Ragini songs of Haryana

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Sat Singh | Ragini singers tweak form for instant fame | Oct 19 2017 : The Times of India (Delhi)


Ragini, a simple poem, originally had social, eco nomic, religious and cultural themes. These were sung before large audiences, often at chaupals, in villages. Earlier, noted Haryanvi singers Pandit Lakhmi Chand and Pandit Mange Ram attracted huge crowds. However, as with other forms and the exposure on social media, these got corrupted and became raunchy ­ `Suhag Raat'; `Jobanki Matki'; `Solid Body'; and `Tu Cheez Lajwab' give you a fair idea ­ and are now performed with a lot of jhatkas and thumkas.

A new crop of singers is fighting it out there for money and fame which is also measured in likes, comments and shares on YouTube.

These singers have mass following. So much so that one of them, Sapna Chaudhary , has been invited to participate in Season 11of TV reality show Bigg Boss, hosted by Salman Khan. Sapna had attempted suicide a year back because of alleged on line harassment following a police complaint against one of her songs. Monika Chaud hary , Nagori and Gauri are some other well-known faces in this genre.

Instant popularity and earnings ­ often just after up loading one video on You Tube -have turned many new-age Ragi ni performers into overnight sensa tions. Their songs have a huge following and children as young as eight or nine copy their idols and upload their phod videos online. tos and videos online.

No wonder, it's not all hunky-dory there. Harshita, for one, revealed herself as a traumatised soul in her online videos, making allegations against other singers and performers, complaining of jealousy and threats and hurdles being put in her way . In fact, she observed in one such video that they may get instant fame but they are not the real stars. “The real stars are sportspersons who win medals for the country and the soldiers on the borders,“ she says, warning her fellow-performers against developing an attitude.

The tragic life of Haryanvi singer Harshita Dahiya, who was shot dead after a stage show in Panipat in 2017, has put the world of Haryana's Ragini singers in the spotlight. Another singer, Beenu Chaudhary , had been killed in a similar manner in Haridwar in 2012.

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