Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Man Kunto Maula at Sufi Dargah in Sarnath, India

I have blogged before about the "little qawwali traditions" referring to the countless qawwals who sing at small town dargahs all over South Asia. Here is another example of the same. Bachcha Mohsin Qadri Qawwal and Part from Ghazipur, UP sing qaul at the urs (death anniversary) of a Sufi saint who lies buried in Sarnath near Banaras. Sarnath is famous as a "Buddhist town" because the Buddha preached his first sermon there after gaining enlightenment. But on this day, Muslim weavers from Banaras were to be found in the hundreds, strolling down Sarnath's main thoroughfare usually populated by Buddhist monks and European tourists.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Interviews with Sunil and Chitra Sahasrabudhey, Vidya Ashram, Sarnath, India

During my stay in Varanasi for my PhD field work this past year, I sat down for a chat with long-time political activists Sunil and Chitra Sahasrabudhey of Vidya Ashram. I have uploaded the videos on a Vimeo channel here. Issues discussed are mainly to do with the social basis for radical change in India today.

Sunilji elaborates on his concept of the "bahishkrit samaj," the externed society, i.e that vast majority of India society which did not find a place in the new colonial society and continues to be the "informal economy" today. He also talks about the concept of lokavidya (knowledge among the people) and its relationship to radical politics today.

Chitraji discusses feminism from the bahishkrit pespective and also talks about the relationship between lokavidya and the local market.

Again all the videos are cataloged here.