Culture should not be hostage to politics, plead musicians

Mumbai, Jan 16 (IANS) The escalated border tension between India and Pakistan has impacted cultural and sporting exchanges and that is something that many in Bollywood are worried about.

Pakistani singer and actor Ali Zafar's concert in Pune was cancelled and classical singer Javed Bashir was also told to cancel his concert in Delhi.

Lyricist, screenwriter and poet Prasoon Joshi believes that art should not be hostage to politics - and that artists, in fact, play a part in improving relations.

"I don't think music should be dragged into politics. I think musicians are beyond that and we have all enjoyed each other's music and it should always be like that," said Joshi.

"If musicians can play a role in getting people together, it should be done."

Joshi, who debuted as film lyricist with Rajkumar Santoshi's "Lajja [2]", has penned songs for several highly successful films, including "Hum Tum", "Fanaa", "Rang De Basanti", "Taare Zameen Par", "Black" and "Delhi 6".

Joshi, who also turned dialogue-writer with "Rang De Basanti", in fact believes artists are not capable of hate.

"If you actually talk to artists, you will find they don't have any hatred in them. They are lovers, they are romantic, they love nature, humanity and if they are not loving, they are not artists," said Joshi

His views are echoed by another prominent lyricist and poet, Javed Akhtar, who is an advocate of greater people-to-people ties and trade links between India and Pakistan.

"We should ideally have a common market, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and so on. There should be exchange of trade, culture, sports, students and so on," said Akhtar.

"But I am afraid it is not so. Whatever has happened is quite ugly and (it is) totally understandable that people are in an angry frame of mind," added Akhtar, referring to the escalated tensions after Pakistani troops killed and mutilated the bodies of two Indian soldiers recently.

The tensions have also impacted sport, with Pakistani players in the ongoing Hockey India League being asked to return home.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »