Ram bhajan in Pahari by J&K teenager wins hearts online

Syeda Batool Zehra, a college student, was apparently inspired by a 'bhajan' sung by singer Jubin Nautiyal

A screengrab from the video
A screengrab from the video
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PTI

A Muslim teenager from Jammu and Kashmir's Uri tehsil has become the talk of the town after her melodious rendition of a Ram bhajan in the Pahari language went viral online ahead of the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Syeda Batool Zehra (19), a college student who belongs to the Syed community, was inspired by a bhajan sung by playback vocalist Jubin Nautiyal. "Recently, I sang a Ram bhajan which has gone viral," Zehra told reporters in Kupwara, where she had come to meet director general of police R.R. Swain at a public durbar organised by the police department, on Monday.

She said the Ram bhajan by Nautiyal in Hindi inspired her to create her version of it in Pahari.

"I came across a Hindi bhajan by Jubin Nautiyal on YouTube. I sang it in Hindi first and I felt good about it. Then I thought of singing it in my Pahari language. I translated it, used various resources to write this four-line bhajan, and posted it online," she added.

Zehra said she did not see anything wrong in singing a bhajan despite being a Muslim. "Our LG is a Hindu but he does not discriminate against us on the basis of religion while carrying out development work. Our Imam Hussain has also taught us that the followers of the Prophet love the country in which they live. Loving one's country is part of being faithful," she said.

"The LG is going from place to place to solve the problems of people and Modi ji is giving priority to Jammu and Kashmir. It is also our duty to cooperate with them because I believe that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians are brothers," she said.

The Ram Temple consecration ceremony will be held on 22 January.

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