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Subbulakshmi: Opening Rosebuds

Sunil Khilnani explores the life of south Indian singer MS Subbulakshmi.

Sunil Khilnani explores the life of south Indian singer MS Subbulakshmi.

Subbulakshmi's singing voice, striking from the start, would ultimately range three octaves. A perfectionist, she had the capacity to range across genres but narrowed over the years to what another connoisseur of her music has called a 'provokingly small' repertoire. In time, the ambitions of those who loved and profited from her combined with her gift to take her from the concert stage to film to the All-India Radio to near-official status as an icon of independent India.

But, as Professor Khilnani says, "what was required of Subbulakshmi, in moving from South Indian musical celebrity to national cultural symbol, is deeply uncomfortable when considered through the prism of contemporary feminism."

Producer: Martin Williams.

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15 minutes

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Remarkable individuals who shaped India, and sometimes the world.

Remarkable individuals who shaped India, and sometimes the world.

Professor Sunil Khilnani introduces the second series of Incarnations.

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Incarnations - The Podcast

Download all the episodes from the series and listen at your leisure.

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Incarnations: Art and Music

The artists who created the illustrations and music for the series.

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