Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu called for enhanced interactions and reciprocity between people of different States and UTs so that a spirit of harmony resonates throughout the country. “We need this sense of understanding especially now, when a large number of rifts threaten to divide us and fragment the bonds of our socio-cultural cohesion”, he said.
He was addressing the gathering after presenting the ‘Hamsadhwani Sadhguru Tyagaraja Award’ to violin maestro M. Chandrasekharan in Chennai.
Expressing happiness at being at the ‘Kalakshetra’, the Vice President termed it as a centre for excellence in Indian arts and paid rich tributes to the founder of Kalakshetra and the first woman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha, Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale. He said that the inspirational figure had left an indelible impact on the cultural landscape of our country.
He appreciated ‘Hamsadhwani’ for their relentless efforts towards the protection, promotion, propagation of traditional Indian music and performing arts.
He called upon corporate entities, business houses, philanthropists and the government to lend patronage and support to cultural organizations such as Hamsadhwani in order to help them succeed in their mission to protect and preserve India’s cultural heritage and take it to the world.
Paying tributes to the great Saint composer, Sathguru Thyagaraja, the Vice President said that he was one of the tallest figures in the world of music. “Saint Tyagaraja blended music with devotion, melody and meaning in an extraordinary manner”, he added.
Congratulating M. Chandasekaran, for winning the coveted award, the Vice President said that the violin virtuoso exemplified excellence and is well known for his melodic renditions.
He quoted the great bards of Tamil Nadu, Subrahmania Bharati and Kaniyan Pungundranar and spoke of the beauty of India and its rich cultural heritage and tremendous diversity.
Venkaiah Naidu Naidu opined that strong bonds of unity formed an integral part of the DNA of India’s incredible diversity.
He asserted that our cultural diversity must form the platform on which we build the future of our nation and chart a path for its rapid growth and development. “Our cultural diversity must always remain the vehicle of unity, peace, prosperity and joy”, he said.
He applauded the government for coming up with innovative programs like ‘Ek Bharat Shresta Bharat’ where states are paired with each other and people are encouraged to learn about each other’s language, literature, cuisine, festivals, cultural events and tourism.
The Vice President underscored that mutual understanding and trust have always been the foundations of India’s strength and all citizens should feel culturally integrated. He said that citizens of India must open our doors and our hearts to people of all faiths, cultures and regions.
Speaking of the philosophies of our civilization, ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ and ‘Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu’, Venkaiah Naidu Naidu said that we must protect this ancient culture and the immortal, humanitarian values that are our legacy and take the treasures of our culture to future generations.
The Vice President asked schools to sensitize children to different cultures and ways of life through frequent exchanges, cultural programs and exposure visits.
Venkaiah Naidu also witnessed the scintillating presentation of Kalakshetra’s Rama Mahapattabhishekam Dance Drama choreographed and produced by late Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale. He appreciated all the artists and lauded the impressive presentation for its grandeur and creative brilliance.
D. Jayakumar, Hon’ble Minister for Fisheries, Government of Tamil Nadu, Ramnath Mani, President, Hamsadhwani, R. Sundar, Secretary, Hamsadhwani, Smt. Revathi Ramachandran, Director, Kalakshetra and others were present on the occasion.