The 100th-year celebration of Champaran Satyagraha Movement initiates with a musical travelogue. As we all know Mohandas Gandhi, our Father of the Nation, was the one to start this movement on 14 April 1917 in the Champaran district of Bihar. In fact, this was the first Satyagraha movement by Gandhiji. On this occasion, Kalpana Patowary, a Folk artist dedicates tribute via a musical movement. The inspiration for this musical travelogue comes from none other than Gandhiji.
If we go a little back to understand the background of Champaran Satyagraha movement, it goes like this. During the ruling of British East India Company and subsequently, the British Government in colonized India, ten of thousands of indentured laborers, poor farmers, and landless serfs were forced to grow indigo which is poppy/opium and similar cash crops. And it was happening in the Champaran district of Bihar. The purpose was quite clear. The British government would buy it from them at a very low price and then export it to China as opium. It was at the request of one of the indigo cultivator, Raj Kumar Shukla, that Gandhiji decided to go to Champaran and start Satyagraha.
Kalpana dedicates this project to the Land and the Legend. The land, she terms as Bihar, and the Legend as we all know is none other than the Gandhiji. And the main effort behind all this is to recognize Bhojpuri, the colloquial dialect of the region, as an Indian language. The musical also emphasizes how Bhojpuri had a deep connection with the Champaran Satyagraha. In fact, the dialect was the main tool that could connect Gandhiji with people ofChamparan hundred years ago. But due to whatever reasons, Bhojpuri is still not the part of the 8th schedule of Indian constitution till date. Hence, through this musical movement, she intends to request the State Government and Central Government to give a respectable place to Bhojpuri.
As a matter of fact, it is Kalpana’s musical Satyagraha for insertion of Bhojpuri in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution. In the same lines of Champaran Satyagraha. Regarding her musical travelogue, Kalpana says, “Champaran Satyagraha was important not only for farmers who were exploited by Britishers. Actually, Champaran Satyagraha was the real freedom movement insisted by people in the rural area like Champaran.” She further adds, “The Satyagraha connects with the rich Bhojpuri culture including the melody of Bhojpuri traditional Ramleela folk tune through this project I have made and effort to make Bhojpuri as the language of intellectual literature world.”
There was a host of Union Minsters and Parliamentarians present at the event to show solidarity. Like Parsottambhai Rupala Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Ramdas Athawale, Minister of Social & justice and Women Empowerment and Krishna Raj, Minister for Child and woman.
On the same notes, Neelam Sonkar, Member of Parliament and organizer of the celebration of 100 years of Champaran Satyagraha Movement applauds Kalpana. She says, “Kalpana’s musical contribution towards Champaran Satyagraha is laudable. Despite belonging to Assam she has spent the past 16 years in musically trying to revive the Bhojpuri language which is also the language of the people of Champaran. No one has taken such an initiative and I extend my heartfelt appreciation and support in her quest towards this musical expedition.