Disco Pioneers: Indian Born Music Producer Biddu and Tina Charles

Back in the ‘70s Tina Charles was a very talented English singer and at the time doing only backup vocals for groups, and wasn’t getting recognition. It wasn’t until she met Indian born British music producer Biddu who produced her immortal hit “I love to love”. I remember watching this song premier on “Top of the Pops” back in ’76. It still sounds fresh almost 40 years later!

Biddu is considered one of the pioneers of Disco, Euro-Disco and South Asian Pop (Indipop) music. He was hailed as one of the “50 Greatest Music Producers of All Time” by New Musical Express.  His international breakthrough came in 1974 with “Kung Fu Fighting” performed by Carl Douglas; the song became one of the best-selling singles of all time with eleven million records sold, helped popularize disco music. It was the first worldwide disco hit from Britain and Europe, and established Biddu as one of the most prolific dance music producers from outside the United States at the time.

He also produced “Disco Deewane” for Nazia and Zoeb Hassan which went on to become the biggest selling pop album in South Asia and launched an entire genre of South Asian pop music. I lived in Africa at the time, it was heard everywhere from corner shops to clubs.

The Obama Legacy – the Audacity of Dope

The real Obama legacy is nothing but broken promises, war crimes, illegally spying on citizens, assasinations of US citizens, the word’s most expensive “free healthcare” that stuck the bill to working class people in increased taxes, the world’s greatest ever deficit ($19 trillion?!@#&*!) looting the most productive members of society to pay for politicians to get rich including Obama. If you seek enlightenment, research what his net work was before he became president, and then what it is now.

By the way, MOST of the following articles below are commentaries by LEFT-wing, progressives. I guess there are a few principled left-wingers in the country who hold a Democrat President to the same moral standards that they hold a Republican President to.

http://www.nytimes.com/…/questions-on-drones-unanswered-sti…

“The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in Britain has estimated that, in the first three years after President Obama took office, between 282 and 535 civilians were credibly reported killed by drone strikes — including more than 60 children.”

http://www.democracynow.org/…/dirty_wars_jeremy_scahill_and…

“We’re looking right now at a reality that President Obama has essentially extended the very [drone war] policies that many of his supporters once opposed under President Bush,” says Scahill.”

Obama to boost US military in Iraq
http://www.stripes.com/…/in-reversal-obama-says-he-will-boo…

Obama Has Bombed Twice as Many Countries as Bush
http://alibertarianfuture.com/…/obama-bombed-twice-many-c…/…

To Defend Iran Deal, Obama Boasts that He’s Bombed Seven Countries
https://firstlook.org/theinterce…/…/obama-summarizes-record/

U.S. Dropped 23,144 Bombs on Muslim-Majority Countries in 2015
http://www.alternet.org/…/us-dropped-23144-bombs-muslim-maj…

Nearly 90 Percent Of People Killed In Recent Drone Strikes Were Not The Target
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/civilian-deaths-drone-strik…

Are Obama’s Record Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Iraq Fueling Unrest in Middle East?
http://www.democracynow.org/…/are_obamas_record_arms_sales_…

“We are joined by William Hartung, who says that even after adjusting for inflation, “the volume of major deals concluded by the Obama administration in its first five years exceeds the amount approved by the Bush administration in its full eight years in office by nearly $30 billion. That also means that the Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any U.S. administration since World War II.”

Former Drone Operators Say They Were “Horrified” By Cruelty of Assassination Program
https://theintercept.com/…/former-drone-operators-say-they…/

Obama Backs Biggest Nuclear Arms Buildup Since Cold War
http://www.forbes.com/…/obama-backs-biggest-nuclear-arms-…/…

Donald Trump and other conservatives’ deportation fantasies are awful. President Obama’s actual record is even worse.
http://reason.com/…/always-worse-than-trump-on-immigration-o

“Obama’s government has deported more than 2.5 million people—up 23% from the George W. Bush years. More shockingly, Obama is now on pace to deport more people than the sum of all 19 presidents who governed the United States from 1892-2000, according to government data.”

Obama’s War on medical marijuana
http://www.rollingstone.com/…/ne…/obamas-war-on-pot-20120216

“But over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi-agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush.”

