Works of great Indian musicians relevant in difficult times: PM

December 11th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that the works of the great Indian musicians and saints can help the country overcome impact of hatred and terror attacks.
Addressing a gathering at a function to launch the book ”MS and Radha”, Dr. Singh said that such works reflected the values of the Indian civilization.
“Our country has seen a lot of violence. It is in times like these that the great musicians, the great saints and the great ”rishis” of our country, their life and their work becomes truly relevant to take to the ordinary people,” said Singh.
The book has been co-authored by renowned exponent of Carnatic Music, M.S Subbulakshmi’’s daughter, Radha Vishwanathan and her grand niece Gowri Ramnarayan. Subbulakshmi was one of the first musicians to introduce carnatic (south Indian classical music) vocal music to western ears. Her concerts became instant successes with the New York Times describing her ensemble as ”a revelation to western ears”.
Not only the ordinary listeners but even the great music maestros said that listening to Subbulakshmi’’s music gave them peace of mind and has been an unforgettable experience.
“It was something which is very difficult for me to even express the whole ambience of that period that I spent in their house listening to music and listening to other great musicians. It has been a priceless experience in my life and about her greatness,” said Ravi Shankar, a sitar exponent.
One of India’’s most respected and renowned classical singer, recipient of the country’’s highest civilian honour, M.S Subbulakshmi was an acute diabetic and died in 2004 at the age of 88 of bronchopneumonia and cardiac irregularities.
The legend, known for her trademark forehead smeared by three rows of vermilion, sandal powder and ash, grew up in a family of musicians and cut her first disc when just ten years of age.
Her debut as formal classical singer came at 17 when she performed to a packed house at a music academy in Madras (now Chennai), where she spent most of her lifetime.
The young singer went on to make a name as a singer-actress in regional cinema but it was the “Meera”, a film based of the life of young girl who falls in love with Lord Krishna, despite being a human and devotes her life to him, in 1944 and the raging popularity of its music that catapulted her to dizzying stardom.
Subbulakshmi gained the status of saint-singer and won amongst others the adulation and respect of Mahatma Gandhi.
Subbulakshmi, who gave millions of rupees from her concert earnings to charity, had not given any public performances since her husband died in 1997. (ANI)

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