There have recently been a series of further Sikh signatories to the joint statement condemning the English Defence League and any Sikhs who join them. Examples of notable individuals who have recently publicly voiced their support are several popular UK-based Sikh musicians along with Sikh councillors such as Hardial Singh Rai (Barking & Dagenham) and Pavitar Kaur Mann (Slough).
However, the most high-profile Sikh signatory so far has been the acclaimed Indian ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, who was recently in the UK for a major concert tour. Jagjit is extremely famous among more than a billion South Asians worldwide, and continues to have a successful career which has spanned approximately 40 years. Although he is trained in Indian classical music and also occasionally records albums of religious music, he is most famous as a ghazal maestro. In fact, he is widely regarded as the world’s greatest modern-day Indian proponent of the genre. Jagjit regularly performs at international concerts to huge audiences.
In the Indian subcontinent, ghazals originally consisted of songs based on Persian poetry combined with North Indian classical music influences during India’s medieval era (especially the Mughal period), heavily influenced by Sufi Islam. During the past couple of centuries, the lyrics have tended to be in Urdu; these days the genre is known more for its romantic connotations, although ghazals often discuss other aspects of life too. As a sophisticated art form, this extremely popular musical genre is one of the major historical legacies of traditional Indian Muslim culture.
A video of one of Jagjit Singh’s very best romantic ghazals in recent times can be seen below, from his internationally best-selling album “Marasim”, although Jagjit himself does not appear in this particular video. The lyrics were composed by another iconic Indian Sikh artist who is a strong proponent of Urdu poetry, Sampooran Singh Kalra, more famously known by his nom de plume Gulzar.
You can see Youtube clips of Jagjit Singh’s wonderful live ghazal concerts here and here. An example of Jagjit singing a Sikh hymn based on a prayer by the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh can be heard here; the video includes numerous scenes depicting activities at the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, India.
Other Sikh musicians
A number of internationally-famous British Sikh musicians have also recently signed the joint statement condemning the EDL, such as Amritpal Singh Burmy & Kulraj Singh Burmy from Tigerstyle and Taz from Stereo Nation, along with the Canadian Sikh singer Saint Soldier.
Taz stated the following:
“I condemn these imbeciles and their hatred towards our communities, and may I add that I have lived through the era of the BNP and the days of the seventies with regular occurrences of paki bashing on the streets of Coventry and Birmingham.”
Saint Soldier stated the following:
“It’s sad to see how much effort goes to spreading hatred with organizations like EDL in the world today. I was shocked to hear how ignorant the speeches were especially when I heard Guramit Singh quoting Guru Nanak Dev ji and then cursing at Allah in the same speech. God bless the world, let’s pray for love and peace.”
A suitable video by the group Tigerstyle can be seen below:
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
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Filed in: EDL,Muslim,Race politics,Religion,Sikh