Disappointed Christians were not invited to National Indian Orchestra launch

first_imgDear Editor,I am delighted to read in your newspaper that Bhaskar Sharma will soon launch the ‘National Indian Orchestra’ (NIO) with the aim of encouraging the Indian arts, including classical music, playing Indian instruments, dance, etc.Such a gesture has beckoned for a long time, considering that the only form of Indian music most local Guyanese are comfortable with is the commonplace “chatney” music.This news is music to my ears. However, I am saddened and disappointed that Mr Sharma is inviting “all heads of the Hindu religious organisations in Guyana – including the Arya Samaj, and also Islamic groups nationwide — to participate and support this musical initiative,” but is not extending the invitation to the Christian community.I do understand why Guyanese feel that Christians have no affinity to Indian music. Traditionally, Indian music has been perceived as a sinister entity that has no place in the Christian church, community or home. Many surmise that only music of the West or creole music would please God. However, times are changing, and Christians are recognizing the error of our past ways and coming to grips with the realisation that God could be worshipped with all kinds of music and all kinds of instruments.At present, the Jeewan Ki Roti programme is aired on Channel 28 (the first two Fridays of every month), and Guyanese are expressing great appreciation for the beautiful music accentuated in the (Christian) programme. I am an ardent evangelical Christian, who happens to think that Indian music is perhaps the ‘sweetest’ in the whole world. I love the sounds of the sitar, tabla, dholak, harmonium and so on. The various genres with which Indian culture and music are expressed (including dance) are rich and beautiful.I am also pleased to know that Mr Sharma’s planned NIO will promote the teaching and use of the Hindi and Urdu languages. A significant number of people in Guyana have some affinity to those languages, so this is a welcome move.I trust that the NIO will not be concentrated only in the Georgetown area. (Unfortunately, though the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) is playing a magnificent role equipping Guyanese with the Indian arts, the scope is limited, as only the elite or those with “transp” can access the ICC.) I hope the NIO will spread its wings to many parts of Guyana.Thank you, Bhaskar, for this initiative. You have my support. And please remember to also extend your invitations to Christians.Sincerely,Devanand Bhagwanlast_img read more