KL Saigal Memorial Awards

Khayyam Late BR Chopra to be awarded

A report by BB Nagpal

Late Kundan Lal Saigal

New Delhi, 17 June: There can perhaps be no greater tribute to the silvery voice of India’s actor-singer Kundan Lal Saigal than the ovation that was given to artistes who rendered some lines from his songs by an audience that pre-dominantly comprised those born decades after his demise in 1947 at a media meet here.   

While eminent Rudra Veena Maestro Ustad Asad Ali Khan; former bureaucrat R P Sinha who is a Musicologist, Composer, Singer, and Lyricist; and renowned vocalist Imran Khan paid their tributes by rendering some lines from selected lyrics, senior                                  talented Kathak danseuse Uma Sharma, filmmaker Sandeep Marwah, eminent broadcaster Sharad Dutt, and social worker Ruchi Roy eulogised Saigal’s contribution to the evolution of film music.

The newly instituted “K.L. Saigal Awards” apart from the Savitri awards were also announced by Dr Anita Srivastava, President of the Savitri Vikas Samiti which is organising its fourth Annual Grand Musical Event “Saaz Aur Aawaz – K L Saigal Night” and Award Ceremony on 20th June 2009 at Sirifort Auditorium, Khel Gaon, New Delhi.

The K L Saigal “Shikhar” Award for Life Time Achievement will be presented to renowned music maestro Khayyam, tragedy king Dilip Kumar, and posthumously to the late epoch-making filmmaker B R Chopra. The K L Saigal “Smriti” Award for Established Artistes will go to singers Sudesh Bhosle and Agam Kumar Nigam, and music directors Shankar Mahadevan and Monty Sharma. The K L Saigal “Pratibha” Award for Young Star will go to singer Akriti Kakkar.

The Savitri Ratna Award for Life Time Achievement is going to freedom fighter Shashi Bhushan Bajpai; World Renowned Rudra Veena Maestro Ustad Asad Ali Khan, and author Jeevan Prakash Joshi. The Savitri Alankar Award for Excellence in respective fields will go to United News of India General Manager Arun K  Bhandari; author and broadcaster Sharad Dutt; Chief Editor of Pearls News Network S K Tripathi; and senior journalist and founder editor of Lok Sabha Television B B Nagpal. The Savitri Samman Award is going to retired bureaucrat Gopal Dixit; Kathak dancer Uma Sharma; author Uma Vasudev and Musicologist, Composer, Singer, and lyricist R P Sinha. The Savitri Shree award for creative work will be presented to senior film Producer and Distributor Raj Chopra, and Director of Film Festivals (Government of India) S M Khan. The Savitri Prakash award has gone to Sangam Kala Group International President V S K Sood, and World Famous Violinist Ustad Johar Ali Khan.

Mr Marwah announced that maestro Khayyam will also release “Amitabh - A Personality” in English and Hindi on the life of the megastar Amitabh Bachchan by 26 year old Siddharth Srivastava who met the star 21 years earlier when he was only five years old in Sirsa town of Allahabad district. The book chronicles the events in the life of the icon in chronological order with the help of photographs to make the book interestingly purposeful.

Mr Marwah noted that Saigal in a life-span of just 42 years acted in 38 films and rendered around 200 memorable songs. Ms Uma Sharma said she would be rendering five songs by Saigal – to be sung by Imran Khan – in Kathak. Ustad Ali Khan said the end of the Saigal era started the progressive surrender to western and pop music where melody did not matter. Mr Dutt said the singer was known for his honesty and commitment.   

While all the actors and actresses who appeared in the main leads had to sing their own songs till the advent of background singing, none rose to the eminence and popularity of Saigal and he is remembered today as the golden voice of his era.

The musical evening will be in keeping with the Savitri Vikas Samiti’s tradition of propagating Universal Love and Peace through music. The Samiti has in the past dedicated this annual event to great music artistes such as Ustad Baray Fateh Ali Khan (classical singer of Patiala Gharana from Pakistan), Ustad Asad Amanat Ali Khan (Classical singer and actor from Pakistan), Ustad Gohar Ali Khan (Famous violinist) and Bharat Ratna Shehnai Legend Ustad Bismillah Khan.

The event, which will include a musical tribute by eminent artistes, will be graced among others by music maestro Khayyam and Monty Sharma, artistes Dilip Kumar and Saira Bano, filmmakers Dr. Jagmohan Mundhra and Ravi Chopra, singers Sudesh Bhosle, Udit Narayan, Aditya Narayan, Agam Kumar Nigam, and Akriti Kakkar, filmmaker and educationist Sandeep Marwah, veteran broadcaster Sharad Dutt, and eminent distributor Raj Chopra.

Those paying tributes through their art will include eminent Rudra Veena Maestro Ustad Asad Ali Khan, Kathak danseuse Uma Sharma, and three eminent singers who have emulated the style of Saigal: R P Sinha who is a retired bureaucrat and Musicologist, Composer, Singer, and Lyricist; Mr. Bhupendra Singh, and Ajit Singh.

A Non-Profit, Non-Commercial Organization, “Savitri Vikas Samiti” aims to promote Education, different forms of Arts and Culture, and Music and other fields with an objective of over-all social and aesthetic development of the society. 

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