Conductor Zubin Mehta urged to cancel concert

Leading orchestral conductor Zubin Mehta has been urged to cancel a concert in India amid fears it will be used to whitewash human rights abuses in the country. Mehta is set to lead the Bavarian State Orchestra at the Feelings for Kashmir gig on Saturday (07Sep13), which has been organised by the Indian government and the local German embassy.
Activists in Kashmir are trying to block the show as they fear officials will use it to try to camouflage allegations of human rights abuses in the region.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the leader of Hurriyat Conference, a political organisation demanding independence for Kashmir, tells Britain’s The Independent newspaper, “We are under occupation. The majority of people here are suffering from state terrorism. People are being killed. People are suffering… There is no relevance for a music programme. India, with the help of the German government, is trying to say the situation should be forgotten.”
However, German ambassador Michael Steiner insists the concert will bring a message of encouragement for residents.
He says, “Music is a universal language. Music connects. With the magic power of music crossing geographical, political and cultural borders, we want to reach the hearts of Kashmiris with a message of hope and encouragement.”