Guinness record holder ghazal singer to spread Gandhian message

November 21st, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Nov 21 (IANS) After setting the Guinness world record by singing in most languages at one concert, a popular Telugu ghazal singer now plans to spread the peace message of Mahatma Gandhi across the world.Kesiraju Srinivas, popularly known as Ghazal Srinivas, will sing at peace concerts in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan besides, Iran, South Africa and Middle East.

The singer set the Guinness record by singing in 76 languages at a concert at Vijayawada on Jun 2 and 3. He recently received the certificate for his feat from the Guinness.

He not only set a record but also used the occasion to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by writing and singing a ghazal on his Satyagrah philosophy. The concert held on the concluding eve of Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagrah centenary celebrations highlighted his message of peace and non-violence.

“Gandhiji’s message is more relevant today as we see violence in almost every part of the world. I decided to sing in different countries to spread his message,” Srinivas told IANS.

“Gandhiji is not the past but he is the future for this country and the world,” said the singer, who participated in a peace walk from Delhi to Multan in 2005.

He will begin the tour with a concert in Baghdad in January next year. He will also sing at similar concerts in Tehran and Kabul the same month.

Srinivas also plans similar concerts in Sri Lanka, Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain and Muscat in February. Lanco Group of companies, of which he is the brand ambassador, will fund his tour.

Srinivas, who began singing ghazals in his childhood, will perform in Canada at a programme proposed to be organised by Toronto Telugu Association.

He also plans to sing in 125 languages at a concert in Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of President of India and also at the United Nations.

“Many people know what Gandhiji said but they don’t know what he did. That is why I tried to pay tribute to his satyagrah in the form of poetry,” he said talking about his feat.

He sung the poem in 76 languages - 39 Indian languages and 37 foreign languages. The programme, which began on the evening of Jun 2 continued till the early hours of Jun 3.

In fact, he sang the poem in 100 languages but only 76 languages were taken into account for Guinness record. “To enter the record book, it was compulsory to sing in each language for at least two minutes,” he said.

It took over a year for him to learn and record the song in different languages. He worked with experts of various languages and translated the song into their language.

The singer translated his song into foreign languages of various countries including Mozambique, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Germany, Portugal, Italy, China, Armenia and Ethiopia.

Hailing from Palakol in West Godavari district, Srinivas has sung 600 ghazals since 1986. The ghazals were penned by eminent Telugu poets C. Narayan Reddy. He himself also wrote a few ghazals.

What makes him different from many other ghazal singers is that he uses only one instrument ‘Kanjeera’ during the performance.

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