Select Page

The Mittal Institute is excited to announce its participation in 24 Hours of Harvard (24hH), organized by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) at Harvard University during the Worldwide Week at Harvard 2020.

As part of this event, the Mittal Institute will be hosting an online session entitled, “Khusrau’s River of Love: Cosmopolitanism and Inclusion in South Asian Traditions,” which will include performances by noted artists from South Asia, Ali Sethi and Himanshu Bajpai. The performances will be interspersed with analysis and commentary by Ali Asani, Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University, who will also moderate a live Q&A session with Ali Sethi and Himanshu Bajpai following the performances.

In its recent history, South Asia has witnessed a deep polarization of society fueled by ideologies that seek to exclude “the other,” variously defined through the lens of caste, religion, ethnicity, language, gender and race. Promoted through various media, these exclusionary discourses have overshadowed the region’s rich legacy of inclusion and humanism expressed through its vibrant literary and performative traditions, best exemplified by Amir Khusrau, South Asia’s legendary historian, poet, musician, and mystic.

This performance aims to highlight this cosmopolitan ethic and shared cultural history by showcasing Khusrau’s work and messages. Through the dastan-goi or qissa, traditional form of storytelling, and the qawwali, the iconic form of South Asian Sufi poetry, the presentation will offer an alternative lens through which we may engage with and appreciate difference.

The session will be presented on October 8 at the 24 hours of Harvard YouTube channel at 7:30 AM EST / 5.00 PM IST / 4:30 PM PKT / 5:30 PM BST.

Video Transcript