The Week, February 2014
I am very sad to see the way in which Nido Tania died. Racial profiling in India amongst Indians is truly a sad moment for humanity. I got married in the year 1976 to a girl from Assam. I have travelled and performed all over the North East. The people there feel neglected even today. In fact, outside their province, what they go through is very sad. I have heard of numerous cases where North-Easterns are discriminated against in the work place and educational institutions, especially in metropolitan cities. I hope that the people of India especially the Government of India considers the appeals and demands for equality made by the people of the North East. I pray that Nido Tania's soul must rest in peace and that that such gruesome acts of hatred vanish from the face of the planet.

A reason for such profiling could be that, unfortunately today most of our schools, colleges have become money making industries just like politics has become a profession. Students have become clients! Education is disseminated on the basis of class rather than equality. However, on the other hand, there are some schools and colleges in our country that are trying to keep the egalitarian culture alive and are indeed making a great effort to impart values and knowledge beyond books and classrooms.

I have visited most of the schools of India, including, Doon School, Mayo College and the Scindia School. I also recently visited Atul Vidyalaya in Valsad, Gujrat. It was a pleasant surprise to see the school and meet the students who were so talented and respectful. All the staff members and administration were kind and warm. The spirit of the school is Col. Sekhar. It has a beautiful ambience, a creation of Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai, one of the foremost Indians of his times, who left his indelible footprints across the fields of education, culture, economy and religion. They also have the Atul Institute of Vocational Excellence for vocational training for the tribal students. I will always remember the concert in Atul Vidyalaya. It was beautifully organized in an open air amphitheater where a very large number of people were present. In 1984, I had the honour of visiting Rishi Valley School near Bangalore. During this trip, I still remember the love and warmth I received from revered Jaddu Krishnamoorthy, the great philosopher and guide.

I was very happy to see the guru-shishaya parampara being upheld in these schools as well as others that I have visited across our country. It is this legacy that will facilitate the growth of knowledge and wisdom in harmony with well-deserved Indian traditions, in current times. I am really proud of the achievements of mankind but technology must be cultivated in harmony with peace and tradition. What worries me is that the future children of this world should not behave or look like Robots. To ensure thus, it is vital that modernization must be accompanied by a reverence for India academic traditions which have been valued through times.

It's been ten years since the sitar poet and patriarch, Ustad Vilayat Khan passed away. I recently attended a musical tribute in the memory of the legend On the occasion of the 85th birth anniversary of Master Luthier Bishan Das Sharma. It was presented by his son Sanjay Sharma who along with his brother Ajay Sharma are taking forward their father’s legacy of fine instrument making and inventing experimental instruments. I was very happy hear Vilayat Khan's son, Hidayat Husain Khan accompanied by Akbar Latif and Babar Latif Khan, sons of the great Latif Ahemad Khan of the Delhi school.
-AAk
music@sarod.com