The city of Gwalior and ITM Universe – a symbiosis

“...the city boasts of a large number of educational institutions and ITM Universe is perhaps the largest among them. The sprawling campus invariably impresses any visitor. But to me more impressive is the fact that while this institution endeavors to impart world class education, it has also spent equal amount of effort, attention and care to preserve, propagate and advance further the rich musical traditions of Gwalior heritage.

I happened to attend three of the musical feasts that the institution organizes every year and briefest I can say the whole experience was ‘sheer bliss’. The NAAD amphitheater surrounded by small hillocks, designed and set among the natural surroundings and fitted with high quality light and sound equipments, perhaps is the right place for any competent musician to perform and exhibit his talent. During the festivals that I attended from 2007 till 2010. I got, each time in three days the best of the Indian music that I could dream of. What it did not contain? The best of the singers Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar, Pandit Ajay Pohankar, Pandit Chhannu Lal Mishra, Girija Devi, Ustaad Rashid Khan, Pt. Rajan & Sajan Mishra to name few. The best of the instrumentalists Ronu Mujumdar, Pandit D K Datar, Ustad Sultan Khan, Ustad Shujat Hussain Khan, Niladri Kumar, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma & Kala Ramnath where could I get all of them at one place, against no expenses and with all the facilities. The scene when it is dark all around open sky above, green around and the illuminated dias sends you back on the time machine 100 years or more. It really feels that you are back to the ancient times when music and life were synonymous.

This made me have a glimpse into the wisdom, foresight and concern of the people behind this institution. It is not sufficient to train in science, engineering, management and the like, to make a complete human being that very essential input of art, culture, heritage is so much necessary. I wish other educational institutions could copy it...” (write Dr. Arvind Dubey a music lover of Gwalior).

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