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Dutch Singer To Release Rock Version Of The Hanuman Chalisa

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Dutch singer and songwriter Raj Mohan, who sings in Bhojpuri, will release Hanuman Chalisa in a rock music version in collaboration with his disciple and rapper Manav D.

Mohan, a fifth-generation Indian Suriname, was raised in Utrecht, Netherlands, and exhibited his talents in music at an early age.

Mohan, who was in the North Indian State Uttar Pradesh’s capital city Lucknow to attend the Global Investors Summit, shared with an India-based daily newspaper, Times of India (TOI), that the new version of the song will be released on an online platform to listeners at the cost of $1. The money collected by the show will fund the set up of a factory in Uttar Pradesh (UP) that will produce “green batteries”.

Mohan said, “The rock version of Hanuman Chalisa has already been recorded and will go on live with Hanuman Jayanti in April this year.”

“I have sung chaupais and dohas while my disciple has a rap recorded in between. We have rock music recorded in the background. The revenue earned will be invested in UP to fulfill the dream of my forefathers of contributing to the development of the country.”

He added, “Similar factories will be later set up in Dubai, China, Japan, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Our aim is to gradually promote these environment-friendly batteries across the world.”

The project is sponsored by the Quality Service Content Human Capital Foundation Limited (QSC-HC).

Mohan came up with the Sarnami-Bhojpuri Geet in the Geet & Ghazal style of music with his album ‘Kantraki’, which achieved appreciation across the world. His ancestors moved from Suriname to Basti in UP as laborers by the British.

“As a kid, I used to watch Bhojpuri movies and listen to the Baithak gana, a form of music originating in Suriname by the Indian community where Dholak, Dandtaal and harmonium are used in a sync”, Mohan said.

“I continued with my passion for music even after moving to the Netherlands and listened to records of ghazal singers like Mehdi Hassan, Jagjit Singh and Begum Akhtar.”

He learned music from Ustad Jamaluddin Bharatiya in Amsterdam to become a ghazal singer.

Mohan came up with the idea to sing the Sarnami-Bhojpuri Geet in the 1990s.  Sarnami Bhojpuri is a blend of several Hindustani dialects and the languages spoken by the Indians in the country they moved into.

Mohan said, “Initially, when I told people that I wanted to sing in Sarnami Bhojpuri, they laughed at me but my album ‘Kantraki’ in 2005 changed everything. It was recorded in Varanasi.”

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