Address by Governor at the felicitation of Shri Ameen Sayani organized by CBD Foundation
Address by Shri Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the felicitation of Shri Ameen Sayani organized by CBD Foundation at Veer Savarkar Auditorium, Dadar, Mumbai at 1815 hrs on Thursday, 18th April 2019
Shri Prashant Pathrabe, Director General of Films Division, Shri Dilip Chaware, Senior journalist and Director of CBD Foundation, Shri Rajeev Donde, Shri Pradeep Bhide, today’s Satkar Murthi Shri Ameen Sayani, distinguished invitees, ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening and greetings to you.
हे माझे महाराष्ट्रातील पाचवे वर्ष आहे. या पाच वर्षात मी खूप मराठी शिकलो. मला मराठी बातम्या समजतात. मला मराठी सिनेमे तर अतिशय आवडतात. मला मराठी गाणी देखील खूप आवडतात. परंतु मराठी बोलताना चुका होतात. त्यामुळे मी इंग्रजीतून बोलण्याची अनुमती मागतो.
नमस्कार, आज येथे श्रीमान अमीन सायानी यांचा सन्मान करण्यासाठी मला निमंत्रित केल्याबद्दल मी आपणा सर्वांचा आभारी आहे.
I have come here out my high regards and respects for Shri Ameen Sayani Ji.
He has dominated our heads and hearts when there was no television, no smartphone. He has connected us to the the world of the best and beautiful Hindi songs and Indian Music at a time when there were no dedicated music apps, music play stores, no music channels and no youtube. Ameen Sayani is therefore one of our last surviving links to the Golden Era of Indian Cinema, of Indian Music and Golden Era of our imagination.
Unlike in the past, there are scores of radio channels, thousands of television channels, but the link is missing; the connecting force is missing. The place of Ameen Sayani is therefore like the Dhruva constellation.
In the olden days, people had the choice to send their Farmaish song to the Radio station in writing. Before playing the music, the announcer would list a long list of people who had send their Farmaish for the particular song. It was another thrill to listen your name being announced on the Radio.
I understand that Binaca Geetmala’s debut took place from a tiny room in Colaba in Mumbai on 3rd December 1952, anchored by Ameenji. For the next four decades, Ameenji kept on regaling audiences in India, Pakistan, Nepal and even Afghanistan. This most popular programme started airing on Radio Ceylon nearly 68 years ago. I understand that Ameenji used to handle the programme all by himself. This involved sorting the mail from fans, selecting the best of songs based on feedback, writing the script and recording it also. The affection showered by the audience and his personal satisfaction more than compensated the remuneration.
There is an interesting story of the famous song Ramaiya Vasta Vaya.
The music composer Shanker of the Shankar Jaikishan pair was from Hyderabad. He had used the line ‘Ramaiya Vasta Vaya’ which in Telugu means, ‘Ramaiya Come Here’. The line was approved by Rajkapoor and is remembered to this day. All Telugu speaking people got connected to the Hindi film industry because of such songs.
Today, I wish to compliment directors of CBD Foundation, for organizing this unique event to recreate the Golden Era with music in presence of Shri Ameen Sayani Ji.
I understand that the CBD Foundation was the first to organize a centenary celebratory event on Indian film industry’s completion of 100 years. The CBD Foundation has organized events such as Remember our Soldiers, Saluting our Police and a special event on Divyang brothers and sisters.
As Governor of Maharashtra, I often receive heads of State, Heads of Government, Governors and Chief Executives from various countries. I also receive parliamentary delegations and meet Ambassadors and business delegations visiting Maharashtra.
There is a distinct feeling one gets at these meetings. In the perception of the world, India – the nation, has arrived on the global stage. There is growing interest among nations of the world about India. Everybody is keen to show that they have relationship with India dating back to hundreds of years, for some, thousands of years. Nations of the world are keen to do business with India. Nations of the world are keen to foster and strengthen cultural ties with India. These nations do not look up to India, merely as a huge market; they perceive India as one of the most culturally rich nation, which has to offer many things to the world.
The world is keen to explore India’s ancient past, our ancient civilization, our philosophy, our culture, our religion, our Yoga, our Ayurveda and numerous other things.
You will be interested to know that Sanskrit as a language is taught in 14 univertieis in Germany and universities in Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Australia, China and many other countries. The Russian diplomat receintly told me that every staff member is well versed in Hindi and at least one Indian language. A French diplomat told me, she is pursuing studies in Sanskrit, Yoga and Kashmiri Shaivism and added that she is working with an organization which is preserving India’s ancient wisdom and manuscripts.
It is ironical that Indian children are moving away from their own sweet languages. No harm in learning English and other foreign languages. But I do feel that we must encourage our children to preserve our own language. For this purpose, we will have to create in them love for our language, our culture and our civilization.
One more thing which serves as a magnet for all foreign countries is Indian Cinema. Every other diplomat or foreign dignitary is keen that Indian films are shot in their country. Many countries want Bollywood to work with the film industry of their country.
I realize that Bollywood has the power to connect India to the world and vice versa. It is our good fortune that Mumbai is the capital of Bollywood or Indian cinema. With Bollywood as the nucleaus, Mumbai can become the best tourism desination, not only in India, but in the whole world.
For this purpose the Film Industry, Films Division, the Ministry and the State Government will have to work in close cooperation. I am happy that the Director General of Films Division is present here today. Recently, the Films Division has created a National Film Museum of India.
I am sure the museum will develop into a world class archive of our rich cinematic heritage. The museum should create a separate section for Indian film music. The Museum should be accessible to all.
Shri Ameen Sayani Ji has completed 85 years of age. I want him to complete his Century and I will appeal to CBD to organize a befitting function to celebrate the occasion. I will come there even if I may not be Governor then.