One of the saddest stories that I have read in a long time was the furore over singer Parvati Khan being prevented from singing at the sacred Jyotirlingas.
The temple loves her music but not the fact that her husband is a Muslim. The Express reports:
“She created such a beautiful atmosphere here,” gushes priest Upendra Shikhre, unaware of Khan’s real identity. “Her voice drew hundreds of devotees here every day, many more than the temple normally sees on an average day. The last five days were so serene.” But now, priest Ulhas Aaradi is a bitter man. “If only we had known earlier…If people of Trimbakeshwar had known, they would have told her to get out.” Only Hindus, are allowed in the temple.
Panditji, who is a Hindu? or to be more accurate who isn’t a Hindu. or for that matter fact who is a Muslim or who isn’t a Muslim. If you truly believe in God surely then all paths lead to the same end.
And what religion is Shankar Mahadev. For he is the parama yogi and for him there can be no religion, and all are same. By violating the basic principal of Shavism – the priests have desecrated the temple. I hope that all of us who are devout and believe can take a stand and say that you don’t speak for us. For in the home of God all are welcome, for in the eyes of God all are the same.
A few centuries ago they wouldn’t have allowed a Vaishnavite into the temple. Now Parvati Khan is being denied entry. Indra Gandhi – while she was PM – was not allowed entry into some temples because she was a widow. And Dalits till date are not allowed into many temples.
The last few months i have been virtually insomniac. And in that insomnia my constant companion has been Hindustani Classical Music, some Carnatic – but mostly Hindustani.
Listen to the Dagar Brothers of Udaipur – exponents of the Dhrupad style – sing the glory of Hari (incidentally their first names are Khan Sahib Ustad Nasir Moinuddin & Khan Sahib Ustad Nasir Aminuddin); or Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Sahib singing the love of Krishna or Radha in the amazing Jamuna ke Teer; or Pandit Malikarjun Mansur singing Pratham Allah in raag Shivmat Bhairav – and you will know that the Brahmin Priests know jackshit.
Urban legend has it that when partition happened, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib migrated to Pakistan. In the inaugural concert of Pakistan Radio he began his concert – as always – with Saraswati Vandana. When administrators objected to his singing the glory of Hindu gods – he migrated back. His rationale – where he can’t sing the glory of God – any God – he cannot stay.
Mostly these kinds of issues are raised by the people who know least about the sacred art ,like someone who objects to name the academy of classical music on khan sahib Ustab Ali Akbar Khan( because he was a Muslim) in Bhopal,M.P. and asks to name it on Miyan Tansen-not knowing that the legend was also a Muslim.
This is not what we are about. And it is time that we spoke out against the hijacking of our eclectic traditions by medivialists. Let us not wait to become Saudi Arabia. Lets speak out now – if not for us, then for generations to come.