Nagpur based singer Niranjan Bobde participated in the TV reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Marathi in 2004 and won the competition. He participated again in 2007 and reached till the finals. His stint in the show made him popular in Nagpur and he continues to be so as a live performer. Niranjan loves retro music and is known in Nagpur for doing theme shows which are often tribute to great musicians like R D Burman, A R Rehman, etc. He has performed in almost all metro cities of India and has also performed in Thailand and Singapore. In an interview with Nation Next, Niranjan Bobde speaks about his life as a performer, the music scenario in Nagpur and his future plans.
Were you always inclined towards music? How did music become your passion?
My family has always been into music and is known for its contribution to music in Nagpur. My maternal grandfather Chandrashekhar Warhadpande has written lyrics for quite a few devotional songs which have been sung by renowned singers like Sonu Nigam. My father ? Raghunath Bobde is also into music and so is my paternal uncle. So, I have grown up in a musical atmosphere. I have learnt music from my father. When I was four years old, I sung on the stage for a competition and won. I have been singing since then!
You’re a computer engineer and even taught to engineering students. When and how did get into music full time?
After I got my engineering degree from St. Vincent Pallotti College of Engineering and Technology, I started teaching in the same college and taught engineering students for four years. I was already a bit popular as I had participated in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Marathi and was also doing live musical shows. In 2008, I started my music academy Swartarang? as well. Teaching music and engineering at the same time was hectic and so in 2012, I left my job and got into music full time.
When did you think of starting your music academy? Tell us something about your academy.
Ever since Sa Re Ga Ma Pa happened, people would ask me to share my skills and my experiences with upcoming artists. Keeping that in mind, I started taking music classes initially from my home. After I got a great response, I took a commercial place and launched a full-fledged academy – Swartarang Music academy – in 2008. At Swartarang, along with vocal training, students can also learn different musical instruments. The academy also provides training in several classical dance forms. My wife is a trained Kathak dancer and she teaches at the academy as well. Some of my students have made it to Indian Idol Junior in the past and it makes me proud as a guru. The academy also organises two-three musical shows in a year exclusively for students. The idea is to give them more exposure and a feel of the stage firsthand.
You have been performing since the age of four. How do you think Nagpur’s entertainment industry has evolved over the years
Twenty years back, there wasn’t much emphasis given to music in the city. In the last ten years, the entire musical landscape has changed. Every day there’s a musical program in the city somewhere. There’s a lot of awareness about music now and parents want their children to learn music. Schools these days emphasise on learning music as well. Music is something which gives you happiness and I think if it is imbibed in a child right from childhood, he will excel in his studies as well pretty good.
You are quite popular as a live performer. Do you plan to get into playback singing anytime soon? Who are your favourite musicians and why?
I love the music by Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant ? Pyarelal and Madan Mohan; their music is so full of life. Among the musicians of today, I love Ajay Atul and Rehman sirs music. I would love to work with them. I want to do playback singing for sure and by Gods grace I will do it someday. Live shows give you a lot of popularity and I’m enjoying the phase where I’m getting that popularity in Vidarbha. I happy with the love I’m getting and a playback singing chance will be like icing on the cake.
How do you see the music scenario in the city right now?
The music scenario in the city is in a wonderful phase right now. A couple of years back, I went to meet Pyarelal bhai at his residence. I told him that I want to do a show with him in Nagpur. He agreed and told me that he will bring his own musicians along with him. I told him that we don’t have that kind of budget and requested him to let me arrange the musicians for the show. He agreed and came to Nagpur after a gap of forty years! He came a day before because he wanted to see the city musicians practice. The show was splendid the following day and he praised all the musicians and told the audience that they are nowhere less than the musicians in Mumbai. There is abundance of talent in Nagpur. Nagpur musicians are keeping busy like never before; they have packed schedules as they keep performing all the time at some or the other place.
What are your expectations from the music industry in Nagpur?
