Malerkotla keeps the charm of qawwali alive

November 14th, 2007 - 10:29 am ICT by admin  
Malerkotla (Punjab), Nov 11 (ANI): The waning charisma of qawwali, the devotional music of the Chishti Sufis of the Indian subcontinent, is kept alive by a small Muslim dominated hamlet of Malerkotla in Punjab’s Sangrur District.

A princely state during the British rule, Malerkotla was founded in 1600 by Sufi saint Baba Haidar Shaikh. Today, families in Malerkotla continue to serve the musical genre.Eight-year-old Mohammad Subhan is one of the many custodians of “qawwali” tradition in Malerkotla.

“I will grow up as a qawwali singer as my ancestors have been brought up in the tradition of Sufi singing,” says Subhan,

Javed Irshad Rehmat hails from “Amanat Khani gharana” (Amanat Khani school of music) from Malerkotla.

Javed, the grandson of the legendry Haji Rehmat qawwal, recites the verses of Sufi saints Baba Bulle Shah, Sultan Bahu and Shah Hussain.

His singing might not be appreciated by the younger generation, but he is determined to keep the tradition alive, even though he might have to bring some changes in his qawallis to suit the modern trend.

“Qawwali consists of Sufi renditions, which is not enjoyed by today’s age group. I doubt that qawwali will ever take that shape again. Young artists are taking up qawwali singing with new musical instruments. Nowadays, the trend of modern qawwali has picked up and is getting popular. We are bringing some changes, which the new generation will definitely appreciate,” says Javed.

Qawwals of Malerkotala serve the needs of Sufi “Dargahs” (shrines) by creating the atmosphere for a s

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