Home CULTURE Jamiite Filmmaker Curates Online Archive of Qawwalis Spanning Over 80 Years

Jamiite Filmmaker Curates Online Archive of Qawwalis Spanning Over 80 Years

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Jamiite Filmmaker Curates Online Archive of Qawwalis Spanning Over 80 Years

The passion of Yusuf Saeed, a Jamia Millia Islamia graduate with a degree in mass communication, to preserve cultural treasures led him to curate an online archive of nearly 800 qawwalis.

Mohammad Alamullah | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – A former student of the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia has emerged as a custodian of heritage, showcasing his extensive collection of film qawwalis spanning over 80 years.

The passion of Yusuf Saeed, a Jamia Millia Islamia graduate with a degree in mass communication, to preserve cultural treasures led him to curate an online archive of nearly 800  qawwalis from films.

Under the banner of the Cinema Qawwali archive, Saeed meticulously gathered qawwalis dating from 1940 to 2023, culminating in the creation of ‘CineQawwali.in,’ a comprehensive repository accessible to all enthusiasts. His dedication involved scouring through DVDs, CDs, and online platforms like YouTube to unearth these gems, ensuring that the melodious pieces of the country’s cinematic history are not lost to time.

In an exclusive interview with Clarion India the other day, Saeed spoke about the challenges he faced in finding these qawwalis online, emphasising the significance of his archive in providing easy access to this rich musical heritage. From the early sound films like Alam Ara of 1930 to iconic compositions by legends like Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle, Saeed’s archive encapsulates the evolution of qawwali in Indian cinema.

Highlighting notable milestones in film qawwali, Saeed shed light on its role in addressing social issues, such as the anti-alcohol movement during Mahatma Gandhi’s era, as depicted in films like Brandy Ki Botal (1939). He also emphasised the transformative impact of qawwalis rendered by modern-day artists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and A.R. Rahman.

With his unwavering dedication and passion for preserving cultural heritage, Saeed stands as a beacon of reverence for film qawwalis, ensuring that these timeless melodies continue to entertain the coming generations.

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