Delhi celebrates life and works of the great poet Amir Khusrau.

 Jashn-e-Khusrau, a festival in memory of medieval poet Amir Khusrau is being celebrated in New Delhi from 15 Feb-27 March 2013. Amir Khusrau lived in thirteenth century and saw the reign of many sultans of Mughal Period. His contribution and influence on Indian culture and heritage has been immense even though his works are not well-known among masses. His life and works are a true symbol of India’s celebrated pluralistic culture. He was of Turkish origin as his father came to India during Mongol attacks and made this country his home. Kusrau became proud of his Indian identity and culture. His life is an example of how this country has taken different faiths and culture in its fold and assimilated them within itself. He wrote in Persian as well as local language which later developed into what is known as Hindi of modern times. His unique multilingual poems in which he uses Persian and Hindustani language in different lines of the same poem are an example of his mastery of both languages. He was a disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya the great Sufi saint of Delhi, who belonged to Chistiya school of Sufism which believed in unity of Hinduism and Islam. Amir Khusrau is also said to be father of Qawwali,a form of devotional music. Origins of sitar and table are traced to him. While these claims have not been proved historically, the legend gives an idea of his influence on Indian culture and music.

During this festival Sufi music and vocal programs has been organized at different venues in New Delhi in which many renowned Sufi musicians enthralled the audience. A highlight of the musical program was performance by Ustad Abdul rashid khan,who at 105 is probably the oldest performing musician in the world.As a part of this festival an exhibition titled “the world of Khusrau is on display till 24th March 2013 at National Museum, Janpath in Delhi. Another such exhibit “Life and works of Khusrau” is on display at National Archives of India, New Delhi till 27th March 2013.

The life and works of this great poet have not found a place in popular conscience mainly due to the language he wrote which has become obsolete and the fact that there preserving and popularizing our cultural heritage has not been one of the priorities of the government.Therfore organization of this festival by Aga Khan development network is a great endeavor to celebrate the composite cultural heritage of India.