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Few Thoughts On The Death Of Amit Saigal (Founder & Editor Of Rock Street Journal)


“Amit Saigal, founder and editor of music magazine the Rock Street Journal, drowned while swimming off a Goa beach Thursday, officials said. Saigal, who was born on 6th July, 1965, and was 46 years old, was swimming with his friends near their anchored sail boat off Bogmalo beach” (source: Movies NDTV).

Amit Saigal (Founder and Editor of RSJ)

What does Amit Saigal have in common with a missionary in Japan?  I first came into contact with Rock Street Journal, India, in the early 90′s when the magazine had just started out.  They were looking for a state RSJ Representative for Aizawl, Mizoram, which was later changed into the role of a Correspondent.  I was a young guitar player in my early 20′s, aspiring to make it big in the music scene.  There were little or no avenues, income, or opportunities for musicians in those days, unlike our western counterparts.  I applied for the position, short-listed, and was eventually hired.  I earned about Rs.500 per month (good money for a college student at that time).  I corresponded mainly with Shena Saigal, who always believed in young musicians across the country.  Shena was the pillar behind Amit!  It was a team effort!  I had no access to computer and the internet then.  Hence, everything had to be written down in pen and paper (we had type-writer then); and mailed to Allahabad.  We didn’t have easy access to digital cameras, or social medias where one could have pictures sent digitally to the headquarters.  The process was manual and tedious. Looking back, I’m glad to have made a small contribution ‘Behind-The-Scene.’

Amit Saigal gave birth to Rock Street Journal in January 1993 in the state of Allahabad with Shena Gamat Saigal.  They had seen the tremendous lack of support system for talented, ambitious and aspiring Indian rock musicians.  There was almost no future (humanly speaking) or proper infrastructure for rock musicians in those days.  Amit and Shena saw the need, they acknowledged it; they embraced a vision and acted upon it, which has led RSJ to what it is today!

Saigal had over 25 years of experience in the music business in India.  He was closely involved in the club as well as the concert market in India.  He eventually became one of the leading figures, offering platforms to many emerging rock bands and musicians in India and abroad.

I still remember a telephone call one day.  During our conversation, Amit showed tremendous interest for the Mizos who would otherwise have had very little exposure to the music industry in mainland India.  Through their publications, together through a team effort, we were able to highlight and provide exposures for various bands in the North-East Indian region, where a vast majority of naturally gifted and talented musicians dwell even today.

Some of the biggest contributions to the music scene Amit & Shena made includes the Great Indian Rock Festival, Global Groove Festival & Convention, Pubrockfest, Jazz Utsav and Rocktoberfest and the latest inclusion, India Music Week.  My deepest hear-felt condolences to Shena Saigal and Amit’s relatives, family and friends!

I pray you will know the love of  Christ and the forgiveness of your sins through His death on the Cross and His resurrection, making new life available to all who trust in Him.

Romans 3 says: “..For there is no distinction: 23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This is a universal reality. There is no distinction: for we are all sinners, created in the image of God, and loved by God equally.  And there is no ultimate distinction between a believer and a non-believer, apart from Christ.  I do not know if Amit believed and embraced Christ as Lord and Savior.  Our brief acquaintance did not lead or connect to Christ.  I was a sinner, lost and equally helpless in those days! (read my testimony- Japanese/english).  Our connection was beneficial in an earthly sense.  In every way, his efforts far exceeds any Indian I know living today.  For this, I honor him!

Vanapa Hall 97.

Nonetheless, all our musical achievements and gains have no meaning attached to it, unless we are once more able to see the ultimate purpose for which God gave us music.  When music is an end in an of itself, it looses its true meaning.  It was J.S Bach (1685-1750), one of the greatest composers of all time, who said: “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”  In other words, God has an intended purpose for music.  In God’s plan, the ultimate purpose for all music is to bring great glory to Him (not to man).  Musicians find their joy and refreshment not in music alone, but in seeing the glory of God through Christ in their music.  As believers we:”Sing to the LORD a new song” and we give an invitation to the entire world: “sing to the LORD, all the earth” ( Psalm 96:1 )

All our earthly achievements will be but in vain apart from Christ: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16: 26).  The scriptures are clear, that apart from Christ there is no hope of eternal life, except for eternal death -which is eternal separation and suffering forever and ever.  This makes the Gospel of Jesus Christ urgent!  People “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (v. 24).

Are there devout people in religions other than Christianity who humbly rely on the grace of a God whom they know only through nature or non-Christian religious experience?

The answer of the New Testament is a clear and earnest No. Rather, the message throughout is that with the coming of Christ a major change has occurred in redemptive history. Saving faith was once focused on the mercy of God known in his redemptive acts among the people of Israel, and in the system of animal sacrifices and in the prophecies of coming redemption. . . .

But now the focus of faith has narrowed down to one Man, Jesus Christ, the fulfillment and guarantee of all redemption and all sacrifices and all prophecies. It is to his honor now that henceforth all saving faith shall be directed to him.[1]

As Christians, we cannot speak of the Gospel and the eternal fate of others with tears in our eyes “until we have come to recognize our own great need of grace to save us from the wrath to come, the terrible nature of that judgment, the provision that God has made for us in Christ, and the calling he has given us to take the gospel to every creature in the name of the One who did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” [2]

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that ANY should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3: 9).  This is what makes it urgent.  There are millions of unreached people groups in India (including 127 million in Japan) who have not heard of the Gospel, not to mention the name of Christ.  Therefore, all our earthly compositions and advancement we make in the music Industry should line up with the heavenly vision, to lift up Jesus Christ, the son of God:

“And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9 ).

BUT

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” (Romans 10: 14, 15).

Will you send? Will you go?

Because there are people out there, who are ripe for harvest, and are waiting like the man who said: “Who is he, sir?”…. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” (John 9:36).

————————————————————————————————————————

[1] John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), p. 163.

[2] Ferguson, “Pastoral Theology: The Preacher and Hell,” in Hell under Fire, p. 234.

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2 comments on “Few Thoughts On The Death Of Amit Saigal (Founder & Editor Of Rock Street Journal)

  1. I love the new look and feel of the site…

    grace and peace

    Like

  2. God bless you

    Like

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