Shri Justice Cyriac Joseph, Lok Ayukta,

Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose, Chief Patron, Mohammed Rafi
Smt. P. Jayalekshmi, Patron, Mohammed Rafi Foundation,
Shri M.S., Shyamkuman, Patron, Mohammed Rafi Foundation,
Shri S. Unnikrishnan, General Secretary, Mohammed Rafi
Dr. D. Soman, President, Mohammed Rafi Foundation,

Priyappetta Sahodaree Sahodaranmare,

Ellavarkkum Ente Namaskaram.

I am very happy to address this gathering of music lovers in the beautiful city of Kollam, which enjoys a significant place in the commercial and cultural history of Kerala.

Kollam is famous in history for its trade links and for having one of the earliest printing presses in India. Added to all these, we have the famous saying, Kollam kandavanu Illam Venda, which points to the magnetic power of this city.

I am also glad to have released two significant books written by Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose, whose contributions as a civil servant and promoter of innovative ideas are well known throughout the nation.

In fact,a pleasant surprise that I got when I assumed office as Governor of Kerala was that therewas such a large fan following for Rafi Sahebin our State.

As we all know, Rafi Saheb was born in Amritsar and reigned supreme in Mumbai as a legendary singer. Besides, he had not sung any song in Malayalam. Yet, Kerala has perhaps the largest number of Rafi fans, and organizations which strive to celebrate his musical contributions. In fact, this is the second function related to Mohammed Rafi that I am attending in Kerala in the last two months.

However, having known the cultural tradition of Kerala,   I realize that this abiding passion for the songs of Rafi Saheb is the people's natural appreciation for the finest art. This also shows the power of music and art to unite people, irrespective of where they reside or what language they speak. This also shows the beauty of the unity in India's diversity.

Incidentally, I have heard that though Rafi Saheb had not sung any song in Malayalam cinema, some people had composed a song in the film Yatheem with the intention of requesting Rafi Saheb to sing it.  That song, Allaavin Kaarunyam Illenkil Bhoomiyil Ellaarum Ellaarum Yatheemukal, was later sung by Shri Yesudas.

We are also aware of a poem, Suhaani Raat by Gyanpeeth winner and Malayalam poet Prof. ONV Kurup.  It was written after the poet spent a night in a house which once belonged to Rafi Saheb. Such has been the magical impact of Rafi Saheb's inimitable voice.

It is laudable that the Mohammed Rafi Foundation, Kollam, established just four years ago to popularize this legendary singer among the new generation, has been conducting annual music contests and providing a stage for singers every month in Kollam.  I am informed that last year's musical contest was held at an international level, with prizes amounting to lakhs of rupees. 

However, equally impressive is the Foundation's charitable activities which include aid for cancer care and Free Medical camps to the people who need support.  This solace,provided by music loverswith their own funds, to the suffering fellow beings reminds me of the well-known healing power of music.   

I understand that Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose was one among the group of music lovers who set up this Foundation. His association with Kollam as former District Collector is well known, since he had floated the idea of Fileil Ninnum Vayalileku in administration. It is befitting that two of his books have been released on this musical evening.

I have heard that fine literary and oratory skills have made Shri Ananda Bose quite popular. The book ‘Ee Lokam Irundathalla’ [This World Is Not Dark]takes a unique look at the changing face of the world by yoking together dissimilar ideas in an enticing pattern.

The book has a balanced mix of culture, politics, art, literature, architecture and diplomacy. The State Institute of Languages, which has been facilitating the all round development of the Malayalam language by bringing out scholarly works, deserves appreciation for publishing this book.

The Selected works of Shri Ananda Bose, published by Poorna Publications, touches upon the culture, social life, ethos and milieu of Kerala Society. It is marked by a rich sense of humour, which has endeared the author to the readers.

I congratulate Shri C.V. Ananda Bose on his literary achievements and appreciate his active involvement in areas related to housing, administration etc.

Let me also compliment the Mohammed Rafi Foundation, Kollam for their regular activities and for organizing this function in a befitting manner.

I shall conclude by greeting all the Rafi fans who have assembled here today.

Rafi Sahibinte Sangeetham Pole Madhuramakatte
Ellavarudeyum Jeevitham.

लोका: समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु ।
वलरे नन्नि
जय हिन्द