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Balamuralikrishna deserves Bharat Ratna: Jayalalithaa

Special Correspondent

The Carnatic vocalist was felicitated on his getting French honour The Carnatic vocalist was felicitated on his getting French honour



MAKING A MUSICAL POINT: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa with M. Balamuralikrishna at a function in Chennai on Monday. — Photo: V. Ganesan

CHENNAI: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday paid glowing tributes to Carnatic vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna on the occasion of his 75th birthday and pleaded that "Bharat Ratna" be awarded to him.

Felicitating Mr. Balamuralikrishna on his being conferred with the French honour of Chevalier des Arts et Letters (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters), she said that with all awards and accolades at the international level and his outstanding contribution to classical music, his appeal was not restricted to purists or the elite connoisseur. He endeared himself to the public at large by his tasteful rendering of light music and film songs.

"It is my firm conviction that Mr. Balamuralikrishna deserves no less than the Bharat Ratna. A day will come when we influence even the Centre and God willing when such a day comes, I will see to it that he is awarded Bharat Ratna," Ms. Jayalalithaa said. By conferring the award on him, "India will only be honouring herself."

Referring to Mr. Balamuralikrishna's rendition of a new raga, "Jaya Jaya Lalithe," which he composed and dedicated to her, she expressed a wish to be born as his disciple. "I would like to learn Carnatic music under his tutelage and become such a great singer that my Guru will say `sabhash' after hearing me sing," she said. She conferred the title of `Gandharva Gana Samrat" on him at the function organised by "Vipanchee."

Mr. Balamuralikrishna, in his acceptance speech, said though he had given 25,000 concerts, he found that even at 75 there was so much for him to learn and give to the people in the world of music.

P.C. Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals, said the great exponent of Carnatic music contributed in a big way to revitalise people.

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