Mexican artists wrap Gandhi in fusion music for children

April 19th, 2008 - 11:27 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

By Liz Mathew
Mexico City, April 19 (IANS) Ravi Shankar introduced Indian classical music to the West, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi took transcendental meditation across the Atlantic, and now Latin American fusion music is being used to introduce Mahatma Gandhi to the young generation of Mexico. A Mexican music troupe sang Indian verses accompanied by pre-Hispanic musical instruments at the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the side of a busy road here when visiting Indian President Pratibha Patil arrived to pay her tributes.

The music from the instruments - Inckus Utop Chec (flower of Maguer tree) and Ocarina, the chanting of “Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu” (may god bless the whole world with eternal peace and goodwill) and Gandhi’s famous hymn “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram” set the perfect mood for the Indian president to speak about the Father of the Nation.

“Though he was born in India, Gandhiji belongs to the entire humanity. He belongs to every nook and corner of the world and those who are seeking peace. It was a spirit that crossed mountains, rivers, trees and touched each and every heart,” Patil said.

The ambience seemed to have touched the otherwise reticent Patil, who reached out to schoolchildren assembled at the venue and invited musicians to be photographed with her.

“By installing his statue at such a prominent location in this huge metropolis, the people of Mexico have specially honoured his memory and the values he stood for. This is a gesture that will be deeply appreciated by all those (who) are committed to peace in the world,” Patil said, addressing the small crowd gathered around the statue.

The programme, organized by OraWorld Mandala, a group that promotes reconciliation through art, was an attempt to keep Gandhi’s messages alive, said the organizers.

“India is the other side of the world, but we feel connected to Gandhi and his principles. It is the source of inspiration for us,” said organizer Sonia Deotto.

“But we want this to be inculcated in our children. Gandhian principles are disappearing and we should not allow it,” Deotta told IANS.

Patil echoed the same view. “I am glad to see young children in the ceremony. The future belongs to them, and it is our responsibility to inculcate in them values of tolerance and compassion,” she said.

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