Delhi: Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan on Sunday said writers and artistes, who returned their awards “are not mad” but pained at the situation in the country, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should rein in people responsible for it as there “is lot of hope” from him.
“Modiji wants to do a lot of things, but there are some persons around him, who speak whatever comes on their tongue and do whatever they want,” sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan said at a press conference in Lucknow on Sunday.
“What is happening is very painful. I was watching Narayanamurthy’s interview yesterday [Saturday] and he also felt very concerned. Perhaps the situation does not seem to be normal….. Modiji wants to do a lot of things, but there are some persons around him, who speak whatever comes on their tongue and do whatever they want,” he told reporters here.
“At stake is peace”
The maestro said, “Modiji will have to rein in such persons otherwise the peace may be under threat. There are lots of hope from Modiji.”
Asked about litterateurs and actors returning their awards, the Padam Vibhushan awardee said, “They are also concerned with the present situation, therefore they are returning their awards. We have freedom of expression. It seems that there is something wrong somewhere.”
When asked if the same situation existed before the Modi government came into power, Mr. Khan said the litterateurs and actors were returning their awards now.
“Govt. must examine”
“They are not mad. They are pained and are returning awards to express their concern. The government should examine why this is happening,” he said.
Questioned if he was mulling returning his awards, Khan said, “As of now, I am watching the situation.”
“Ensuring peace and unity is the responsibility of every citizen. There are wrong elements in every religion, what I know is that we must remain cautious of such people,” he said. He said that it was not the responsibility of the government alone, but was that of every Indian.
“Country should remain strong”
“Efforts should be made that unity and integrity of the country remains strong. The Ganga-Jamuni ‘tehzeeb’ remains intact and every person is safe irrespective of the religion,” he said.
Mr. Khan said that Hindu and Muslims depend on each other and this dependency was “our strength“.
“Who makes my sarod ….? Hemendra Chandra Sen. If he does not make a good instrument, how will I play? Mutual faith and love is our strength. I have seen a lot of humbleness in the Hindu religion. Touching the feet of parents and teachers is a good thing,” he said.
Politics as profession
The sarod maestro said it was “unfortunate” that politics was no more the means to serve people but it had become a profession.
“Earlier, there used to be dedicated people in politics. Today we need people who can bring peace, unity and prosperity,” he said.
The maestro was here to receive the Naushad Samman of Uttar Pradesh government