Musical soiree to toast creative expression

Silver Jubilee

Many of those who gave a miss to this evening of classical music, will regret that they were unable to enjoy the powerful rendition of renowned classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal on the Sunday gone by.

The event, over the weekend at India Habitat Centre, was held to mark the 25th year of Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust also known as SAHMAT. And vocalist Shubha Mudgal has been a part of SAHMAT since its inception and her soulful voice was one reason which drew theatre, music and culture buffs for the event.

For those who came in late, SAHMAT has an interesting, if poignant story behind it. Born out of anger following the brutal murder of well-known theatre person Safdar Hashmi in Ghaziabad, while he was performing a street play, Halla Bol on January 1, 1989, the artiste community joined forces to set up a Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust in his memory.

These included writers, painters, scholars, poets, architects, photographers, designers, cultural activists and mediapersons. The spontaneous anger generated by Safdar Hashmi’s murder grew into a resolve to resist the forces threatening the essentially pluralist and democratic spirit of creative
expression.

From its inception SAHMAT has been a platform with a shared perspective, and has welcomed the distinctive creativities of those who have been part of its activities. The trust has undertaken activities, performances, exhibitions, publication of books, posters, production of audio-video cassettes to underline the concept of unity in diversity of the Indian nation and the people.

And legendary singer Shubha did exactly what the audience were expecting from her. As she sang her popular numbers much to the delight of the gathered gentry, her powerful voice filled the auditorium with the distinct melody of
classical music.

“Shubha is with us from 1991 and we are lucky to have her here on 25th year of our trust. We have invited her on this special occasion to remind us of our journey and we are very glad that she’s here tonight,” said Rajan Prasad, a SAHMAT activist.
Describing SAHMAT’s journey and its future projects he said, “ We started this trust as a movement known as ‘Artist against communalism’ in 1991.

And now we are looking forward to our next project which is an art exhibition named ‘Forms of Activism’ at Lalit Kala Akademi galleries, Rabindra Bhawan. This will be accompanied with talks, discussions and film screenings.”

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