Government must support artistes: Hans Raj Hans

Popular singer Hans Raj Hans says the music industry is in crisis, and the government must support the artistes as far as possible.

Last week, veteran vocalist Shubha Mudgal, who has been batting for royalty rights for artistes, questioned the logic behind a tax slab of 18 per cent for them.

Hans Raj, who left the Congress and joined the BJP last year, says he supports her views.

"Artistes should get exemption because we don't get royalty in the country. The music industry is in a crisis as people now just download," he told IANS ahead of his forthcoming performance at The Sufi Route concert here on Saturday.

He rued how music companies don't invest in albums anymore.

"It's upto an artiste to take it upon themselves to cut a song, video and promote it. Otherwise, there's no support... Artistes should get a lot of support from the government.

"Earlier, music companies used to make the audio and video themselves, and run it on TV. They used to do proper business. Now everything gets downloaded. Nobody spends money. People put thousands of songs in a pen drive.

"In such a scenario, the artistes themselves are making the songs, video and spending to show it on TV as well," said the singer, known for Punjabi folk, devotional and Sufi music," he said.

He says it is this reason why a lot of artistes in the industry are "troubled".

As for himself, he says he has no new project in his kitty as of now. He last sang for Gurinder Chadha's "Viceroy's House", and even featured in its video briefly.

"They came from abroad and made me sing. I am sure in future there will be more opportunities," he said.

He remains occupied with live performances, and is excited about The Sufi Route being hosted at the Qutub Minar complex here. Headlining the gala evening will be Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman, along with other acclaimed artists Mukhtiar Ali and Dhruv Sangari.

It's a concert for peace, organised by Friday Filmworks, INvision Entertainment and Invloed Matrix.

Hans Raj, a Padma Shri recipient, said Sufi music touches the heart.

"It is not connected to any religion, caste, region or nation."


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