New Delhi: On the occasion of the 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, artistes from over 124 countries have contributed in paying homage to the Father of the Nation through his favourite bhajan 'Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye'.
The famous Gujarati hymn was penned by the 15th century poet Narsimha Mehta and was one of the favourite bhajans of Gandhi, who included it into the roster of prayers routinely sung before his meetings.
During the closing ceremony of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Conference (MGISC) and in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Gutierrez, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharti, launched a medley version of the bhajan, sung by artistes from over 40 countries.
All Indian Missions abroad identified local artiste groups to record the bhajan who gave rise to an eclectic, colourful and rich rendition of the hymn infused with the local flavour of the region. Videos from different regions of the world have also been put together in a fusion video of about five minutes to give flavour to the bhajan.
Amongst the star performers is President Baron Divavesi Waqa of Nauru. Waqa's gesture was not just a tribute to Gandhi but was also a personal gift from him to Prime Minister Modi.
The medley version and individual country contributions are available on the External Affairs ministry's Youtube page.