Prabha Atre raises concern over movie ‘Bhai: Vyakti ki Valli’

Manasi Saraf Joshi
Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Pune: Raising serious concerns over the depiction of classical singer and Padma Vibhushan Gaanhira late Hirabai Badodekar in the Marathi movie ‘Bhai: Vyakti ki Valli’,  renowned classical singer Prabha Atre has written an open letter to media houses putting up the real facts. 

Pune: Raising serious concerns over the depiction of classical singer and Padma Vibhushan Gaanhira late Hirabai Badodekar in the Marathi movie ‘Bhai: Vyakti ki Valli’,  renowned classical singer Prabha Atre has written an open letter to media houses putting up the real facts. 

In the 10-page letter, Atre has said that the writer, director and producer of the movie should have contacted the family members of Badodekar, Marathi writer, director, music composer Pu La Deshpande, classical singer/actor Padmabhushan Pt Kumar Gandhrav, Bharat Ratna Pt Bhimsen Joshi and classical veteran and winner of Sahitya Natak Akedami Pt Vasantrao Deshpande before presenting anything on the screen. As the scene in the movie involving these artists is giving a wrong message in the society, least to mention that defacing all these stalwarts of the Indian classical music.  Atre has called this movie an act of distortion of the facts. 

In the letter, she said, “As a person belonging to the great cultural heritage of India, I am deeply aggrieved by the way my guru Vidushi Hirabai Badodekar has been portrayed in the movie ‘Bhai: Vyakti ki Valli’. Hirabai, a saintly figure in the field of Indian classical music brought dignity and respect to the Indian classical music scene in particular (especially female artists) and cultural scene in general. It deeply pains me to see Hirabai ji’s character been assassinated in this movie.”

“I was extremely pained when all of them calls Hirabai by her name. Actually, she was a mother figure, a ‘guru’ to all these renowned classical singers. Even today, no artists call the elder and veteran artist by their singular name,” she said. 

“Hirabai was the lady of strength who gave status to classical singing when no woman had permission to sing a song. At that time, she held a concert and took the women classical singing to a new height. This was a social reform in the society at that time. She was the person who was also invited to sing ‘Vande Mataram’, at Red Fort in Delhi in 1947 when India got freedom,” Atre further said. 

“She was also the part of the official delegation that visited China and East African countries in 1953. Her house was like a temple where these veterans would come and discuss music. Instead of that, the movie has depicted a very wrong picture showing that this was the place where they would indulge in drinking,” added Atre.

“Although, the film is not a documentary, yet it should have instead focused on how common people can do extraordinary things and make a name. The movie has given a wrong message and thus the artists, producers, directors, Censor Board members and the State Government should take a serious note of this,” Atre said.

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