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PU’s music department falls prey to religious extremism May 18, 2008

Posted by lollywoodhungama in Uncategorized.
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IN the face of tough opposition by religious hardliners, the management of Punjab University, a 130-year old 25,000-student institution, is struggling to maintain its writ on campus.

The university started a discipline in music, but in the face of stiff opposition, the classes of this department can’t be held on the campus and had to be shifted to Alhamra Art Council where they are being held in its basement since the programme began two years ago because the Jamaat-e-Islami-backed Islami Jamiat Talaba called music ‘un-Islamic and vulgar’.

Classes of the second batch are also being held at the council and the university administration has not yet been able to shift them on campus.

Classical singers say that the launching of the music discipline at the university was a milestone to promote traditional music, but the Islami Jamiat Talaba said it was a waste of time and resources.

IJT activists vowed not to allow music classes on campus and several times protested against the launching of the music discipline. They call the Art and Design Department as ‘darul kufr’ (house of sin).

Badrul Zaman, winner of the President’s Pride of Performance Award, said music students would promote peace and love through their performances. He said it would be a great opportunity for musicians to have formal education and earn a master’s degree as well.

“All students are encouraged to become professional singers. They will also revive classical music, which is Pakistan’s identity abroad,” he said.

He said that music students were looked down upon by certain sections of society for no reason.

“Study and research will help them take Pakistani music to new heights. It is regrettable that Pakistan has no audiovisual library. I took me 50 years to differentiate between Pakistani and Indian music, which has been explained in a documentary,” he said.

Keith Timney, teaching western music, said that students were able to understand the delicacies of music. Nadeem Riaz, a student, said that after graduating he would become a professional singer of classical music. Another student, requesting anonymity, said that the IJT was capable to stop classes if held on university campus.

Fascinated by Lahore

BOLLYWOOD actor Emraan Hashmi, on a visit to inaugurate premier of his film, said he was fascinated by Lahore because the city had beautiful buildings and stunning girls, a report in Daily Times said.

He said the city was not different from New Delhi. He is on a two-day visit to Lahore to launch his latest film Jannat. The actor said Lahoris had been “very friendly with him”. He was accompanied by his co-star in the film, Sonal Chauhan, and producer Mahesh Bhatt. The three stressed the need for more Bollywood-Lollywood joint ventures.

They said such efforts would help bring the people of the subcontinent together. Emraan said joint showbiz productions would also help the peace process between the two countries. Jannat has been co-produced by Javed Sheikh.

Emraan and Sonal said they were visiting Lahore for the first time and were surprised to find that the city was ‘very different’ from what they had expected. “I will never forget the love I got from the people at the Lahore Airport,” Emraan said. He said he was visiting Lahore to “explore the city and to know its people”. He said he had been to Karachi earlier for the screening of Awarapan, a previous film, but had not been to Lahore then.

A night with the Stars 

MAHESH Bhatt said filmmakers from both Bollywood and Lollywood were making efforts to do more business jointly and share more human resources like actors and technical staff.

He said the people-to-people contact in the subcontinent was improving due to the efforts of the showbiz industries of both India and Pakistan as well as the two governments.

He praised President Pervez Musharraf’s efforts to improve Indo-Pak relations.

Mahesh Bhatt, Emraan Hashmi and Sonal Chauhan graced DISH on Monday night. Dubbed ‘A night with the Stars,’ J&S put together a gathering of socialites featuring a plethora of celebrities from the fashion, film, sports and business elite of Pakistan, at their new venture into the restaurant world, DISH.

Decorated eloquently in beige, the restaurant glistened with celebrities and paparazzi alike as the stars were at their best.

Overall, a casual soiree, the night seemed peaceful till the arrival of the Indian delegation, which brought about it the air of frenzy that is seen typically around the Bollywood stars.

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