By Shashi Tharoor
As the German poet Heinrich Heine so memorably put it, "When words leave off, music begins."
This has been true for Junoon's musical journey in South Asia. When politics seemed to disillusion, music enlightened. When diplomacy failed, music bridged the gap. When nothing seemed to be going right, Junoon's songs provided the healing balm.
Across the countries of South Asia, Salman Ahmad and his iconic Sufi-inspired rock band have brought together the region's youth, not through any propaganda, but through pure love for music. As our problems of intolerance and terror crossed borders, so too did Junoon's memorable lyrics of peace, harmony and love touch the hearts of youth from Karachi to Kanpur, and Islamabad to Delhi.
In its twenty years of existence, this band's popularity has only soared. True to its pluralistic image, it has expanded its fold and included members from nationalities other than Pakistan. Such is the power of music - a universal token of exchange that speaks the language of love.
Youth from the Subcontinent aspire for a fairer and freer future, together. To quote from one of Junoon's most popular songs, "Yaaron yeh hi dosti hai, Qismat se jo mili hai, Sab sang chalen, Sab rang chalen. Chaltey rahen hum sada."
(Friends, this is friendship, that we have got from fate; all walk together, all colours together, walking together forever)
The writer, an Indian Member of Parliament from Kerala, is the former UN Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information.
He is on twitter@ShashiTharoor
"Keep the music alive": (Above) Junoon at the Channel V Awards ceremony, Delhi, 1998; In concert with maestro Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, before 30,000 fans at the Hockey Stadium, Karachi, 1996; Salman Ahmed and his brother Sherry with Shashi Tharoor and Kofi Annan at Junoon's UN Day
concert, October 2001.
Photos: Arif Mehmood, courtesy Salman Ahmed
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
A Lahori's take on Delhi
Pakistani journalist, development professional and blogger Raza Rumi's first book 'Delhi By Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Travell .....more
Philanthropist and music promoter Jayesh Kotak wants the all-blind Indian orchestra Black to perform in Pakistan, where there is huge musical talent - and potential f .....more
On January 6, I nervously landed at the Delhi airport. I say nervously because I wasn't there as a tourist. I had gone to India as a researcher - t .....more
A dance documentary
An upcoming documentary by a team of Indians and Pakistanis traces the journey of classical dance in Pakistan through the story of the .....more
Page 1 of 177
The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw