Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today described Padma Vibhushan Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj’s six-decade long relentless effort towards leading a life fulfilled ‘one life for one mission’.
Felicitating the maestro at a glittering function attended by connoisseurs of music and dance here, Mr. Modi said that Indian dance forms have for ages been one step ahead of the yoga – interlinking body, mind, heart and soul.
He said that India has a rich heritage of classical dance forms, but remained restricted to Raj gharanas owing to India’s 1,200 years of period of slavery, connecting most dance forms to divinity, spiritualism. It met its worst period during the British rule It survived as divine dance around temples, performed at the prayer halls in the temple precincts.
Mr. Modi said that we Indians should be proud of inheriting unique music and dance forms from our ancestors, befitting different occasions for every hour, extending from dawn to dust to dawn. Today, yoga has achieved its somewhat due place in the world due to its manifold utilities to solve many modern-day problems as well. While Western music moves the body; Indian music touches the heart. It should be the mission of our society also to protect and promote
Mr. Modi also released Birju Mishra’s poetry collection, titled ‘Anubhuti’, on the occasion.
Accepting the felicitation, Pandit Birju Maharaj said that ‘taal’ and ‘swar’ are synonyms of ‘gods’ and ‘godly’. He said that it was life’s mission to search the best of India and teach the same to my disciples. He said that Gujarat’s famous pilgrimage centre of Dwarka has always fascinated him and has unflinching regards for the deity.
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia said that Birju Maharaj is identified with Indian dance forms, the world recognizes the reality.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Kumudini Lakhia, Shaswati Sen, Gujarat Government’s Cultural Affairs Secretary Bhagyesh Jha, SAL Hospital Managing Trustee Rajendra Shah, among others.