New Report Finds Obama Spends $180K Per Day Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/obama-medical-marijuana-cos…

“”What’s the Cost?” confirms how much the U.S. Justice Department has spent over three presidential administrations to investigate, raid, arrest, prosecute, and imprison hundreds of medical cannabis patients and their providers — nearly half a billion dollars. Far outspending all of his predecessors, the report reveals that President Obama has dedicated nearly $300 million to such enforcement efforts, despite his repeated pledges to not use Justice Department funds in this way.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/bill-clinton-marijuana_n_43…
“Clinton’s successor, President Barack Obama, has spent more taxpayer money fighting medical marijuana than former President George W. Bush did during his two terms, according to a June 2013 report released by the pro-medical marijuana group Americans For Safe Access. In August, the White House announced Obama does not support changes to the legal classification of marijuana, despite growing evidence of its medical benefits.”

Obama Administration suing to keep Black people in prison
http://www.guardian.co.uk/…/us-v-blewett-obama-justice-depa…

“Last month, President Obama quietly did something that should shake every American to the core. Seeking to enforce federal crack cocaine laws that have since been repealed, the Obama administration asked a federal appeals court to ensure that thousands of human beings, mostly poor and mostly black, remain locked in prison — even though everyone agrees that there is no justification for them to be there.”

Obama’s War on whistleblowers
http://www.motherjones.com/…/obamas-whistleblowers-stuxnet-…

Obama Administration Fights To Withhold Over 2,000 Photos Of Alleged U.S. Torture and Abuse
http://jonathanturley.org/…/obama-administration-fights-to…/

Obama Wants to Spend a Trillion Dollars on New Nuclear Weapons
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/on-the-a-bombs-70th-anniv_b…

The White House Has Been Covering Up the Presidency’s Role in Torture for Years
https://firstlook.org/…/president-obama-covering-presidenc…/

Obama’s War on civil liberties
http://m.guardian.co.uk/…/26/drones-yemen-fbi-occupy-terror…

http://www.salon.com/2010/05/13/citizens_2/

Noam Chomsky: Obama’s Attack on Civil Liberties Has Gone Way Beyond Imagination
http://www.alternet.org/…/noam-chomsky-obamas-attack-civil-…

Obama is Bad on Civil Liberties, But That Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone
http://www.motherjones.com/…/obama-bad-civil-liberties-shou…

“Obama voted for the 2008 FISA amendments, a position that outraged liberals at the time. He continued the Bush-era surveillance of communications networks. He ramped up the war in Afghanistan. He vastly increased drone use overseas. He’s declared a war on leakers. He participated in the assault on Libya. He’s approved the assassination of American citizens abroad. His DOJ has aggressively made use of the state secrets privilege. He’s fought relentlessly to block lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses.”

Obama administration asks Supreme Court to allow warrantless cellphone searches
http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/obama-administration-asks-…/

Obama Has Already Broken His Pledge on Surveillance Reform
http://www.theatlantic.com/…/obama-has-already-brok…/278613/

Obama protects Wall Street bankers from going to jail
http://www.guardian.co.uk/…/untouchables-wall-street-prosec…

Obama still hasn’t closed Gitmo
http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/…/05/21/AR2009052104045.html

Obama promised to close Guantánamo. Instead, he’s made it worse
http://www.guardian.co.uk/…/obama-promise-close-guantanamo-…

(Thanks to David Kramer for compiling these).

Menu Kehn De – Himesh Reshamiyya (Akbar Sami Remix)

Here is Akbar Sami’s electro-house remix of “Menu Kehn De” with its energetic vibe is sure to haunt dance clubs around the world for years to come!

Out now in stores on T-Series, the album “Aap Se Mausiqui” by Himesh Reshammiya features this track.

Taking a look at the past, Akbar Sami and Himesh Reshammiya Bollywood collaborations have made history;  their partnership has brought us some of the biggest and most memorable Bollywood remixes and dance tracks such as the award winning remix track Aashiq Banaya Aapne and Aap Ki Kashish, Jhalak Dikhlaja, and many more tracks that still set fires to dance floors around the world.

Reshammiya’s debut album “Aap Ka Suroor” in 2007 is considered the bestselling album (that was not a Bollywood film soundtrack) in Indian history. I bought it mainly for the seven dance remixes on the album including the title track which were produced by Akbar Sami – sheer magic!

 

 

The American Inquisition: Religious Intolerance at Ground Zero

“Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” – Thomas Jefferson (Author of the Declaration of Independence)

By now, almost everyone’s aware of the NYC mosque controversy has made its way to mainstream news media, Twitter, Facebook and talk radio. It is breeding a rising hysteria against Muslims. Many protests have gathered now against proposed mosques around the country – in other parts of NYC; Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and Midland Beach, Staten Island and in other states – California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wisconsin to name a few mosques that are being opposed.

