The official adjudicator of Guinness Records, Mr Rey-mond Marshal, announced to huge applause that the event, Laksha Gala Sankee-rtanarchana, had broken the previous record of Poland where 60,000 people sang the national anthem together on August 2, 1937.
“In all 1.6 lakh people participated in the event. The previous record has been broken,” Mr Marshal said. He handed over the certificate to the finance minister, Mr K. Rosaiah.
The event was organised to pay tribute to the poet Tallapaka Annamacharya on his 601st birth anniversary. Musicians sang and performed on instruments the Annamacharya songs Bhavamulona, Bramhakadigina Padamu, Enthamatramuna, Podagantimayya, Kondalalo Nelokonna Koneti Rayudu, Narayana Namo Namo and Muddugare Yashoda.
The event saw thousands of young musicians, who outnumbered the older participants. “I had come prepared. The summer vacations provided me ample time,” said M. Samyukta, an MCA student. “Though It was not a competition, I thought perfection is important.”
“Many people try for records with unnecessary events. But breaking the record with the right cause is certainly laudable.” said G.R. Kumar, an employee of the agriculture department, who participated in the event.
“I think more people will ask their children to learn Annamayya songs after the event,” said Ms B.L. Laxmi of Ashok Nagar.
The event was organised by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, AP cultural department and Silicon Andhra, a US-based cultural organisation for Telugus. It took three months to organise the singing marathon.
“We are delighted with the huge response. It will certainly popularise Annammayya songs. His songs will be popular even for the next 600 years,” said Mr Anand Kuchibhotla of Silicon Andhra.
Film musicians like R.P. Patnaik joined in the laksha galam. “I am really happy that God provided an opportunity to sing Annamayya keertanas along with one lakh people,” Patnaik said.
Mrs Paluri Seshumamba, one of the organisers, said that singers from other districts too had participated in the event. “Such events will certainly make people more spritual and help the youngsters to know about our culture and traditions,” she said.
Swaralahari of Garimella Balakrishna Prasad, Swaranjali of Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna performed along with the singers. Tollywood celebrities including those from the team that made the film Annammaya took part.
There were moments of tension as small girls got separated from their parents. Organisers had to announce their names call out for their parents. It appeared at the end that no one went missing.