President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Annual Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the year 2013 to maestro Zubin Mehta at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee said: "We are not only honouring a distinguished son of India, but we are recognizing his untiring efforts, over the decades to convert music into an instrument of peace and harmony."
"He has made it his mission to bring hope and reason wherever there is conflict and discord. Zubin Mehta's music has the power to transcend boundaries. He has earned for himself a unique position in the musical narrative of the world," Mukherjee added.
The President further said that it is a matter of pride for India that even though he is considered to be a citizen of the world, he has retained his Indian citizenship and, as he traverses the five continents and enthralls with his performances, he is India's cultural ambassador.
"As he reaches out, through his music, to inspire states and their people with his message of tolerance and peace, we pay tribute to him for his unfailing efforts to foster unity and understanding among the communities of the world. His spirit and dedication is an affirmation of Rabindranath Tagore's vision of "that heaven of freedom" where the world is not divided "by narrow domestic walls," Mukherjee said.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Union Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch and Culture Secretary Ravindra Singh were also present on the occasion. (ANI)