Top SA car­natic singer hon­oured

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS - TASCHICA PIL­LAY

SOUTH Africa’s lead­ing car­natic vo­cal­ist, Karth­ie­gasen Pil­lay, has been hon­oured by the In­dian gov­ern­ment for his ren­di­tion of Ma­hatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn, Vaish­nav Jan To Tene Kahiye.

A let­ter prais­ing Pil­lay, by In­dia’s Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj, was this week handed to the Dur­ban singer by the High Com­mis­sioner of In­dia to South Africa, Ruchira Kam­boj.

Swaraj wrote: “Your mu­si­cal con­tri­bu­tion for the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 150th an­niver­sary of our beloved Ma­hatma’s birth will form part of an abid­ing trib­ute to this apos­tle of peace and non-vi­o­lence.

“Your per­for­mance is greatly ap­pre­ci­ated by all In­di­ans and by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. It has added to our cel­e­bra­tions of the 150th an­niver­sary of this no­ble soul. It has also helped to con­sol­i­date the friendly ties be­tween In­dia and South Africa.”

On Gandhi’s 150th an­niver­sary last year, In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi launched a med­ley of the bha­jan by artists from around the world at the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the Ma­hatma Gandhi In­ter­na­tional San­i­ta­tion Con­fer­ence.

Be­fore the an­niver­sary, In­dian mis­sions and em­bassies in 124 coun­tries got in touch with lo­cal artists and got them to sing Vaish­nav Jan To Tene Kahiye.

Pil­lay, who stud­ied In­dian clas­si­cal mu­sic for 10 years, said he felt “over­whelmed”by the hon­our.

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