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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Never give up your passion: Iranian all-woman band to Pragaash

PTI  New Delhi, February 06, 2013
First Published: 20:32 IST(6/2/2013) | Last Updated: 20:33 IST(6/2/2013)

This all-woman Sufi music troupecomes from a much conservative Muslim society of Iran but has never faced any 'fatwa' from clerics unlike the young girls' band of Kashmir which had to call it quits due to religious edicts.

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'Ghazal', the young and refreshing band which is here to perform at a festival organised by ICCR, has a very strong but simple message for the Kashmiri girls -- never give up your passion in the face of opposition.

"We are so sorry to hear (about the Kashmir girls' band Pragaash). We are so happy to perform in India but why can't they," asks Sahar Lotfi, who leads the seven-member troupe formed in 2010.

Lotfi, whose troupe has performed in a number of concerts by propagating the Sufi tradition of their country with jubilation, says women in Iran, a much conservative society when compared to Kashmir, are free to decide what they want to do.

Women in Iran are "very cooperative" and "understanding" when it comes to the fair sex taking up singing, dancing and other activities.

"We are free to perform instrumental and whatever we want to. My family has also been very cooperative," she says.

Sympathising with the young Kashmiri girls, who called it quits on Monday after the Grand Mufti of Kashmir termed their singing un-Islamic, Lofti asked them not to run away in the face of a threat.

"They should go on. They should not stop. They should continue with propagating the message of peace and love. They should go on," she says.

Not only Lotfi, there is also another woman performer who had come from Azerbaijan.


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