You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

Those who attack music in Islam's name are faith's enemies: M J Akbar

Music has power to heal, to glorify, and fertility symbolised by music is to be honoured, Said Akbar

M J Akbar

IANS  |  United Nations 

MJ Akbar
MJ Akbar

India's Minister of State for External Affairs has denounced those who attack music in the name of Islam as the enemies of the faith.

"What more requisite expression of faith can there be than the aazan," he asked, referring to the musical call to prayer with an affirmation of the Muslim faith that is made everyday from mosques.

"The highest form of religion is expressed through music," Akbar said here on Tuesday at the inauguration of an exhibition on the life and times of M S Subbulakshmi, the famed Indian singer.

As a Muslim, he said, he was saddened by some who are attacking music by invoking religion.

Killing music would be "cultural suicide," Akbar said. Music has the power to heal, to glorify, and the fertility symbolised by music is to be honoured, he added.

The power of music is that it "brings out the universal in the individual", he said.

Devotional Islamic songs were performed at a concert by A R Rahman that followed the opening of the exhibition. The soulful music appeared to affirm Akbar's assertions about music being the expression of faith.

Speaking at exhibition's inauguration, UN Under Secretary General for Management Yukio Takasu said, "At the UN we communicate with six languages with interpreters," but music is the "universal language without the need for interpreters."

The exhibition was organised by India's Permanent Mission to the UN and the Sankara Nethralaya, a civil society organisation that runs eye hospitals and educational and research institutions.

Photographs show Subbulakshmi's career, her major performances, meetings with world leaders and the concert at the UN in 1966.

India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin recalled that Subbulakshmi had sung the Sanskrit hymn "Maithreem Bhajatha," at the UN and it captured the "essences of humanity" — the renunciation of war, the cultivation of peace and the ideals of sustainable development.

Earlier, along with India's Consul General Riva Ganguly Das, Akbar rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange, an honor for India's Independence Day. The market's index soared 29 points or about half a percent to set a record at 5,262.

In the morning, Akbar raised the flag in front of the Indian Consulate General.

The Empire State Building was lit up in the colours of the Indian flag for the day.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, August 16 2016. 14:16 IST