Ladies, no singing at dargah | india | Hindustan Times
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Ladies, no singing at dargah

With the dust yet to settle on the furore caused by a proposed ban on the entry of women into the dargah of Moinuddin Chisti, Ajmer, another controversy has erupted after a Pakistani woman singer was asked to stop her performance at the shrine.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 12:24 IST

With the dust yet to settle on the furore caused by a proposed ban on the entry of women into the dargah of Moinuddin Chisti here, another controversy has erupted after a Pakistani woman singer was asked to stop her performance at the shrine.

During a visit to the dargah by a Pakistani delegation yesterday, the khadims or servers asked Mario Balos, a Sufi artiste from Sindh, to stop singing as it was prohibited for women to perform at the shrine, sources said.

The Pakistani team is in Ajmer to participate in an India- Pakistan festival. It was welcomed at the dargah with the khadims performing the traditional 'dastarbandi' ritual and its members were invited to perform qawwalis with local musicians.

But as Mario joined the other qawwals and recited a Sindhi 'najam' or couplet, she was requested to stop by the khadims, the sources said.

The 32-member delegation was embarrassed by this and abruptly left the shrine. Members of the dargah management committee and the Anjuman Committee or union of khadims were present at the time, the sources said.

When contacted, Anjuman Committee secretary Sarwar Chisti told PTI that it was a centuries-old tradition that women could not sing in the shrine or particiapte in qawwali performances there.

"She (Mario) was requested by the khadims and the woman did not make any gesture of annoyance as it was agreeable to her. Why should there be any controversy over this?" he asked.

"It is understood that women should not sing or perform at this dargah. It is mere chance that the Pakistani lady was not aware of this," Chisti said.