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Ladakh Confluence called off by force

Musicians lash out at political groups for forcing cancellation.

music Updated: Jul 10, 2010 13:25 IST
Nikhil Taneja

In what turned out to be a horrible development for musicians, music fans and music itself, the much-awaited Ladakh Confluence, was cancelled, after threats from local groups left the organizers with no choice.

More than 20 music acts from across the world were scheduled to perform at the four-day festival. But Ladakhi political groups opposed the festival’s 'drugs, Ladakh Confluencewestern culture and rocking music and threatened the lives of the organizers.

The last straw was when the Tourism Ministry withdrew its support. In an official press release, the hapless organizers, who were working with the active support of the Tourism Ministry, stated, “We believe this is a genuine loss for tourism in Ladakh, as we were expecting over 4000 visitors for the Confluence.”

Musicians, who were slated to perform at the event, unequivocally expressed their digust at the turn of events. Says Aditya Bhasin, of Rajasthan Roots, “My heart goes out to the organizers who worked for months at end for this.

It’s unfortunate that the local groups weren’t supportive of something done for their own benefit.” Anand Bhagat from Pulp Society cited the example of the ‘Monk with the guitar’, Guruji Gyomo Namakura. “Music can never be a reason for an event to be cancelled.

I’ve even seen local Ladakhi boys taking drugs, so there must be another reason.” Hipnotribe’s Paresh Kamath is also outraged, “It’s supposed to be a Buddhist land but these people are threatening with violence!

Drugs are everywhere even without the music, and it would be stupid of people to go all the way from Mumbai or Delhi just for drugs, right? It’s too bad that this happened.”

The tickets of the artistes have still not been cancelled, and there is confusion about what’s happening next. Hari & Sukhmani’s Sukhmani Malik reveals that a camping trip in Ladakh may be in the offing. “We’ve just been told to keep things on hold and wait,” she says.