September 3, 2016


September 3, 2016 from 4 to 7 pm

at Deputy Speaker Hall, Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi-110001

Since its earliest imagination, the idea of India has always been based on plurality. What has been created through millennia of advent and assimilation is a grand and many-hued heritage, shared by all who at various points of time became part of it and contributed to it in their own unique way. 
Out of these largely oral, intangible and timeless interactions and traditions has emerged the rich and fluid Sufi-Bhakti culture of the Indian Subcontinent. The shrine has always been a shared space, a third space and a space for the meeting of hearts, minds and myriad imaginations. 
It is this space of exchange and sharing which is now under attack from various fascist, fanatic and politically polarizing forces. The main purpose of these attacks is to prevent the perpetuation of this people to people, faith to faith interaction and the wonderful culture of dialogue, music, food and syncretic spiritual expression that it has given rise to, instead imposing a monolithic and authoritarian culture based of compliance, fear and falsehoods. 
We as artistes, intellectuals, spiritual practitioners and activists condemn these nefarious attempts to communalize our social fabric and wish to present our views on this subject, one of vital importance in our troubled times.  
Chair: Ashok Vajpeyi
Speakers: Dhruv Sangari, Shail Mayaram, Sohail Hashmi, Syed Farid Idris Maharaj
Entry Free
Info on Speakers: 
Ashok Vajpeyi is an Indian poet in Hindi, essayist, literary-cultural critic, apart from being a noted cultural and arts administrator, and a former civil servant. He was chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi India's National Academy of Arts, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India, 2008–2011. He has published over 23 books of poetry, criticism and art, and was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award given by Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, in 1994 for his poetry collection, Kahin Nahin Wahin. His notable poetry collections include, Shaher Ab Bhi Sambhavana Hai (1966), Tatpurush (1986), Bahuri Akela (1992),Ibarat Se Giri MatrayenUmmeed ka Doosra Naam (2004) and Vivaksha (2006), besides this he has also published works on literary and art criticism: FilhalKuchh PoorvagrahSamay se BaharKavita ka Galp and Sidhiyan Shuru ho Gayi Hain. He is generally seen as part of the old Delhi-centric literary-cultural establishment 

Shail Mayaram is a Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. Publications include Against History, Against State; Counter Perspectives from the Margins; Resisting Regimes: Myths, Memory and the Shaping of a Muslim Identity. She has worked on subaltern pasts and moral imaginations of peasant and forest based communities, living together in the city and on nationalism and decolonizing knowledge. She is Adjunct Professor at the Delhi School of Economics, held a Visiting Chair at Tel Aviv University, has been Visiting Professor at the L’Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences socials, Aligarh Muslim University and the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and has been awarded Fulbright Rockefeller and other fellowships. 
Sohail Hashmi- Historian, activist, academician and film-maker Sohail Hashmi was about fourteen when he discovered his love for the city's heritage as he ran away from school to visit the Tughlaqabad Fort for a day. He has since been exploring the city and has been conducting heritage walks for children and adults since 2000. His writings on Delhi focus on its languages, food, water bodies and monuments. He writes on issues of culture, language, education and communalism. He has conceptualised, researched, scripted and produced documentaries on Pioneers of Women’s education, lesser known freedom fighters, marginalised women and literacy, and on walks through Delhi. He currently works with Knowledge Infrastructure Systems Pvt Limited and is the founding Trustee of SAHMAT.
Dhruv Sangari (Bilal Chishty Sangari) is a trained Hindustani classical musician and a Qawwali vocalist, having learnt under gurus such as Late Ustad Meraj Ahmed Nizami of the Delhi-Qawwalbachhe Gharana, Smt. Shahana Bannerjee & legendary Sufi maestro Late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khansaheb. Dhruv has a master’s degree in Hindustani Classical music from the University of Delhi and has been performing Sufi-Bhakti qalaam since 2001 with his ensemble 'Rooh'. 
In addition to stage concerts at major festivals and international collaborations with artistes in more than 15 countries he has recorded for a number of private albums, films and solo projects such as Jet-Lag with Da-Saz (2008), Hope, USA (2010, NASF), Haq Maula with Humble Mystic for MTV Coke Studio (2012) & Kyun Na with Amit Trivedi for MTV Coke Studio (2013). He also sang the chartbuster Lutt Jawaan from Commando (2013) and penned the lyrics for Abr e Karam for Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain (2014.) Formally initiated in the Chishty Silsila, Dhruv is part of Ektara India, a UN recognized foundation dedicated to Sufism and syncretic culture. He has taught and performed Sufi & classical music in several universities, museums, official and cultural institutions at home and overseas. Dhruv is also associated with Anhad, an organization striving for social harmony and democracy.
For his work, Dhruv has received awards and recognition from the University of Baroda, India and the Smithsonian Institution, USA. 
Syed Farid MaharajA graduate from St. Xavier's College Gujarat University Ahmedabad and various short term professional courses in India and aboard retired in 2013 with 30 yrs active services with Civil Aviation Authority of Saudi Arabia assigned to Management team of King Abdul Aziz International Airport Jeddah. Hajj Terminal BTO Project Ports Management Development Company Jeddah,and Bechtel Co.Riyadh., started my career with Reserve Bank of India and Industrial Development Bank Of India Ahmedabad.Hobbies: poetry ( Urdu, Persian and Hindvi) semi classical music, Sufi gatherings, readings and surfing the net.
Khadim & Gaddi Nasheen Dargah Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty (RA)
President of Chishtiya Maharaj Foundation, engaged in social activities in accordance with universal message of KhawajaGharib Nawaz, including but not limited to, education, medical assistance,health awareness, public charity and social justice. Involvement in the day to day affairs and rituals at the Dabar E Aliya of of Hz. Gharib Nawaz provided an insight to the sufi traditions of Chishtiya and its message of tolerance. Interaction with Sufi masters and pupils their understanding of human requirement has enriched my spiritual stage and awareness to the noble stature of mankind. The daily attendance of qawwali and other recitations have inspired love of creation and its creator.

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