Shillong: The current ongoing session of the Meghalaya Assembly started with the singing of the indigenous version of national anthem. This formation of an indigenous national anthem took two months to prepare.
This version was not the general version of ‘Jana Gana Mana.’ The tunes of traditional Khasi and Garo instruments made it unique.
Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh was behind the notion of “indigenous singing” of the national anthem, who sensed a “local twist” would exhibit the country’s “true diversity.”
“India is a vast and diverse nation. So I thought doing a rendition of the anthem, retaining its original melody and lyrics sound, would help showcase the rich diversity of our nation. It will also present a platform to showcase talent from the tribal communities,” stated 54-year-old Lyngdoh, a passionate musician himself.
“All the legislators present in the House were astonished…but also very happy,” he stated, discoursing about the response of the anthem, which will further be played on September 17, which is the last day of the assembly session.
For this plan, Lyngdoh roped in Shillong-based artist Lamphang Simlih, who specializes in Khasi folk music. Simlih stated, “It was a great responsibility. So the principal thing I did was research all the laws and authorities associated to improvising the national anthem. I read the reports with the help of a friend in Delhi and discovered that several vocals and devices could be utilized as long as the song and the melody did not break.’
It took two months to prepare this song. The final display was made earlier this month. Besides Simlih, nine other musicians from the land and his troupe were a member of the plan.
Simlih stated that instruments from the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo tribes of Meghalaya were used, including ‘bom’ and ‘xing’ (Khasi percussion instruments), chigring (Garo stringed instruments) as well as guitar and Indian traditional tools like sitar and cymbal are involved.
Simlih, who also specializes in jazz and soul music, realized how special the project was when it was presented in assembly. He stated that they had maintained the authenticity of the national anthem and yet managed to reflect their traditional values through the new verison.