Collective singing has been a cohesive force in all societies at moments of crisis or elation. Thus patriotic songs have played a pivotal role in India's struggle for freedom. The patriotic songs composed by Brahmos and non-Brahmos in Bengal by Rabindra Nath Tagore were able to strike a chord in the common people and inspire them to join in the freedom movement in large numbers. These songs are still sung at various functions in educational and other institutes, keeping alive the memory of the struggle for freedom.
The monograph comprises patriotic songs of Bengal collected by Ms. Sreelekha Basu. She has done extensive fieldwork to identify the songs after search of archival records which lay untouched in several Brahmo Samaj Mandirs. An audio-documentation is also available in the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
Sreelekha Basu, born in 1929, hails from Sridharpur in Jessore, now in Bangladesh. She belongs to a devout Brahmo family. She has a master's degree in Mathematics from Calcutta University and has specialised in Mathematical and Professional Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute and Asian Institute of the ESCAP. She joined the Indian Statistical Service in 1968 and also served the United Nations for a number of years in various country assignments.
Apart from her profession, her interest in music and arts, especially Brohmo Sangita and Rabindra Sangeet, led her to take up the research for the pilot project on Bengali Patriotic Songs and Bramho Samaj.
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