ROCKTOBER 2004 : : VOTING ON THE MIND

RAJIV PARIKH
New Monsoon

Why is it important to vote?

It is important to vote because every vote makes a difference and those of us who are younger or first time voters it's even more important to vote in order to make your voice heard. Even if you are not into politics, or you’re not into the democrats or you’re not into the republicans or can't stand the bi-partisan system we have, or don't think that your ONE vote will make a difference, it will. So make sure to register and go vote on November 2nd for the candidate you want to see in office. The time for change is now.

Is this election any different than elections past?

Yes. We are in a war where over 1,000 U.S. soldiers have died - that is a tragedy which makes me very sad. I don't even know why we are at war in Iraq-do you? I don't believe in war - I believe in non-violence and peace and diplomacy. War is never an answer to anything; it just causes more pain and suffering which leads to more hatred and misunderstanding. And why is the alleged mastermind behind 9/11 still at large? Why aren’t we doing anything about that? And why am I paying so much money for a tank of gas? And why are schools getting there funding cut? And why are so many people not able to afford basic healthcare? We need a change in our leadership and focus on what the people want. It is a very important election year so please make sure to vote.

Do politics have a place in music?
Why or why not?

Absolutely. Music is a means by which we as musicians can create a moment in time where people can escape from the everyday struggles and challenges of life. But at the same time, thru those magical experiences, the music and musicians can raise the awareness of many social and political issues thru song and poetry which in turn affects the listener and inspires them as individuals to do something about what is being sung about. Bob Marley was a genius at this. He wrote beautiful music with insightful political statements that made people stand together to make a change. Today there are many other bands that come to mind that continue to do this like Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Neil Young and of course someone I met recently - Michael Franti.

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