INTERVIEW Kailash Kher on Sufi music, spirituality and social change
Mystical and mesmerising is the closest you can come while describing the aura Kailash Kher creates when he sings.
Stage shows or albums, his passion for Sufi music comes through clearly. The singer talks about music, spirituality and society.
How are you able to strike a balance between Bollywood and Sufi music?
To me work is worship and music is divine. My belief in the divinity of music is reflected through my expressions and voice. Music is part of me. So, for me, there is no difference between Bollywood and Sufi music.
The popularity of classical music seems to be on a decline, particularly among the youth. What do you feel about it?
Well, I do not think so. My fans have largely been the youth and they have followed my music be it in the Bollywood or classical form. I may also attribute my success to the growth of Internet and one does know it is the youth who constitute the dominant part of the users. I believe the youth does like classical music and my success can proves this.
West and East are thought to be diametrically opposite when it comes to music. How do you perceive your music?
Music and love are universal. You can’t divide music as western or eastern. Generic division may be possible but they have the same origin. There is a striking commonality between African rhythms and Rajasthani music. This reiterates the fact that music is one. My belief is that folk music belongs to the entire world rather than a region. The tree of music may have different branches but the root is the same.
How would you describe the connection between music and spirituality?
Spirituality, according to me, is determined by what you are. Your character is an important precursor to spirituality and music is the mirror. Music, hence, is the reflection of spirituality. The more you are pure at heart, the better your music will be. Music is the best gift of God to mankind.
You are also known for active participation in civil movements. How do you feel about the recent agitations, particularly in Delhi?
Whatever is happening is an indicator of an inevitable change that is about to happen in our society, which should be dealt sensibly. A simultaneous change in the character of an individual is also required and a changed individual should volunteer to change the unchanged. We have to make sure that everyone is a part of this change.
You have also been an active part of the Anna Hazare movement. Are you happy with the shape the movement has taken?
I am not an intelligent person as I make decisions from my heart. Annaji’s call was a call of truth and I obliged. I am not concerned with the result, I just believe in doing the right deed. I am emotional and I think it’s good to be one among all the intelligent people.
MUHAMMAD MUTAHHAR AMIN