Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, during the 95th Edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on 27th November, 2022 said that our country is home to the oldest traditions in the world. Therefore, it is also our responsibility to preserve our traditions and traditional knowledge, to promote it and to take it forward as much as possible. The Prime Minister highlighted how Indian music has been bringing proximity between people not only in India but also abroad. Music relaxes not only the body, but also gives joy to the mind, music also connects our society, the Prime Minister said. Prime Minister also gave the example of Naga Community and the efforts being made by them to preserve and conserve their glorious cultural heritage.
During Man Ki Baat,the Prime Minister spoke about the singer from Greece – ‘Konstantinos Kalaitzis’ who has sung Bapu’s favorite song during 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Gandhiji. The Prime Minister said that the singer has so much affection for India, that in the last 42 (forty two) years he has come to India almost every year. He has studied about the origin of Indian music, different Indian musical systems, different types of ragas, talas and rasas as well as different gharanas. He has studied the contribution of many great personalities of Indian music; he has also closely understood the different aspects of classical dances of India. Now he has put together all these experiences related to India very beautifully in a book. There are about 760 pictures in his book named Indian Music. Most of these photographs have been taken by he himself. Such enthusiasm and fascination for Indian culture in other countries is really heartening.
PM further highlighted another interesting fact that in the last 8 years the export of musical instruments from India has increased three and a half times. Talking about Electrical Musical Instruments; their export has increased 60 times. This shows that the craze for Indian culture and music is increasing all over the world. The biggest buyers of Indian Musical Instruments are developed countries like USA, Germany, France, Japan and UK. It is a matter of fortune for all of us that our country has such a rich heritage of Music, Dance and Art.
PM added that we all know the great sage poet Bhartrihari for his ‘Niti Shatak’. In one of the verses he says that one’s attachment to art, music and literature is the real identity of humanity. In fact, our culture takes it above Humanity, to Divinity. In the Vedas, Samaveda has been called the source of our diverse music. Be it the Veena of Maa Saraswati, the flute of Bhagwan Krishna, or the Damru of Bholenath, our Gods and Goddesses are also attached with music. We Indians find music in everything. Be it the murmur of a river, the raindrops, the chirping of birds or the resonating sound of the wind, music is present everywhere in our civilization. This music relaxes not only the body, but also gives joy to the mind. Music also connects our society. If Bhangra and Lavani have a sense of fervor and joy, Rabindra Sangeet lifts our souls. Tribals across the country have different musical traditions. They inspire us to live in harmony with each other and with nature. Our forms of music have not only enriched our culture, but have also left an indelible mark on the music of the world. The fame of Indian music has spread to every corner of the world, the Prime Minister reiterated.
Prime Minister also narrated about influence of Indian traditions and culture as far as Guyana, a South American country thousands of miles away from India in South America. In the 19th and 20th centuries, a large number of people from India went to Guyana. They also took many traditions of India with them including tradition of bhajan kirtan. As we celebrate Holi in India, in Guyana also the colors of Holi come alive with zest. Where there are colors of Holi, there is also the music of Phagwa that is Phagua. In Phagwa of Guyana there is a special tradition of singing wedding songs associated with Bhagwan Rama and Bhagwan Krishna. These songs are called Chautal. They are sung on the similar type of tune and at a high pitch as we do here. Not only this, Chautal Competitions are also held in Guyana. Similarly, many Indians, especially people from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, had gone to Fiji too. They used to sing traditional bhajan-kirtans, mainly couplets from the Ramcharitmanas. They also formed many Mandalis associated with bhajan-kirtan in Fiji. Even today there are more than two thousand Bhajan-Kirtan Mandalis in Fiji by the name of Ramayana Mandali. Today they can be seen in every village and locality.
Prime Minister said that we all always take pride in the fact that our country is home to the oldest traditions in the world. Therefore, it is also our responsibility to preserve our traditions and traditional knowledge, to promote it and to take it forward as much as possible. One such commendable effort is being made by some friends of our northeastern state of Nagaland. In order to save these traditions and skills and pass them on to the next generation, the people there have formed an organization, that’s name is ‘Lidi-Cro-U’. ‘ The organization has undertaken the work of reviving beautiful facets of Naga culture which were on the verge of being lost. For example, Naga folk music is a very rich genre in itself. This organization has started the work of launching Naga Music Albums. So far, three such albums have been launched. These people also organize workshops related to folk music and folk dance. Youth are also given training for all these. Not only this, the youth are also trained in the traditional Nagaland style of apparel making, tailoring and weaving. Many types of products are made from bamboo in the Northeast. The youth of the new generation are also taught to make bamboo products. With this, these youth not only get connected with their culture, but also create new employment opportunities for them. People at Lidi-Cro-U try to make more and more people know about Naga folk-culture.
Prime Minister urged one and all to take up similar initiatives and work for preservation of cultural styles and traditions in their respective region and areas.
PM Shri Narendra Modi has accorded Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat the pride of place in various editions of Mann ki Baat.