The nation was again shamed on Friday when one of its musical doyens Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was denied entry into a foreign country.Apparently being a Khan is not good news for cultural ties even if it is attached to some of the most iconic artistes of the Asian subcontinent.
Khan Sahib who is known to be India’s unofficial ambassador and goodwill was shocked when he was denied visa to the United Kingdom where is scheduled perform at the Royal Festive Hall in September.
Speaking two days after the incident Khan Sahib says, “This is the first time I am denied a visa by any Country.It comes as a rude awakening for me. We performing artistes are all symbols of peace harmony and unity… SwarHee Eishwar Hai… We connect with God though our music only. Every priest of every religious order gets a monthly salary .Even then these priests never conveyed the mantra and truth of Life: that all of us share a common God and we are one common race.”
Not that Khan Sahib thinks artistes to be a different unique race. “Every human being comes to this world and goes in the same way. But the community of musicians and artists is very small and closely knit.I hope the world would soon understand and realise the true meaning of an Artist and Musician.”
Khan Saab’s own family is a portrait of peace and secularismHe says proudly, “In our family my wife Subhalakshmijee my sons Amaan and Ayaan , my daughter-in-lawNeema and my grandchildren Abeer and Zohaan we all feel connected with every human being,every Religion and every soul.We strongly believe in a Common God. Only the seven musical notes unite the world.I look forward to more compassion among communities and human beings. I have realized God Almighty Only through music.”
Khan Sahib has no quibbles with the way the world treats his genius. “The UK and in fact the whole world including Royal Highness Prince Charles and Princess Dian have always given me lots of love respect and honours.”
The Sarod maestro now hopes the US would undo the damage. “I am anxiously and eagerly waiting to receive my UK visa.Every country should handle the present global atmosphere of distrust and suspicion with compassion sensitivity and discretion, especially when it comes to musicians and Artists of the World.”