Indian cinema’s prominent Ghazal singers like Pankaj Udhas, Talat Aziz, Bhupinder, Tauseef Akhtar, Suresh Wadekar etc. came together at a two day Khazana Ghazal Festival in Mumbai’s Taj Mahal hotel to review the fading Ghazal in Indian Cinema.
Lamenting at the decline of Ghazal in Indian cinema, Pankaj Udhas, who played a pivotal role in popularizing Ghazals in Bollywood with his famous Ghazal ‘Chithi Aayi Hai… said, “The tragedy is that music composers have moved away from their Indian roots hence the essence of Indianess and the soul of music has died.”
He added, “Even today Bollywood Ghazals of the 50’ and 60’s is popular among the listeners. As regards public mood, in the 80’s when Mahesh Bhatt sahab incorporated the Ghazal Chithi Aayi Hai…in the film NAAM, instead of a disco item song as was the trend then; distributers and filmmakers warned Mahesh that people won’t accept. But Mahesh Sahab went ahead boldly because he simply believed that people accept anything that is good, provided filmmakers dared to provide.”
Talat Aziz, who rose to fame with hit Ghazals like Zindagi jab bhi teri bazm mein… (UMRAO JAAN) and Phir chhidi raat baat Phoolon ki…( BAZAAR) feels. “Ghazals are surely losing essence, melody and philosophy. In Bollywood the rat race doesn't allow a form of art to flourish. In the 80’s after Jagjit and Chitra Singh's Ghazal in the movie SAATH-SAATH became hit, the trend started in a big way. But by the end of 80’s the new trend of Item numbers began.”
He added, “However if the electronic media makes an attempt to popularize Ghazal like Big FM has started Carvaan E Ghazal on Radio and if a TV reality show gives a platform to budding Ghazal singer than surely Ghazal can be revived.”
Eminent singer of bygone era Bhupinder who has sung hit Ghazals like Dil Dhoondta Hai … and Kisi Nazar Ko Tera Intezar Aaj Bhi Hai… looked optimistic about the future of Ghazal. He said, “Ghazals cannot die because youth loves them. During my Ghazal concerts I have noticed many youngsters attending and requesting Ghazals as vintage as of Mirza Galib and Mir!”