Wednesday March 20, 2019
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Rahul says Modi’s ‘Make in India’ is ‘Take in India’

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New Delhi: On Sunday, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi stated that the fight against the controversial land bill has not ended yet. However, it has shifted to the state assemblies, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” campaign was actually “Take in India” as it has “no place for farmers and labourers”.

Addressing a well-attended rally at the Ramlila Maidan here to mark the party’s “victory” over the government on the land bill, Gandhi said Modi only listens to “people in suit-boot”.

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He said Modi does not talk to farmers or the youth about their problems but only to bureaucrats and businessmen.

Gandhi referred to the working conditions at a ship-breaking facility in Alang in Gujarat — Modi’s native state — and said labourers get insulted as their “chemical-ridden bodies” are not able to burn properly after their death.

He said labourers get killed under wreckage of ships and also due to radioactive material in ships.

“When the bodies are burnt, there is so much chemical that the bodies do not burn completely. This is how a labourer is insulted,” Gandhi said.

He said the Modi government brought ordinances to change the land Act of the United Progressive Alliance government but had to finally relent and allow the ordinance to lapse.

“But I know Modi-ji. What he really thinks, he does not say. On one hand, he said the bill of the Congress will not end, on the other he told his chief ministers that we (Congress) could not do it at the Centre.

“Try to do it (make changes to the land law passed in 2013) at the state-level. The battle has not ended. It is in the state assemblies. The Congress has to fight it in every state,” he said.

Stating that the “victory” over the land bill was first of the farmers and later of the Congress, he promised to take on the government over issues concerning labourers.

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Gandhi recounted that a farmer had told him that the land he tilled was like his own mother.

“He told me Narendra Modi-ji is not just snatching our land but our mother. He wants to snatch our mother and give it to someone else, please fight for us. That day I realised it is a fight (not only) for your land but for heart, prestige, future of farmers. The Congress stood for you,” he said.

The Congress leader said Modi’s ‘Make in India’ does not have “place for labourers, farmers but for only those whom he meets and talks”.

“We don’t want such India. This is not ‘Make in India’. This is Modi’s ‘take in India’,” Gandhi said.

“On the one hand, they want to snatch your land, on the other your rights. In the end, you will get nothing. His two-three chosen friends will get it in the end. We will fight your battle. And you see what we did for your land, we will do it for labourers. We will do it for MSP (minimum support price), we will do it for problems of sugarcane farmers. You build India. We will never forget you,” Gandhi added.

He said Modi wants farmers to be weak, and they were facing problems in every state.

“I want to tell the prime minister, try to understand their problem. Help them. If you do not, you will see the Congress,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi said Mahatma Gandhi wore suit-boot but later chose a life of simplicity as he mingled with the people and had only a few belongings in the end.

“Look at Modi-ji. He wears new clothes every day. He wears suit worth Rs.15 lakh. The more he goes farther from you, the better clothes he wears,” Gandhi said.

(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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"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.

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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)