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Yeh kya jagah hai doston

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Published on Dec 24, 2012

Dear viewer,

My name is Radjesh Madarie. I was born in Suriname and raised in The Netherlands, though my hart is Hindustani because I was brought up in this culture for the largest part of my life.
As for many Hindustanis brought up in a foreign country, I also have a high respect and devotion to the Indian culture - India is the best!

From a young age I am a big fan of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Loving Lataji and Ashaji meant loving India. And the love grew through Bollywood films. Everything seemed so beautiful, even Nargis working the unploughed earth in the film Mother India seemed idyllic, even romantic. I remember during the Miss Universe pegeant Sushmita Sen said that India is a great country with many cultures and languages, and it has always been love that connects people. That last statement, made me wonder.

Luck was with me when I was able to meet Asha Bhosle at a concert here in the Netherlands. She had noticed me and was interested to meet me after the show. She could see how much I loved her and her sister Lata, and wanted me to realize my dream to meet Lata Mangeshkar. When I heard that I was welcome to visit, and that the time for it was fit, I could only daydream. In the Indian Embassy I saw huge posters of India - Incredible India - the same that CNN also advertised. Wow, finally off to India to meet India's greatest daughters.

In one way or another, I am also inspired by the things Lata Mangeshkar loves. She loved Mukesh songs, which I also like listening to, such as Hothon pe sachai rehti hai. The lyrics and the video clips immediately reminded me of a dream land. So I'm going to paradise, the promised land of my ancestors, of which they were always talking about. I could not understand that they had left this paradise for a better life.

It was great to see Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle . Ashaji took fantastic care of me. What an open and honest woman, an artist and role model. But she was not always able to openly speak her heart. Normally if you are going abroad on holiday you want to see tourist attractions. Asha Bhosle reacted with quite a painful face when I asked. "Why do you want to see tourist things, don't you see enough on TV? Everyone comes here for the fun things, but my country has a different truth, about which little advertising made. It hurts me every day to see hunger, pain, grief and sorrow. If you want to be a human rights activist, take the opportunity to do something for us too!"

Ashaji tried to explain her position: what she can and cannot say, what can make and break her with her statements, and what her unfulfilled wish is for her country.
Together with her I traveled through a small part of India. I had the bad luck that my camera broke during the trip, but there was also no possibility for a celebrity like Ashaji to stop somewhere anyway. I had to remember the suffering and the gigantic mess as a starting point.

In the Ganga, the sacred river, there are corpses floating, which are also divided: pregnant women are placed elsewhere. It is not my intension to attack a belief but possibly one may question whether such a river is sacred at all.
The division between rich and poor, the gap between people caused by the caste system was so visible. Mohandas Gandhi is as blatant example, cited when it comes to incense, but does India really love Gandhi? Gandhi tried to defend the position of people of the low caste, and tried to get them equal rights. But how-come, so many years after Ghandi's example, this has not changed?

I was overwhelmed by the environmental pollution in India. A major goddess in India is Mother Earth, Dharti Mata. But how this goddess is daily soiled and spit upon...

I saw hunger and learned to appreciate my bread from now on. I saw suffering, misuse of power, hypocrisy, madness in faith, false beliefs, corruption, child labour and submission.

I have no money, nor well-educated, and I don't know how to reach the world. But my love for the world, the people, the animals and the environment is not less. I also don't know how to reach large numbers of people through the social media. YouTube is for now the only way.

I have chosen meaningful songs to reach you. I hope you will help me to fulfill the dreams of all those who are forgotten and living in poverty.
India needs help, not only for the rich to show off, but to meaningfully abolish the oppression and exploitation of the poor, and the plundering and destruction of the environment.

Please don't waste your time criticizing me but use your energy to help India. You will be blessed. I realize it is difficult to distance yourself from centuries old religious beliefs, but it is time do good for the lower caste and for the environment.

www.radjesh.com

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