Baul Utsab Kolkata
The Baul Utsab held at EZCC with the aid of West Bengal Backward Classes Welfare Department (under Government of West Bengal) was a three day musical affair. Workshops and great folk music featured in the three day event. Bauls from Nadia, Murshidabad, Bankura and Birbhum featured in this Baul Utsab.
Some of the highlighting issues which came up in the course of the workshops include the rise of the women Bauls in the state. They have adopted the name Baulani (female Bauls). The rise of the female Bauls is an interesting event and this was discussed fervently at the workshop. The women just accompanied the bauls but now they have taken this very seriously, which is of much importance.
The Baul Utsab also highlighted on the lesser known Bauls and provided them with a platform to showcase their skills. Not all Bauls have received such platform and with this initiative, the lesser known Bauls will be provided with a platform to harness their skills. Some of the Bauls who performed at this Baul Utsab include Chote Gholam, Khaibor Fakir, Robi Das Baul, Manik Das Baul, Devdas Baul, Minati Mohanty, Bedana Karigar, Bharati Sarkar, Tapan Das, Mohan Tati and many more.
The workshop also brought forth the variations of Baul fakiri music from one district to the other in Bengal. Despite being from the so-called backward classes, the musicians and their music are all of great taste. Their music enriched the audience about the rich heritage and culture of the region.
Baul Utsab proved to be a great platform for the Baul singers and helped in promoting their music. Noble initiatives of this kind are most welcome in the future days too.