'Music is the message of peace': Zubin Mehta

New Delhi/Srinagar, Sep 6 : Renowned conductor Zubin Mehta, who is facing opposition from separatists and threats from little-known militant groups ahead of his 'Ehsaas-e-Kashmir' (Feel of Kashmir) music concert, on Friday said music is the message of peace.

"I didn't choose Kashmir, Kashmir chose me. Music is the message of peace, music only brings peace," he told media after receiving the 'Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony' from President Pranab Mukherjee.

Mehta also sought blessings of the people ahead of his much awaited concert on Saturday.

"I am extremely happy for my country having honoured me this way. I hope we have the blessings of the whole country for our music tomorrow," he said.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Panther Party based in Kashmir organized a silent protest, sitting in the middle of busy road in Srinagar today and holding papers with their demands in black and white.

"The millions of rupees which are being spent on this programme was earlier being used to provide food, shelter, employment, education, clothes and other development projects for the people of this state," said Syed Rafiq Ahmad Shah, a leader of the Panther Party.

"During the time of elections, the leaders of the ruling government had promised that they would give jobs to each house in the state," he added.

Preparations are on in full swing for Mehta's concert in Srinagar tomorrow.

German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner, who is hosting the concert before a specially-invited audience of 1,500 guests, is camping in Srinagar to oversee the preparations for the event to be held in the famous Shalimar Garden built by Mughal emperor Jehangir.

Steiner visited the venue where he was briefed about the security measures being put in place in view of threats issued by three less-known militant organisations against holding of the concert.

The German envoy was shown around the venue and briefed about the access control and other measures. He also inspected the podium where Mehta and his 100-strong orchestra will perform.

Mehta will share the dais with several local musicians.

The separatists claim that holding of Mehta's concert in a 'conflict zone' will change the nature of Kashmir dispute.

--ANI (Posted on 06-09-2013)

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