The Week, June 2014
As they say that change is the only thing that is constant in this world. Something on the new govt>>

I remember the historical days of Doordarshan when it was the only channel our country used to watch. Several of my telecasts of the ‘National Programme’ or a ‘Sunday cinema’ had the entire Nation watching either by choice or no choice! Fortunately Doordarshan has so many historic recordings of great masters and the documentary films of eminent creative people. I wish we could all see these more often. All India Radio which is also known as AIR was the only companion before television came to our lives. AIR also has very rare recordings of great masters but I am not sure about the condition that they are in. Like so many our old originations of India like the judiciary, ASI, DDA, MCD or NDMC, AIR too continues to follow rules and regulations laid after the Indian independence. I hope the new government will review these ideas and bring out the changes. I will remain indebted to AIR for exempting me from an audition back in the day. AIR has a rule that every performing artist should go through an audition and after that musician is given grades like A, B, C and finally the artist is granted a ‘Top Grade.’

I remember my father and guru Ustad Haafiz Ali Khan Saheb coming all the way from Gwalior to broadcast in AIR Delhi. At that time the fee for top grade artist was only Rs. 150/-.Now days, the high officials of All India Radio are very kind and compassionate and have granted top grade to so many deserving and also undeserving musicians, who are perhaps not even locally known. Young musicians especially under 40’s who are established and accepted by the music lovers of India whether they have applied or not applied for broadcasting on AIR, automatically should be granted and offered Top Grade. I am both happy and sad that AIR is living up to the tradition of patronizing their favorite musicians by helping them through audition and promoting them from B to A and A to Top. Common Men of India is listening to FM Radio and various other channels. Only very few people are interested in listening to AIR and their classical musicians. The rules and regulations needs to be reviewed urgently. Till date I could not understand the relationship between Prasar Bharti, All India Radio and Doordarshan. Doordarshan should have their own system of audition and inviting artists. Why should they depend on the gradation granted by All India Radio. It is my humble appeal to the next minister of I&B to kindly review the ancient rule and regulation of AIR which is indeed very unhealthy and injurious for the talented young musicians of India.

Today we have about 400 TV Channels and there is a constant competition of presentation in the field of classical music also. Especially our younger generation has to give more importance to the presentation so that people who are listening or watching us should receive lots of peace tranquility and happiness from our music. I am so happy that India’s first 24 hour classical music channel 'In Sync' has gone on air. The channel focuses on concerts by musical stalwarts and also promotes young talent. In Sync has nearly 150 hours of content lined up of both live concerts and also very elegantly shot studio recording. Truly a pleasure to watch and of course listen! Apart from live concert recordings and studio performances, the channel also airs programs that have semi-classical music to offer along with educating and informing the different 'ragas' in Indian classical music between shows. Bollywood songs which have their origins in classical music are also featured. Interestingly they also air music that is ‘in-sync’ with the time of the day.

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