This year, we celebrated his 75th birth anniversary on February 8, wife, Chitra Singh still has battles with the Indian music industry against those who are exploiting his legacy.
Her voice is feeble with age, but there is no mistaking the anguish that lurks behind it and pains all the fans of late Jagjit Singh, the man whose voice added music to millions of hearts. But not one to give up so easily, Chitra Singh is ready to battle all those who want to usurp and exploit his name.
The singer, who has rendered many timeless songs herself in various languages, can’t control her emotions as she reveals: “I’m appalled that people started exploiting Jagjit Singh after his death and the exploitation has grown manifold with each passing day.
The most pathetic part is that they are paying homage to my husband and charging people for the same. There’s an advertisement doing rounds in Mumbai these days for a forthcoming event that says ‘First time in the history, Jagjit Singh live.’ Now what can be more callous than that!
There are several other events where homages to Jagjit are ticketed events. As his wife, I’m the sole and legal owner of all his musical rights and people have to take my permission before using Jagjit as a brand, but they couldn’t care less. They are cheating me of the royalty”
Celebs don’t take my call
Ask her about all those bigwigs from the film industry who claimed to be her husband’s friends; surely they can lend her a helping hand in in this fight? To this, Chitra replies: “Oh, most of them don’t even take my calls. They have no time for me. Yes, they listen to Jagjit in their fancy cars, la-di-dah homes and at their parties, but they have no time to preserve his legacy or for me. But, I will fight it out and won’t give up till my last breath.”
Every year I wait eagerly
It is not just Bollywood celebs, who have disappointed Chitra. She says: “It is a myth that Jagjit merely made ghazal popular the world over; he immortalised all the forms of light classical music, including thumri and bhajan without making it too difficult to understand. He has sung so many songs in all the languages, including Bengali, which are his gift to the world. But it is really sad that India has ignored Jagjit Singh! He truly deserves a Bharat Ratna. He was conferred with a Padma Bhushan in 2003 by the Vajpayee government. Since then, I wait with bated breath every year, but there is no award given to him.”
WATCH: Jagjit Singh Jukebox – Best of Jagjit Singh ghazals
Source: Interview with Vinita Chaturvedi | TNN