Yuva Beats. (Photo: Jasvinder Sehgal)

Yuva Beats. (Photo: Jasvinder Sehgal)

It’s rehearsal time. Yuva Beats is playing a cover from a Sufi rock band from Lahore, Pakistan.

They’re band made up of Afghanistan refugees now living in New Delhi.

The lyrics are- “Listen to my voice, make me independent, give me justice and make me free”

“The name of our band is Yuva Beats and Yuva means youth. We chose this because we wanted to encourage the youth to show their skills and improve their skills. So by this band we have a chance to show our skills,” explained singer Rahmatullah Habib.  

They move to India in 2009. They fled the Taliban who banned music.

"The Taliban use to create problems if they found anyone promoting music. Their punishment use to be very scary, they use to butcher off the nails from the hands of the musicians, even chop their fingers in to pieces, they also use to cut the tongues of the singers. It’s still like this in some rural parts of Afghanistan,” said Sultan Hameed Ghiasy another vocalist in the band.

To express his feelings, Sultan sings an Afghan folk song.

“Basically this song describes ones limits or you can say the extent of their love for music. People want to listen and enjoy the music. They want to feel the ecstasy from music,” he said.

Although the India has not signed the refugee convention it cooperates with the UN refugee body.

Last year the Indian Government granted citizenship to around 4,000 refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Yuva Beats band has performed at colleges and charity shows in New Delhi.

The band wants to promote its music across the globe and wishes to be a voice for Afghan refugees living in the different parts of the world.

“We had never met each other before in Kabul. So when we see that this guy is talented and we must have him in our band, we auditioned him. Every one introduced himself like that I play key board; I am a Tabla player... like this,” said Ahmad Haider Hadis the group’s drummer.

They say that Afghanistan is still not a safe place to be for musicians.

They are refugees in India and have no legal status but are earning good money from music.

But they dream of returning to Afghanistan one day and are already building up a fan base there.

“The reaction of our people from Afghanistan is that they are still supporting us. They are giving us votes on face book. We share on face book… we share on they ou tube … they are supporting us. They encourage us to keep on and continue,” said Rahmatullah Habib

The band performed in New Delhi on June 20th to mark World refugee day.

 

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