Music creates the bond between the singer and the listener: Rahul Gandhi
I would like to begin with the story of my own short-lived musical career. Many years ago on one of my first days of high school, the entire class was called into the common room. Surrounded by seniors we were asked one by one
to stand on a stool and sing a song. Any song. I can still remember the dread I felt as I stood up on that stool. I didn't know how to sing so I stood there quietly for a moment until someone shouted "Arre sing something Yaar". I can't even tell you what I felt as I quickly belted out a song, the first song I could think of. I finished and as I hurriedly jumped off the stool someone shouted: "that's not music that's just noise". That's the first and hopefully the last time I will sing in public.
Today, it's my pleasure to be here to honour and bring together two music lovers - Shubha Mudgalji and my father Rajiv Gandhi ji. Two very different types of musicians with a shared love of music. It's been 34 years since then I jumped off that stool - and I still can't sing. So before coming here today, I decided to do a quick search online and here is what I found.
Music is an art of arranging and joining sounds so as to create a harmonious melody while the noise is an unwanted sound that is usually very loud and meaningless. Music is pleasing to the ears while noise is invasive and unpleasant.
While music has a very soothing and pleasing effect on listeners, noise obstructs and confuses communication between man and animals. And to these I would add - from my personal experience - that Music is about creating harmony. Music creates the bond between the singer and the listener. Music is about humility and about embracing the other.
Shubhaji has used her art to bring millions of people together. Her songs have broken barriers and have brought harmony to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. My father Rajiv Gandhi did the same in politics. He carried millions of people together, bringing India closer and allowing it to imagine a collective dream. India has achieved what it has precisely because millions of our people have chosen to live in harmony together. India in harmony with itself is musical.
Unfortunately there are also those that prefer a divided and divisive India, out of tune with itself and the world. They seek to spread disharmony. These are the forces that wish to break the bonds between us. There are, unfortunately in India today, men and women who actively promote disharmony, who humiliate and separate, who isolate and kill. But though the few may feel they are thriving in India today, we are proud to honor you ma'am and the many millions like you, who stand for everyone.
We honour musicians, like yourself Shubhaji, like my father and like millions of Indians, who have rid their hearts of fear and hatred. People who are able to see that as Indians we are all one. We will honour them here today and we will continue to honour them every single day. Thank you.