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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

Delhi HC pulls up Centre for not framing rules on e-cigarette

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New Delhi, Aug 21: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Central government for its failure to frame any policy on e-cigarette.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao pulled up the Central government for its failure to take any decision on regulatory measures for e-cigarettes till date. It noted that some states have already taken steps to prohibit it.

The bench said that this is an important issue particularly for educational institutions.

The court was hearing a plea seeking a ban on or regulation of the sale and use of e-cigarettes. It listed the matter for further hearing on September 7.

The public interest litigation petition filed by anti-tobacco activist Seema Sehgal, through advocate Bhuvanesh Sehgal, said that though there are no specific guidelines to deal with emerging threats such as e-cigarettes several state governments and Union Territories have taken steps to prohibit it.

Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh have declared e-cigarettes as an unapproved drug under the Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1954 and have begun prosecuting the vendors.

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India

Tejashwi Yadav attacks Nitish, says Bihar turned into ‘monster raj’

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New Delhi, Aug 21: Reports of a woman being paraded naked in a Bihar town prompted Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday to allege the state has been transformed into a ‘jungle and monster raj’.

A mob attacked, stripped and paraded a woman naked in a locality in Bhojpur district on Monday suspecting her for murdering a man. A video of the incident went viral on social media. The mob also torched a few shops.

Read More: Woman stripped, beaten by mob on murder suspicion in Bihar

The clip also showed people making video clips of the incident instead of helping the victim.

Yadav tweeted: “What is happening in my Bihar? Today a woman has been beaten up and paraded naked on the road. You (referring to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Modi) have transformed Bihar into jungle and monster raj.”

Yadav said he was numb to see the “heart-wrenching video clip” of the women.

Presently, the woman is under police custody and undergoing medical examinations.

However, she denied her involvement in the murder.

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India

Mandsaur Rape Case: Two accused gets death sentence

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Law

Bhopal, Aug 22: The Madhya Pradesh special court on Tuesday pronounced death sentence to the two accused Irfan and Asif for raping a seven-year-old girl in Mandsaur.

Second Additional District and Sessions judge Nisha Gupta sentenced death to the accused.

The minor was kidnapped and raped before being abandoned at a secluded place while she was waiting for her father after school on June 26.

The victim was found by a neighbour walking dazed on the next morning.

The brutal rape triggered a countrywide outrage and protest.

Thousands of people took out a march and also submitted a memorandum to the Mandsaur administration, demanding death sentence for the accused.

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