The Statesman, Kolkata

Musical reward

She has been heard quite often in Kolkata regaling listeners with ghazals and other songs in programmes presented by the Manik Shahani Art Foundation.

At these programmes it was clear Seema Anil Sehgal was building bridges between people of similar cultures but separated by geographical boundaries.

Now a real reward has come for the singer-composer from Jammu and Kashmir in the form of the Hakim Khan Sur Award for the year 2005-2006 for “making a lasting contribution in the field of national integration”.

The award will be presented at a special function to be held at the City Palace, Udaipur on 5 March followed by a live concert by Seema. Lata Mangeshkar, Sunil Dutt, the Dalai Lama, Asghar Ali Engineer, Teesta Setalvad and Harivansh Rai Bachchan are some of the earlier awardees.

Widely recognised in Kashmir and other parts as the “peace singer of India”, Seema’s voice has been presented as a national gift to listeners in Pakistan.

The former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, presented Sarhad, a music album by her, to his Pakistani counterpart during the Lahore summit in February 1999 and it was said to have left a remarkable impression and strengthened musical bonds between the two countries.

She has performed in different parts of India and has been felicitated at Harvard.

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