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Discussions

A series of gatherings of scholars, musicians, writers, poets, khuddam (custodians of Dargah) and select members of the community continues to gather to discuss the work and contribution of Amir Khusrau in the aforementioned fields. Through this medium of moderated discussions, the aim is to produce a body of focused discourses which would be useful for a wide array of users.
9th Oct, 2011
Urs Mahal, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti


Amir Khusrau: Poetry in Context
Key Speaker: Dr Anand Mohan Zutshi Gulzar Dehelavi
Moderator: Syed Farid Nizami
Participants: Prof. Syed Shahid Mahdi, Prof Akhlaq Ahan  read more >>
20th Nov, 2011
Amaltas, India Habitat Centre

Ragas and Bandishes of Amir Khusrau
Artist: Lecture demonstration by Ustad Aslam Khan ( Khayal) Hapur Gharana
Moderator: Vidya Rao, Scholar and Vocalist
18th Dec, 2011
IIC Annexe Auditorium


Amir Khusrau in the making of Hindustani Culture
Participants: Prof Syed Shahid Mahdi,
Prof. Purushottam Agrawal,
Prof. Mujeeb Rizvi and Sohail Hashmi

Discussion Theme:
The terms ‘Hindustani culture’ and ‘Ganga-Jamuni tehzib’ are interchangeably used and intuitively understood as the composite and syncretic culture of the Indian subcontinent. However, a coherent exposition of what are its constituent elements in terms of language, customs and traditions continues to an ambiguous terrain. This nashist will explore the role played by Chishti Sufis in general and Amir Khusrau in particular towards the making of this Hindustani culture. Khusrau is said to have made a seminal contribution by bringing Persian and Hindavi together to lay the foundations of later day Hindi and Urdu. The lack of written sources testifying this continues to make this a controversial claim but oral history sources attribute poetry, imagery and metaphors to him which could well have been the seed form of Hindustani culture.
28th Jan, 2012
IIC Annexe Auditorium


Amir Khusrau and the Sitar
A lecture demonstration by Ustad Saeed Zafar Khan

Discussion Theme:
  1. Physical description of the Sitar ‘invented’ by Amir Khusrau according to oral history sources of the Dehli gharana. The accompanying role of the instrument in qawwali will be emonstrated by an example of a traditional naghma (melodic prelude) for the Sitar in Raga Zila Kafi, an evening melody attributed to Amir Khusrau.

  2. The appearance of the Sitar in recorded history during the reign of Muhammad Shah ‘Rangile’ and the role played by Beenkars Masit Khan, Reza Khan and Firoz Khan in creating a repertoire for the instrument. In keeping with the tantrakari ang developed by them, examples of Masitkhani and Rezakhani gats will be presented in Raga Eman Kalyan, an evening melody attributed to Amir Khusrau.

  3. The genesis and development of the gayaki ang developed by Ustad Vilayat Khan. Characteristics of Dehli gharana’s gayaki will be presented through a bandish (composition) in Raga Purvi, an evening melody attributed to Amir Khusrau.

  4. Presentation of a few rare bandishes, ragas and talas attributed to Amir Khusrau such as ragas Nigar and Firdaus and talas Firodast and Soolfakhta.
20th Feb, 2012
IIC Annexe Auditorium


Amir Khusrau's Contribution to Hindustani Music
Participants: Prof. Krishna Bisht, S. Kalidas Iyer, Vidya Rao
Moderator: Irfan Zuberi

Discussion Theme:
  1. Prof. Krishna Bisht – Based on written and oral sources, Prof. Krishna Bisht will examine the association of Amir Khusrau to the beginning of the khayal tradition. In doing so, she will also analyze a similar claim of the affiliated genre of the tarana which supposedly consists of meaningful syllables and has a close relationship with qawwali and the Sitar.

  2. Vidya Rao – The tradition of thumri-dadra has not been associated with Amir Khusrau in any way whatsoever. However, Vidya Rao will assert that for performers like her gurus Vidushi Naina Devi and Vidushi Girija Devi, the Hindavi kalam and dohe attributed to him have close thematic linkages with the poetry used in the genre.

  3. S. Kalidas – Speaking about the “imagined” persona of Amir Khusrau with respect to the anecdotes which abound in the world of Hindustani musicians, S. Kalidas will critically examine their factual relevance. In doing so, he will also respond to the presentations of the other two panelists.