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It may appear a bit odd to talk about Hindu contribution to the tradition of marsiya and azadari at a time when communalists in India seen bent upon effacing every vestige of the religious heritage of the Muslims from that country In fact now is the time to show how different were the cultural attitudes in this land in the past I am chiefly indebted for this information to Kalidas Gupta Raza Kalidas Gupta Raza who died recently is known as an authority on Ghalib His preoccupation with the marsiya and the azadari tradition in general is a little less known And it was something more than of mere academic interest While on a visit to Bombay I had the opportunity to meet him Seeing me curious about his pen name Raza he told me that he had chosen it because of his devotion to Hazrat Imam Raza He was kind enough to give me his booklet titled Shaoor-i-Gham which included marsiya pieces written by him While engaged in his research on Hindu marsiya writers he had unearthed a number of such writers which were hitherto unknown to us An article which was intended to be the first chapter of his book Hindu marsiya go is included in his collection published under the title Sahv-o-Suragh in which he has traced Hindu involvement in azadari from the times of Quli Qutab Shah This ruler he says would take care to say goodbye to wine as soon as the moon of the month of Muharram was sighted Clad in black he would come out from his palace and proceed to the aza-khana followed by a large number of people most of whom were Hindus The first Hindu marsiya writer as researched by Gupta Raza was as Ram Rao whose pen name was Saiva He belonged to Gulberg but migrated to Bijapore in the time of Ali Adib Shah In about 1681
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