Minister for Tourism and Culture R.K. Roja said that the State government has been approached seeking its support for getting the Bharat Ratna award for the legendary singer and music composer Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao.
Speaking after paying floral tributes at the singer’s statue on the premises of Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao College of Music and Dance at Durgapuram here on December 4 (Sunday) to mark his birth centenary celebrations, Ms. Roja said the singer’s daughter-in-law, through the Department of Tourism and Culture, had submitted a representation to the Chief Minister’s Office urging the government to recommend to the Centre to bestow the Bharat Ratna award on him posthumously.
Stating that Ghantasala was a divine talent and his songs could move the hearts of people, the Minister said awarding Bharat Ratna would be a fitting tribute to him and the Jagan Mohan Reddy government would strongly recommend it to the Centre.
Stating that Ghantasala had participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942, for which he was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months at Alipore jail in Bellari, she said even in the prison he inspired the fellow prisoners with his songs and compositions.
Speaking about how the great singer’s unbridled talent touched diverse fields, she said Ghantasala blended classical improvisations to the art of light music combined with his virtuosity and sensitivity, proving himself to be a class apart.
“Ghantasala served as the aasthana gaayaka (court musician) for the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams and also recorded private albums, including Bhagwad Gita, patriotic songs, padyalu, devotional and folk songs,” she said.
She said the government would develop the music college and urged people to extend their support in whatever way possible to the cause.