Ever heard of a rock concert especially for inmates? In what may well rank as India’s first ever rock concert for prison inmates, Raghu Dixit Project rocked Bangalore Central Jail on November 11th with their upbeat songs.
Raghu Dixit Project, considered one of the country’s finest rock bands had a one hour concert for around 4500 inmates of Bangalore Central Jail, between 11.30 and 1PM. The jail is located at Parappana Agrahara, Hosa Road, Bengaluru.
“This is to celebrate life,” says Dixit adding “No matter what you have done in the past there is always a second chance”. And of course such delightful concert of Raghu Dixit happened on his 35th birthday.
Dixit sang both Hindi and Kannada songs. He sang some of his famous songs such as Hey Bhagwan, Mysore se aiye, Khidki and so on. This is the first time Dixit has performed on his birthday otherwise he says he usually forgets his birthday. “Now that I’m married my wife reminds me of it (his birthday)”, he jestingly says.
Vividly thrilled with the unusual melodious atmosphere of a prison some of the inmates danced in joy during the concert. At one moment the guards had to intervene as most of them who were sitting in the front row started dancing.
A go-ahead was taken from the Assistant Director General of Police Bipin Gopalkrishna, says M S Prasad, co-founder of Prakruthi, an NGO which works towards reviving of culture, literature, art music etc. Dixit and his team worked in collaboration with Prakruthi for this particular event. “People with good hearts are available in the police department as well”, he quips. Chief Superintendent of Bangalore Central Jail, M C Vishwanathaiah gave permissions. “They (prisoners) said they enjoyed a lot”, says Vishwanathaiah.
“It was the best concert I have ever had in my life,” says Raghu Dixit. He adds playing for a crowd who would otherwise not get to see his concert is what makes it the best concert.
This concert had no sponsors. Dixit and his team in collaboration with Prakruthi came up with the idea a few weeks back.
“It all happened on the spur of the moment,” Dixit adds. He fished money out of his pocket for the concert, and says he is not done with the account. “I know approximately it must have cost me some Rs 1.2 to 1.5 lakhs”. But he seems to have no complaints.
As Prasad, co-founder of Prakruthi says, “We wanted something which will forever be instilled in people’s mind”, adding, “What more special day than Raghu’s birthday”. “I cannot think of a better way of celebrating my birthday,” agrees Dixit.
Prasad says that Prakruthi’s focus is to organise events for social causes at a deeper level. “Music brings sanity”, he adds.
For his part Dixit says that he believes live concert can make one stop thinking or worrying about something at least for that moment. “I think I have managed to do that for the inmates”, he adds. ⊕
In December 2007, I remember salsa classes having been arranged for the inmates of the Bangalore Central Jail. Nice to know that the prison authorities are taking such initiatives.
Sarda, thanks for reporting this wonderful gesture. Although this may be India’s first rock concert in a jail, ‘Ghazal’ Srinivas is famous for his musical performances for prisoners in Hyderabad and other cities/towns in Andhra Pradesh.
Nice to know Raghu Dixit celebrated his birthday in such a wonderful way. Good spirit showcased for the sake of creating happiness in others! Happy birthday RD!