LETTER: World-wide policy needed for the arts; Afghan radio reinstated

Dear Editor,

An article that I read in the Ball State DAILY NEWS just recently astonished me. The article stated that music had just been reinstated on Afghan radio waves for the first time since 1996.

I think it is pertinent that a worldwide policy, which protects music and other forms of harmless art, should be enforced. I believe that if the people of the world have music whenever they want it, then they will be living in a happier world. Music is one of the few human traits that we all have, no matter what our ethnic origin is. We need to protect our similarities, not destroy them.

The destruction of such a long lasting tradition is a crime against humanity. A law against music restricts people on an incredibly personal level. It would mean no more singing love songs to your lovers, no more songs of sadness, no more bedtime songs, no songs of celebration, no drinking songs, no summertime concerts and no songs of cultural legend or memory.

It is hard to estimate the kind of effect that this law has had on the Afghan people. They went five years without hearing music. That is five years of babies without nursery tunes. That is five years of people living without songs that make them feel good. It is sick that we let such things occur all over the world.

The whole idea seems completely absurd to me. I am an avid lover of music, and therefore can't even begin to imagine a world without music. I simply would not and could not be the person I am today without music. There are psychological studies, which prove that I would not be the same psychologically if my mother had never sung to me as a child. There are also many important ideas and emotions that I have learned through hearing music.

What goals do the Taliban have in mind when they make such absurd laws? I can't even begin to understand why anyone would think the extinction of such an important tradition, which has done so much good for people, could result in any type of good outcome. It seems to me that such a law would weaken their people.

I'm sure that the people of Afghanistan must have had some type of cultural folklore that was carried on in songs. Wouldn't the banishment of these songs tend to wipe out a gigantic part of their cultural memory? Why would the people of Afghanistan stand by and let this happen? It just doesn't make sense to me.

I applaud the American soldiers and their allies for reinstating such a crucial part of human existence to the airwaves of Afghanistan. I think this step proves that obvious progress is taking place in the Middle East. I only wish that something could have been done sooner.

There really needs to be some serious thought directed towards the protection of music all over the world. I think it is obvious that when a government makes such personal restrictions as outlawing all music, there is something wrong. If we were to step in when these first oppressive laws are made, then we might be able to avoid large conflicts. If we had protected the music in Afghanistan in 1996, we might be dealing with a group of happier Afghans right now.

The Afghani lovers of music now have their music back, and this makes me glad. The musicians are still living in exile, and this makes me sad. After all, who on earth needs the stress relieving and hope restoring sounds of music more so than the people of Afghanistan do right now.

David Spooner
Freshman at Ivy Tech


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