When it comes to a band such as Parikrama, we hardly need to give you a formal introduction. After forming almost 20 years ago, these guys have played hundreds of concerts across India. And now the band is prepared to take on the world. We know they will – not only because we believe that everyone should listen to one of petaDishoom’s favourite bands but also because all the members of Parikrama promote animal rights every chance they get.
The band wears PETA India T-shirts onstage, and keyboardist Subir Malik recently told us, “I just want to congratulate PETA for the wonderful job they are doing”. He said that he loves animals, adding, “I have about 22 street dogs in my office that I take care of. I wish everybody in this world would be kind to animals and love them. They are all part of us, and we are all in it together”.
As if receiving praise from Subir wasn’t enough, we then got word that Parikrama lead singer Nitin Malik wanted to sit down with us for an exclusive interview. And that, of course, is why you should keep reading – especially given Nitin’s passionate views about animal rights (which he has, to put it mildly, no problem expressing).
How do you think the music scene has changed since Parikrama started playing years ago?
The music scene has changed considerably, because when we started, there were hardly any bands around [in India]. And to put it in perspective, the number of bands in Delhi when we started is probably the number of bands in every colony today. There is a lot of awareness about music, which is great.
We have heard that you have dedicated your song “Superhero” to Microsoft programmers. Didn’t the Rolling Stones and Santana also write songs for Microsoft?
Actually, Santana and the Rolling Stones, their songs were picked up by Microsoft because they made sense. We made an original song for software developers. “Superhero” is like a day in the life of a software developer. They are so dedicated to their work, so we decided to dedicate a song to them to let the whole world know that they are superheroes in what they do.
In the past, you have supported PETA at college festivals. Why do you think it is important to support an organisation like ours?
I am a part of PETA now. I believe that animals should be treated in a humane way. You could have cabbage instead of a goat’s head …
You must have heard that animals are being poached. Wild tigers are killed for their skin, elephants are killed for their tusks … What are your views on that?
Please, lock me in a room with a poacher and give me an iron bar, and I will beat the hell out of him. We need to put an end to it. It’s criminal.
Do you think it is important to protect animals in their natural habitat?
Yes. That is the only way they will survive, and that’s where they belong. If we keep going on the way we are, we won’t have any animals except the ones who are caged in zoos. If I had my way, I would put a ban on all zoos. You cannot have bears locked up in cages – they are bound to go crazy. It’s like life imprisonment for no fault of theirs. It should be stopped.
What would your message be to young people about protecting animals?
Let’s be grateful to God that we are on top of the food chain right now. Let’s make some sensible changes. If your kids want to see what a tiger looks like, don’t go see them in a cage, where they are locked up for life, agitated and angry. See them on safaris to see what they really do.
What are Parikrama’s future plans?
To grow bigger than we are. We have been ruling the national circuit for close to 12 to 14 years. Now we are working on our album and plan to make it international to tell the whole world that India is not a country of snake charmers and elephants; it is a country which has the largest number of software programmers. We have the largest number of intelligent people in the world, and we can play music as well as anyone in the world – and it needn’t be in our native tongue.