A unique traditional form of Urdu chanting, chahar-bait was performed at the Rangayan Auditorium of Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) in Jaipur as part of the 12-day cultural festival “Virsa 2019”. This performance was organized by JKK in association with Rajasthan Urdu Academy, Jaipur. Furkan Khan, ADG, JKK, was present on the occasion. The event began with a performance of “Hamd and Naat” by Iqbal Miyan and the Tonk band. The growing excitement of the crowd with each sher was remarkable. In addition to Ustad Mohammad Asif, artists like Vajir Mohammad Sahab Khalifa, Mohammad Wajib, Guddu Mahrab, Abdul Jabbar and others have performed in the Tonk group “Shaan Ae Hind”. After that, Mohammad Mukhtyar and the group from Bhopal presented a chahar-bait performance. Their compositions were based on religion and society. In addition to them, artists Abdul Azim Khalifa, Mohammad Idrish, Mohammad Nawab, Asmulla, Nawab Kha and others performed in Bhopal’s 10-member group.
Chahar (four) bait (verse), is a musical composition in which verses of four lines each are sung. This endangered genre of music originated in Afghanistan and arrived in India in the 18th century with the Afghan military cohorts. Many of these Afghan soldiers settled in Tonk, Rampur, Bhopal and cultivated the tradition of chahar-bait in these areas. The performances focus on patriotism, religion, the environment, and other contemporary issues.