The Indian High Commission in Malaysia had organised ‘Bhakti-The Musical’ on December 1, 2023, which had taken place at the Temple of Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur. The event featured the nearly 1500-year history of the Bhakti movement, which had begun in Tamil Nadu in the 7th century. This cultural programme was organised to both strengthen the cultural ties between India and its diaspora in Malaysia as well as to protect and express the heritage of Hinduism and India. The event featured music by Vani Nethiar and other artists and a rich display of puppetry by Deepa Rajendra and Team in an extraordinary narrative vision.
The programme was also a collaborative project by both Indian and Malaysian artists, which was intentionally designed to be structured as such in order to showcase the cultural similarities that are shared between the two. Vani Nethiar expresses how this project has been her dream and has extensively thanked all those who helped bring it to life. She had also stated how this musicla explores the depth and complexities of the Bhakti movement.
“It was as if I was being directed by a higher power to convey a message – rather a reminder to the world how music and spirituality of the great Bhakthi saints integrated the country of Bharat in the years of political, social, economic, religious and cultural chaos amidst ruthless foreign invasions during the 7th-17th century. To enlighten the common man the real meaning of spirituality through the tool of Nada Yoga, they composed songs not only in Sanskrit but also in vernacular languages. If we are breathing the air of freedom, it’s because of the selfless work done by those divine souls. The many varieties of Bhakthi, the difference between religion and spirituality, and its deep connection with Indian music and arts was the main theme explored in this musical.”
– excerpt from Vani Nethiar’s facebook
The event saw the attendance of Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State (External Affairs and Education) of Manipur; YB Senator Saraswaty Kandasamy, Deputy Minister (Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives) of Malaysia; and Balvantsinh Rajput, Hon’ble Minister of Industries, State Government of Gujarat. Several notable figures from the Malaysian Indian community, cultural institutions, and educational institutions also graced the event.