A sea of crowd converged outside Parthasarathi Panigrahi’s residence in Bhimtangi area here on Sunday. It was here that his father Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi’s mortal remains were kept for his followers and admirers to pay their last respects. They all jostled to have the last glimpse of the maestro who breathed his last marking the end of an era. Amidst them were many known faces as well as unknown ones.
Governor SC Jamir and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were among those who condoled the death of the soft-spoken and ever smiling veteran singer and composer.
Jamir paid tribute saying Pandit Panigrahi embodied all that is best in Odia culture. “The essence of his greatness was that he, despite all his awards and achievements, remained humble, caring and willing to learn more,” he said.
Panditji’s demise was a real loss to the world of the classical music, Naveen said. “All of us are deeply distressed by the demise of Pandit Panigrahi. He will be deeply missed,” the CM said.
Music director Shantanu Mohapatra who was associated with Pandit Panigrahi and his wife Sanjukta Panigrahi for over three decades paid the ultimate tribute. “One can call Raghunath and Sanjukta as modern day Jayadev and Padmabati. Their dedication towards their art will remain unmatched,” he said. Mohapatra had compered several shows of the couple and travelled with them to several states.
Chitta Mohanty, a die-hard Raghunath Panigrahi fan, said Pandit Panigrahi went far beyond singing the classical 12th century text ‘Geeta Govind’ and excelled in every single genre that he tried - classical, Odissi, light, playback singing … you name it. Odissi danseuse Aruna Mohanty, who was closely associated with the Panigrahi family since her childhood days, said, “Panditji sacrificed a promising career in film music in Madras to team up with Sanju Nani who was then dreaming of launching a worldwide campaign to popularise Odissi as a classical dance form. And she never performed without him. Where will you see such a couple who had dedicated their lives to each other and their art.”
The maestro’s death was also condoled by Tourism & Culture Minister Maheswar Mohanty, Energy Minister Arun Sahoo and BJD leader Baijayant Panda.
Earlier in the morning, Home Secretary Bipin Saxena directed Puri Collector and SP to make proper arrangements for funeral of Pandit Panigrahi at Swargadwar.