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Elevating Music By Paramanan

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Kabir is a saint poet who has retained his relevance for well over five centuries. One could safely argue that Kabir is the originator of syncretism in India. It is said that Kabir was born to a Hindu widow who abandoned him. He was brought up by a Muslim weaver's family. Therefore, he had inherited both the religious traditions and influences. His capacity to analyse critically all that had come to him by way of faith and tradition gave him a new vision and a sense of enlightenment. Thus, he could see and expose all the fallacies that lay in orthodox religious practices. In a poem, he complains that the one who speaks the truth is often victimised and the one who sticks to falsehood becomes powerful and wins kingdoms. 'Sachi Kaho To Maran Dhave Jhuthe Jagpatiana'. This poem is full of sarcasm and yet has innate musicality. It was nicely brought out by the classical singer Dr. Paramanand Yadav, at the Mysore Association Hall last week. The title of the programme was 'Kabir Ke Kareeb'. He was accompanied by his co singer and pupil Tanya Naik.

It was the late Kumar Gandharva who brought the work of Kabir into focus in recent times. Kumar's stress was more on the mystical aspect of Kabir. A radical feminist singer like Neela Bhagwat brought out the secular and assimilative aspect of Kabir's poetry. Yadav is a pupil of Kumar Gandharva. He sang 'Naiyya Mori Nike Nike Chalan Lagi' which was Kumar's favourite song. Yadav sang it with emotion. Kabir was blunt in his approach and language. He did not hesitate to expose hypocrisy and contradictions which he perceived in the religious practices of Hindus and Muslims. In one of his 'dohas' he asks a devout Mulla why he was shouting hoarse at the time of his prayers. “Is your God hard of hearing? God is so powerful and pervasive that he can hear even the ankle bells tied on the feet of ants.” Such is the irony with which his poetry is suffused. Yadav has understood the essence of Kabir just as the latter had understood the essence of relgion and spirituality. Shantanu Shukla on the tabla and Vinod Padge on the harmonium lent steady support.

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