maestro Ilaiyaraaja, who was conferred the 'Centenary Award for Indian Personality of the Year' for his outstanding contribution to the music industry at the opening ceremony of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on Friday in his humble request has urged the government to make ‘Music’ as a compulsory subject both in schools and colleges.
While receiving the award from the hands of Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley and Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, a simple down to earth, Ilaiyaraaja on the occasion said, “I know it is not the right place to ask something. But I still want to go ahead and ask the government to do something. I want them to make music compulsory in schools and colleges."
It may be noted that this not the first time when Ilaiyaraaja has opened his heart about making Music compulsory in schools, he has been advocating this since past many years because he believes the simple and easy solution to the growing religious intolerance and violence and terrorism is Music.
In an interview he had once said, “Music alone has the power to bring down violence. It discourages the wandering mind and helps in focusing one’s thoughts.”
Ilaiyaraaja plea reminds me of the great Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, who was a Master of playing Sarod and admired as ‘National Living Treasure’ in India.
In an interview he had said, “My father learned from a great teacher, and we always keep the traditional thing – from father to son, son to grandson, teacher to student – like that. What my father learned, I don’t want that to die. It must spread all over the world!"
Like Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, Music Maestro Ilaiyaraaja, who has acquired immense knowledge does not wish his treasure of music to die with him hence he has rightly made an appeal to the government to make Music a part of the curriculum in school and colleges so that like the literary genius like William Shakespeare, Munshi Premchand etc Music also becomes immortal and musical stalwarts like Naushad, Pandith Ravi Shanker, etc and their precious musical knowledge be explored by the coming generations!