The big issue in the news this time is a building of an Islamic community center aimed at multi-faith dialog called Cordoba House, open to all faiths in Lower Manhattan more than two blocks away from “Ground Zero” where the World Trade Center once stood. It will house an auditorium, spa, basketball court, swimming pool, classrooms, exhibition space, community meeting space, 9/11 memorial, and, yes, a prayer space for Muslims. That is what the bigots of America find objectionable.

I lived in NYC for 13 years. In this frenzy what people seem to miss is – there was actually a “mosque” (prayer hall) in the World Trade Center itself where people gathered for Friday prayers. Every year Ramadhan is still celebrated in the Pentagon where 184 people died on 9/11. Ramadhan is also observed in the White House every year when the President hosts Iftar dinner. But since this is an election year, politicians have tried to build up the extremist hysteria further – Sarah Palin (on Twitter), Newt Gingrich, Rick Lazio (campaigning to be the next Governor of New York) and others are joining the frenzy of Islamophobists and bigots. On the other hand, I applaud CNN’s Fareed Zakaria for his actions. He returned a medal and award he got in 2005 back to the Jewish Group ADL for their opposition to the community center.

The Cordoba House (the “mosque” as our biased media calls it) is named after the city of Cordoba, Spain – which was capital of Muslim Spain. Around the 10th century that was the most populated and coolest city in Europe.

The Muslim period in Spain (Here’s an article on the subject http://tinyurl.com/2eykgqt) is remembered as a “golden age” – where Muslims, Jews, and Christians living in peace built a vibrant and extraordinary civilization. It had universities and libraries, public baths, roads with street lamps. Literature, poetry and architecture flourished. They had built a flourishing culture and prosperous civilization during a period when London was still a mud hut village and most of Europe was still in the “Dark Ages”.

The Muslim period in Spain began in 711 AD and ended in 1492 AD with the Spanish Inquisition (religious persecution of Muslims, Jews, non-Catholic Christians by the Catholic Church which had banned all other religions). If anyone was found believing in Judaism or Islam, they would be called “heretics” and burnt at the stake.

The founders of America did not declare this a Christian nation but one for any believer or non-believer of religion. Read Thomas Jefferson’s Bill of Religious Freedoms. Jefferson wrote in his Autobiography, in reference to the Bill of Religious Freedoms:

“Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

The US Constitution guarantees that Muslims in this country have as much rights as do Jews, Christians, Hindus to live or worship freely as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others to do the same. Muslim heritage in this country goes back to Christopher Columbus and his famous voyage of 1492. Columbus’ pilots were Muslim.

What is today happening in America, where Muslims are being prevented from building a place of worship, is just plain hatred, bigotry and racism and nothing but the Spanish Inquisition all over again.

President Obama made a statement in his Ramadhan Iftar Dinner speech which I highly recommend reading – here’s an excerpt:

“But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.”

Read President Obama’s full speech at:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/08/obama-ramadan-iftar-remarks-text.html

http://www.bendib.com - America's Most Wanted Cartoonist. The pen is funnier than the sword. Cartoons that speak truth to power.

Maula Mere, Maula Mere

The other day I was playing this song in my car and thinking about my beautiful wife – Mahi Jaan. I called her and tried singing the words to her but I was causing such a traffic jam on the 405 so gave up. She was probably worried that the Bel Air residents would come out wondering what shattered their windows or “Who let the dogs out?”. Let’s face it – We all don’t have magical voices like Tahir.

But as I listened…suddenly everything I looked at turned into sheer beauty….on the 405, the San Fernando Valley below me. On the 101, the sun rising so majestically, yet delicately veiled by gentle clouds, the mountains in the eastern distance still wearing their white caps….

Oh boy, it was indeed a mystical experience. As Carmen would say “QUE BONITO ES EL AMOR!”

Funny thing was that Hitesh also happened to think of the same song on the same day! Coincidence? Maybe he was also enveloped with sheer beauty everywhere – since London is such a beautiful city.

Here is the song with such beautiful and expressive poetry. I also have translated the lyrics to English below, to be as close as possible to its original Urdu meaning and in most places have used the literal meaning of the words but sometimes the symbolic to try stay true to its Sufi poetic form.

Enjoy!

