Covid casts shadow over Basant festivities in dargah | Delhi News
The centuries-old celebration is believed to have started with Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s disciple, Amir Khusrau, who wanted to bring a smile to his master who at the time was mourning the loss of his nephew, Khwaja Taqiuddin Nuh. Author and historian Rana Safvi explained, “According to popular belief, one day Hazrat Amir Khusrau saw women dressed in yellow clothes and wearing mustard flowers going happily to offer the flowers to their deity on the occasion of Basant Panchami. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya was mourning his nephew and Amir Khusrau, in order to bring a smile to his spiritual master’s face, dressed in yellow and began to sing a song.
Seeing his disciple dressed in a yellow sari bearing mustard flowers made the saint smile. For Nizamuddin’s followers, it became a cause for rejoicing and Basant Panchami has been celebrated with fervor ever since. “The saint smiled and it became an annual celebration at the dargah. This is described in detail in the 18th century memoir Muraqqa-e-Delhi by Dargah Quli Khan,” Safvi said.
This is also the only time qawwalis are sung inside the shrine where the tomb of the Sufi saint is located. Shrine manager Syed Mohammad Salmi Nizami explained, “Usually qawwalis are sung in the courtyard. Basant Panchami is the only day when chanting occurs inside the shrine. This year too, it will be the same, but only those involved in the dargah will celebrate the feast among themselves.
Elaborating on the restrictions, Syed Kashif Ali Nizami, chief in charge of the dargah, said, “Usually a huge crowd gathers at Basant Panchami, but now the scenario is different. People themselves are not too comfortable being part of large crowds. Previously, we used to send detailed messages about the programs to be organized, but this year we are not doing anything like that. He added: “Although a real procession will not take place, in case one or two qawwal want to perform ceremonially, we will allow them. All rituals will be followed but in the absence of crowds.
Although celebrations will be muted this year, what is expected to continue is the weaving of traditions, rituals and cultural syncretism for which the Nizamuddin dargah is known for.