We recently did a feature on Julian Assange, Founder of Wikileaks, where we argued that he is a man who deserved to be honoured. By leaking several incriminating classified documents obtained through a private in the US army, he exposed atrocities committed by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. He did the world a service by bringing this information to the public, but the US government does not see it that way. They want to bring criminal proceedings against him and prosecute him and send him to death row or interned in a high security prison for the rest of his life.
We are compelled to argue that he deserved to be praised and supported and not slapped with criminal charges for hacking and mired in allegations of rape. The actions against Assange pose a grave threat to freedom of the press and free speech. Facing extradition to Sweden and amidst fears of political persecution, he was pushed to breach bail and seek asylum in the Ecuador Embassy in London.
Later the UN and Inter-American Court of Human Rights had ruled upholding his human rights. Despite the support of many eminent personalities, journalists, academics and millions of people globally, the US is set to book Assange under the Espionage Act. Last month Ecuador revoked his asylum and Assange was arrested by the UK police and is at present incarcerated in a British jail.
In today’s society the value system that evolved over the years hasn’t changed much. The distinction between right and wrong has remained broadly the same, only becoming progressively more inclusive. Unfortunately there is no probity in the people who wield power and position and they have scant regard for justice, fair play and honesty. As a result, it has eroded all of society’s moral, democratic and human values.
We wonder why someone from our Industry has did not write a song about the unjust hounding of Assange by the forces of power.
Can not music bring about change? We believe it can.
Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival of live music.