Rajinikanth, along with many celebrities from the South Indian film industry, has appealed to fans and the general public to join a mass prayer scheduled to be held at 6 pm on Thursday.
The prayer is being held for the speedy recovery of veteran playback singer S P Balasubrahmanyam. The 74-year-old, who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, is on ventilator and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support (ECMO), a heart- lung assistance machine at a Chennai hospital.
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Rajinikanth hailed Balasubrahmanyam as “Padum Nila,” which means a ”singing moon” in Tamil and asked the singers fans to join him in prayer.
Veteran Tamil film director Bharathirajaa, who had appealed to people to observe a one-minute silent prayer at 6 pm today and then play a song by Balasubrahmanyam praying for his speedy recovery, urged television channels to join the prayer by broadcasting a song of the star singer.
“My friend Padum Nila should recover and that is the idea behind the mass prayer,” Bharathirajaa said.
Cine Musicians Union president Dhina said SPB is a senior member of the body and appealed to everyone to pray from their respective places for the singer’s quick recovery.
Veteran film producer Kalaipuli S Dhanu wrote a poem praising the sweetness of SPB’s voice and said the seven ‘‘swaras” were waiting for him and asked people to join the prayer.
Actors Radhakrishnan Parthiban, Vivek, Silambarasan, Manobala and veteran actress Saroja Devi were among the others who appealed to people to join the prayers.
Vivek said, “Prayer is very powerful and when crores of fans come together and pray it has a special force. For our SPB sir, let us pray for a minute.”
Music composer G V Prakash Kumar, “Let’s come together and pray for the speedy recovery of legendary singer SPB. Be a part of mass prayers on 20 August, 6 pm from your respective places. Let”s make sure that his voice is heard again. #GetWellSoonSPBSIR.”
Bharathirajaa had said music directors Ilayaraja, A R Rahman, actors Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and others, lyricist Vairamuthu, directors, musicians, members of Film Employees Federation of South India, producers, theatre owners, distributors besides billions of SPB fans across the globe would sing his songs at their respective places and pray for his recovery.
In August, Balasubrahmanyam had broken the news of his coronavirus diagnosis in a Facebook video.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)