Monday December 10, 2018

Instead of looking at West, Indians should recognize Indian art, spirituality and healing power: Kailash Kher

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By Natalia Ningthoujam

Singer-composer Kailash Kher, now a producer, says there are some filmmakers who highlight the “helplessness of India” in their movies in the name of creativity. But he, as an artiste, will never follow suit as he believes that India has the power to heal the world.

Kailash is looking forward to the launch of his mythological TV series “Baba Kedarnath”, which is backed by the Uttarakhand government. With a strong spiritual content, the TV show will introduce the “Teri Deewani” hit-maker as a producer.

He says he would like to take up more projects revolving around the country as a producer, but would never be part of a TV show or a movie that focusses on the poverty or other problems of India.

“There are filmmakers like Shyam Benegal who continue to explore the real Indian art. Even Ashutosh Gowariker makes films about India like ‘Swades’ or ‘Lagaan’. They are some of the filmmakers who present India in a good light; otherwise people tend to make money by showing the poverty of India and helplessness of India mostly in the name of creativity.

“This gives the impression that India is a poor country. Irrespective of the strength of the script, I will never show India like that. I will show that India can save the world, which is infected by depression and loneliness,” Kailash told IANS in an interview.

The singer, who hails from Meerut, also added that India is widely known for yoga and so can propagate good health and happiness.

“In India, you don’t need pills, there is so much of affection and warmth. We (he and his Kailasa band) recently went to Shillong by road. Wherever we stopped, they offered us water. And there was so much of warmth… That’s our spiritual strength,” he added.

He believes there is “so much of love and warmth” in India that anyone will be healed.

“People from the west run after India as India has the strength of spiritual healing. Why can’t our own people, the generation of today accept that? Instead of looking at the west, it’s better to recognize our own art, mythology, spirituality and healing power,” said Kailash.

And so, he is doing his own bit.

“Whatever I do, music will reflect me, and my music is nothing but spirituality. If I write about love, my love angle will be about how the universe is made,” said the “Allah ke bande” hitmaker.

As of now, Kailash’s new album “Ishq Anokha” and the TV show, which has seven songs sung by the industry’s celebrated names like Hema Malini, Sonu Nigam, Arijit Singh and Shaan, are taking up most of his time.

“Day and night we are working on 16 tracks at a rocket’s speed,” he said. (IANS)

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World’s Anti-Corruption Day

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges "to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide."

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Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Corruption costs the world economy $2.6 trillion each year, according to the United Nations, which is marking International Anti-Corruption Day on Sunday.

“Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune,” the United Nations said.

The cost of $2.6 trillion represents more than 5 percent of global GDP.

The world body said that $1 trillion of the money stolen annually through corruption is in the form of bribes.

Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International, told VOA that about a quarter of the world’s population has paid a bribe when trying to access a public service over the past year, according to data from the Global Corruption Barometer.

Moreira said it is important to have such a day as International Anti-Corruption Day because it provides “a really tremendous opportunity to focus attention precisely on the challenge that is posed by corruption around the world.”

Journalist, Anti-Corruption
An activist places candles and flowers on the Great Siege monument, after rebuilding a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Valletta, Malta. VOA

Anti-corruption commitments

To mark the day, the United States called on all countries to implement their international anti-corruption commitments including through the U.N. Convention against Corruption.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. State Department said that corruption facilitates crime and terrorism, as well as undermines economic growth, the rule of law and democracy.

“Ultimately, it endangers our national security. That is why, as we look ahead to International Anticorruption Day on Dec. 9, we pledge to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide,” the statement said.

Moreira said that data about worldwide corruption can make the phenomena understandable but still not necessarily “close to our lives.” For that, we need to hear everyday stories about people impacted by corruption and understand that it “is about our daily lives,” she added.

She said those most impacted by corruption are “the most vulnerable people — so it’s usually women, it’s usually poor people, the most marginalized people in the world.”

Anti-Corruption
Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Development Program notes that in developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

What can be done to fight corruption?

The United Nations designated Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day in 2003, coinciding with the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the U.N. General Assembly.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about corruption and put pressure on governments to take action against it.

Tackling the issue

Moreira said to fight corruption effectively it must be tackled from different angles. For example, she said that while it is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption, governments must also have mechanisms to enforce that legislation. She said those who engage in corruption must be held accountable.

“Fighting corruption is about providing people with a more sustainable world, with a world where social justice is something more of our reality than what it has been until today,” she said.

Anti-Corruption
It is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption

Moreira said change must come from a joint effort from governments, public institutions, the private sector and civil society.

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges “to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide.”

It noted that the United States, through the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, helps partner nations “build transparent, accountable institutions and strengthen criminal justice systems that hold the corrupt accountable.”

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Moreira said that it is important for the world to see that there are results to the fight against corruption.

“Then we are showing the world with specific examples that we can fight against corruption, [that] yes there are results. And if we work together, then it is something not just that we would wish for, but actually something that can be translated into specific results and changes to the world,” she said. (VOA)