Bastar Band is a musical ensemble engaged for the salvage and spread of Chhattisgarhi performing art forms and music since about a decade. Bastar Band took a formal shape nearly 10 years back and was registered as a society in the year 2011. This group is working under extremely adverse contemporary scenario of this region, an area which is receiving bullets allover, and is wounded with the violence which has made the general life conditions extremely miserably. Bastar Band is doing a challenging work in this area by forming the music ensemble in association with the tribal artists from various parts of the area. This music group named Bastar Band is spreading the message of love, peace, and brotherhood among the people.
The founder of the group Anup Ranjan says, I have myself seen Bastar turning in an extremely turmoiled area from a heaven, which became a turning point in my life. The deterioration of peace and erosion in the performing art traditions incited him to work for their salvage and this catalyzed for the formation of Bastar Band. The Bastar Band has artists from among the Muria, Dandami Maria, Dhurwa, Bhatra, Dorla, Munda and Halba tribes of Bastar. it also has artists from Mahra, Ganda, Mirgan, Ahir communities of Bastar. In the performances, the Bastar Band recites nearly more than 30 styles of tunes in accompaniment of 45 types of their traditional musical instruments, and present a couple of tribal traditional dances also. To organize this band Anup traveled to all the corners of the area in adverse situation and convinced the artists about the aims of the band. He says that the credit really goes to all the members of the band who believed him and joined the group in extremely difficult and violence ridden conditions also, so that the show must go on. And thus the Bastar Band is disseminating the rich performing art traditions through out the country, and simultaneously making effort for salvage, creating awareness and sense of pride among their traditional bearers, and showcasing the real Bastar. The group has so far given nearly 50 presentations through out the country. The objective of the Bastar Band is Banduk chhodo-Dhol pakdo, which means throw guns and hold drums, because gun destroys where as drum expands the life. The Bastar Band members says that risk is there in any work, so if risk is related to a good cause like using music for social therapy the risk must be accepted, and the group has done. The presentation of Bastar Band has been widely acclaimed through out the country. It is given performance in all the corners of the country as well among the dignitaries including Hon’ble President of India, Hon’ble Governor, Chief Minister and Several Ministers and officers of Chhattisgarh and some other states. It has also participated in renowned cultural festivals in various part of India.
Bastar Band is a music therapy to the wounded people of Bastar area and an effort worth appreciation and commendable recognition for showcasing the hitherto not known or less known musical treasure of the beautiful cultural landscape, Bastar.