Tripura celebrates 101st birth anniversary of S.D. Burman


Agartala : A commemorative postage stamp on Sachin Dev Burman was brought out Monday, coinciding with the 101st birth anniversary of the legendary music maestro and scion of the Tripura royal family that was celebrated with much fanfare here.

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“To keep the maestro’s memory alive, the Tripura government, as part of the ongoing S.D. Burman centenary celebrations, has renamed the state’s music college here after him, and released a music cassette containing 20 of his best songs in Bengali and Kokborok (the state’s official tribal language),” said Anil Sarkar, Tripura’s information and cultural affairs minister.

The state government has said that besides preserving and promoting his music, it would also support research on the maestro.

“He is very much alive within us … in our mind and soul through his music,” Sarkar said.

The minister had on behalf of the Tripura government recently led an official delegation to Mumbai to felicitate Meera Dev Burman, the music composer’s 84-year-old ailing widow.

The 101st birth anniversary was observed with a daylong programme, which included an exhibition depicting the life and work of Burman, grandson of Tripura’s 180th erstwhile king Ishan Chandra Manikya.

On the occasion, the Sachin Dev Burman Memorial Award was presented to well-known singer Sadagar Debbarma, who has composed over 400 songs and played a pivotal role in popularising traditional tribal songs and culture.

Born in Comilla’s Chortha village, 85 km south of Dhaka (now in Bangladesh), on Oct 1, 1906, Burman was a noted Bollywood music composer and an all-time great Bengali singer and composer. His son Rahul Dev Burman also made it big in Bollywood as a music director.

S.D. Burman was born in the royal family of Tripura and began his training in classical music under his father Nabadwipchandra Dev Burman.

“S.D. Burman’s mother Nirupama Devi, who was a princess of the Manipuri royal family, also played a key role by giving inspiration, encouragement and assistance to make him famous,” the minister stated.

“The death of his father in 1930 upset him. He left the Tripura palace and went to Kolkata and took shelter in a small rented accommodation and thus began his struggle for existence,” said Pannalal Roy, a senior official and editor of a commemorative book on the maestro.

“It still remains a mystery as to why the great singer turned his back on Tripura despite being a scion of the royal family,” said Roy.

Roy said that after his father’s death, the then Tripura king Maharaja Birbikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur offered Burman the post of education minister, but he preferred to remain in the world of music.

Sarkar said: “The Tripura government, following a recent resolution of the state legislative assembly, has urged the centre to request the Bangladesh government to take steps for conservation of S.D. Burman’s ancestral residences in Comilla.”

According to him, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has come forward to declare Burman’s north Kolkata house a ‘heritage building’.