By Keyur Seta –

The fact that Saint Kabir’s numerous poetries and other works of literature are still delighting people from various walks of life speaks volumes about his greatness. It is the efforts of many self-motivated societies that have played a large role in keeping Kabir’s legacy alive over the centuries. The Kabir Community of Mumbai is one such group that has been regularly organizing various cultural events in the city based on Kabir’s works.

Their biggest event is The Kabir Festival, which will be held this time from January 8 to January 13, 2014 in Mumbai at various venues. It will feature live music concerts, classical dance performances, musical narratives, film screenings, workshops and lectures based on the legendary saint. All events are free for all.

“Kabir was a legend among the Bhakti poets. He was not only a fearless commentator on social issues but also someone who showed you a spiritual way without the intervention of any formal religion. He always gave a message of love and togetherness while nullifying boundaries based on religion or caste. This is the hallmark of all our Bhakti and Sufi saints. The festival is an attempt to keep his message in the consciousness of urban people,” says Falguni Desai, one of the organizers of the festival.

In most of the events by The Kabir Society, one would get to witness performances by artists from the rural areas of India. Needless to say, the same will be the case with this upcoming festival. “It is not just a platform for them. It is like making a connection between urban people and rural performers,” she says.

The group also makes sure that all their events, including this festival, are free of cost. “Normally such events are confined to the auditoriums and are heavily ticketed. Due to this, culture becomes limited only for the elite because only they can afford. So it’s an attempt to reach out to the masses and share what we have got from Kabir.”

All pictures: www.thekabirfest.com

Desai doesn’t share the belief that youngsters keep away from such cultural programs. “We have always got a very good response from the youth. They enjoy it and a lot of them even volunteer for us in our events. In fact, this time we are also featuring a band that is inspired by Kabir and India’s folk tradition. They perform in a modern way like a fusion with guitar, violin, etc.” she says.

The festival is totally volunteer-driven. People working behind the scenes are into various professions for their living but they still take out time for it. “If you have passion for something, you will always find ways to do it.”

For the complete schedule of The Kabir Festival 2014, visit –