Words fall short when one tries to encapsulate India’s diversity. One can allow diversity to lead to differences. That’s the path of hate. The other, more beautiful path is the one that embraces and celebrates this diversity — the path of peace. And what better way to celebrate the cultural, regional, linguistic and religious differences of Mother India than through the language of music? Music has always been a great equalizer. That’s because its not meant to be understood, it's meant to be felt. And no man is bereft of feelings. In the realm of music, there is no Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or Sikh - there is no man or woman, it is only a medium of connecting one soul to the other. Nothing celebrates India’s multiculturalism and diversity like the dialect of music.
With that in mind, I am going to share with you a wonderful new OTT series, ‘EQUALS’ — aptly titled to exemplify the equalizing power of music to bridge differences and commemorate the diversities of our beautiful country. EQUALS is India's first folk music documentary series that recently made its grand debut on the OTT platform, Jio Cinema. It has been produced by the esteemed New Delhi-based Anahad Foundation, an NGO that has been working tirelessly over the years for the recognition, preservation and evolution of Indian Folk Music. This seven-episode series is a testament to the power of collaboration, featuring a stellar lineup of renowned artists such as Ricky Kej, Warsi Brothers, Swarathma, The Yellow Diary, and more.
EQUALS is a celebration of regional and national icons across multiple genres, showcasing the rich tapestry of Indian folk music. With a focus on preserving and promoting the spirit of songwriting, the series brings together Grammy and Padma Shri Awardees in a mesmerizing exploration of seven distinct folk styles: Thumri, Baul, Qawwali, Dhad, Kabir poetry, Jhumur, and Mewati.
Each episode of EQUALS takes viewers on a captivating journey across different parts of the country, offering an intimate look into the lives and artistry of the featured folk artists. From the Thumri music movement for women in Varanasi to the love-led Dhad folk of Patiala, and from the empowering Baul call of Santiniketan to the Kabir music of Luniya Khedi, the series is a testament to the rich cultural heritage and musical traditions that define India's soul-stirring folk music landscape.
Abhinav Agrawal, Producer, on the effect of EQUALS
Supported by Zee Enterprises, EQUALS marks a significant milestone as the first folk collaborative series on a national OTT platform, making it accessible to audiences worldwide. Directed by National Award Winner Suruchi Sharma, each episode of EQUALS is a captivating ode to the diversity and harmony of the country, offering a unique blend of storytelling and musical artistry. The series has already garnered international acclaim, receiving the prestigious International Documentary Association's Jury Award, further solidifying its status as a trailblazing force in the world of music documentaries.
Shuchi Roy, Producer, on the community powering EQUALS
As the global spotlight turns towards India's musical multiculturalism, EQUALS stands at the forefront, preserving and promoting the enduring legacy of Indian folk music. Through this groundbreaking series, Anahad Foundation has opened a window to India's rich musical heritage, offering a promising future for creatives and a captivating journey for music enthusiasts around the world.
Watch the trailer of EQUALS below:
Follow Anahad Foundation here.
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