Address by Governor at the presentation of the Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Shikhar and Kala Kiran Puraskars in Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the presentation of the Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Shikhar and Kala Kiran Puraskars for Excellence in Hindustani Classical Music at the Royal Opera House, Mumbai at 7.30 pm on Saturday, 11 November 2017
Padma Bhushan Smt Rajashree Birla, President, Sangit Kala Kendra, Smt Vasavdatta Bajaj, members of the Birla family, Shri Lalit Kumar Daga, distinguished members of the Selection Jury, Dr Smt Prabha Atre, the recipient of the Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Shikhar Puraskar, Smt Sawani Shende and Shri Anal Chatterjee, the recipients of the Kala Kiran Puraskars, distinguished invitees, performing artists of today’s musical evening, ladies and gentlemen,
I am extremely happy to associate myself – for the fourth consecutive year – with the presentation of the Aditya Vikram Birla awards for Excellence in Hindustani Classical Music instituted by the Sangit Kala Kendra.
I am particularly happy that a stalwart and two emerging stars of Hindustani Classical Music are being honoured this year.
The Sangit Kala Kendra founded by the late Shri Aditya Vikram Birla in the year 1973 has consistently lent the much needed support to visual and performing arts by honouring some of the best known and also some of the most promising artists.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The late Aditya Vikram Birla would have turned 74 on 14th November. He lived only for 52 years, but he lived a remarkable life. As a pioneering business leader, he was way ahead of times in his thinking and outlook towards business development. He viewed business as a means to achieve the larger goal of social development.
Late Aditya Jj was an artist himself. It was his passion for arts that resulted in the establishment of the Sangit Kala Kendra.
I am happy that under the guidance of Padma Bhushan Smt Rajashree Birla Ji and guided by an eminent Selection Jury, the Sangit Kala Kendra has honoured great artists representing various visual and performing arts.
It is only befitting that this year’s Kala Shikhar Award is being presented to Dr Prabha Atre, the leading light of the Kirana Gharana. Dr Prabha Atre has dedicated her entire life in the service of Indian Classical Music. In upholding the best traditions of India, she is imparting her knowledge, insights and outlook to her students and disciples, thereby passing on the eternal and ageless music to future generations.
The two young recipients of the Kala Kiran Award, Sawani Shende Sathye and Shri Anal Chatterjee have already established themselves as artists and the world of music can expect a lot from both of them.
I congratulate all the Aditya Vikram Birla Awardees for this year, and I would like to tell them that we are truly proud of them.
Ladies and gentlemen
Albert Einstein had famously said, and I quote, “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” (Unquote)
Music is life. Without music, the world would have been dull, dreary and boring. Music can play an important role in shaping the personality of students and human beings at large. In fact scientists like J C Bose have already proved that music has a positive impact even on trees and other living beings. It should be our collective endeavour to provide access to one and all, to good music.
Having said that, I feel concerned that many schools in the country are dropping the subject of music altogether from their syllabus and curriculum. There are very few schools, that offer Music as a subject of choice to students. Music teachers are rendered ‘surplus’ and routinely asked to teach other subjects. There are fewer or no job prospects for music teachers. As a result, children are being deprived of musical training and at the same time artists are dissuaded from pursuing a career in music. We must change this picture.
Private schools and International Schools must be encouraged to offer Music as a subject to students. Schools should be encouraged to create their own musical platforms and orchestra. This will bring to the fore talented and musically – inclined students. I believe that music can compliment the learning of other subjects and make the whole process of learning pleasurable.
Media has an important role to play in popularizing and advancing the cause of classical music. For many years, the All India Radio and the Door Darshan have consistently provided platform to the best vocalists and instrumentalists.
AIR has also provided jobs to good artists. However the same is not the case with private broadcasters. I do feel that private television channels and entertainment channels should also reserve a time slot for classical music and offer jobs to musicians.
Private music institutions such as Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Bhatkhande Sangit Vidyalaya and music circles have played a crucial role in dissemination and propagation of music.
We need Corporate support to revive and rejuvenate such private music institutions and music circles.
We need to create and sustain cultural spaces which enable us to look at ourselves and look at the world from different perspectives.
As Governor and as Chancellor of Universities in the State, I am going to ask all Vice Chancellors to revive and rejuvenate Music Departments in Colleges and Universities. We must also promote and support annual music festivals in Colleges and Universities.
Maharashtra is fortunate in having artists from various Gharanas of Music. These best traditions of Classical Music have reached us primarily because of committed and passionate people. Without passion, one cannot pursue music. Quite often, committed artists and Gurus have to face financial hardships. Therefore, patronage is needed for Music and Musicians from society and industry. It is here that organizations like the Aditya Birla Group and Sangit Kala Kendra can step in and extend help.
Finally, I do feel that we must start a World Festival of Classical Music and make it an annual event. I am sure, such a festival will become a unique event in the entire world and expose art lovers to good music from different countries and genres.
With these words, I congratulate the Kala Shikhar and Kala Kiran Awardees for today’s honours.
I also convey my appreciation to the Sangit Kala Kendra and more particularly to the moving spirit behind it, Smt Rajashree Birla ji for the Kendra’s wonderful work. I wish the audience an enjoyable musical evening.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!