By Ashish Kohli
If you have to destroy a civilization, you start with destroying its culture. Then, there are young and energetic artists who are working to preserve the Dogra culture with all their might and even more. Civilization, the advanced stage in Human evolution, has been structured and defined by Culture and the preservation of Dogra Culture is a burden carried by too few artists. This is precisely why a young Sars Bharti, who is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Music from Govt. Women’s College, needs to be talked about.
Sars Bharti, is the daughter of the renowned Dogri Artist, Romaloo Ram who is the innovator of the contemporary Dogri Art form ‘Geetru’. Coming from a family that has a rich cultural heritage Sars says, “Today’s world is affixed on mobiles and smart technologies in which the people are linked together in a virtual world with no real communication. The real culture for humans depends on languages, ideas, beliefs, customs, art, folk songs and dance.”
In Jammu and kashmir, if you search for artists, you will find that most of the artists belong to the mountainous belt and Sars is a part of the same legacy. Sars actually belongs to village Amroh of Ramnagar in Udhampur district. One may even say that it is a backward area. But just as when a bird takes flight and then it knows no bounds, Sars Bharti, at a very young age has made a name for herself in the state finding acknowledgement from all possible spheres. She has never allowed her origins to become a limitation. Instead, many people know of the village Amroh only because of her family.
Sars Bharti came in this profession of Dogri folk dance and singing along with her father, Romaloo Ram. Sars followed into her father’s footsteps at the tender age of ten and continues to do so today, a decade later in the various schools and colleges and of course at the national level.
Sars started performing Geetru on her own when she was in class 12. On the national stage she has performed in Himachal Pradesh and Odisha. In the annual cultural events organized by the state on Baisakhi, Lohri and Navratri, Sars has performed and enthralled the connoisseurs of the Dogri Art forms.
“This art is an ancestral gift to me from my forefathers and even today, I am learning the new techniques from my father. My dream is to perform Geetru wth my father on the International stage. I also wish that my father wins international acclaim for the preservation and innovation of Dogra culture”, she said.
As we drew to the closing point, Sars Bharti emphasized that the new generation in Jammu is forgetting the Dogra culture and expressed dismay on the same. She is working hard towards rejuvenating the Dogra folk forms for the coming generations with this act of Geetru but says that young Dogras need to connect to their roots for the preservation of our rich Dogra culture.
Her heart winning reply came in the last to this question.
Do you plan to join the Tinsel town?
S.B. Acting is in my blood, so if I get the chance to work in films, I will definitely work. But I will work only in Dogri films for the elevation of our culture.