The Week, July 2009
I am very disturbed and disappointed to see and hear about the racial atrocities and tortures in Australia. I always thought Australia to be most progressive, contented and absolutely peaceful. I have such beautiful memories of my past several tours epically at some great venues like the Sydney Opera House, Adelaide Festival etc. Seeing the sufferings and fear of Indian students in Australia, I am absolutely shocked. My sympathies are with our Indian students and every student of any country suffering on account of racial discrimination. Because of the electronic and print media, we can see and read about the problems human beings are going through. Racial problems are not a new phenomena, it has always been there from very early times. Historically people of certain countries or people of a certain colour of any country suffered the most. This included our father of nation Mahatma Gandhi who was thrown out from the train in South Africa because of racial discrimination. While touring South Africa, I visited all important places connected with Mahatma Gandhi and the freedom struggle of India. I am so proud of the people of USA, who elected and chose Mr. Barack Obama as their President. It’s really a tribute and salutation to all those who gave their lives for racial discrimination. In fact, I am also against the term ‘third world country.’ Are we really? With all our achievements and growth globally, why are we in this bracket?

I always felt happy and honored to be associated with any memorial or celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. On his 125th birth anniversary, in the presence of our then Prime Minister Mr.P.V. Narsimha Rao, I presented and evoked a special Raga called Bapu Kauns in UNESCO in Paris as homage to the Father of Nation. I also received the Gandhi medal from the Director General of UNESCO the same day. Last time I visited South Africa, functions were held on the hundred year celebrations of the Satya Grah movement, in presence of Dr. Manmohan Singh. The President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki was also there. It was in a huge stadium. I also felt honored to contribute towards the Apartheid movement, while Mr. Nelson Mandela was in the prison.

On the request of the Late Shri.Sunil Dutt, I performed at Sabrmati Ashram at 5:30AM near Ahmadabad in the presence of all the Congress leaders especially. This was also to commemorate the Padyaatra of Baapu. Even in our own country there was discrimination. The Dalits and minorities suffered the most. The credit goes to Mahatma Gandhi who along with his like minded people dedicated their lives to peace and non-violence.

On account of discriminations in our country, India was divided in to several states. Because of vote banks, the ruling parties could not take any strong decisions for the unity and better future of India. Our entire political system is based on discrimination. Some suffer more and some suffer less. After a few years like in Europe, god forbid, every state in India may become a separate country.

No school of the world has time to teach the value of love or compassion. Every school is busy teaching only the subjects required for the examinations to be evaluated at the next class. Certain people and the countries are busy injecting hatred among the children. It is high time all schools need to reform their teaching system and their curriculum. Every child must be told about the great contributions of their parents in their life. Instead of preparing children as inhuman robots to face the violent world, we need to create a special class where children could be taught the importance of love, tolerance, patience, and compassion. Also they should be encouraged for their creative instincts. Why are children in schools shooting each other? Why are children detached from their parents? Why don’t children respect their school Teachers and Principals?

Every state of India is boasting about their educational achievements or high rates of literacy. But I don’t think education could create compassion or kindness in a human being. Yes, educated people become very clever and most of them are contributing towards violence and destruction. My education is through music or sound only.

According to my parents who were my Gurus too, there are basically two worlds of knowledge. Sound and Words; the world of language is ruling the world but very few can analyze or realize the sound. Thank God I belong to the world of Sound. Sound and Music has connected the world. Language created barriers and discrimination.

I personally feel that we the people of the world are of the same race; we also have a common God because all of us come and go in the same way from this world. It’s high time we realize and convey this message to the world.