From its early days - Uttarpara was ahead of its neighboring areas in
social, educational and cultural activities. The Zamindars actively
encouraged and propagated educational and cultural activities. They
used to invite many eminent personalities to visit or stay in Uttarpara.
Madhusudan Dutta, who lived last few months of his life in Uttarpara
and Sri Autobindo, who delivered his famous Uttarpara speech - are just
two examples. After the Zamindari system was abolished - people of
Uttarpara carried forward this great cultural tradition.
Sangeet Chakra - carrying forward cultural tradition of Uttarpara
In the middle of twentieth century Calcutta was full of various classical
music conferences with artistes of All India fame. Music lovers of Uttarpara
of all ages, used to attend these functions. A few enthusiastic young men of
the locality felt an urge to hold such a function at Uttarpara. They sought
support and patronage from the senior music lovers of their locality and received
enthusiastic response. Thus was born Uttarpara Sangeet Chakra in 1956, with
an object to promote and propagate Indian classical music. Late Amarnath
Mukherjee, an ardent music lover and decendent of Babu Jaikrishna Mukherjee
was its first President and Sri Sasthidas Bannerjee one of the joint secretaries.
The first conference was held in January, 1957 at Uttarpara Jaikrishna Public
Library ground with notable all India artistes viz, Ostad Bade Goolam Ali
Khan, Ostad Ali Akbar Khan, Smt Sandhya Mukherjee, Smt Roshen Kumari,
Sri Nikhil Bannerjee and many others. Since then Sangeet Chakra starting from
a modest beginning has become one of the most reputed organization of the
state promoting and propagating Indian Classical Music. The conference is
being held every year in January, uninterrupted since 1957 and it held the
47th Annual Conference on 24th and 25th January 2003. In this connection the
help and patronage shown by Sri Nemai Charan Chatterjee and his family members
need special mention. Sri Chattarjee allowed his residence as its office for a
Sangeet Bhawan - Vanguard of Classical Music Movement in Bengal
Encouraged by the response of the people of Uttarpara and its surrounding localities
Sangeet Chakra embarked on another major project to propagate and promote classical
Hindustani music. In 1962 it established its music school "Sangeet Bhawan". The
school was inaugurated by late. Prof. Dr. Humayun Kabir, the then minister of
education, Govt. of India. Sri Chinmay Lahiri, the famous exponent and teacher
of classical music was its first principal. Today, the school is reckoned as one
of the finest places in Bengal for learning classical Hindustani music. It is
affiliated with Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyapeeth, Lucknow and Rabindra Bharati
University, Calcutta. It has at present 250 students in different streams,
viz Vocal, Instrumental and Dance.
In 1994, another, longstanding drive of Sangeet Chakra was fulfilled.
It shifted to its own building on the bank of river Hooghly at the heart
of the town. The building, still under construction, will fulfil demand
for more spaces from growing training department. A financial aid from
Ministry of Culture, Govt of India has helped greatly to achieve this
formidable task. Once completed, the building will facilitate not only
more training classes but also organization of seminars and workshops on
in various streams of classical music.
At present Sri Sasthidas Bannerjee is the President and Sri Indranath
Pal and Sri Alokesh Ganguly are the Joint Secretaries.