Sufi-Bhakti Heritage: Songs of Kabir and Shah Latif with Vipul Rikhi (India)
Amartya Sen’s (2005) seminal idea of ‘argumentative tradition’ in Indian history, culture and identity articulates the formation of dialogical, heterodox and alternative discourses and practices. He critically underlines the contemporary relevance of the long tradition of argumentation and heterodoxy in India to challenge the divisive Hindutva nationalist ideology and to advance the ideals of democracy, public reasoning and secularism. The Sufi-Bhakti devotional heritage in the cultural forms of literature and music has contributed significantly to the composite, syncretic and pluralistic identity constructions of Indian subcontinent in South Asia. The Sufi-Bhakti devotional culture’s ideal of the Unity of Humanity transcends the boundaries of religion, communalism and caste. The non-communal and non-sectarian worldview contained in the Sufi-Bhakti tradition in South Asia tend to cultivate the cosmopolitan humanism which is increasingly used in musicmaking by the progressive artists and intellectuals in India and Pakistan to counter the extremist religiosity.
This Sufi-Bhakti heritage performance event invites Vipul Rikhi, a poet, singer, translator and an activist artist from India to present the songs of two iconic Sufi poet- philosophers Kabir (India) and Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (Pakistan). The event aims to articulate and integrate the South Asian Sufi-Bhakti intellectual, musical heritage knowledge production into global humanities discourse and practice.
Prof Dr Britta Sweers
Dr Lea Hagmann