Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
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14-12-2002 : Chennai

Hon'ble Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri Ramamohan Rao, Exponents of music, music teachers, students and music lovers, may I greet you on t6his momentous occasion of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Music Academy. I am happy to note during the last 75 years the academy has grown in leaps and bounds and joined the cause of music comprehensively. I would like to complement the academy for bringing our comprehensive researched publications such as "Sangeetha Sudha" and "Sangeetha Saramritha". I understand that these publications have become text books of study in many Universities.

For promoting the cause of music among children the academy has initiated several schemes such as scholarship to the young and talented budding artists and organizing several categories of music competition. I would like to congratulate the award winners who have excelled in various facets of music.

Music generates peace, happiness and harmony which I have experiences in my own personal life while playing veena. When I play certain ragas in veena or listen to a great exponent Ustad Bismilla Khan, the bliss of music enters into my body and soul and process a feeling of profound peace and happiness within. As a scientist, I am convinced that the nature functions as a rhythm whether it is a rhythm of heart beat, movement of electron in the orbit or the high/low tides of the sea. Everything is rhythmic and musical.

I had the opportunity of listening to great exponents of music Semmangudi MS Subbulakshmi, Dr Balamuralikrishna and several others. The experience of listening them leads me to the think whether music can be used as a tool for ensuring global peace and act as a binding force. In recent years, terrorism is taking a heavy toll of many innocent lives. I was thinking whether there is any alternative solution other than military, economic and judicial approach to end this problem. I am now convinced that one of the important tools in our country could be music. Fortunately, we have a rich civilisational heritage of 5000 years blending literature, music and dramatics. The music can be vocal and instrumental.

Can music bind the hearts when the minds are disturbed and hearts are heavy. Answer seems to be a positive "yes". It can. In 1962 when India suffered a set back in the Indo Chinese conflict and the people of India were at its lowest. At that time many groups of musicians and artists went to the warfront close to our borders and gave musical performances which gave strength to the troubled hearts and elevated the spirits of the troops and the people of a nation.

The need of the hour is the Unity of Minds and hearts not only within our country but also universally. In my opinion music can play a balancing note and unify the mind for a harmonious living cutting across geographical boundaries.

Musicians have a special role to play in national transformation and development. If we look back our history of freedom movement poets and musicians had a significant role in realizing the first vision for the nation an "independent India". I am convinced that we can realize the second vision of transforming India into a developed country through a similar process. Therefore your role as musicians is very important to nucleate and promote and accelerated national development.




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