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BBC News World Service will air “Lal Ded, Mystical Kashmiri Poet,” on the radio program “The Forum, ” on Aug. 27. This episode of “The Forum,” about the poems attributed to the female Kashmiri poet, mystic and sage known as Lal Ded or Lalla, will feature Assistant Professor of History Dean Accardi.
“There are no records of her life, but what is beyond doubt is the vitality, wisdom and endurance of her work. Her poems, usually just four lines long, have been around for centuries and remain so popular that some of them have passed into everyday speech in Kashmir. Lal Ded’s poems are also celebrated for their independence of thought and spirit and for challenging stereotypical images of what counts as female poetry during the Middle Ages,” reads the episode preview.
Accardi, who specializes in medieval Kashmir, is joined in the program by radio host Rajan Datar; leading Kashmiri writer and translator Neerja Mattoo; poet Ranjit Hoskote, author of a complete rendering of Lalla's poetry into English; and Andrew Schelling, professor of poetry at Naropa University in Colorado who has translated and edited Indian devotional poetry for many years.
“Lal Ded was a naked female ascetic saint of Kashmir who is venerated by both Hindus and Muslims and is one of the most important cultural icons of Kashmiri identity,” Accardi said.
The episode will air on BBC News World Service Radio around the world between Aug. 27 and Aug. 31. It will also be available on SiriusXM satellite radio in the U.S. and Canada, on many podcast platforms, and on BBC’s website.