The stamp was released at a special ceremony, also marking India's ratified the Paris climate deal.

UN releases postage stamp in honour of Carnatic legend MS Subbulakshmi YouTube screenshot
news MS Subbulakshmi Monday, October 03, 2016 - 20:06

The United Nations on Sunday unveiled a postage stamp to honour Carnatic musician MS Subbulakshmi, PTI reported

The commemorative stamp has a value of $1.20 (Rs 79, approximately). Accompanying Subbulakshmi's picture on the stamp is the UN's blue emblem.  

The stamp was released at a special ceremony, also marking India's ratified the Paris climate deal. Held at the UN headquarters in New York, the ceremony was attended by several prominent dignitaries.

Carnatic singer Sudha Raghunathan performed a rendition of Subbulakshmi's songs as well as Mahatma Gandhi's "Ram Dhun" at the end of the ceremony. She sang in seven languages and received a standing ovation from the audience.

Subbulakshmi, hailed by Jawaharlal Nehru as "The Queen of Music", was the first Indian to perform at the United Nations when she was invited by then Secretary General U Thant to give the UN Day concert on October 23, 1966. The highlight of the UN concert was Subbulakshmi singing a hymn in English -- a rare occurrence. It was written by C. Rajagopalachari, the freedom fighter and the first Governor General of independent India.

MS Subbulakshmi performing at the UN in 1966. Image countesy: Krishnamurthy, Ruchir Desai collection, Shravan

It was set to music by Handel Manuel of All India Radio. It was a prayer for gathering all nations "under this Uniting roof", the General Assembly, and it was accompanied on the piano.

She was also the first musician to be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.

This year also marks Subbulakshmi's 100th birth anniversary on September 16. To commemorate it, India had organised a photo exhibition at the UN headquarters earlier in August, where AR Rahman also performed.  


(With IANS inputs)

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