Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday stressed the importance of mastering one’s mother tongue and having respect for culture and heritage. Stating this while taking part in the centenary celebrations of legendary carnatic singer, late M S Subbulakshmi, he showered praise on her, saying she “lives through her immortal legacy of spreading spiritual bliss through her divine melodies.”
Naidu said the late singer was a “cult figure” who had mesmerised everyone, from Mahatma Gandhi to the common man, with her mellifluous voice. He noted that she had recorded Gandhi’s favourite Meera bhajan ‘Hari Tum Haro’ overnight on his insistence and sent it to him on his birthday in 1947.
The Vice president recalled that Subbulakshmi was the first musician to be awarded Bharat Ratna and the first Indian musician to have performed at the United Nations General Assembly. Also, she was the first Indian musician to be conferred with the Ramon Magsaysay award for public service.
Naidu said the roots of Indian music can be traced to Vedic literature, the Sama Veda, in particular and added that “every note and cadence associated with our ancient music systems has to be preserved and propagated.”