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Meet Tanya Wells of London singing Vande Matram

Recently, she did a cover of famous Gazal ‘Gulon mein rang bhare’ written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz and sung by Mehndi Hassan

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By Akanksha Sharma

British-based singer and songwriter Tanya Wells won the hearts by singing the National song of India ‘Vande Matram’.

Recently, she did a cover of famous Gazal ‘Gulon mein rang bhare’ written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz and sung by Mehndi Hassan. She posted this cover on Facebook in April and it grabbed the attention of more than 1 million viewers. Viewers were amazed by her surprisingly good pronunciation skills and despite no formal training in Urdu.

Tanya Wells
Tanya Wells , Source: Twitter

Tanya wells lived in India for three years, attending school in the foothills of Himalayas. She later returned to learn Indian classical music (including light classical, thumri, bhajan and gazal) and has performed originally in a number of clubs and festivals on the Indian sub-continent. “The sound of Urdu is similar to Hindi, I can pick up the sound because I am more familiar with Hindi,” she said in an interview conducted by RFA/RL.

Related article: Living colours Hindi-Urdu is a single spoken language

Tanya continues to draw upon personal experience, writing and performing songs that express a range of diverse cultural influences. Right now, she resides and works in London.

She also did a beautiful cover of Mehndi Hassan’s song ‘Rafta Rafta who mere’ and left people in an awe with her beautiful voice.

Tanya has recently been involved in a number of live performances, accompanied by guest appearance with Natacha Atlas at Ronnie Scott’s , performing vocals for Anoushka Shankar at the Cannes Film Festival and opening for Joss Stone, Nitin Sawhney and Nicki Wells (her twin) at Mama Stones.

Akanksha is a student of journalism in New Delhi, currently interning with NewsGram. Twitter: @Akanksha4117

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Jaipur Literature Festival Takes A Questionable Stand On The #MeToo Movement

JLF's fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned.

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#MeToo, women
The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

After several star speakers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival, including C.P. Surendran, Suhel Seth and Chetan Bhagat, among others, have been accused of sexually harassing multiple women, on the sidelines of the popular lit fest, the organisers, in a cautiously worded one-sentence tweet on Thursday, have supported the rising tide of the #MeToo campaign in India — but questions still remain.

“The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival unequivocally stands by the women who have courageously spoken out for equity and dignity and is committed to supporting and amplifying their voices,” the official handle of the JLF said in a tweet on Thursday.

The statement came two days after a petition was started on www.change.org by writer-editor Rajni George, asking its organisers to support the #MeToo India and stand up “against sexual harassment”.

#MeToo
Jaipur Literature Festival

“We write today regarding the serious and credible allegations of sexual harassment made recently against a number of men in and around the literary world, as part of the MeToo movement in India.

“We, the undersigned, are dismayed, saddened and angered by these accounts. We admire the work that the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) undertakes. As India’s largest and most recognised literature festival, we believe JLF is ideally placed to take the lead in addressing this urgent issue,” George’s petition said.

JLF’s response in the one-line tweet is general, and does not specifically mention whether any of the allegations that have now surfaced were earlier brought to the notice of the organisers.

It also does not make it clear whether the doors of the festival will remain closed for the accused in its future editions, or not. It further makes no comment whatsoever on several instances that are said to have taken place on the sidelines of the annual event.

#MeToo
Sanjoy K. Roy, with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore.

Notably, many of the accused have featured in prominent sessions at what is described as the “greatest literary show on Earth”, and, in many instances, the festival has been instrumental in increasing their popularity as well as readership.

On its part, JLF, produced by Teamwork Arts, headed by Sanjoy K. Roy, and with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore. In fact, the 2018 edition of the festival in January this year had come to a close with a hard-hitting debate on #MeToo, long before the campaign gained momentum in India.

Also Read: Watch Jaipur Literature Festival Live On Twitter

Many in the literary circles feel the benchmark that JLF has itself set over the course of its journey, its coming of age and gradual but distinct shift from controversies to substance in the recent years, its fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned. (IANS)