On Saturday night India’s Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan and his two sons Amaan and Ayaan performed live with musicians from across the world for the Chant4Change peace concert at Washington’s Lincoln Memorial.
The concert made use of music as the healing unifying force in wounded and terror-infested universe.
However the rain gods played truant.
Speaking after the concert Khan Sahib said, “We three . my two sons and I, performed while it was drizzling.We dedicated our concert to world peace and harmony.We paid our humble Tribute to Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi , Rabindranath Tagore and Hazrat Amir Khusrau who created the Qawwaali and Taraanaa singing styles.”
Khan Sahib and his sons began the historical Chant4Change concert with an inspirational number. “The first item was We Shall Overcome Hum Honge Kaamyaab, then we rendered Vaishnav Jana Toh, Ramdhun, Raghupati Raghav Rajaram, Ekla Cholo re and then we sang a Taraanaa. We ended with Bengali Folk Music. We hope the whole world soon realizes the value of peace and harmony. Collectively we must give our younger generations a peaceful and harmonious world.Our family feels very sad when we hear about young soldiers dying in the War , no matter which country.We feel connected with every soul every religion and every song of the world.”
Explaining how music can and unify people across the world, Khan Sahib says, “People of the world have to think about the value of togetherness peace and harmony.Collectively people of India and the world have to create a peaceful and harmonious environment for our children and younger generation.India was one before the Partition.That is why even today it’s Indian Classical music that unifies the two countres and their people. We could only divide the LAND but could not divide the music or Swar… Zameen Ka Batwaaraa hota Aayaa hai aur Ho Gaya Lekin Swar Ka Batwaaraa Naheen Ho Sakta.Unfortunately the political system of countries everywhere is based religion.But in our country it is most complex and complicated. My guru once gave his opinion on politics said every election is a big gamble. How we play our cards .How cards are played if you can manipulate you win or if you are unable you loose the election. Political Parties are not interested in our unity and togetherness.”
Khan Saab wonders at the growth of radicalism in India. “I wonder how a PhD becomes radical or communal.There is a strong message there for our education system . Like Dubai or Singapore I wish in our country too people would be afraid of the law and abide by the rules regulations and discipline .It’s high time the judiciary found some other ways of gathering evidence and not depend only on eyewitnesses. So many cases of the judiciary are still waiting for a verdict and so many verdicts are not acceptable by the people of theworld especially in India.”
Khan Saab worries about the rampancy of terror attacks even in America . “The USA should not encourage people to openly buy weapons especially for the younger generation it is very dangerous not to have licence for the weapons.The greatest mockery is that every political leader talks of peace and harmony at the same time every country is busy producing weapons guns and missiles.The future of the world looks aimless and bleak. The world is heading towards destruction .We need to have some powerful world body or organisation to intervene in the mass killings every day in every country especially in Pakistan .Earlier we thought thw UN or UNO will take care of all the world problems.But today unfortunately even the UN is in trouble…I hope the world soon understand the value of love peace and harmony.”
Khan Saab’s own family is a portrait of peace and secularism
He 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 realised God Almighty Only through music..
He ends with a plea for artistes to be exempted from political agendas, “Art, music and musicians don’t belong to any cult or religion Like flowers,air ,water, color,fire and fragrance we of the artistic fraternity also belong to NO Religion . In our Country every classical musician is Worshipped like Goddess Saraswati.” If we can’t help each other for God sake don’t destroy each other. Think seriously about the future of every