Aligarh, Oscar-winning music maestro A.R. Rahman was Sunday conferred an honorary doctorate by the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) at its 59th convocation. The composer, who said he was overwhelmed with the honour, urged more young people to join creative fields like arts and media.
“In a world of mass killings, terrorism and violence, we need positive emotions,” said Rahman.
Rahman also urged the youth to learn and join him in building a strong, harmonious India.
“I find a transcendent language that all can understand that can bring all together — a language that awakens in each of us an awareness that all energy is spiritual energy and the fate of one is linked to the fate of all,” said Rahman.
Quoting Nelson Mandela, he said: “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Education alone can eradicate poverty.”
Rahman ended his speech with “Jai Ho”, the song for which he got an Oscar.
Along with Rahman, eminent Urdu writer Gopi Chand Narang also received an honorary doctorate.
Talking about Urdu’s status among Indian languages he said it was as high and as exclusive as the Taj Mahal among buildings.
“Urdu is a language of plurality and openness. I denounce all kinds of totalitarianism and regimentation.
“To me Urdu is a way of life representing more than a thousand years of composite culture drawing sustenance from Amir Khusrau, Nanak, Nizammuddin and the contributions of Ghalib, Mir, Iqbal, Faiz, Firaq and Prem Chand,” he said.
West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi was the chief guest along with Justice A.N. Ahmadi.