May 18, 2013

Musicians need your help!

From the taxi driver to the security personnel I have been asked for “extra” payment because I am carrying my keyboard, standard size. Airlines now charge musicians 1000 rupees for carrying instruments on board. This HAS to stop.

This is a Facebook post by well-known pianist Anil Srinivasan and it tells you of his recent experience. It also reflects similar experiences that our musicians and artistes have been having of late when they travel by air.
Shantala Subrahmanyam said international carriers do not seem to charge or bother. Dancer Anita Ratnam commented that it was time to start an online campaign.
And Sumana Chandrashekar said that Indigo charged her an additional 6000 rupees to carry the ghatam.
Musicians across the country have been unhappy with a new rule which requires them to pay Rs 1,000 for every musical instrument they carry on board a domestic flight.
The rule came into effect recently after Directorate General for Civil Aviation approved it - I hear that some airlines had already enforced it last year. The payment is mandatory, and over and above any extra payment that may have to be made for the weight of the instruments.
Tabla player Anuradha Pal launched an online petition and has collected over 1300 signatures this far.
Here then is an issue for the music community and the rasikas to form part of a bigger campaign and push it forward.
And do so strongly.
Talking of campaigns and ginger groups, I am impressed with the work that the Disability Advocacy Group in our city has undertaken with the company behind the Metro Rail project.
Realising that advocacy and close interaction on large projects at the planning board stage is the best strategy to get simple things done, this Group carries on a sustained dialogue and field work of the Metro projects. It seems to have got some things done and faced frustration elsewhere. But the effort is laudable and must inspire others.
While online petitions are simple and straight, a lot more needs to be done physically if a issue has to get to the top of an agenda.
The managers of the Metro in Bangalore as well as in Chennai seem keen to get the community involved.
But is this city community working alongside CMRL which is behind the Metro? On issues like traffic flow, parking, access and facilities.
Would CMRL host Open Houses for the neighbourhoods of Vadapalani and Ashok Nagar and Saidapet and will local residents share views and contribute ideas and designs that will make life easy for us all when the Metro is in place?

You can also listen to the audio file of this post here

No comments: