Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a medley version of Bapu’s favourite bhajan ‘Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye’ sung by artists from over 40 countries, during the closing ceremony of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Conference here…reports Asian Lite News
As part of the year-long celebrations leading to Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, artists from over 124 countries have contributed musically and paid homage to the Mahatma through his favourite bhajan.
“All Indian missions abroad identified a local artist/group to record the bhajan in the run-up to Gandhi Jayanti, which is observed on October 2. The result is an eclectic, colourful and rich rendition of the hymn infused with the local flavours of the region,” the MEA said in a release.
From Armenia to Angola, Sri Lanka to Serbia, Iraq to Iceland, prominent singers/groups have showcased their talent for the 15th century hymn that was close to Gandhi’s heart.
Written by the poet Narsinh Mehta the bhajan was included in Mahatma Gandhi’s daily prayers.
The different videos from world over were put together in a fusion of about five minutes to give global flavour to the bhajan. It is expected to have contribution from all the countries recognised by the UN, it said.
Amongst the star performers is President Baron Divavesi Waqa of Nauru.
“President Waqa’s gesture was not just a special tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary but was also a personal gift from him to Modi,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Modi launched the bhajan in the presence of the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharti.
The famous Gujarati hymn used to be sung routinely before Gandhi’s meetings.
The medley version, as well as the individual country contributions are available on the MEA’s YouTube page.