Delhi govt organises ‘Voices of People’ a musical platform for dissent
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Delhi govt organises ‘Voices of People’ a musical platform for dissent

The first concert was held on October 28 with a performance by activist couple, Vinay Mahajan and Charul Bharwada, at Central Park in Connaught Place, who sang a satirical critique of politicians.

delhi Updated: Nov 30, 2017 13:22 IST
Gulam Jeelani
Gulam Jeelani
Hindustan Times
Delhi government,Voices of People,Dissent
Audience members and participants hold candles during performance in Central Park. (Photo: Sourced)

The Delhi government is lending chorus to the voices of dissent in the national capital. The Arvind Kejriwal-led government is organising a series of musical concerts — Voice of People — that provides a platform for artists to express dissent through songs and poetry. The government has decided to make it a monthly event.

The theme of the performances will be social issues like farmer suicides, religious prejudices and apathy of ruling politicians.

The first concert was held on October 28 with a performance by activist couple, Vinay Mahajan and Charul Bharwada, at Central Park in Connaught Place, who sang a satirical critique of politicians. The performance was attended by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.

The next event is at the same venue in mid-December in which either the band ‘Banned’ or ‘Kabir Project’ will perform.

Officials of the Department of Art, Culture, and Languages, who is organising the events, said that the idea behind the initiative is to raise issues of the marginalised and bring people of Delhi to talk about things that matter.

“The Hindi-Urdu tradition, from Faiz to Dushyant Kumar, from Gorakh Pandey to Adam Gondvi, a number of poets and writers have sensitively dealt with the struggles of common people. Such songs resonate with people,” said Sisodia, who is also the minister of art, culture, and languages, in response to a query by Hindustan Times made to his office.

“Our goal is to use art and culture not merely as a source of entertainment but also reflect, inspire and make the society compassionate.”

The last concert ‘In Dino’ was well attended. The duo sang “Mandir Masjid Girija Ghar mein baant diya bhagwan ko …”, a song on the absence communal harmony, using ghungru (anklet with small bells) and dafli (tambourine), that enchanted the audience who held candles in their hands. Other songs talked about the rights of children, women, employment and right to information.

“These songs reflect our personal experience,” said Mahajan, who was an agricultural engineer before being part of the ‘Loknaad’ group with Bharwada, a former architect. Mahajan said he was affected by Ahmedabad riots in 1985 when he was a student at IIM, Ahmedabad.

Those who attended the event said the performance was simple, yet the impactful due to the messages in the songs. “The duo’s simple words and easy rendition helped us to reconnect to issues that bother us in our daily lives but somehow gets lost in routine,” said M Qureshi, a teacher, who attended the event.

In January, there will be a show by famous classical singer, Shubha Mudgal and in February, by the band ‘Indian Ocean’.

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 13:21 IST