Nagitinna: To the nation with love | Sunday Observer

Nagitinna: To the nation with love

1 November, 2020

For all of us, music has been a healer in one way or another because music addresses each different sentiment that is kindled in our minds. Besides, music has the ability to creep into our minds and enrich our perception of anything in the world.

For someone whose entire existence is an intergral part of music, there’s always a way to speak to the instinctive spirit of society. He is one such advocate of our time who strives to sustain independence and autonomy within the country.


“Nagitinna is an idea that crossed my mind while listening to Bob Marley’s Get up-Stand up, One Love and also Michael Jackson’s Black or White and Earth songs said Darshana Ruwan Dissanayake reviewing his upcoming concert: Nagitinna. Darshana cherishes the vibration and energy that those songs deliver to the people because they made a huge impact not only on their own communities, but also on mass audiences across the world. “They never skipped addressing the grassroots”.

“We, as a third world country, have to have both the physical and mental spirits to rise from the ashes of colonisation and establish our own identity. But what we lack in our minds is exactly that enthusiasm”, he said. His voice deepened as he emphasised the need to rise. “What we have in our songs is, “we fail in love, love breaks us and we always set examples as to how we chase after love. Everything is negative. Even the works of veterans. Our history has many lessons to teach us, if only we would listen”, he says recalling the times of King Parakramabahu.

From 1948 till now, all kinds of songs and music came up but none of them have reached out to their audiences with the proper objective of feeding their minds with positivity and faith in our tribe. “We can say that veteran artist, Gunadasa Kapuge’s shows took the first step in serving such a lot of purpose”.

Aristocrats and slaves

“In 1948, after the end of a colonial era, what we have here are aristocrats and slaves. As Darshana says, regardless of whatever we admit, as a community, we are all slaves. Leaders who can uplift our country as a self-ruling nation have not emerged here. “But we had people with us who were capable of bringing the country to such a state. Martin Wickramasinghe and Mahagama Sekara are fine examples of that. But power was not distributed among those people. The reign of art too was in the hands of those who served the Indian subcontinent.

Today, the empowered clergy and the ruling party are the aristocrats and the elite-slave concept has been updated now. The difference now is that both the elite and the slave sit together, talk and walk together, dine together but still, the elite play their role and so does the slave”. “This has to be taught gently to our people. That’s the major purpose of this show”, he said hopefully. Darshana has picked the word Nagitinna to approach the grassroots level communities from all 25 districts. The concert would be anchored by Darshana himself closely communing with the audience.

He is very mindful about the simplicity of the language. The more he succeeds in using language which is simple and anyone can understand, the more the objective of the concert would be fulfilled, he believes. “We have to nurture their souls, cheer them up and awaken them”.

The entire show will be with melodies and compositions by Darshana Ruwan Dissanayake including 80 percent of the lyrics of 18 songs. “Most of the lyricists out there, when called upon to write under these topics pepping up patriotism, don’t approach such enlightenment. The reason is, most of them are used to chase after negativity and downfall, especially more than 80 percent of the songs in Sri Lanka depict the fact that “women are unfaithful and losing the girl or the woman in relationships”. He believes that the theme “infidelity of women” was brought to light by Ediriweera Sarathchandra through Maname and thereupon, we started having “Brahmanical and clerical” sentiments from India in our art.

Own art and identity

He said, if we are to think as a sovereign nation, our own class of art with our own identity should emerge, nothing but our own thinking should start governing us. “We can live without India, we have paddy fields, tanks and dams, our flora, yet we think that we can live only by depending on this subcontinent”. According to him, we can use classical and folk arts to convey our messages to society. Like Bob Marley picked Reggae, Darshana has picked folk music.

To fascinate the audience by vocals, Darshana has opted for amateur artists and a few veteran artists; Thusith Symson, Veranjana Dunuwila, Hasari Bulathsinhala, Adithya Waliwaththa,Indusara Pathirana, Ravi Royster, Roony, Dumal Warnakulasuriya and Dharshana himself.

“I thought of taking this journey with a bunch of people who have a good consciousness of the environment, people and the surroundings”.

Nagitinna, will be a discussion of betrayal and devolution with regard to the decision of King, Kotte Buwanekabhahu.

Winding up our conversation, Darshana added that Nagitinna is not organised for any political purpose or to strike anyone. The only aim is to educate and enlighten the public. Anusha Gokula assists this project by conducting workshops and Anuruddha Padeniya also assists the cause by the provision of health reports prior to the show.