Home Anniversary Music Maestro Master Chander’s 116th Birthday Celebrated in Hirdaram Nagar, Madhya Pradesh

Music Maestro Master Chander’s 116th Birthday Celebrated in Hirdaram Nagar, Madhya Pradesh

Music Maestro Master Chander’s 116th Birthday Celebrated in Hirdaram Nagar, Madhya Pradesh

Sindhu, a social, cultural and literary organization of Sindhi community, organized a poetry recital session and musical concert

Sindh Courier Correspondent  
Hirdaram Nagar

Sindhu, a social, cultural and literary organization of Sindhi community of Hirdaram Nagar (Bairagarh), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh state organized a poetry recital session and musical concert on Friday December 15 to commemorate the 116th birthday of Master Chander, the Music Maestro, who was born on December 7, 1907 in Sindh.

HirdaramNagar-Bhopal- Sindh-Courier-1Sindhu organization used to celebrate the birthday of Master Chander every year since its inception in 1989.

The commemorative program was held in collaboration with Sanskar Public School at Nirmal Nursery located in its premises at 6pm on December 15, 2023 in Hirdaram Nagar.

Eminent poets Ballu Choithani, Dev Arjwani and Kanayo Shivani recited the poetry while renowned singers Dileep Lalwani, Naresh Gidwani and Nari Lachhwani enthralled the audience by singing the popular songs of Master Chander, Parsram Zia and Khubchand Pagal Premi.

HirdaramNagar-Bhopal- Sindh-Courier-2Ms. Darupadi Chandnani, known for sharing hot seat with legendary actor Amitabh Bachan in famous TV show ‘Kon Banega Krorpati’, beautifully conducted the program.

Life Sketch of Master Chander

Master Chander, a Legend of Sindhi Music, who was the first to sing songs of love in Sindhi Language, was born in Tharushah, a small but historic town of district Naushehro Feroze (Formerly part of Nawabshah district) on December 7, 1907. His songs were recorded by HMV records. There must be thousands of songs sung by Master Chander, but hardly 400 songs’ information is available. He could very easily form the lyrics of the songs and perform in no time. That is one of the reasons, they were not officially recorded and are unavailable.

Master-Chander-SahibMaster Chander had a passion for music from his childhood. Born in a Zamindar family, where singing was considered a ‘taboo’. Master Chander faced great odds in acquiring rightful place in the field of music in Sindh. He was not only the most popular singer of HMV, but also a legendary figure, who brought new singing wave in Sindh. His renderings kept the audience spellbound for hours. One of his rendering ‘Rutha Ee Rahan, Par Hujen Hayati’ (Let them live long even when they are not on good terms) was most popular. He had the knack of keeping his audience, spell bound for hours.

HirdaramNagar-Bhopal- Sindh-Courier-3Master Chander was indeed an only child born to his parents – Mr. Assandas and Mrs. Rami Bai Damwani. He changed his surname to Damwani as his Great Grandfather was Zamindar Damo Mal Matai. Master Chander was the seventh generation of the family.

As a child, Master Chander was very fond of music, however, since music was looked down upon in those days, he studied music secretly. But, he was encouraged to study music by his uncle, who also bought him his first harmonium from Calcutta.

One day, Bhagat Kanwar Ram, a great singer of Sindh, saw Master Chander perform and predicted that he would become a great singer in the future. He said that Chander will shine like the moon. It’s said when Master Chander performed the people would shower money, gold and other valuables on stage.

Master Chander, recorded his first song “Sunhina Arza Ahe” in 1932. This song became a phenomenon on the radio. It was a mix of classical music and a style of his own, what now we can categorize as an early rendition of rap. After his first hit, there was no looking back. His career spanned over 50 years.

Like many famous singers of today, who venture into movies, so did Master Chander in the late 1930s. He worked in films including “Dilaram” and “Maut Ka Toofan”, in which he played the hero. He was also cast for “Achoot Kanya” with Devika Rani but was later replaced by Ashok Kumar. Sadly, prior to production of this movie, two of his five sons passed away within months. He was needed at home and thus ended the movie career but Master Chander recorded seven songs for “Achoot Kanya”.

Master Chander was not only a singer and actor but also a poet and music director.

Master Chander was more famous among the younger generations of that time and his fan following and musical hits reached the heights.

One of the most endearing songs of Master Chander was “Nandri Nandri Ahiyan”- a story of an eight-year old girl, her servant, Pirla and a thief. It was sung in a story telling style. The song was recognized by Prime Minister Jawaherlal Nehru in the early 1950s.

Beside his own poetry, Chander sang songs written by the great poet Parsram Zia. Master Chander’s music was copied by the music directors of Bollywood. Master Chander was the only singer in the entire history of HMV music who was paid 7% of royalties. Others were paid 5%.

In 1947, during the partition of India, Master Chander and the majority of Sindhis were forced to leave their homes and properties in Sindh. He narrowly escaped his own death during those tumultuous days, having sent his family- his pregnant wife, Heti, mother, three sons and three daughters, as well as extended family members ahead in a ship to Bombay, India. Seeing the plight of his people and missing his homeland, he began to write and sing songs for building confidence of the displaced Sindhis in India. Some of the notable songs during this period were “Mitha Abana” from Sindhi movie Abana, “Kismat Kai Judai” and “Hoshiyar Sindhi”.

After the partition, living in Bombay with his growing family, he continued to record music and sing in films. He also trained his sons Gope and Mahesh Chander. Gope Chander, lives in New York and is a well-known singer. Mahesh Chander is also a famous singer, known as the “Man with the Velvet Voice.” He is a music director, who has won many awards, including being recognized for composing the poetry of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

In 1955, Master Chander was given the rare opportunity to give a concert in Sindh, and he did so along with his son Gope Chander. There they were warmly welcomed by the people of Sindh. After his return to India, he never visited Sindh again, but gave concerts all over the world during the 1960s and early 1970s.

On 3rd November, 1984, Master Chander passed away leaving behind a lifetime of music, songs and his family to become ‘The Legend of Sindh’.

In the mid-1990s, in honor of Master Chander, his family created the Master Chander Sangeet Academy in New York, USA and Bombay, India. Every year in either December or January, a concert in the memory of Master Chander is held in New York, Bombay, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmadabad and Ulhasnagar.

The music continues with Master Chander’s sons- Gope Chander and Mahesh Chander, grandchildren- Arti Raj Chander, Harish Chander and Anil Chander. The music will forever continue with future generations from his family and beyond.

Apart from being great singer, musician & poet, Master Chander was also great author who wrote these books during his lifetime.

Detailed Life story of his Guru Kaka Jeevatram Matai “Sacho Sufi Athav Sufi Darvesh”

“Ishwar Ain Jeev Jeev Jey Lagape taraf Rooh Rihan”

Chaar Changa, Chaar Mada

Shah Sahib

“Sangeet ain Maan” where Master Chander has detailed his journey of Music.

“Hika Mulakat” where he has detailed his meeting

“Sindhi Lok Sangeet” – He has touched upon various facets of Raga and Singing

Deepchand – Koel Jee Kahani (Screenplay) – Available in the form of Audio Cassette and CDs.

“Anja Ta Aita Maan Nandiri Ahiyan” – Story about small intelligent girl

In 1964, he also performed in a Sindhi movie Jhulelal.


Life Sketch Courtesy: Sindhi Wiki


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