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Time to fight destructive elements: Amjad Ali Khan

How can someone disturb the peace, tranquility and why is nobody reacting to it?

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Veteran sarod player Amjad Ali Khan feels that it’s high time everyone stood up against “disturbing elements that are trying to take away peace from the world” — and artistes should show the way.

“Creative freedom needs some space. No world can stay united if you are not together from heart and soul. It’s time for us to stand together against terrorism and other destructive elements that are curbing our growth and making us go back in time,” Amjad Ali Khan said when asked about his take on the backlash faced by some artists from a section of society.

“How can someone disturb the peace, tranquility and why is nobody reacting to it? Education is important, but that is not the only way to bring compassion in a human being. It’s time to raise a hand and fight against destructive elements as we all know that it’s just one section of the world which is committed to destroying it,” he said, adding that “it’s time to fight against arrogance, hatred and destruction.”

Controversy over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati” is one example of how the medium of art and films is going through a tough time. Not only films, even comedians in the country, and music artistes from across the border, have had to face strident, and sometimes violent, opposition.

However, Amjad Ali Khan says, it was heartening that the world had more peace-loving people than those who would destroy it.

“I hope and pray… let the younger generation experience peace, harmony and tranquility in the world. As a human being I feel proud to see the achievements of mankind. However, I feel that an educational degree is important for any artiste today as a back-up plan. Creative fields don’t have formulas or methods (for success),” he said.

“I wish to have music shape the consciousness in a way that contributes to oneness in children; it must be more practical and less theoretical,” added Amjad Ali Khan who was in the capital to receive the 2017 Dayawati Modi Award for Art, Culture and Education for his contribution to Indian classical music.

Amjad Ali Khan is one of the undisputed masters of the music world. Over the course of a distinguished career spanning more than six decades, he has won numerous accolades, including a Grammy nomination, the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum, Unicef’s National Ambassadorship and the Fukuoka Cultural grand prize. He has performed at venues the world over, including Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall, as well as at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2014 in Oslo, Norway.

He feels that musical vibrations can convey moods and emotions and have the ability tomould and shape our consciousness. “Different types of music can have different effects on the mind — both positive and negative. Our mind is like any living organism. It must be nurtured and needs stimulation to develop and grow. Music is one of the most important ‘foods’ for the intellect. Each musical note is connected to this most important part of our minds,” said Amjad Ali Khan.

He said is happy to see the progress of young artistes in India. “They are very fortunate to get access to so much content today through YouTube and many other mediums. However, to be a professional, you must learn from a teacher.” Amjad Ali Khan’s sons, Ayaan and Amaan, are taking forward the legacy and so he is satisfied with the way they have kept the tradition going.

“My years of teaching my sons were quite an experience. It was a first time that I was able to hold a student in my lap. In a family where music is a way of life and is basic to life, the training starts from the moment a child is born,” he said.

“In the course of Amaan’s and Ayaan’s training (which is an ongoing process for a classical musician), I never encouraged them to copy my style of playing beyond a point. As they developed and matured as musicians I was relieved to see both brothers developing a very distinctive and rather different approach to what was taught. This, I feel, is only natural as music is a reflection of an individual’s mind and soul,” the veteran sarod player said.

So what keeps him busy nowadays? “Today, I am experimenting, doing interesting projects. The world has indeed become a global village. Musically, there is so much more that has to be done. It’s a long journey. I am looking forward to my collaborations this year with Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra. I hope that we can bring these projects to India too,” he said.

IANS

India

Modi talks of Nagaland’s development, says Naga issue’s resolution soon

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Tuensang (Nagaland), Feb 22: Assuring that the Centre is working towards finding an honourable settlement to the vexed Naga issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed to the state electorate to vote the BJP and ally NDPP to power for political stability in the hill state and its development.

“We are working to end the political problems in Nagaland. I believe we’ll be able to hammer out a political solution to the Naga problem within the next few months, which will be honourable and well-deserving for the people of Nagaland,” he said at a public rally in remote Tuensang district.

The Prime Minister said the Centre had kept the door open for talks with anyone for finding a lasting solution to the Naga issues.

“We have kept open the option for talks with everyone. We are ready to talk to civil society and other groups at any time. We are ready to talk with the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation also. I admit that the ENPO area is very backward. We are also going to consider special packages and schemes for the development of ENPO area,” Modi assured.

On August 3, 2015, the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) had signed a Framework Agreement to end the seven-decade-old insurgency. Last year, the government had signed an agreement with a Working Committee of six Naga national political groups.

