Inside Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah Complex lies the tomb of a medieval poet who has as many fans among today’s millennials as he did during the Delhi Sultanate (1192 – 1526 CE). The compositions of Amir Khusrau Dehlavi, who lived between 1253 and 1325 CE, can be heard not only in the qawwalis at Sufi dargahs (mausoleum of a saint) across South Asia but even on today’s social media platforms, music streaming sites and at music festivals.
His ghazals and poems have even been re-interpreted and remixed, appearing in Bollywood movies and music videos. Amir Khusrau’s timelessness can be gauged from the fact that a post-modern rendition of his most popular composition, Chaap Tilak, by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Abida Parveen has more than 27 million online views. So what makes Amir Khusrau so popular, almost 700 years after his death?
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