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Home / More Lifestyle / Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan marks unique London concert

Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan marks unique London concert

Hosted by the Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of the Indian high commission, the concert by noted London-based singer-composer Swati Natekar encompassed a range of Indian forms of singing: thumri-dadra, ghazal, geet, Sufi and bhajan.

more-lifestyle Updated: Sep 15, 2019 11:06 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times
The concert, titled ‘A Saga of Love & Poetry’, dwelt on several classic examples of poetry, from Meera to Amir Khusro, performed to a packed audience by Natekar, daughter of the renowned scholar of Hindustani classical music, Sushila Pohankar (Kirana gharana).
The concert, titled ‘A Saga of Love & Poetry’, dwelt on several classic examples of poetry, from Meera to Amir Khusro, performed to a packed audience by Natekar, daughter of the renowned scholar of Hindustani classical music, Sushila Pohankar (Kirana gharana).

As India, United Kingdom and various countries prepare to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary on October 2, his favourite bhajan – ‘Vaishnav janato’ – was the highlight of a unique concert supported by Arts Council England on Friday.

Hosted by the Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of the Indian high commission, the concert by noted London-based singer-composer Swati Natekar encompassed a range of Indian forms of singing: thumri-dadra, ghazal, geet, Sufi and bhajan.

The concert, titled ‘A Saga of Love & Poetry’, dwelt on several classic examples of poetry, from Meera to Amir Khusro, performed to a packed audience by Natekar, daughter of the renowned scholar of Hindustani classical music, Sushila Pohankar (Kirana gharana).

Natekar has been a part of various cultural initiatives of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian high commission. She represented the UK in the ministry’s initiative to spread Gandhi’s message, particularly the bhajan, ‘Vaishnav janato’, which was hailed by the former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

Known for her collaboration with artistes such as Nitin Sawhney, Zakir Hussain, Talvin Singh, Craig Armstrong and Muzaffer Ali, Natekar’s rendering of Gandhi’s bhajan and other scores were received well by the audience comprising Indian and non-Indian lovers of Indian music.

Natekar’s virtuoso performance is among several events scheduled in the near future in the UK to mark the birth anniversary of the man who studied and lived in London before taking up the cause of discrimination and freedom in South Africa and India.

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