THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Vizhinjam seaport project should be pursued with all seriousness as it would prove to be the ‘Gateway of India,’ but fisherfolk in the region should be rehabilitated properly before the first stone for the project is laid, playback legend K J Yesudas said on Wednesday.
The singer, replying to a felicitation by the Kerala Legislative Assembly on his completing 50 years of playback singing, said Keralites should be a little selfish about this particular project since it would prove a blessing to posterity.
Yesudas, taking a brief trip down memory lane, recollected the golden rule laid down for him by his father Augustine Joseph - ‘’He told me, ‘you should not become a member of any party, club or organisation. Meditate on music alone.’ Maybe, it was because I held fast to it, you are now showering me with your blessings,’’ he said.
He also sang the first lines of ‘Jaathibhedam Mathadvesham...,’ written by Sree Narayana Guru for which he first lent his voice in a film.
Speaker G Karthikeyan described Yesudas as a singer nonpareil who has captivated the hearts of Malayalis like no other. No other singer has shaped the Malayalis’ taste for music as Yesudas has done, he said. ‘’He is truly a national treasure that Malayalis can be proud of,’’ Karthikeyan said.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who inaugurated the function, said Yesudas’s love for humanity and emphasis on religious harmony made him a great human being. ‘’His is a talent that has surprised all. He has sung in almost all of the Indian languages. He has won the national awards seven times and the State awards, 43 times. His achievements are all-time records,’’ Chandy said.
It was through Yesudas’s voice that the beauty of the Malayalam language was most sublimely expressed, Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan said.
Ministers P K Kunhalikutty and K M Mani, MLAs C Divakaran, A A Azeez, A K Saseendran, M V Sreyams Kumar and Anoop Jacob and Deputy Speaker N Shakthan also spoke.