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Kalam urges performing artists to form peace teams

Special Correspondent

— S.R. Raghunathan

Lighter moment: Former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam with S.R.D Vaidyanathan at a function in Chennai on Friday.

CHENNAI: Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Friday urged performing artists to form peace teams and use their art to quell forces of extremism, terrorism and violence.

Inaugurating the golden jubilee celebrations of the Narada Gana Sabha, Mr. Kalam called for an “integration of hearts and minds of the artists to bring about peace and happiness.”

Mr. Kalam singled out music as an art form that had the power to reduce human anxieties and promote peace and unity. “Carnatic music and classical dance should engulf the darkness in the world and lead it to light.”

Turning to those on the dais, Mr. Kalam complimented vocalist Sudha Raghunathan for giving musical life to a poem he composed on M.S. Subbulakshmi while turning to Cho S. Ramaswami, he remarked that the playwright did not even spare him critical comments “though he was only happy for that”. Mr. Kalam also presented the “Tirunelveli P. Subramania Iyer Nathaswara Award” to Vidwan Sembanarkoil S.R.D. Vaidyanathan.

A. Natarajan, former director, Doordarshan Kendra, introduced S.R.D. Vaidyanathan as one who rightfully belonged to the legacy of performers who had put their art form on the world stage. In a witty felicitation speech that often set off laughter in the audience, Mr. Cho Ramaswami commended music and dance sabhas for their stellar contributions in preserving performing art in Tamil Nadu. Vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna, in his felicitation, said the Sabha hall was blessed with divine vibrations and that could not escape the experience of those who performed at the venue. Dancer Padma Subrahmanyam said the sabha reflected auspicious vibrations brick for brick and no performer could fail at the venue.

Presenting a golden jubilee report, R. Krishnaswami, sabha secretary, retraced the milestones in the sabha’s evolution in featuring musicians and dancers.

The programme that began with a prayer by Sudha Raghunathan concluded with a veena recital by E. Gayathri.

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