Jalandhar, Feb.27 : Jalandhar is not only known for its sports equipment, leather and rubber goods, auto parts, but also as a major centre for the manufacture of traditional musical instruments.
Be it the charismatic tinkle of the Tumbi or the rhythmic beat of the Tabla, or the melodious harmonium, all are produced competently in Jalandhar.
Immediately after the Partition of India, most manufacturers of musical instruments were shifted to Jalandhar's Railway Road and Phagwara Gate from Gujaranwala (now in Pakistan). About a dozen families that stayed back in India, have sustained the musical industry in Jalandhar.
"Many of these musical instruments were played by Sikh Gurus. Though in comparison with foreign instruments, these Indian instruments are not that advanced, they carry a distinct melody," claimed Abbas, a musical instrument manufacturer.
Jalandhar is regarded as the country's second largest musical instrument manufacturing centre. Kolkata is the largest.
About 95 per cent of harmoniums used in North India are manufactured in Jalandhar.
Popular music houses like the Calcutta Music House and the Gujranwala Music House export musical instruments to Canada, the U.K and the US.
The local demand for musical instruments too is huge.
"Business is good. Our clientele include many holy men and musicians and well-known singers besides Non-Resident Indians. In comparison to India, the music culture is growing rapidly in the West where music schools have come up in large numbers," claimed Tejvinder Singh, musical instrument' manufacturer and wholesaler.
Non-resident Indians prefer to buy traditional musical instruments from Jalandhar. Music lovers like US-based Maninder Singh say they are drawn to the quality of traditional musical instruments mad at reasonable prices in Jalandhar.
"I believe that children learn anything that you teach them. If you enlighten them about Indian culture, they will absorb it. Otherwise, they would adopt Western lifestyle. Teach them their culture, for it is good for them," said Singh who lives in England. NRIs also buy these instruments as gifts for their relatives and friends.
"I am buying these instruments for my nephews, who are settled in Canada. Their hobby is music. In Sikhism, music is a tradition. It is flourishing now and we are proud of it," said Harbans Bajwa, a Non-Resident Indian from Canada. By Paramjit Singh