I feel that if the Government gives some kind of support to give a boost to cultural activities in the city, it would be really great. There’s lack of sponsors in Nagpur. Two of the biggest ministers are from Nagpur, so I hope they do something for the city. Also, a bigger auditorium is the need of the hour in the city. Dr Vasantrao Deshpande hall is the biggest hall in the city but even that hall is not always available. Also, the rent which is charged for the hall is more than the rent charged in Mumbai or Pune.
How important do you think it is to be innovative and presentable when one is performing live?
If you want to survive in the long run, you have to be innovative. Secondly, you should be able to understand the mood of the audience if you’re performing live. If you’re able to do these two things, you will definitely survive. It is also very important to be presentable but your talent and skills play a much bigger role in your success. Being presentable is just an add on.
Rushikesh Lohit reigns as numero uno in Rapid Championship; Shaunak Badole tops Nagpur Blitz Championship
Rushikesh Lohit won the Nagpur District Rapid Championship while Shaunak Badole won the Nagpur District Blitz Chess Championship held at Vivekanand Hall, Shraddha House, Kingsway, Near Kasturchand Park in Nagpur.
The championship was organised by Chess Association Nagpur in association with Kalpana Prakash Welfare Foundation and G.H.Raisoni Sports and Cultural Foundation. Muktanand Pendsey finished second in the both Rapid and Blitz Championship. Rushikesh Lohit and Muktanand Pendsey will represent Nagpur in the Rapid Championship and Shaunak and Muktanand will represent Nagpur District in the Maharashtra State Blitz Championship.
Mangesh Kashikar, Secretary, Nagpur District Badminton Association and Vice President of Maharashtra Badminton Association was the Chief Guest who distributed the prizes. Bhushan Shriwas, Secretary, CAN and Kalpana Prakash Welfare Foundation, SS.Soman, Working President, CAN and Amrish Joshi, Chief Arbiter were present on the occasion.
The Top two finishers of Rapid and Blitz Championship were awarded Trophies whereas the players finishing from 3rd to 10th place were awarded Medals in both the championship. In addition to the main prizes, age group prizes were also distributed to top two finishers in each group.
The championship was conducted by Chief Arbiter Amrish Joshi assisted by SNA Swati Kumbhalkar, SNA Amit Tembhurne, Shyam Agrawal, Prayas Amabde and Prathamesh Machave.
Wine connoisseurs come together at Wine and Food Festival 2022 in Nagpur
Wine connoisseurs came together at Wine and Food Festival 2022 in Nagpur, which took place on December 3 and 4. This was the ninth edition. It was hosted by Nagpur Wine Club, and was held at Bhagwati Lawn. The festival was open to all, where people enjoyed wine tasting and lip-smacking food by The Breakfast Story, Nagpur. Nation Next brings you some exclusive photos from the event.
‘Maharashtra government responsive towards issues of traders,’ assures Eknath Shinde
At the outset Dr Dipen Agrawal, President of Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade (CAMIT) welcomed Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde with a floral bouquet in prominent presence of Krupal Tumane MP, Ramtek and submitted memorandums highlighting harassment of traders by Local Body Tax department across the state under the garb of LBT Assessment. He also appraised about the issue of Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) and he further brought to the notice of CM about the exorbitant hike in rent by Corporations & their coercive action on traders.
Dr Agrawal on behalf of traders of Maharashtra expressed his gratitude towards Eknath Shinde about Local Body Tax being abolished (LBT with effect from August 2015. Though LBT was abolished in 2015 but the ghost of LBT is haunting traders now and then, department in routine are passing ex-party (best judgement) orders raising inflated and fictitious tax demands and using them to justify continuance of LBT Department. Records from LBT Appellate Authority will evidence the correctness of this statement. He also informed that LBT Department in various Corporation indulged in issuing back dated assessment orders for previous financial years. He appealed to CM that the issue requires his urgent attention, intervention and directions for closure of LBT Department in all Municipal Corporations with immediate effect to ensure ease of doing business in the state and save traders from unnecessary harassment.
Eknath Shinde acknowledged that he is aware of the issue. He assured to discuss the issue in cabinet and ensure that the issue is addressed on priority basis.
