Venkaiah Naidu presents lifetime achievement awards to art, music, theatre icons

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New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) Three veteran luminaries in the Indian arts and culture space — master artist Satish Gujral, iconic musician T. N. Krishnan and theatre doyen Ratan Thiyam — were on Friday conferred lifetime achievement awards by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Presenting the awards at a ceremony at the India International Centre (IIC) here, Naidu underlined the significance of culture for a people and advised they should not disconnect from their roots.

Nobody should forget five things: their mother, their native place, their country, their mother-tongue and their guru, for they bind one to her roots, he added.

He stressed that Indian cultural forms shouldn’t become “relics of the past or mere showpieces”.

Gujral, a renowned painter-sculptor and Padma Vibhushan awardee, was born in 1925 in Jhelum (now in Pakistan), and has received significant acclaim for his work in the art, sculpture and architecture space. He immediately donated the cash component of Rs 51,000 to the Kerala relief fund.

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Celebrated seventh-generation Carnatic musician and Padma Bhushan awardee, Krishnan, in his own words at the event, has completed 82 years in the field of music and has been a leading names in Indian classical music.

Thiyam, a noted name in the theatre space, hails from Manipur, and has been awarded a Padma Shri for his work.

The criteria for selecting these cultural luminaries, as former Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh put it, was not just extraordinary performances in their own field, but also a record of inspiring, training and teachingA the younger generation.The awardees each received a golden plaque, an angavastram and Rs 51,000 in cash.

Artist Satish Gujral also announced his donation of the award money to the Kerala relief fund, adding that he is grateful to have received the award.

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The award ceremony concluded with a poignant violin recital by the music maestro Krishnan himself, who said he was honoured to be presenting a song by “the great Thyagaraja”.

The awards have been presented by non-profit organisation “Legends of India” headed by Dipayan Majumdar, who, in his brief speech, said it strives to highlight noted legends, and also legends in the making.

“Legends of India” has awarded the likes of Zohra Sehgal and Habib Tanvir over the course of 20 years in promoting Indian art forms.

–IANS

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