India is a land of syncretic cultures and shared heritage, a land steeped in millennia of legacy and dreams for a new dawn. In the cycles of civilazations, the world has looked at us with hope. Now, as the world grapples with a global pandemic, we are leading the fight with our sheer spirit, grit and determination. This World Music Day, highlighting this innate strength and showing gratitude to all the frontline workers, a song titled Dharm Hindustan has been released by singers, musicians, and young adults from across the country. It is a labour of love, recorded by these individuals at their homes and combined to make a composite video in a collaborative effort by NGO Arpan and Purani Dilli Walo ki Baatein, a not-for-profit collective based in the Capital.
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Indore-based Classical musician Gautam Kale had the lyrics for over a year, but chose to release a song only now because of the mounting tensions at the borders, within communities and attacks on doctors. He says, “Unity is the need of the hour and we have to be one in this fight against corona. Musicians transcend religion. My father Dr Kishore Kale and one of my students, Prithiviraj Singh Sisodiya had written this song last year. My students recorded the song from their homes and we made a video using those clips.” With a message of hope and unity, the song also extends gratitude to the police, cleaning staff, doctors and healthcare providers.
Bollywood playback singer Ami Mishra, who is currently in his hometown Mandla, Madhya Pradesh, had rendered this song, keeping in mind the message of oneness. “I studied under him and have known for over nine years. When I heard this song, I thought that we should rise above religion and the lines that divide us. Inn sab se upar uth ke duniya dekhni chahiye. When a child is born, he/she doesn’t know what religion is; it is us who tell him/her.
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Mridula Sharma, HR professional born in Himachal Pradesh, and residing in Gurugram, says she feels honoured having sung this song. “There is more strength in unity, and I am glad I got to sing this song. It gives the message to be together and to love each other. We all make mistakes but we should learn from them and make sure to not repeat them in future. I have huge respect for all the frontline workers who are giving their best to save this world. This world would be so beautiful if we see everyone with so much respect and love,” she says.
For 21-year old Nargis Khatoon, a 21-year old BBA student from Hawal, Kashmir, pain, like love, has no language. “Duniya mein log kahin bhi marte hain, dard vaisa hi hota hai. This song is a ray of hope. Everyone has a different religion, but this song does not stereotype, it appeals to all of humanity,” she says.
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