Dr Dipen Agrawal informed CM, that since last few years Municipal Corporations across the state stopped renewing lease/license of property leased/licensed by them. In 2019 the state government came up with Maharashtra Municipal Corporations (Renewal of Lease or Transfer of Immovable Property) Rules, 2019. These Rules were strongly opposed by trade associations. However, after its implementation the litigation between the lessee/tenants and Corporations went to court added Dr Agrawal.
After great persuasion by the then LOP, you as minister for UDD agreed to the demand to put the notification dated 13/09/2019 in abeyance and review the exorbitant annual rent at 8% property value and fix the annual rent acceptable to all stakeholders.
After the issue was raised on the floor of the house, the State government stayed the operation of notification dated 13/09/2019 and constituted a committee of government officers to review and fix fresh rent. When we approached few members of the committee to submit our suggestions’ we learnt that the committee is of opinion that the notification in question does not apply to the Licensee holder.
Hence, in the background of above facts and circumstances Agrawal requested CM, to intervene and have the pending notification issued and fix the rent at 0.5% of Ready Reckoner value for residential & 1% for commercial lease holder Galedharaks . He further requested to notify similar rules and frame a single policy for the Licensee Galedharaks across the state and in cases where shop/otta is licensed by Corporation the annual rent be fixed at the rate of 2% of value as per ready reckoner and as the lease/license fee will be calculated on ready reckoner the clause of periodic increase dose not survive also the lease / license should be transferable and transfer fee to be charged equal to one month rent/fee for transfer within blood relation and equal to three months’ rent/fee for transfer outside blood relation and the agreed new lease rent/license fee to be made applicable prospectively and not retrospectively.
Eknath Shinde said that the issue is under active consideration and assured to look into the matter and discuss with Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
Dr. Dipen Agrawal further informed Eknath Shinde that the first notification declared 5 Km area touching outer limits of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) as Nagpur Metro Region issued in 1995 which was thereafter increased time to time to present limit of 25 Km from boundary of NMC. In 2010 Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) was entrusted with responsibility of Special Planning Authority for Nagpur Metro Region the limits. In 2012 NIT passed resolution for preparing development plan for Metro Region and published Draft Development Plan (2012-2032) calling objection and suggestions, in the year 2015. In 2017 Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) was established. In 2018 Final Development Plan (2012-2032) for Nagpur Metro Region was sanctioned and notified. NMRDA action is based on following three main reasons:-
1) Side margins are not as per 2012-2032 DCR; Dr. Agrawal highlighted that majority of units i.e., 59% were established before the 2012-NIT resolution and 85% were established before the first publication of 2015-Draft Development Plan (2012-2032), and pointed out that it is unjust on part of NMRDA to expect these units to maintain the margins prescribed in DCR (2012-32).
2) Building plan/ Non-agriculture use is not sanctioned by competent authority; Dr. Agrawal pointed out that under MRTP Act the power to change use of land is can be delegated to Thasildar and powers to authorise development to Gram Panchayat concerned. Invoking these powers Thasildar was approving and sanctioning NA Permissions and Gram Panchayat was sanctioning Building Plans. The units in good faith have taken these permissions from them and further submitted to other Government agencies.
3) Land earmarked for purpose other than industrial/commercial; MRTP Act provides for survey and preparing ‘existing-land-use’ map by Planning Authority after its declaration of intention of preparing a Development Plan. It is surprising to note that the area of many units established prior to declaration of intention of preparing Development Plan is not classified under industrial/commercial zone.
Dr. Dipen Agrawal humbly requested CM to grant an Amnesty Scheme for regularization wherein interest & penalty would be waived and also direct the authorities to notify that the MSME units established prior to 06/01/2018 (the date on which the DCR 2012-2032 for Nagpur Metropolitan Region was notified) should be saved from the provisions of the said DCR.
Eknath Shinde said that the government is sized with issue and assured to resolve the matter in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Dr. Dipen Agrawal, President-CAMIT on behalf of business community of the state expressed his gratitude towards Eknath Shinde, Chief Minister, Krupal Tumane, Member of Parliament, Ramtek for being sensitive towards the issues of trade & industry of the state.