Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Make way for the world citizens

Come November, it's raining Nobels and Booker. Be it Yunus of Grameen Banks or Phelps of Phillips curves or Kiran and her Inheritance of words, it sure makes us proud. In the age of globalization, we are proud to be world citizens. We no more restrict our pride in these amazing achievements by geo-political barricades.

If we leave politics and economics aside, globalization may be cultural in origin — arising from watching a fireign film or sending students abroad. Democratic globalization is a concept of an institutional system of global democracy that will give world citizens a say in the world organizations. This would, in view of its proponents, bypass nation-states, corporate entities, ideological NGOs, cults and mafias.

The Sergio Vieira de MelloCitizen of the World award is given out by the UN Correspondents Association was initiated in 2003 in honor of the Braziliandiplomat and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who was killed in 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq. Recipients include actor Angelina Jolie, who is also the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.

India is likely to bid farewell to poverty and become the third most-powerful nation by 2030, says a senior World Bank official. So India will become a superpower in two decades. But, we Indians are ready to become dual citizens — of India and the world. The recipients too, are world citizens as they thrive to improve the world for us.

To the world citizens, though the world is just not enough, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bollywood drowns reggae beats

When was the last time you have danced to a reggae beat? Hard to recall, isn’t it? In city discos and pubs, hip-hop and R&B rule, and reggae seems to be fading out.

Says a city-based DJ, “There’s no demand for reggae numbers. Hip-hop and R&B like ‘Turn Me On’ and ‘Dilemma’ are the favourites.”
The music stores have tuned out of reggae as well. Bob Marley, Shaggy, UB 40 were most popular ones in this genre. However, Apache’s music is not totally reggae but a mix of rap and bhangra. But nowadays, hip-hop is the real chartbuster.

Today’s youth is hip-hop, so that’s their choice. Pure reggae does not have a big market anymore.

Event managers seem to have almost written off the form of music in favour of the flavours of the moment — bhangra and Bollywood. Reggae plays only at the retro bars nowadays. Indian music is so big, even internationally, that you find pub goers asking only for the popular film numbers.

It was Bob Marley, the legend, who made reggae into an international phenomenon. In the wake of his success in the 1970s came a host of other names, and it was not long before reggae became an established genre. But reggae was simply the offshoot of what had been happening in Jamaican music. Beginning with SKA and Rock Steady, the loudest island in the world had declared its real musical independence, and had already made an imprint on the world, albeit a small one.

If you want to take it back to the beginning, you have to blame it on jazz. One of America's great contributions to musical culture, Jamaica soon caught on, through radio broadcasts and records, in the 1940s. Bands sprang up to entertain tourists, like Eric Dean's Orchestra and future giants like trombonist Don Drummond and Sax Man Tommy McCook learned the licks and honed their chops on the music.

In India, Apache Indian introduced this form of music with his album ‘No Reservations’ in 1992. He was born and raised in Birmingham, the epicentre of the UK reggae scene. Apache diluted his pure reggae flavour over time, perhaps, to cater to the popular demand. His new album (still to be released in India) ‘Time for Change’ is also a fused reggae version. His music, however, does not keep the counter guy half as busy as the feet-thumping ’90s.