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Retelling shared stories to bridge the divide |
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In a poisonous atmosphere the place hate crimes are on the rise, these Muslim artistes imagine their problem is to discover a approach to overcome social divisiveness and assist create a sane and extra understanding society.


September 12, 2019 8:52:56 am

There’s rapt consideration within the theatre as Urdu phrases paint the image of a battlefield. Wearing white Anarkali and kurta-pyjama, Dastango Firoz Khan and Fouziya should not narrating conflict tales from the Mughal period or the Karbala — however components of the epic Mahabharat.

Written and directed by playwright Danish Iqbal, Dastan-e-Mahabharat is an try to strengthen the cultural concord of India. It’s a rendition of the epic utilizing the artwork type of Dastangoi — a practice of Urdu storytelling that dates again to the 13th century. Utilizing poetry from varied Urdu variations of the epic, and alternating this with the narration of the good battle, this dastan grips audiences not only for the depth of the story, but additionally for the concord of the 2 sides of Indian tradition.

Dastangoi is a mixture of two Persian phrases — “Dastan” and “Goi” which implies storytelling. The themes coated can vary from historic classical literature to its trendy variations. The artwork kind is believed to have died with the loss of life of Mir Baqar Ali, the final practitioner of Dastangoi, in 1928. Nevertheless, just lately artistes like Danish Iqbal, Mahmood Farooqui and several other others are striving to revive the artwork kind.

Farooqui, an award-winning author and Dastan performer, says there was an extended custom of narrating Hindu epics in Urdu. Farooqui, who started reinventing Dastangoi in 2005, says Hindu epics are a part of Urdu custom. Within the 18th-19th century, a number of writings on Hinduism came about in Persian. “I can compose Bhajans on Krishna because I know Urdu,” Farooqui quotes poet Javed Akhtar to clarify the heritage of Hindu epics in Urdu custom.

“There are more than 70 books on Gita and 100 on Ramayana in Urdu. All versions of Gita indirectly talk about the story of Mahabharata. So, I curated the material, shortlisted the more evocative passages and then edited and modified the draft to make it performance-friendly,” explains Danish Iqbal.

Farooqui believes that as political artistes they need to reinterpret themes. “When you tell a traditional tale, you have to tell it in a way that it speaks to the contemporary times,” he stated.

The viewers, typically a mixture of folks from all religions, is appreciative. For many of them, essentially the most fascinating side is listening to a Hindu fantasy in Urdu.

“Mahabharata is undoubtedly a classic, but the portion which is selected and highlighted through poetry and narration are so morally accurate and humanising,” says Shubhra Sharma, who retired from All India India Radio after a few years of recent studying. “Due to this explicit essence, Dastan-e-Mahabharat is an unparalleled basic presentation.”

“Once an audience member from Bhopal told me that he knows all my sources and he said that he has read them in Hindi and Sanskrit, but his spiritual experience was heightened when he heard these epics in Urdu and Persian,” Farooqui remembers.

For Iqbal, the tales they select to inform over and over create an emotional join. “What we call shared culture is the stories which showcase our ethos. And that is why we have been presenting the most popular stories of Hinduism in a language and idiom of inclusiveness and emotional integration.”

“I have never seen anything so aesthetically and poetically presented. The whole experience from beginning to end is so fluid and so exhilarating. Both scripting and presentation of Mahabharat is superb,” sums up Amit Mehra, a photographer.

In addition to ‘Dastan-e-Mahabharat‘, ‘Dastan-e-Radha Krishna‘ and ‘Dastan Apne Ram Ji Ki‘ too current the basic tales in chaste Urdu and the fabled Daastangoi custom.

Additionally on this sequence: Serving to colleges in distant, conflict-ridden areas of Manipur train new classes in peace

Fouzia is India’s first lady Dastango. Having carried out over 200 reveals throughout India and within the UAE, she has targeted her efforts to advertise communal concord by means of her performances, whereas additionally masking a various vary of different points.

In a poisonous atmosphere the place hate crimes are on the rise, these Muslim artistes imagine their problem is to discover a approach to overcome social divisiveness and assist create a sane and extra understanding society. Fouzia says shared tales just like the Ramayan and Mahabharat create empathy and construct emotional bridges.

Fouzia quotes Jigar Moradabadi

/Un kā jo farz hai vo ahl-e-siyāsat jāneñ/
/Merā paiġhām mohabbat hai jahāñ tak pahuñche/

(Politicians could know what they’re doing.
My mission is to unfold love wherever it reaches)

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