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Why did Dhaki Gokul Chandra break patriarchy and trained women?

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The name of Dhaki Gokul Chandra Das is quite known to Bengal, not just because he is one of the finest dhakis of Bengal, but because he introduced women of villages to the World of Dhak! Despite being a rural man himself, he broke al shackles of patriarchy and started training women. Many of the women Dhakis of Bengal are today seen in different puja pandals across the state. 

But how did Gokul Chandra get the idea of training women? He was once attending a concert with Ustad Zakir Hussain in Los Angeles where he came across a lady musician demonstrating saxophone, clarinet, brass, trumpets to customers by playing them all by herself. If a lady in US can do so to earn why not our girls back in Bengal? That’s when the idea struck, to have an all-women dhaaki team from Bengal. He started with women from his own family and village. 

But it was not that easy for Gokul in those early days to make the girls play dhak in public. It was rather an uphill challenge to fight the social taboos and traditions prevailing in a small village of Maslandapur in North 24 Parganas. However today his all women dhaaki brigade has earned immense respect and reputation in the musical world and are seen in the Pujo circuit, performing regularly on popular TV shows, corporate events etc. Both his daughter and daughter-in law Uma and Sangeeta are also dhak players.

Image : Facebook GOKUL Chandra DHAKI