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ICCR chief Karan Singh reveals talent as singer

Indian Council for Cultural Relations President Karan Singh singing his favourite songs at an evening of music presented by ICCR in New Delhi on February 22, 2012.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations President Karan Singh singing his favourite songs at an evening of music presented by ICCR in New Delhi on February 22, 2012.

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) President Karan Singh provided an insight into a lesser known aspect of his multi-layered personality when he sang his favourite songs -- ghazals, classical, geet and Dogri -- at an evening of music presented by ICCR here yesterday.

In the process, Karan Singh, a member of the Rajya Sabha and former Union Minister, also became the first ICCR chief to perform at a function organised by it.
 
“Music has been a major and magnificent input into my consciousness from a very early age. I first heard my mother singing Dogri folk songs and devotional hymns when I was very small. Subsequently, I learnt Indian classical music for several years, and continue my practice down to the present day," Karan Singh said.
 
“In one of his shorter poems, Sri Aurobindo has a memorable line- all music is only the sound of his laughter. There is indeed a certain divine quality in music that is found in no other form of artistic expression, and this is true alike of the rich majesty of classical music as also the lyrical quality of folk music the world over.
 
"India particularly, with its wide spectrum of language and tradition, has a rich store of folk music to which every region has made its contribution. This music expresses in a simple and direct manner the joys and sorrows, the triumph and tragedy, the shadow and sunlight of rural India," he said.
 
Karan Singh had revealed his musical talent when he inaugurated the International Jazz Festival organised by ICCR at Nehru Park here last year by playing an old Bollywood tune on the piano.
 
"I decided to make him really sing this time for the public and I am delighted that he humoured me by agreeing to my request," ICCR Director General Suresh K Goel said.
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Describing himself as an amateur musician, Karan Singh says he makes it a point to sing once a week. “Music plays an important role in my life. I am fond of listening not only to Indian classical music but also Western pop. In fact, I am a big fan of Whitney Houston who died recently. I have also admired the likes of Billy Joel.”
 
Karan Singh was given lessons in music by Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma, father of santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma. “He was my teacher in Kashmir. As ICCR is the hub of cultural activities, I decided to sing and hope people liked it," he said.
 
The show started with a half-hour programme by Radhika Chopra. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur was the chief guest at the event.
 
NNN
 
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