Folk Singers From Western India Celebrate Diversity

Folk Singers From Western India Celebrate Diversity

 January 28, 2022      

An Delicate india weave Jhini Bini Chadariya is an documentary film. That takes place on Kachchh, Gujarat in Western India explores four distinct musical adventures. Which all connect in their stances on the diversity of religion, syncretism blending of different. Religions and cultures and the love of the other in a nation in which religious politics can create a divide between communities.

Based on the musical and poetic tradition from poet-mystics Saint Kabir from Benaras (circa 1500). And Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai of Sindh (1689-1752) along with the folklore from the area. These amazing singers and musicians bear witness. To the fact that these oral tradition of compassion is being hand down from generation after the other.

It could take many different forms. In Bhujodi the village located near Bhuj, the capital city Bhuj in Gujarat. An ensemble of men gathers every evening to sing devotional hymns. They’re all weaver’s and share a connection with Kabir who was weaver. They taught by Naranbhai Siju who is a carpet weaver by profession. And an extraordinary self-taught community archiver. Who, in his spare time, is documenting and analyzing this collection of sacred music.

Frontier With India And Pakistan

The women of Lakhpat which is an ancient port that lies close to the frontier. With India and Pakistan subverts gender norms with their performances of folk music. It is the very first group of women from Kachchh to perform in public , and it has changed their lives.

Noor Mohammad SODHA is an accomplished flute player of Bhuj. Who has played the jodiya-pawa or double flute for over 25 years. He has performed in India and abroad. Recently, he began teaching three students his technique and hopes. That the tradition will continue to live for generations to come.

Jiant Khan, who is 60 Jiant Khan, 60 years old, lives in Jiant Khan. Who is 60, lives in Banni grasslands of the region. Every week, on two nights Jiant Khan meets with people from remote communities. To sing poems that written by his Sufi poet Shah Bhitai in the musical Waee form. It is a type that originated from the northwest region in India as well as beyond played by strings. At the time, three people remaining in India who could sing. This unique and ethereal type but now the number is now up to eight.

These passionate musicians keep this delicate thread alive dedicated to the cause of what Naranbhai. Describes as breaking down the walls walls created by the political system of intolerance. And hatred which characterizes the current climate.

Pastoralists India Who Live Harmoniously

Since 2008, the team of students from The School of Media and Cultural Studies. At the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai have been working on videos. That document the pastoral music of communities located in Kachchh, the district of Kachchh in Gujarat. This led to the creation of three films: Do Din Ka Mela (A Two-Day Fair). So Heddan So Hoddan (Like Here Like There) and A Delicate Weave.

Gujarat saw ethnic violence towards the Muslim minority of this state during 2002 during. Which more than 2000 persons are believed as having been murdered. Kachchh although it is part of Gujarat was not affected by the violence. We were compelled to study the socio-cultural foundations that make Kachchh an oasis of peace within a sea of hate and we began the process of documenting the Sufi practices of storytelling, music and poetry that are an integral element life of pastoralists living in the area.

Long History Of Pastoralists

The region has a long history of pastoralists who were nomadic, and several communities moving from Kachchh over the vast salt desert referred to in Kachchhh’s Great Rann of Kachchh, to Sindh which is now Pakistan with their herds of camels and cattle looking for pastures through a process of rotational migration.

This ensuing movement over millennia led to strong kinship and trade connections between Hindu and Muslim communities of Maldhari or pastoralists in Kachchh and the communities within Sindh as well as Tharparkar in Tharparkar and Sindh across the Rann in Kachchh.

In the past their identities as religious people were insignificant and ambiguous. A lot of these were nomadic and had their individual beliefs and customs, and there were deep bonds of fraternity between different communities, regardless of religious beliefs and bolstered by stories of the connections between the mythology and folklore.

More Rigid Borders India

It was 1947 when the Partition of India changed their lives for ever with the emphasis on distinct and exclusive religious identities. The new frontier became a point of reference to create divisions that never existed before. The pastoralists now bound in newly create nations, that continue to recreate the conflicts create through Partition and their movement was being stifle for eternity.

In 1947 the border was inaccessible until the conflict between Pakistan and India in 1965, following which the crossing became more difficult, and the Rann became a military-controlled zone.

The rise of borders that are secure and fenced but is not just the one threat facing the semi-nomadic pastoral lifestyle that is the norm for Maldharis. The last few decades have witnessed a slow but gradual destruction of these lifestyles, thanks to the environmental policies of the state as well as the encouragement of industrialisation, the rise of eco-friendly tourism, as well as the bureaucratic’s smug and uncaring attitude towards the Maldharis.