'Dastangoi' promoting harmony in New Delhi

New Delhi, Dec.12 (ANI): Dastangoi, which means to tell a Dastan or story being recited in the Urdu language, is witnessing the participation of scores of persons belonging to various religious outfits and setting an example of communal harmony and brotherhood.

The event was organized in the recently renewed monument "Chaunsath Khamba" in Nizam-uddin Basti located in New Delhi coming to an end this weekend.

'Dastangoi' is made from two Persian or Farsi words- Dastan and goi, which mean to tell a Dastan or story. Dastans were epics, passed on and communicated orally since many generations.

Organized by the Aga Khan Trust For Culture, the epic narration was done by 'Peepli Live' co-director Mahmood Farooqui and his associate Danish Hussain under the guidance of the leading scholar S. R. Faruqi.

"Events like these do promote harmony and culture all around India. It's a good sight to see everyone bond together to see these performances and it shows the cultural diversity and history of our nation. And its quite amazing to see everyone coming and enjoying cultural festivities of India," said Adil Singh Sethi, a visitor.

'Dastangoi', originated in 16th century, has become the perfect fusion of literature and performance.

'Dastangoi' performances can include either traditional tales created by 'dastangos' or contemporary stories.

During the event both performances were organized.

The first one was- Dastaan-e-Amir Hamza, which celebrates life and adventures of Amir Hamza, purportedly an uncle of Prophet Mohemmad. And the second day had performance on the partition of India depicting the trauma people faced then.

Attired in traditional milk-white kurtas, and employing minimal props, Dastangos transported their audience back in time to an enchanting illusory world with their jugalbandi format narration.

Mahmood Farooqui, a 'Dastangoi' performer, said: "The art also has deep relations with Hindi cinema. And people who cannot understand the Urdu language completely also come here to listen to the dastan (stories). 'Dastangoi' is a secular art and people have special appeal for this art."

Ratish Nanda, the project director, quoted the importance of the event.

"The purpose of this event is to revitalize important monument like this and create them an area where people can come and enjoy themselves in a meaningful way," said Nanda.

"Secondly, it is to connect generations of different people with each other emphasize the pluralistic Indian society. It's a way to bring communal harmony through a better understanding of Indian culture," he added.

Indeed this amazing art form is just one of the many factors that contribute to strengthening the composite culture of India that draws upon various faiths. By Maryam Yasmin (ANI)

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