Music can become a medium of national development: Kalam

FIRST RECIPIENT: The former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, hands over 'The Hindu Saregama M.S. Subbulakshmi Award' to Carnatic vocalist Nisha P. Rajagopal in Chennai on Monday. Saregama India Managing Director Apurv Nagpal (left) and Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N. Ram are also in the picture. Photo: R. Ravindran  

Music can become a medium of national development, for great music not only acts as a pain-remover but also has a social responsibility, said the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, here on Monday.

Presenting the first “ The Hindu Saregama M.S. Subbulakshmi Award” to Carnatic vocalist Nisha P. Rajagopal, he highlighted the potential of artists to contribute to national development using their respective art as a medium.

“Musicians can play a significant role, musicians can sing songs of development. Dramatists can give shape to the vision of the nation. The choreographers and dance performers can portray development themes and educate the rural population on many ideas such as hygiene, health, literacy,” he said.

On the ability of art to unite people, Mr. Kalam said: “I am fully convinced that art, music, dance and drama give connectivity to the multiple variants in society.”

Speaking of the musician nonpareil in whose name the award has been instituted, Mr. Kalam said M.S. Subbulakshmi's mission was “give, give and go on giving.”

It was a 1950 concert and her rendition of Endaro Mahaanubhavulu…that moved Mr. Kalam, turning him into a “life-time fan of M.S. Amma.”

Quoting M.S.' statement at The Music Academy linking music with Bhakti, Mr. Kalam said he later realised that what she said was applicable to any field of endeavour, when one gets immersed in it. M.S. had said: “ Bhakti is nothing but the devotion we show to the divinity that resides within us. Once we regard the divinity within us with devotional fervour, we are bound to develop the same affection towards everything outside. The reason is that the same divine truth runs through all beings. When the devotee has attained this state, service to the world becomes his or her creed.”

The former President, while pointing to the message that emerged through her life, said: “Amma's dedication to music was not just a profession, but a way of life, lifelong learning, and her music integrates minds across the country and oceans.”

The Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, N. Ram, said: “There are relatively few creative people about whom it can be said without exaggeration that their achievement is likely to have a following for a hundred years from now.”

In India, it could be said about major poets like Rabindranath Tagore, Bharathi, short story writer Prem Chand, novelist R.K. Narayan, artists such as Ravi Varma, M.F. Husain and film maker Satyajit Ray. “You can certainly say it about M.S., India's genius of song,” he said.

Mr. Ram commended Saregama India for coming up with an excellent idea and meaningful process of identifying young talent.

Saregama India Managing Director Apurv Nagpal said it was a privilege to institute the award, along with The Hindu, in the name of the unparalleled legend. Saregama India would continue assuming a leadership role in promoting the arts and creating meaningful platforms for artists, he added.

K. Sivakumar, Managing Director, RmKV; P.T. Kuppuswamy, Managing Director, Karur Vysya Bank; and K.R. Athmanathan, a close associate of the M.S.-Sadasivam couple, were present.

The Hindu Saregama M.S. Subbulakshmi Award' was presented by RmKV. Karur Vysya Bank was the associate sponsor.

In her concert that followed, awardee Nisha P. Rajagopal began with a rendition of a poem penned by Mr. Kalam in praise of M.S., set to a Ragamalika (medley of ragas) inspired by Swathi Thirunal's Bhavayami, immortalised by M.S. herself.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 2:31:41 PM |

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