HYDERABAD: To a person on the street, 13-year-old Pradyumna may look like any other school-going kid keen on finishing his classes for the day and catching up with extra-curricular activities. Well, he is more than that. He is passionate about singing on socially-conscious themes. Towards this, he has rendered a song ‘Enduku Enduku’, which revolves around caste discrimination.
Recently, a ‘Stand up for Equality’ programme was held where Pradyumna sung the song in collaboration with music director Shashi Preetam and MelbourneMAMA, a Melbourne-based Indian student community social media channel. The song was launched at Narsimha Reddy Engineering College, Kompally in which over 200 students took part.
Pradyumna says he got inspired by observing the current state of affairs in our society. ‘India Shining’ and ‘Incredible India’ slogans notwithstanding, female foeticides, honour killings, sexual assaults on women, murders based on caste issues, etc. occur on a daily basis in our country. The fact that these incidents take place in a trillion-dollar economy and in one of the fastest growing nations in the world made Pradyumna to sit up, take notice and do something to help address the concerns. And the avenue he chose was singing. “During my early years, my parents always kept telling me about the equal nature of all human beings, irrespective of their role and religion in society. This message was constantly reinforced, and it made a deep impression on me,” he shares.
He began taking a liking to singing at the age of five. “I used to watch Indian Idol regularly. I was inspired by the performance of runner-up PVNS Rohit last year. At home, I practice regularly, in the mornings from 4 to 5, and in the evenings from 7 to 8.” Studying in Class VIII, Pradyumna says he ensures that his studies are not impacted due to his singing pursuit. In his free time, he says he likes to swim. “I swim to improve my breathing rate, which also aids in my singing. It helps me control my breath effectively,” he informs.
Pradyumna counts renowned singer KJ Yesudas as his guru. “I grew up listening to his songs. Every year, we meet him on his birthday at Mookambika temple in Kollur. This year, I dedicated my first song to him as a mark of respect,” he says.
He is singing on ‘Respect for Women’ in collaboration with singer Rahul Sipligunj and music director Ajay Patnaik on November 14 at Narsimha Reddy Engineering College in the city. The song focusses on the need to respect a woman and the girl child, and takes us through the struggle endured by a mother in raising her kids. It also shows how many of today’s youth treat their mothers shabbily. Lyrics have been penned by Subhash Narayana.
“I would like to sing on the numerous issues we see in our society today. My intention in singing on these aspects is to bring a change in people’s mindset so they can rise in unison and fight for a better nation,” he points out.
Signing off, Pradyumna says, “The caste system is causing social inequality in our country. I believe there is only one caste – the caste of humanity. There is only one religion – the religion of love, and there is only one language – the language of the heart”.
— Shyam Yadagiri shyam