and the total number of Yuva Puraskar in a year shall not exceed 33.
    • Artists named by PM who were conferred with Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar: Joydeep Mukherjee for Sursingar.
      • Uppalpu Nagmani has been awarded for Carnatic Instrumental on the Mandolin.  
      • V Durga Devi ji has won this award for ‘Karakattam’, an ancient dance form. 
      • Sangram Singh Suhas Bhandare  has been awarded for Warkari Kirtan. 
      • Saikhom Surchandra Singh for mastery in making Meitei Pung Instrument. This instrument has connections with Manipur. 
      • Pooran Singh is a Divyang Artist, who popularized various Music Forms such as –  Rajula-Malushahi, Nyuli, Hudka Bol, Jagar. 
    • Sursingar:
      • Sursingar is a stringed instrument made of ivory and wood. This traditional instrument is found in various parts of North India. 
      • The strings of the instrument are usually four in number and made of brass or bronze, and are plucked with a metal pick.
      • The Sursingar (along with the Rudra Veena and the Surbahar) usually accompanies Dhrupad, the genre of Hindustani vocal music which has a low, deep, and thoughtful pitch.
      • With very few artisans now making the Sursingar, the instrument is rarely used in performances. Kolkata-based multi-instrumentalist Joydeep Mukherjee is credited with reviving the Sursingar.
      • Noted performers: Baba Allauddin Khan, Birendra Kishore Roy Choudhury, Shaukat Ali Khan and Radhika Mohan Maitra.

    • Karakattam:
      • Karakattam is an ancient folk dance of Tamil Nadu in which performers in colourful saris dance with a pot (karakam) on their head to invoke Mariamman, the goddess of rain.
      • Traditionally, this dance is categorized into two types: Aatta Karakam symbolizes joy and happiness. It is mainly performed as entertainment. Sakthi Karakam is performed only in temples as a spiritual offering.
      • It involves three tiers of flower arrangements of different colours sitting on top of a container filled to the brim with either water, rice, or soil. 
      • Other highlights include blowing fire, inserting needles into eyes, and keeping balance while holding a bottle parallel to the ground on the performer’s back.
      • V Durga Devi of Salem is a well known Karakattam dancer.

    • Mandolin:
      • The Prime Minister also mentioned the Mandolin, a stringed instrument, usually with eight strings that are plucked with a pick.
      • The Mandolin is a moderately sized instrument, smaller than the Veena, Sitar, or guitar, and was developed in Europe in the 18th century as an evolution of the older Mandora (Mandola).
      • The instrument’s modern form and proportions were strongly influenced by its maker Pasquale Vinaccia of Naples (1806-82).
      • The Mandolin has long been part of the Indian film music tradition, having been used by several great composers. 
      • Noted Performers: The greatest exponent of the Mandolin in Indian classical music was the late Uppalapu Srinivas, often known as ‘Mandolin’ Srinivas.
        • A great classical Mandolin player before him was Sajjad Hussain; and Bollywood’s greatest was Kishore Desai who played the instrument for countless numbers. 
        • India’s best known Mandolinists today are Snehashish Mozumder, Pradipto Sengupta, and N S Prasad.

    Source: IE