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‘Chowkidar’ Will Be Ever Alert, Keep Catching Thieves: PM Narendra Modi

Earlier, he said that the upper castes quota bill passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday was a "historic decision" and a slap on the face of those spreading lies and indulging in 'minority quota politics

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Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi.(Wikimedia Commons)

Kicking off the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha campaign in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday targeted the Congress, accusing it of corruption and warned that “this Chowkidar (watchman) will never sleep and continue to catch thieves”.

“Should the ‘chowkidar’ go ahead courageously or not? He never sleeps. However dark it may be, he goes to catch thieves. It is your blessings which gives him the strength to do this and he (chowkidar) will continue undeterred in the fight against graft. He will make them accountable for every paise belonging to the country,” Modi thundered at a public rally.

“Those who believed that power was their ‘dynastic right’ are now in the docks facing various corruption charges, ranging from tax evasion to commissions in defence deals. Our government has stopped all this. They are panicky and trying to scare me,” Modi said.

He said the recently deported James Christian Michel had made many “shocking revelations” and according to media reports he was also lobbying for other companies’ fighter jets.

“Now, we have to investigate how the Congress is involved in all this. They are spreading lies about me and trying to scare me, but this is Modi and he is made of different material altogether,” Modi said, appealing for public support to his war against corruption.

Modi. BJP
‘Chowkidar’ will be ever alert, keep catching thieves: Modi. VOA

Earlier, he said that the upper castes quota bill passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday was a “historic decision” and a slap on the face of those spreading lies and indulging in ‘minority quota politics.’

“Lies were being spread that the reservations available to Dalits, tribals and OBCs were sought to be removed… by those playing ‘minority quota politics’. But we have ensured that none of these are disturbed and given an additional 10 percent. This is a fitting reply to those spreading canards,” said Modi.

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Narendra Modi also discussed at length the various achievements and development initiatives of the BJP government in the past four years as compared to the “previous (UPA) government which was remote-controlled” and hence its decisions remained merely on paper.

Arriving in Solapur on Wednesday, he laid the foundation stones for a 30,000 unit housing project for the poor and a combined project to improve water supply and sanitation under the Area Based Development of Solapur Smart City, inaugurated a 58-km long stretch of the National Highway No 52 linking Solapur-Tuljapur-Osmanabad and unveiled an underground sewerage system and three sewage treatment plants. (IANS)

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Know How Grammy Award Winner Inspired by PM Modi to Dedicate Music to Environment

From songs like "Ganga" - depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians - to his Grammy-winning album "Winds of Samara" - which speaks of peace and global harmony

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grammy award winner, modi
"What was to be a photo opportunity with the Prime Minister turned into an hour-long discussion with him on environment. He spoke on the impact music could have on society and inspired me to make music on environment," Kej told IANS in an interview here. Wikimedia

A chance meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2015 in New Delhi inspired Bengaluru-based Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej to dedicate his life and music to the cause of environment.

Since then, Kej, who has represented India on global fora, performing at venues including the United Nations General Assembly in New York and UN Headquarters in Geneva, has been using music to flag ecological issues to policymakers and public the world over.

“What was to be a photo opportunity with the Prime Minister turned into an hour-long discussion with him on environment. He spoke on the impact music could have on society and inspired me to make music on environment,” Kej told IANS in an interview here.

From songs like “Ganga” – depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians – to his Grammy-winning album “Winds of Samara” – which speaks of peace and global harmony – Kej’s music connects with all — from world leaders to the man on the street.

With the aid of compelling visuals, Kej’s music, and collaborations with global music artists, highlights the deleterious consequences of urbanisation, climate change and human-animal conflict.

modi, grammy award winner
From songs like “Ganga” – depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians – to his Grammy-winning album “Winds of Samara” – which speaks of peace and global harmony – Kej’s music connects with all — from world leaders to the man on the street. Wikimedia

“There are so many issues in India like child labour, gender inequality and poverty, which none seem to be reflecting through music. We see that music has lost the identity of being an art form and has become a profession,” he lamented.

Kej, 37, bagged Grammy in 2015 for the ‘Best New Age Album’ for “Winds of Samsara”, created along with South African flautist Wouter Kellerman. He is also recognised as the ‘United Nations Global Humanitarian Artist’ for his music with environmental consciousness.

The subjects of Kej’s music include, the rising air pollution in global cities and towns, the perils being posed to wildlife due to urbanisation and the story of Republic of Kiribati, an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean off Fiji, whose coasts are receding each year due to rising ocean levels due to global warming, among others.

With 15 studio albums released internationally, 3,500 commercials, three feature films in Kannada and over 100 music awards in 20 countries to his credit, the conservationist-musician’s album “Shanti Samsara” was released by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the United Nations Conference of Parties (CoP-21) Climate Change Conference in Paris, held from November 30-December 12, 2015.

The album, conceived after his meeting with Modi, had Kej collaborate with about 500 musicians from 40 countries, for songs like “Ganga”, throwing light on the pollution plaguing the river, and on “Earth and Water”.

“Politicians and policymakers are used to statistics and numbers, but when one approaches them through art, it makes a lot of difference. I have seen politicians change their perspectives towards environmental causes after attending my concerts,” Kej asserted.

The element of environment and nature in his work comes from his own experiences. For instance, he composed the song “One With Earth” – which highlights natural farming and the need to give up chemical fertilisers – after he lived with the tribals in Andhra Pradesh’s Araku Valley to understand their lifestyle and traditional farming techniques.

Grammy award winner, modi
“There are so many issues in India like child labour, gender inequality and poverty, which none seem to be reflecting through music. We see that music has lost the identity of being an art form and has become a profession,” he lamented. Wikimedia

Born in 1981 in North Carolina in the US, Kej moved to Bengaluru with family when he was eight, with intense love for music and nature.

“As a child, I felt music and nature were connected and found music in the sounds of nature, birds and animals. I used to look at music as a way of understanding history, cultures and emotions from different parts of the world. A lot of my education was through music,” said Kej, who was part of a rock band “Angel Dust” during his class 12th from Bishop Cotton Boys’ School in Bengaluru.

Even as Kej pursued a dental science course on his father’s advice, he continued to create music and decided to pursue it full-time on completing the degree.

“Like most musicians, I started my career with popular music and later turned to heavy metal and jazz. I finally zeroed in on world music as it connects with the people the world over, irrespective of the language they speak,” Kej recalled.

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As a professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in the renowned Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus in this tech hub, the musician believes his job is to approach environmental subjects artistically.

“Numbers don’t hit people as hard as visuals and art can. My job as a musician is to drive the numbers and data through emotions,” Kej added. (IANS)