Since the last six months, music reverberates in South Asia’s largest prison complex – the Tihar jail – every morning and the jail authorities feel that it is having a curative impact on inmates’ aggression.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — For the first time in the history of the massive prison complex established in India’s national capital Delhi more than 60 years ago, it has a music band to boast of. ‘The Rockers’ — as the band is now called, comprises inmates who struck a chord when they found their interests in music converging to a common goal of forming a rock band. They came together and decided to pursue the goal.
“Only one or two of them have a professional music background. Rest of them were inspired by their colleagues and are still amateurs but the passion which they perform is worth an inspiration to many,” Prawesh Lama, a senior writer for The Hindustan Times English daily who recently visited the jail told Sputnik.
It’s not just about the quality of music, but it is about the change which music has brought to the lives of these youngsters who are otherwise sheer criminals for the rest of the world, he added.
Of the eight members of the rock band, some are serving sentence for murder, robbery and even for petty crimes like snatching.
“One of the noticeable things they say is that the behavior of the fellow prisoners towards them has changed considerably and the members of the band take it as their precious earning,” Lama told Sputnik.
Jail authorities say that the idea of forming the band came from the prisoners themselves and the administration found the idea workable.
“It was their idea and we thought it was a good occasion for us to encourage them. We did not think twice before providing them with the necessary infrastructure and music instruments,” Subhash Chander, one of the jail superintendents told Sputnik.
The captive environment makes youngsters aggressive and we found through this experiment that music has a curative value for aggression, he added.
Encouraged by the response of the inmates, Tihar jail authorities have now converted Jail no.1 as a music hub and every morning interested members are free to come and practice music.
Tihar has been popular for its altruistic initiatives including skill building drives, education facilities for inmates and also a center of livelihood where inmates earn by monetizing their skill sets.