The National School of Journalism, Bengaluru hosted the second edition of its annual festival, Slant with participating teams from many colleges in the City and other parts of the nation. With the motto, “Your Perspective. Our Truth,” NSoJ kicked off a series of events to test the creative capabilities of students from varied streams. The day began on an auspicious note with the lighting of the lamp by Grammy award-winning musician Ricky Kej and by members of the NSoJ management; the Director, HS Balram, the Dean, Dr. Thomas Thangaraj, the Registrar, Franklyn James and the Chairman, Timothy Franklyn. In his address to the audience at the inaugural function, Mr. Franklyn said, “What we are trying to achieve as a school is to ensure that journalism takes it rightful place in its function of public enlightenment, as a foundation of democracy and as a forerunner of justice.” He stressed on restraint and responsibility as factors vital to good journalism. The events held under the banner of Slant were designed to test these capabilities.
Kej shared his personal story on the resistance from his family when he decided to pursue his career in music. Having arrived at a compromise with his family which has three generations of doctors, Kej completed his degree in dentistry before pursuing his real dream. “There are lots of professionals in India whose heart is not in their work. I appeal to you to make passion and not fear, a motivating factor in your life because if you have the basic values of hard work, dedication, sincerity, honesty, then you would be successful in doing whatever you want to do,” he said.
He also narrated his experience of meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister pushed Kej to combine his deep interest in music and environment to produce an album advocating environmental consciousness. Kej was thus able to put together an album titled ‘Shanti Samsara’ for which over 500 musicians from 40 countries collaborated together. The album was released by the prime minister at the United Nations COP-21 Summit on climate change held in Paris in 2015. Additionally, Kej had the opportunity to perform before the United Nations General Assembly.
The inaugural function concluded with Kej’s own version of the national anthem.