UN to mark MS Subbulakshmi’s birth centenary


MS Subbalakshmi will be honoured
MS Subbalakshmi will be honoured

The United Nations will honour the legacy of India’s Carnatic music legend MS Subbulakshmi next week with a stamp, coinciding with the celebrations of the country’s 70th Independence day.

The UN Postal Administration will issue the stamp to mark Subbulakshmi’s birth centenary, India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said in a press statement on Friday (12).

India’s independence day will also be commemorated at the world body’s headquarters this year as Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman will entertain UN diplomats and international dignitaries at a special concert in the UN General Assembly hall on Monday (August 15).

Rahman will be the second Indian artist after Subbulakshmi to perform at the iconic UN venue, which is the usual platform for global leaders to address the world.

Subbulakshmi, the first-ever musician to be awarded India’s highest civilian honour the Bharat Ratna, was invited by the then UN secretary-general U Thant to perform at the General Assembly in October 1966, becoming the first Indian to perform there.

In March this year, the Pakistani mission to the UN had organised a concert by renowned singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to commemorate Pakistan Day at the UN.

India’s mission is also organising a photography exhibition from August 15-19 at the world body’s headquarters to commemorate Subbulakshmi’s birth centenary which falls on September 16.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of her performance at the UN and the photo exhibition will depict various facets of Subbulakshmi’s life, providing a rare insight into the music legend’s achievements, the Indian mission said.

Minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar will attend the events at the UN as well as those being organised by the Indian Consulate in the city.

The events commemorating India’s 70th independence day are being organised by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations with the support of Sankara Nethralaya, an India-based civil society organisation.

“The United Nations is also celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. As India celebrates its 70th independence day, the event will emphasise that the wisdom of Indian traditions remains relevant to current global thinking,” the mission said, adding that the musical evening will provide a “glimpse of gaiety and dynamism” of India on the occasion of “[email protected]”.

The Indian Consulate will host a flag-hoisting ceremony on August 15 and India’s consul general Riva Ganguly Das will ring the closing bell at the NASDAQ stock market.

Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan and yoga guru Baba Ramdev will headline the parade in Manhattan, organised on August 21 by the Federation of Indian Associations of
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and considered among the largest in the US.