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Two-day Workshops on
Sufi Literature and Social Responsibility
At New Delhi,
On November 13/14th 2010 (Sat/Sunday)
With a heritage walk on 25th Nov. (for both groups)
Registration is open, but seats are limited.

Schedule of the Workshop

Day 1 (13 Nov. 2010) Saturday
10 am – assemble at Hauz Khas Madrasa for a heritage walk/introduction (behind Hauz Khas village)
10:30 am – basic concepts about the theme (Yousuf Saeed)
11:30 am – Basics of Qawwali and Sufi music in north India (Dhruv Sangari)
12:30 pm – leaving for St.Mary’s School (walk or drive)
12:45 pm – lunch at the venue
1:30 pm – Film screening “Sufi Soul: The Mystic Music of Islam” – 48 mins
2: pm – Kabir and Social Responsibility (Atmaram Bhakal)
3:15 pm – tea
3:30 pm – Sufi music in the west - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Sudev Seth)
4:45 pm – Film “Basant” (12 mins)
5:00 pm – Discussion to end the day

Day 2 (14 Nov. 2010) Sunday
10 am – tea at St.Mary’s School venue
10:15 am– Guide to finding good Sufi music and literature (Yousuf Saeed)
11:45 am – Screening of film “Lamp in the Niche” directed by Girish Karnad
12:30 pm – Mystic Portraits: a photo-travelogue (Raoul Amaar Abbas)
01 pm – lunch
1:30 pm – Sufi literature in Punjab – Madan Gopal Singh
3 pm – tea break
3:30 pm – singing session with Madan Gopal Singh and Dhruv Sangari (participants
can join in the singing and practice)
5:30 – end note

Day 3 (25th Nov. 2010) Thursday
As part of the workshop, we plan to visit the shrine of Nizamuddin Aulia on a
Thursday evening (after sunset) when the qawwalis are performed. However, the
Thursday immediately after our workshop (18th Nov.) comes on or after Eid-al Azha
when some animals are sacrificed in most Muslim neighbourhoods, and it may not
be a very pleasant sight for some if we visit the Nizamuddin area. However, if
anyone wishes to visit the shrine on their own, they can do so. We will surely have a
proper walk there on the next Thursday (25th Nov.)


As listening to Sufi music and qawwali becomes more and more trendy, there are debates about what the true Sufi music is. Is it some meditative chanting that provides peace and tranquillity to an individual in today’s stressful urban life? Is it supposed to involve a lot of rhythm and high octave vocals using the names of god or Ali, as often exhibited by contemporary Indian cinema or pop music groups? Or is there something more to Sufi music and literature than mere self-indulgence? Does it have a social relevance in today’s life? Could it help us connect to our pluralistic past? Could it help us learn ways to coexist in today’s multicultural society?

These are some of the questions that we hope to address in a two-day intensive workshop involving several scholars, music practitioners and media professionals who have been working on these themes. Some of these include Madan Gopal Singh, Atmaram, Yousuf Saeed, Dhruv Sangari and others. Ektara India has been successfully conducting such workshops for last couple of years, the details of which can be seen on this website. The workshops are open for all who have an interest in Sufi poetry, music and Qawwali. The participants do not have to have a prior knowledge or training of music, nor is there an age-bar. Kindly note that this is not a course for learning music, but for appreciating music, poetry and their social contexts.

Most presentations will be given in English with some Urdu/Hindi content. Although two days are insufficient for a comprehensive understanding of such a subject, it is hoped that by the end of the workshop, the participants would be able to better appreciate the nuances of Sufi music, poetry, and Qawwali and its historical context. The two days will comprise of full day sessions (10 am to 6 pm) of lectures, discussions, some singing and recitation of poetry, screening of documentary films and archival sound recordings. Detailed schedule of the 2-days will be available in early-October 2010. An additional heritage walk to a Sufi shrine with live traditional music will take place on the 25th November 2010 in the evening (for both batches). Lunches, tea/coffee and refreshments will be provided. Hand-outs including reading material and audio/video clips (on a CD) will also be provided. Ektara India would also present a certificate of participation to each participant.

Venue: The workshops will take place at the St. Mary’s School, Safdarjang Enclave, New Delhi 110016

Registration: The seats are limited and a prior registration is required. Registration fee (inclusive of lunch/tea/handouts etc.): Rs.2,500/- per participant (Indian Rupees two thousand five hundred only), with a 20% discount for early bird applicants, students and couples/groups. Deadline for receiving the application for early bird and student discount is 10th October 2010. Couples or groups can avail the discount until the start of the workshop (subject to the availability of seats). The students seeking a discount should not be working as professionals.

To register, kindly download the application form, print, fill and send it to us with the registration fee. You can either send the full amount or at least Rs.1000 in advance to ensure registration (the remainder can be paid by cash or cheque at the venue of the workshop). There are several ways of sending the money:

1. The cheque/draft needs to be drawn for EKTARA INDIA. Address for sending application form and payment is given below (the address is to be used only for courier/post for this workshop).
Ektara India, C/o. Saif A.Khan, 24 Bank Enclave, Near Laxmi Nagar, Delhi 110092, Ph. +91-9971291112

2. The filled-up scanned form can also be sent by email (to ektaraindia@email.com) and the payment deposited into our bank account (please email us for the bank details) if you wish to do so.

3. If you want to pay cash as advance payment, you’ll have to call one of us to coordinate a meeting either at the St. Mary’s school or another central location in south or central Delhi. The remainder payment can of course be paid in cash at the venue when you come for the workshop.

4. In case you wish to pay by credit card, we only accept via paypal. So you can visit www.paypal.com and send the dollar equivalent payment to ysaeed7@yahoo.com. This will be roughly $54 for Rs.2500/-, $44 for Rs.2000/-, or $22 Rs.1000/-.

In all above cases, a digital receipt for the money will be sent to you immediately by email, but a hard-copy receipt can be obtained from us at the venue during workshop.

You are free to contact us before registering if you have any questions or doubts about the workshop.

Application form in Microsoft Word, and in PDF format.

You can write to us at ektaraindia@email.com or use this form to send us your request/message.

Our previous workshop: Hindustani Music and Partition, New Delhi, August 22-23, 2008