Kashmiri Sufi and folk singer Gulzar Ahmad Ganie is on a mission to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Sufi music in the region. He is actively seeking a plot of land from the Jammu and Kashmir government to establish a Sufi music school. His vision for this school is to impart his extensive knowledge to the young boys and girls of Kashmir, free of cost.
In a conversation with Awaz-the Voice, Ganie expressed his strong desire to pass on this unique art form to the next generation of Kashmiris. He had previously attempted to run a school in a rented space in Sonwar, a locality in Srinagar, but had to close it down due to unaffordable rent.
Gulzar Ahmad Ganie, a legendary singer, showcases remarkable versatility, effortlessly singing both Bhajans and naat-e-sharif with unwavering devotion. He has achieved iconic status among Kashmiris worldwide, and his live Sufi music concerts are immensely popular.
Having learned Sufiyana and folk music from esteemed Gurus, including those at his village school in Mirgund, Baramulla, in north Kashmir, Gania’s motivation for establishing the music school is rooted in a deep sense of gratitude and a strong desire to give back to society. Consequently, he now senses a responsibility to pass on this musical legacy to the younger generation.
Despite having engaged in preliminary discussions with senior officers regarding his request for land, Gulzar Ahmad Ganie has not yet received a positive response. Nevertheless, he remains determined and plans to meet with Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to advocate for his cause.
As an accomplished musician who has sung the Kashmiri version of Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite Bhajan, “Vaishnav Jan to,” Gania believes that a Guru is instrumental in shaping an artist’s journey. He now wishes to honor his own Gurus by becoming a mentor to those who cannot afford to learn Sufi music.
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