Religion does not often feature on
this blog, not with peaceful stories anyway, so it is probably
appropriate to be writing about my Easter Sunday ……
It ended with two hours of magical Sufi singing in a Delhi
park by a Qawwali group from Pakistan that defied fundamentalist
Islam and bound together the peoples of the two neighboring
countries who have more in common than their quarrelsome leaders
…the strands of my day came together when, in an audience
of some 4,000 people, I listened to Bhakti (devotional) music
at an open-air concert organised by Seher, a Delhi-based cultural
The high spot was two hours of Qawwali – a popular
form of Muslim music that goes back nearly seven centuries
– performed by three famous brothers (Sher Miandad,
Faiz Fareed Ali Raza and Fakhar-uz-Zaman) from the Pakistani
province of Punjab. Sung in a chanting and often raucous style,
Qawwali is immensely popular in India and Pakistan. It reflects
the Sufi mystical side of Islam and binds the two countries
together, though it is shunned by the fundamentalists who
are gaining ground in Pakistan.
The songs told how the human soul is greater than the hypocritical
lessons of many religious preachers – “When you
fly on from this world, no-one will ask your religion or community”.
The archbishop and Sai Baba would agree.