The prestigious Akashvani Music Festival has been renamed after Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced Saturday.
The announcement was made at Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Centenary Commemorative function organised in Pune.
The All India Radio, besides its regular music broadcasts, has endeared itself to its classical music listeners by organising the Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan in which prominent artistes from across the country perform, it said.
Speaking on the occasion, Javadekar said, “Doordarshan and All India Radio have opened the doors of huge musical treasure of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi to the general public. These recordings are now available on YouTube and the Ministry of I&B is making efforts to reach them to larger audience across the country.
“Music has many forms and it has power to motivate us. Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal could function for 67 years without break because of the blessings of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Pandit ji was dear to one and all. The way he performed for shows in foreign countries similarly he performed for people of all the strata of life,” Javadekar said on this occasion.
During the tenure of Atal Behari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 2009.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was born on February 4, 1922 at Gadag, which was at that time, a part of Dharwad district of Karnataka. In Pune, Joshi attained fame as a pre-eminent exponent of the Khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music – bhajans and abhangs.
Senior leader Sharad Pawar and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe were also present on this occasion.
The special occasion was enlightened by performances by Pandit Joshi’s disciples Upendra Bhat and Anand Bhate.
(With inputs from agencies)