Wed, 28 Nov 2012 06:20:43 GMT

India brings Sufi music to UN

From Yoshita Singh
United Nations, Nov 27 (PTI) The UN reverberated with the soulful sound of Sufi music as India, the current President of Security Council, hosted a musical event that focussed on the message of tolerance, pluralism and peace.

The theme of the concert, which coincided with the fourth anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was ''Love towards All, Malice Towards None.''
Organised by the Indian mission yesterday on the occasion of India''s Presidency of the Council, the musical event brought together three genres of music including the renowned Shahi Qawwals from Ajmer and the UN Symphony Orchestra.

Addressing the audience, which comprised people of diverse nationalities, India''s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri said the concert seeks to "send out a message of love, toleration, pluralism and peace : values, which have become very ephemeral and fast vanishing in the world we live in today."
The Shahi Qawwals, who were invited especially from India for the concert, enthralled the audience with their soulful and enigmatic Sufi renditions and received a warm applause for their performance.

Earlier, addressing a panel discussion on ''Faith, Dialogue and Integration'' organised by United Nations Academic Impact, Puri the world is facing "troubled times" where people live in "an unusually high degree of increasing intolerance" and "ill-bred hatred and fanaticism are rearing their ugly head; feeding on and sustained by misguided ideologies and creating strong sectarian fault lines across the globe."
"Could anyone ever have imagined that an absurd and totally irrational video, shot in one part of the world finding its way to You Tube and then having bizarre consequences and leads to large scale violence in other part of the world," Puri said referring to the controversial anti-Islam video that had sparked outrage and deadly protests across the world.

"Neither the religion that the misguided originator believed in, nor the religion that took him on, or for that matter any other religion in the world, ever espouses violence and intolerance as a means of collective redressal. And yet, this is a major challenge that we confront," Puri said.

He said despite collective efforts to "build bridges" and deepen understanding, the world is still on a precarious turf when it comes to being easily misled and misguided.

With the rise of pluralistic societies around the world, people of all faiths should join hands in promoting fairness and justice and be a force for world peace, he added.

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