Musical protest at Vrindavan to save Yamuna

April 9th, 2010 - 4:19 pm ICT by IANS  

By Brij Khandelwal
Vrindavan, April 9 (IANS) The banks of the polluted Yamuna river came alive to the soul-stirring strains of a unique musical protest that bemoaned nature’s bountiful beauty turning into a sewage drain and hoped for better sense that would one day revive its “divine glory”.

The musical initiative of Acharya Jaimini Thursday evening drew cheers and support from activists, who have been alarmed by the construction frenzy, high level of industrial effluents and toxic waste finding way into the river.

“The ghats are vanishing, the lush green forests have disappeared, the birds don’t chirp any more, the holy ‘kunds’ are in a shambles. All over the Braj Mandal you only see concrete structures, the eye-sores of modern civilisation,” said Acharya Gopi Ballabh Shastri who runs a water hut for the pilgrims in Vrindavan.

The musical protest to halt further deterioration of the “Heritage River” was organised by sitar maestro Jaimini. His four-part composition of Indian contemporary classical music was rendered effortlessly but forcefully by a group at the river bank.

Speaking to IANS, Jaimini said: “In the first composition the river enters the plains: realization of ancient Yamuna, then after the bridge construction there is a sudden jolt and shock and the holy river shrinks in shock and awe. In this composition, Italian piano player Ranso also performs. Italian guitarist D. Turi is the co-musician. These compositions express devotion to Yamuna.”

The Indian classical notes bring out the divine glory and the faith of the pilgrims in Yamuna. The strains are harmoniously blended with Western musical notes to highlight the destruction and pollution in the river, the concrete structures all over, Jaimini said.

A CD of the composition, raag Raseshwari, was released by Vrindavan’s Radha Fine Art Studio.

(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at

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