Posts Tagged ‘Needamangalam Meenakshisundaram Pillai’

A musical beginning for Independent India

February 29, 2008

Musicians have contributed to the Indian freedom movement a lot — names like MS Subbulakshmi, D K Pattammal, and Omkarnath Thakur who sang the “Deshabhakthi” songs comes to my mind immediately. However, I did not know that on the eve of Indian independence, there were concerts in Delhi. Sriram Venkatkrishnan, in his latest Encore piece writes about this not so well known (at least to me) aspect of history:

Pillai was a staunch Gandhian and nationalist. So when India attained independence, he, at the instance of the Pandara Sannidhi of the Tiruvavaduturai Mutt, travelled with T.N.Rajarathinam Pillai to be present in Delhi on August 15, 1947. There he accompanied TNR, when at the instance of P. Subbaroyan, the maestro was asked to play the nagaswaram for half an hour before the country became independent. The nagaswara chakravarti and the abhinava nandikeswara together thus ushered in the country’s freedom.

Take a look–it is a must-read piece!