By Dya Singh | OPINION |
My talented shotay veer (lawyer) Gurmukh Singh of Malaysia is arguably the most accomplished exponent of raag based gursangeet in Malaysia. This is in no way belittling the ‘kirtan‘ and ‘kirtan perchar‘ abilities of a number of other similar shotay veers in Malaysia who are all a credit to Sikhi in Malaysia.
I single Gurmukh out because he is not only a kirtania and kirtan percharak (proponent), but also a Guru-based ‘artiste’. A category of gursangeet for which, up till now there was no platform to showcase such talent.
Over my lifetime I have witnessed the general Gurdwara psyche concerning ‘kirtan’ narrow. There was a time when gurdwara-based Punjabi schools encouraged their students to write dharmic kavetas (religious-based poetry) and the good ones were presented from gurdwara stages to the Sangat.
Kirtan students had the stage platform to showcase their renditions in raag, from any Sikh dharmic source. There was kavisheri (poetry), persaang (ballads of episodes from our dharmic history) renditions, dhad sarangi renditions, patriotic uplifting bani from Dasam Granth, besides ‘straight’ kirtan.
Over 30 to 40 odd years I have witnessed gurdwaras imposing restrictions. Today ‘they’ do not allow dharmic kavetas under the pretext of ‘kechi bani‘, nothing from Dasam Granth, no Deh Shiva for Nishan Sahib ‘salami‘ – only anything directly from Guru Granth Sahib Ji preferably with two vajas and tabla.
Then came Maha-Mari which I call the ‘Grand Coming’! Gurdwara stages have been relegated to a level playing field with those who are talented enough to display other aspects of our vibrant Sikh life philosophy, online.
Gurmukh would have probably not been allowed to showcase this rendition of 11 raags with bani from Dasam Granth in any gurdwara of today. But no one can stop him to display his and his family’s talent online. A ‘guldasta‘ in honour of our spiritual father dhan dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji maharaj.
To others who have the talent of writing good dharmic renditions and singing shabads from Dasam Granth, I say – now you have the ability of letting ‘us’ hear and see you online, let it be Facebook, YouTube, etc. There are at least thousands listening and globally. Go for it. Showcase your talents!
Khalsa Ji, enjoy Ragi Gurmukh Singh Ji and family from Malaysia. Click here for the Facebook link.
Malaysian-born Dya Singh, who now resides in Australia, is an accomplished musician and a roving Sikh preacher. The Dya Singh World Music Group performs full scale concerts on ‘music for the soul’ based on North Indian classical and semi-classical styles of music with hymns from mainly the Sikh, Hindu and Sufi ‘faiths’. He is also the author of SIKH-ING: Success and Happiness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
* This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
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