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Boosting communal harmony through music

india Updated: Jan 28, 2007 11:37 IST
Highlight Story

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's very talented wife Shamima Dev Azad has come out with a touching musical video album "Nai Subah" (New Dawn) that focuses on communal harmony and its power to resolve all issues.

The album has as its theme "We shall overcome" and underlines the enterprising spirit of Kashmiris to unshackle themselves of devious plots and resolve all contentious issues through talks.

Shamima, a renowned singer and a recipient of the Padma Shri award, has often been described in laudatory terms as "Nightingale of Kashmir".

The album is visually rich with the images of the beauty of Kashmir, of the places of worship and the shared cultural heritage of the state's people who pride themselves as followers of Nund Rishi and Lal Ded - two noted Sufi figures who preached communal harmony.

Nund Rishi is the popular name of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani, a 16th century Kashmiri saint, who as the myth goes, was raised by a Hindu woman Laleshwari (Lal Deed) when a child and breast-fed by her. Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani's shrine is Charar-e-Sharief in central Kashmir and revered by people of all faiths.

"Nai Subah" shows the younger generation engaged in studies and scaling new heights. One scene is particularly touching. It shows small children crying and then hands come forward to wipe out their tears.

The music has been given by Bhajan Sopori, a well-known maestro, and the video is directed by Zahid Manzoor. Local TV channel "Take 1" has provided the visual inputs.

Speaking about her album, Shamima Azad said: "I would be happy if people appreciate the spirit of my lyrics and song."

"Aise banavo bhai khushall" (We will be again happy and prosperous) - "that is my dream," she said. "I hope this will get realised sooner than later."

This is Shamima Azad's third major album in the past one year. The first, "Aao Kadam Badhayen" (Let's march ahead), focused on the devastation caused by the October 5, 2005, quake in the state, the resilience of the state's people and the cooperation amongst them.

Another album, "Kashmir Jannat-e-Benazir" (Kashmir: unparalleled paradise on earth), highlighted the unmatched beauty of Kashmir and the desire of the people to excel in fields of development and economy.

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