Singer: Roop Kumar Rathod
Lyrics: Sayeed Qadri

You can listen to it here on YouTube:

Maula Mere Maula Mere

    Maula mere, maula mere, maula mere, maula mere

    Aankhein teri, kitni haseen
    Ke inkaa aashiq, mein ban gayaa hoon
    Mujhko basaa le, inme tu

    Ishq hai…

    Maula mere, maula mere maula mere, maula mere

    Ke inkaa aashiq, mein ban gayaa hoon
    Mujhko basaa le, inme tu

    Mujhse yeh har ghadi, meraa dil kahe
    Tum hi ho uski aarzoo

    Mujhse yeh har ghadi, mere lab kahe
    Teri hi ho sab guftagoo

    Baatein teri itni haseen,
    Main yaad inko jab kartaa hoon
    Phoolon se aaye, khushboo

    Rakh loon chhupaa ke main kahin tujhko
    Saayaa bhi teraa naa main doon

    Rakh loon banaa ke kahin ghar, main tujhe
    Saath tere, mein hi rahoon

    Zulfein teri, itni ghanee
    Dekh ke inko, yeh sochtaa hoon
    Saaye me, inke main jiyoon

    Ishq hai…

    Maula mere, Maula mer, Maula mere, Maula mere

    Meraa dil yahi bolaa, meraa dil yahi bolaa,
    Yaara, raaz yeh usne hai mujh par kholaa
    Ki hai ishq mohabbat, jiske dil mein
    Usko pasand karta hai Maulaa mere

    TRANSLATION:

    O’ My Master, O’ My Master,

    Your eyes, how beautiful they are
    That their lover, I have become,
    Captivate me within them

    It is passionate love…

    O’ My Master, O’ My Master

    Your eyes, how beautiful they are
    That I have become their lover,
    Captivate me within them

    Every moment, my heart keeps saying
    That you are its deepest desire

    Every moment, my lips keep saying
    Only you should be all they talk about

    Every word you speak, so charming
    That whenever I reminisce them,
    I smell the fragrance of flowers

    Let me take you and hide you somewhere
    Where even your shadow cannot reach

    Let me build you a house somewhere
    Where only I, will be with you

    The tresses of your hair, so rich
    I glance at them and imagine,
    In their shadow is where I’ll live

    It is passionate love

    O’ My Master, O’ My Master

    My heart has spoken, my heart has spoken
    O’ friend, this secret, it has revealed to me…
    Whoever has passion and love in their hearts,
    They are the beloved ones of my Master

Give Obama a Grade On His Performance

MSNBC is running a poll on Obama’s performance as President.

Out of more than 113,182 responses votes so far, 60% give him an F.

MSNBC Poll – Give Obama a Grade

It has been only 50 days of his Presidency so far. People are already disappointed.

Jai Ho to Slumdog Millionaire!

Who the hell would have thought that the best film on Oscar night in Hollywood was an intense, romantic melodrama that delivered satisfaction in a brilliant way, was made in the slums of Mumbai with a mostly unknown star cast, directed by a British director, who made films like “Trainspotting” and “28 Days Later”?

“All my life, I’ve had a choice of hate and love. I chose love, and I’m here,” – Bollywood music director, A.R. Rahman as he accepted two of the Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Original Song – “Jai Ho”.

“Jai Ho” means “May Victory Be Yours” in Hindi….and indeed victory was with “Slumdog Millionaire” last night.

With a whopping, truly deserved, 8 Oscars (from the 10 it was nominated for) “Slumdog Millionaire” the independent film that cost $14 million (compared to Dark Night made for $180 million) topped the list of most Oscar wins (including Best Picture) for any film last night at the Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA.

Here’s the oscars.com link where you can watch some of the highlights from last night’s big wins.

The movie was indeed one of the best films my wife and I have ever watched. It was like watching “Salaam Bombay” meets “City of God” – two of my favorite films of all time in one. A truly brilliant masterpiece of art!

“Jai Ho” song being performed live on the Oscars stage was fantastic!

Here’s the clip from the Oscars:

You can watch the song performed live by A.R. Rahman on the Jay Leno show:

The Oscar Winners are as follows :

BEST PICTURE:
Slumdog Millionaire

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Sean Penn
Milk

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Kate Winslet
The Reader

DIRECTING:
Slumdog Millionaire

FORIEGN LANGAUGE FILM:
Departures

MUSIC(SONG):
Slumdog Millionaire

MUSIC (SCORE):
Slumdog Millionaire

FILM EDITING:
Slumdog Millionaire

SOUND MIXING:
Slumdog Millionaire

SOUND EDITING:
The Dark Knight

VISUAL EFFECTS:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

DOCUMENTARY SHORT:
Smile Pinki

DOCUMENTORY FEATURE:
Man on Wire

ACTOR IN SUPPORTING ROLE:
Health Ledger
The Dark knight

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION):
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Slumdog Millionaire

MAKEUP:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

COSTUME DESIGN:
The Duchess

ART Direction:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
La Maison En Peptits Cubes

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
Wall-E

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Slumdog Millionaire

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY):
Milk

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Penelope Cruz
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

[Source : Official OSCAR Website www.oscar.com]