Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is a Santoor virtuoso and also a music composer. During his lifetime, he has received numerous national and international awards and honours including the Sangeet Natak Academy award, the Padma Shri and the Padma Vibhushan awards. He currently lives in Mumbai.
I had a chance to meet Narendra Modiji in 2007 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was the chief guest on the noble occasion of Gandhi Jayanti celebrations. A special event was organized by Smt. Rajashree Birlaji to commemorate the occasion. I gave a Santoor Recital and played Gandhiji’s favourite Bhajan “Vaishnav Jan To”. Modiji heard the full concert with rapt attention and I could note that he was highly influenced by Gandhiji’s philosophy. After the performance he personally took all the dignitaries around the venue where an exhibition on Gandhiji had been organized explaining the finer points of each and everything at the venue.
After, he took over as the Prime Minister of the Country in 2014, I have been observing his dedication, hard work in making this Nation No.1 in the Comity of Nations. He has been coming out with many innovative ideas and schemes for the betterment of the Citizens especially the younger Generation which includes the Student community who are the future backbone of this Country. To influence the younger generation he started “Mann Ki Baat” which no Prime Minister in the History of Independent India has ever thought of. In this, one of the students spoke to him about getting higher percentage but still parents were not happy. His advise was very simple and blunt. Each one of us has lot of talent in ourselves which we should exploit and excel in the same, rather than think of percentages.
I have observed from the day he has taken over as PM, he has been the first to introduce many Schemes for the welfare of the citizens. Notable among them are Swach Bharat Abhiyaan of which I am a Brand Ambassador too, Beti Padhao, Beti Bachhao scheme in which has made free education compulsory for the Girl child. Being a man of Strong will, he has taken many landmark decisions which no Government in the History of Independent India had ever dared to speak about. He abrogated Art 370 & 35A in one stroke and unified J&K with this Nation. He introduced and passed the Triple Talaaq Bill and gave Muslim Women their rights to live a life of dignity.
Today India and Indians are viewed with lot of respect and awe due to the efforts of Modiji in changing the whole perception about India. The recent examples are a scrutiny to the same. In our disputes with China and Pakistan which reeks of terrorism all the Countries of World be it USA, UK, Russia, Germany, Australia, NZ to name a few have strongly sided with India by condemning these two countries. This was not the case earlier. But Modiji in his short span has been able to change this Country’s image totally.
I am sure, in the coming years with Modiji’s foresight and leadership India will be the powerhouse where other countries will seek their way forward. In all his humility, he dedicatedly works for more than 20 hours hardly thinking of getting any sleep. In the real sense, he is a true “Karmayogi“. To such a Great Son Of India, my prayers & wishes at the Lotus Fees of Shri Sathya Sai Baba on the auspicious occasion of his 70″ Birthday to bestow Modiji with Good Health, Wisdom, and above all lots of strength for fulfillment of all his dreams and visions that he has for this Great Nation.