Saturday, Mar 29, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
The Governor of Kerala, Sikander Bakht, presenting the honorary D. Litt. degree to K. J. Jesudas, singer, at a special convocation ceremony held at the University Senate Hall in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.
The Governor of Kerala, Sikander Bakht, who is also the Chancellor of the Kerala University, presented the degree to Jesudas, at a special convocation ceremony held at the Senate Hall here this morning, in the presence of the Minister for Education, N. Soopy, also Pro-chancellor of the university. The Vice Chancellor, B. Ekbal, read out the citation.
Delivering the convocation address, the Chancellor described Jesudas as "a musician of the highest order who has been providing wings and waves of enchanting melody to the connoisseur and the commoner alike for over four decades''. "Music has not been a vocation to him, but a mission, a creed, a calling; not just a profession, but a prayer, a `sadhna', serene and soulful," Mr. Bakht observed.
It is often said Indian music is as old as the Ganges and the Himalayas, but enticingly fresh, Mr. Bakht said. It had retained its pristine image and idiom intact over the ages, he added. He hailed the Kerala University for upholding its tradition of honouring men of eminence and their cardinal contributions to their chosen spheres of activity.
In his acceptance speech, Yesudas called for promoting religious amity and communal harmony in the country. He lamented that religions were being misinterpreted for safeguarding vested interests. He also rendered the couplet "Jathibhedam, mathadwesham...'', which incidentally was the first recording that he did as a playback singer, on November 14, 1961.
Also present on the occasion were the Pro-vice chancellor, S. Kevin, members of the university syndicate and senate and deans of faculties, besides Prabha Jesudas and their son, Vijay Jesudas. The senate had a brief meeting earlier in the day to formally give its assent for awarding the degree. Providing accompaniment to the procession of dignitaries to the podium were classical notes rendered by music students of the university.
Jesudas is the 21st person to be honoured by the University of Kerala through the conferment of D.Litt. He is also the third musician to be thus honoured by the university, the others being L. Muthia Bhagavathar , who was honoured in 1942 and Semmangudi R. Sreenivasier in 1979.
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