Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A little familiarity to breed some respect

After the Jaipur blasts yesteday, and after reading the vitriolic comments left by people on the desi news sites, I got thinking how this animus can be addressed.

And sure enough, R sent me the following today, a song by Amir Khusro.

From his bio:
Khusro was born in Patiali near Etah in what is today the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. His father Amir Saifuddin came from Balkh in modern day Afghanistan and his mother hailed from Delhi.
[about the multi-lingual poem]
The phrase "Zeehaal-e-miskeen" comes from a poem of Amir Khusrau. The unique thing about this poem is that it is a macaronic, written in Persian and Brij Bhasha. In the first verse, the first line is in Persian, the second in Brij Bhasha, the third in Persian again, and the fourth in Brij Bhasha. In the remaining verses, the first two lines are in Persian, the last two in Brij Bhasha. The poem showcases Amir Khusrau's mastery over both languages.

The MP3 is here, and I strongly recommend you to give a listen.

So, I guess one way people will start thinking twice before killing each other is exposure to each other's cultures, and perhaps some shared-language art. But at the end of it, it will need political will -- part softness, part hardness -- which I am not sure if any party in India is currently capable of.

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