Mahabir Nayak, a distinguished folk singer and composer hailing from Jharkhand, has been honored with the esteemed Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Award, a recognition of his exceptional contributions to the realm of folk music. This prestigious accolade, announced on Friday, is bestowed upon artists who have left an indelible mark on India’s cultural heritage.
Nayak, a native of Gumla district, has earned acclaim for his virtuosity with the nagara, a traditional drum instrument, and his innovative fusion of tribal and classical musical styles. His repertoire extends across a multitude of languages, encompassing Nagpuri, Kurukh, Sadri, Hindi, and Sanskrit. He has graced national and international stages, performing at distinguished venues like the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, and the Festival of India in Russia.
Expressing his joy and gratitude upon receiving the award, which includes a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, a citation, and a shawl, Nayak humbly dedicated this honor to his guru, Pandit Ram Chandra Singh Deo. Deo, a luminary in his own right, imparted the intricacies of nagara playing and folk singing to Nayak. Additionally, Nayak extended heartfelt thanks to his family, friends, and fans for their unwavering support and encouragement throughout his journey.
Nayak’s aspirations extend beyond personal recognition. He envisions an ongoing musical voyage aimed at fostering an appreciation for Jharkhand’s rich and diverse folk culture. He firmly believes that folk music transcends mere entertainment, serving as a potent medium for societal transformation and harmony. In a heartfelt plea, Nayak urged the younger generation to embrace and safeguard these treasured folk art forms for generations to come.
Mahabir Nayak’s dedication to preserving the essence of folk music not only enriches India’s cultural tapestry but also serves as a beacon for artists committed to the preservation of traditional arts. His artistry and vision continue to resonate, inspiring both present and future generations to embrace and celebrate their cultural roots.