Famous Punjabi singer Padam Shri Hans Raj Hans today expressed serious concern over degeneration of Punjabi music into rank commercialism, from being a source of spiritual solace and enlightenment.
"Music is the quickest and easiest way to reach God," he emphasised.
Talking to Hindustan Times here, the maestro Sufi singer said, "Earlier, music used to be a creative art but now it has just become a tool to make some quick money. Our state with its water table depleted has lost its green pastures due to commercialism. The fate of the music industry has been quite similar as it has been sold to the 'thekedars' (contractors)."
"I have stopped going to award ceremonies only because of this," he lamented. Hans Raj Hans criticised the music videos that glorify violence and vulgarity and trivialise our tradition and culture. He flayed the glorification of 'nashas' (drugs).
Hans stressed that the whole family should be able to enjoy music together. "Sangeet tan ibaddat hai," (Music is worship) he quipped.
Asked about ways to stop this degeneration of music, he said, "A mass movement should be mobilised to curb this sub-standard stuff. It should start from the top. The heads of Punjabi channels are well-versed with our language, culture and values and the initiative should come from them."
On his upcoming projects, the sufi singer said he was working on two albums, one is Punjabi folk and the other is Gurbani. "At present, my album on sufi music and ghazals - Ik Ishara - is already in the market," added Hans.