This unique concert by Bollywood celebs raised voice against gender violence


A group of young musicians including Armaan Malik, Sukriti-Akriti, Papon, Harshdeep Kaur, Salim-Sulaiman along with Farhan Akhtar, Shah Rukh Khan, and Shabana Azmi gathered for music concert 'Lalkaar' to create awareness against gender violence.

Tuesday's concert in Mumbai was part of the social campaign 'Bas Ab Bahut Ho Gaya'. Though the audience came to enjoy live performances by their favourites, they returned home with a lot more — thoughts, memories, and a message. SRK made a brief appearance and recited a poem by Javed Akhtar. There were also award-winning short films on domestic violence made by young filmmakers.

Besides meeting victims of patriarchy and listening to musicians from different social backgrounds, the evening had a lot to offer. It started with the performance of twin sisters Sukriti and Akriti, who represent girls who can fly higher if given equal opportunity, a constant struggle in a patriarchal society. Their performance was followed by Armaan, Harshdeep, and Papon before music director duo Salim-Sulaiman took over the stage and dedicated a song as "a prayer" to all those rape victims who lost their lives.

Papon, who hails from the Northeast, said

It was quite surprising to note the discrimination against women in Delhi. In the Northeast, we live in a matriarchal society where women are the final decision makers on every occasion. Even they have the right to their father's property; in this part of the country, it is so different!

Armaan had put out the open invitation for the concert on social media, where he said,

Everybody asked me if things are going to change after our gig. The answer is, nothing can change overnight, but if we will not protest, nothing will change. If each of us can influence one person to stand against violence against women, the whole nation will stand against it one day.

Harshdeep, who always appears with a turban, said,

While I am blessed to have been raised as equal as a man by my parents, why should the turban be worn by men? We are equal, so I also wear a turban.

The concert, initiated by 'MARD', 'Population Foundation of India', and film director Feroz Abbas Khan, ended with Kaifi Azmi's poetry, recited by his daughter Shabana Azmi. Shabana said,

Though Abba wrote the poem 70 years ago on gender equality, it is still relevant today.

With inputs from IANS.

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