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Age not important: 97-year-old Manipuri musicologist on Padma Shri honour

NEW DELHI (IANS): Manipuri musicologist Laishram Birendrakumar Singh, 97, is happy that he was recently named for Padma Shri, the country's fourth highest civilian honour, and said that age has nothing to do with it.

His Wednesday morning started on a happy note when Laishram, who was earlier honoured with Doctorate in Law and Literature by President Pranab Mukherjee in Manipur, was informed that he has been named for Padma Shri for his contribution to music in the country.

"I felt very happy. Age is not important. I have dedicated myself to the study of scientific approach of Manipuri folk music. I have been honoured with this prestigious award as a satisfaction of the Indian government over my work," Laishram told IANS by phone from his residence in Imphal.

"It's important to start from the basic of music -- which is folk music. You should know that first, then learn Hindustani music," said the artiste, who has also been honoured by Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Owing to his age, the former engineer couldn't communicate for long with IANS. Asked if he would travel to Delhi to receive the award, which will be conferred on him and others at an investiture ceremony later this year at Rashtrapati Bhavan, he said: "Whether I go or not, depends on my health."
Other Padma Shri awardees in the music category include artistes like "Teri deewani" hitmaker Kailash Kher, Krishna Ram Chaudhary, T.K. Murthy and Anuradha Paudwal.

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