As India and Pakistan look at innovating confidence building measures (CBMs) to be announced after the foreign minister’s meet in New Delhi on July 26, the shared legacy of Qawwali tradition could well be a right choice.
Both the countries are looking at filing a joint nomination dossier to get Qawwali tradition included in the list of intangible heritage of the humanity by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
The neighbours propose a joint institute in the name of famous Persian poet and a proponent of Qawwali tradition Amir Khusro.
“The Qawwali tradition is a shared legacy. And working together for listing it as an intangible heritage can be a CBM to reduce the trust deficit,” says an Indian official.
Qawwali tradition — a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia — goes back to more than 700 years. Falconry, the traditional activity of keeping and training falcons and other raptors to take quarry in its natural state was inscribed in 2010 on the representative list of the Intangible cultural heritage of humanity by the UN body. The art is famous in many countries, including Saudi Arabia, France and South Korea Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan.
“Khusro is popular in India and Pakistan and institute in his name will be an ideal thing to have in promoting cultural ties. Both these proposals along with resuming the cricketing ties were discussed when foreign secretaries of the two countries,” the official added.