October 22nd, 2018 marked legendary Indian activist Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Hailed as the’ Father of the Nation’, Mahatma Gandhi was one of the most important figures behind the country’s historic freedom movement that brought an end to the torturous British rule.
On the special occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a medley version of the famous hymn ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye’ during the closing ceremony of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Conference. For a fact, the iconic Gujarati Bhajan made it to the list of Bapu’s all-time favourites and was consistently performed at the Sabarmati ashram.
In a glorious homage to the freedom fighter, the medley was performed a by 124 artists from 124 different countries. Representing Pakistan, it was classical singer Shafqat Amanat Ali, who contributed magnificently with his soulful voice.
In case you need an introduction, he is the man behind some absolute gems like Mitwa (Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna), Teri Jhuki Nazar (Murder 3), Tu Hi Mera (Jannat 2).
Ali’s gave a shot at the exemplary bhajan written by 15th-century poet Narsimha Mehta and trust me, he couldn’t have done it better. In a time when we are witness to several historic chartbusters being ruined by ‘rapping’ them out, Ali’s soulful version of the hymn touched our hearts.
You can see the video here:
The video went viral ever since with people showering the singer with praises.
‘The rendition of ‘Vashnav Jan’ by @ShafqatAmanatA is probably the best after @mangeshkarlata , I have come across. 👏👏👏 . Plz do watch https://t.co/3Ppdw3AijJ via @YouTube @BDUTT @islahmufti @sardesairajdeep @sagarikaghose #GandhiAt150 #GandhiJayanthi #Bapu
— ARUN (@ManhasArun) October 3, 2018
Brilliant idea and equally brilliantly done by MEA . Top singers from 124 countries rendering Gandhi’s favourite ‘Vaishnav jan toh…’ Don’t miss @ShafqatAmanatA from Pakistan. Hope commando comic channels will forgive…
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) October 2, 2018
My friend @ShafqatAmanatA sings #VaishnavaJan , Gandhiji's favourite bhajan, and proves pretty conclusively, as he always does, that music is both, "ibaadat" and "bhakti" together! https://t.co/SklUXzF11x
— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) October 3, 2018
Maybe I am biased, or maybe I am not. But I liked Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali's rendering at 3.05 the best. Listen to the global Vaishnav Jan-to. https://t.co/gBsoapg1Ga
— Bharati Chaturvedi (@Bharati09) October 2, 2018
— Shashank Shekhar (@shashankrnq) October 3, 2018
@ShafqatAmanatA saab, couldn't hld my tears, hearing ur version. My grandpa took part in the independence movement & ws jailed in th Andamans. He's no more, bt he sure wud hav given u his blessings. U r gifted, U r blessed, U r special. Dil se thnk u saab. https://t.co/LivkO6SGzr
— Not The God (@SwayamBhagwan) October 2, 2018
For people like me who tend to lose it whenever Bollywood chooses to destroy an old-school classic, this was a treat. Thank you, Shafqat Amanat Ali.