BHAGAT KANWAR RAM : A SUFI SAINT OF SINDH

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Ruk Station and Sufi Saint singer and musician of Sindh, martyr (Shaheed) Bhaggat Kanwarram are synonyms. Ruk station is the place where this legend and icon of religious harmony, Ahansa and peace was murdered in November 1-2, 1939. His voice was very melodious and ranged over a very wide scale. His recordings of devotional songs were famous all over Sindh.  His songs broadcast regularly over radio Ceylon (Hindi Service) during 1950s & 60s. Sufi mystic Saint Bhaggat Kanwarram and master chander’s songs were also broadcast from Radio Hyderabad, Sindh but dictator Ayoub Khan put ban on both legend singers of Sindh. The songs of both singer were banned up to dictator Zia’s rule. Their songs came back again to Radio Pakistan Hyderabad, when Benazir Bhutto’s elected democratic government came in power after the long “Movement for Restoration of Democracy” (MRD – 1983 and 1986).

Saint Bhaggat Kanwar Ram was born in Tarachand’s home on 13th April 1885 at village Jerwar, Ddaherki, Taluka Mirpur Mathelo, District Sukkur now district Ghotiki  in Sindh.  His father, Tarachand had a shop of general merchandise. He tried to help his father and brother in the shop but he had a passion of reciting ‘Gurbani’ i.e. Shlokas from Guru Granth Sahib (The Sacred book of the Sikhs). His mother was also great woman. Sufi Saint Kanwarram was a humble, generous and compassionate man, who had always spoke truth and he preached faith and ecstasy.  Saint Bhaggat Kanwarram was renowned for his rendition of the Sur Prabhati (generally sung early in the morning). The record company HMV made 10 records preserving 20 of the saint’s musical renditions. These became extremely popular in Sindh. He was not only popular among the Hindus but also in the Muslims. What ever he was earning from his melodious voice he would distributed  it to the needy people without seeing their religion and caste. While singing and dancing he had always unconsciously reached in another realm. One of the myth related with this Sufi mystic Saint Kanwaram was that he had brought back a dead child into life. While the saint sang and danced, it was his habit to sing a (Lori) lullaby to the children. He used to pray to Lord to bless the child in his arms.
According to the story/ myth one day, he visited a small town for performing a Bhaggati in the evening. On the same day, the only child of a poor widow had died. She was totally shattered. She knew that the Sufi saint singer bhaggat Kanwaram would be performing in the evening. The mother wrapped the child in a cloth and went to the bhaggat. She handed over the child into the hands of Bhagat Kanwaram, while he was singing and dancing in his as usual out of body experience, the dead child got his life back in his arms.
According to another story Once Sufi saint Bhagat Kawarram was on his way to Raherki Sahib carried some wood blocks as a token of service to Sufi saint Satramdas Sahib. Since the wood blocks got some black colour on them, while carrying them his turban got some black spots. When he reached Raherki Sahib, Sufi saint Satramdas Sahib said, “While carrying the wood you did not even take care of your turban.” Kanwar replied, “Sufi SaiN, the dignity of my turban is from serving at Raherki Sahib. If I don’t serve you not even a trace of my dignity will remain”. On hearing these words Sufi Satramdas Sahib blessed Kanwarram by saying that from today to onwards your life will be pure and free from any defects.

Sufi Saint Kanwarram’s teachings of Ahansa (religious harmony, peace and tolerance) and popularity were spreading fast in Sindh but at the same time kind of  uneasiness created among religious fanatics. Therefore, in that connection, this sufi saint and singer was murdered on 2nd November 1939 at Ruk Station in a “target killing” by a religious fanatic Jan Mohd Jalbani.

Sufi saint Bhaggat Kanwarram was a lover of the poetry of Shah, Sachal and Sami. He had  love with his motherland Sindh that’s why he didn’t leave Sindh in spite of the  threats from religious fanatics.

The famous Sindhi writer late Ali Ahmed Brohi, who had seen him singing and dancing were used to say that when he saw him during singing and dancing he had gotten Goose bums and cried with emotions.  The founder leader of Jeay Sindh movement, SaeeN G. M. Syed had also written in his book “Janam Guzariam Jin SeeN”   that “when I listened any song of Sufi saint Bhaggat Kanwarram, “I couldn’t continue, what ever I am doing. I just leave everything to listen him properly.”
Now days, Radio Pakistan Hyderabad and Radio Khairpur broadcast his most popular songs such as, “Naale Alakh Je Bberro Tar Muhinjo”,  “Aa Kanga Kar Ggalh munhenje Marooaran jee” and  the famous  singer Abida parveen sing sung his songs regularly.
Every year on 2nd Nevember  the people of Sindh gather at Ruk Railway Station to commemorate anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Bhaggat Kanwarram and pay tribute to him for his service to human being.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups.

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4 responses

  1. Faqir Hanif | Reply

    HaQ.★

  2. sai kanwarram ke jai

  3. dr.s.k.punshi-amravati-444606 | Reply

    nale alakh je bedo tar muhinjo. -kanwar ram.should i -quote from shah sahib- SAINAM SADAEEN KAREEN MATHE SINDH SAKAR ,DOST TUN DILDAR ALAM SAB ABAD KAREEN.BHIT DHANEEN BHITAI GHOT-PRAYS -for the welfare of sindh,at the same GREAT-TRIO of sindh. bless us all.and sindh should get back the glory of the past-the bye-gone days.we all should work for the welfare of sindh,sindhi language,and sindhi culture,SINDHIYAT.some time ifeel we prove to shah has lamentigly warend us -WAYA SE WINJHAR HEERO LAL WIDHIN JE, TINHEEN SANDA POYIAN SHIAY LAHAN NA SAR,KATTEEN KUT LOHAR TINHEEN SADE BHERHNEN,- AWAKE AND ARISE. DR.S.K.PUNSHI-AMRAVATI-444601,M.S.-INDIA.MOB-9850344540. E-MAIL-derma.dr.punshisk.vitiligo@mail.com

  4. dr.s.k.punshi-amravati-444606 | Reply

    ihave read the book of ali ahemad brohi in sindhi it is well wrttenand welldocumented by agreat sindhi writer and journalistlike aliahemadbrohi who was brother of agreat advocate of pakistan and law minster of pakistan-late a.k.brohi agreat friend of advocate ram jethmalani.saint kanwarram was above caste and creed.atrue sufi saint and ahumble servant of humanity at large. -dr.sk.punshi,consultant dermatologist -amravati-444601m.s. india -mob.9850344540-e-mail-derma.dr.punshi sk.vitiligo@gmail.com

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