In a world torn between religion and humanity, an appeal for peaceful initiative becomes mandatory and obligatory. On similar sidelines of how culture should ideally preceed religion is the motto of the Sufi festival organised by Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR). It aimed to establish the non-religious nature of Sufi traditions.
‘ICCR’s support to the International Sufi Festival is in continuation of its support last year with firm conviction that Sufi tenets have originated even before the advent of Islam with their roots in Gypsy traditions and have been closer to nature without influence from any narrow beliefs,’ said Suresh K Goel, Director General, ICCR.
The participating groups in the festival like the Sidhi Goma group from Gujarat has its origins in the vibrant rhythms of Africa while the Baul music of Bengal finds resonance in nomadic traditions with Hinduism at its centre. The group from Spain whose music is based on flamenco, gives expression to passion for life itself without linkage to any religion.
‘This year the festival had participation from six countries — Spain, Russia, Iran, Tunisia, Azerbaijan and India,’ added Goel.
The performances by all participating groups from across the world enthralled the general audience and Sufi music lovers equally. The Iranian music troupe compiled the ghazals of their land with artists Sahar Lotfi and Maryam Gharasou.
Similarly Russian folk music was a mix and match of humorous rhymes, ritual and lyrical songs. The band, Otava Yo sang and dedicated their renditions to Russian epical heroes, defenders of the motherland and characters from Russian legends.
The music of Spain focussed on its biggest USP — the flamenco. Curro and Carlos Pinana along with their rythmic guitar and soulful voice mesmerised the audience.
Finally the Indian touch was lent by Bauls and Fakirs of Bengal who sang about love, devotion and humanity. The artistes believes that all men irrespective of religion, caste and creed are equal, which reflected in their music throughout.