In January, the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations had urged the Election Commission to defer the Assembly elections till a solution to the protracted Naga insurgency was found.

Eleven political parties in Nagaland had also decided not to issue tickets or file nominations to press for an early solution to the seven-decade-old insurgency.

Modi said the National Democratic Alliance government is giving special priority to the northeast and making efforts to enhance prosperity in the region. “Our government is committed to ensure all-round development of the northeastern states”, he said.

Beginning his speech by saluting the Naga people in the Nagamese language, Modi said if the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and BJP alliance came to power in Nagaland after the February 27 elections, development will reach the grass roots in the state.

“People of Nagaland have been striving for peace and stability. The development of Nagaland will gain speed only when we all move together. We must now go beyond political instability, which has been in the state for the last several years. Swearing in of four Cabinets in four years is a drag on development,” the Prime Minister said, emphasising the need for a strong and stable government in Nagaland to work for its development.

“My vision for the northeast is transformation by transportation, and in less than four years, we have added 500 km of national highways and plan to invest more than Rs 10,000 crore in the roads of Nagaland, he added.

“We would ensure that the funds released for your state reach you. With the help of technology, we will plug the loopholes which are causing wastage of public money”, he said.

Informing that the central government has approved the construction of 8,500 houses in Nagaland, Modi said that for the construction of new houses and completion of old schemes for houses, we have decided to provide Rs. 160 crore to Nagaland.

“Under National Health Mission, Nagaland has been provided Rs 400 crore and the government will spend around Rs. 1800 crore for making Nagaland’s capital Kohima a Smart City,” he promised.

The Prime Minister said corruption posed a big challenge.

“It is imperative for development that every penny from the Centre reaches the common man. The then Prime Minister (Rajiv Gandhi) had once said that only 15 paise reaches the common people as against every Re 1 released by the Centre. This must change. Our government is working towards this end and plugging loopholes and leaks.”

The Prime Minister said that every resource earmarked for Nagaland’s development would be spent on public welfare and there would be no tolerance towards corruption.

“Connectivity in Nagaland is a priority for us. We have ensured development of National Highways in the state. We will invest more money here in future to further strengthen the road network. We are also focusing on increasing rail and air connectivity,” Modi said.

He also saluted the culture of the Naga people. “The Constitution of India respects Indian diversity and also calls for living in harmony with all sections of society. The culture of Nagaland is our pride and we will do everything possible to preserve and promote it,” he added.

The BJP has fielded 20 candidates and its alliance partner NDPP 40 for the February 27 elections to the 60-member Assembly.

IANS

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Post-office scam unearthed in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind

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Bhind, Feb 22: A massive fraud to the tune of crores of rupees has been detected at Galla Mandi Sub-Post Office.

Following this all the records have bee sealed, UNI reported.

“Post-office agent Bevi Jain’s husband Ramesh colluded with post-master PS Bhadauria and withdrew crores of rupees from several post-office accounts. The agent and her family is absconding,” said Post Inspector Ajay Sahu.

The agent’s family has gone to some other state.

According to the reports, Ramesh used to fraudulently close post-office accounts, withdraw amount lying therein and provided the money to his sons to start a business.

This comes days after Rs 11400-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi which is considered as the biggest banking scam in the history.

WeForNews

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ABVP members manhandled me, says DU AISA head

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New Delhi, Feb 22 : All India Students Association (AISA) head at Delhi University on Thursday alleged that she was manhandled by several male students at Satyawati College during a programme on women’s safety.

Kawalpreet Kaur, the AISA chief, alleged that the group from Satyawati, consisting of BJP youth wing ABVP members tried to sabotage her speech on Thursday by raising slogans against her and her group.

They threw her phone away when she tried to capture the attack on camera, Kaur said.

“When the talk was about to get over, many Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad members gathered in the auditorium and started disrupting the event.

“They manhandled the professors and were after me and when police came to rescue me they asked them — Where are you taking her? We will take her life,” Kaur was quoted in her message on Whatsapp groups as saying.

The ABVP is one of the political opponents of AISA, the student wing of the Communist Party of India Liberation.

One of the eyewitnesses said it began with hooting during her speech. “A group of students started hooting and howling during the speech but teachers brushed it off saying students do such things.

“Soon after, some 15-20 people came inside and started raising slogans against Kawalpreet…

“When she was being taken away by the police, one of them even said we will take her life,” the eyewitness told IANS on condition of anonymity.

IANS

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