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LAHORE: The Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts (SIPA), in collaboration with the Indian National Theatre, Chandigarh, is holding a three-day Sanjan Nagar Sangeet Sammelan (festival) featuring renowned South Asian classical instrumentalists and vocalists from India.

Vocalists Pundit Vidyadhar Vyas and Smt. Piu Sarkhel enthralled the audience with their performances while Rakae Rehman Jamil played Surbahar before a select gathering at the institute’s lawns on Saturday.

The festival started on Friday with the performances by vocalist Vinita Gupta and flute player Debopriya. Local vocalist Iram Tauqir had also performed. Vocalist Dr Kalyani Deshmukh is set to perform on Sunday (today) morning while Noor Zehra Kazim will play Sagar Veena.

Speaking to the media on Saturday, Indian National Theatre, Chandigarh, President Navjeevan Khosla said the promotion of music could serve as a binding force between the peoples of Pakistan and India.

He said that he had come into contact with SIPA founder Raza Kazmi that led to the holding of first Sanjan Nagar Sangeet Sammelan.

Mr Khosla, who had a masters degree in English from the Government College, Lahore, in 1943, said the festival would also strengthen people-to-people relations in Pakistan and India.

Stating that the 10-member delegation had eight performers, he said the audience had appreciated the classical music well, adding that classical music was popular in India but it had seemingly shrunk in Pakistan.

Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas, a senior vocalist of Paluskar Tradition of Gwalior Gharana, said he was overwhelmed by the warm hospitality and respect shown by the Lahorites.

Stating that music in India and Pakistan was same, he said Bollywood was completely a commercial venture to entertain people and earn money.

Pandit Vyas, who has served as principal of Rajasthan Government Music College, Jaipur; head of Mumbai University’s music department; and Vice-Chancellor of Bhatkhande Music Institute University, Lucknow, stressed that music should be taught in colleges and universities and modern technology be used to train the younger lot.

Answering a question about the performance of local performers at the festival, Pandit Vyas, who is the President-Trustee of the Vyas Academy of Indian Music, Dadar, Mumbai, said Iram Tauqir had a wonderful voice and needed to be imparted quality training.

Tabla player Avirbhav Verma said the Tabla art was amplifying in India as it served as heartbeat in any composition.