Peace through Popular Music
This paper studies a number of popular songs by the singer of the millennium Mohammed Rafi from Hindi movies to show how they surpass the narrow bounds of organized religion to convey a universal message. Songs like “You will not become a Hindu nor a Muslim will you become” and “You’re there in the temples, in the mosques, and in all beliefs” convey a message proclaimed by the 15th century poet Chandidas: Above all is human, none else. It also relates to what Mahatma Gandhi said: God has no religion. Gandhi’s utterance is based on the idea that “god” is a moral force, a view which dates back to the Vedas, where Indra represents the good principle. This view was borrowed by the Persian Zarathustra, who came up with the concept of Ahura Mazda, later called Ormazd, representing the good principle as opposed to Ahriman, representing evil. This is the basis of monotheism, which Jews and Arabs borrowed. So the roots of Hinduism and Islam, as well as Christianity, are the same, whatever name the good principle is given. Thus, the message contained in popular songs can help people abandon their fanaticism, bigotry and violence, and make not only the Indian subcontinent but also the world a more peaceful place.
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