Sarod maestro Amjad hopes Indian voters will choose wisely

Washington, March 26: Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan hopes Indian voters would choose the right kind of people in the coming elections so that progress made over the years is not lost.

“Whatever government comes to power, whomsoever the Indian people choose, I hope to God would not at least let the country slide backward,” Khan, who is popularly known as Ustadji, told IANS over the phone from New York after a month long US tour.

Khan, who wowed an international audience at the ‘Music for Peace’ concert with his sons Amaan and Ayaan at the United Nations Monday, said it was his humble appeal that children of the world must experience peace, tranquility and harmony.

“It felt great. It was a very rewarding experience,” said the musician who had performed with his sons at the UN on October 2 last year too to commemorate the ‘International Day of Non Violence’ on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

Organised by the UN Academic Impact and the Indian mission to the UN, the concert at Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium was attended by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji and diplomats from over 100 nations.

“I am very grateful to God that I was born in the family of musicians where eating, drinking, sleeping was only music,” said Khan describing himself as “a humble representative of a long legacy.”

“If you listen to Indian classical music, especially Sarod, with full concentration you will receive all the positive effects of music,” he said calling peace as very important for every country and the humankind.

Speaking after the concert, Khan said, he had told his audience that while everybody was talking about women’s empowerment these days, one basic wrong has to be corrected first.

“No school or college asks a student his or her mother’s name when a mother is a child’s first guru,” he said.

Lamenting the commercialisation of education, he said, now a days schools, colleges and hospitals treat students and patients as just clients.

There was something very wrong with the education system if it could not create compassion, kindness and humanity among human beings, Khan said.

Noting that Sarod was getting very popular in India and there were talented young musicians in every field, the celebrated musician also appealed to the government to honour young classical musicians under 40 while they are giving their best.

The sarod maestro has recently completed a recording for a ‘Gurbani Album’ with Ustad Harbhajan Singh Namdhari, which he said is “my humble tribute to Guru Nanakdevji.”

During his month long tour, Khan and his sons earlier performed at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and at several concerts in California.

At two concerts at the prestigious Getty Centre in Los Angeles, only Amaan and Ayaan performed while Amjad Ali Khan watched from the audience as a “proud father and a guru.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

IANS