Justice Katju is paying tribute to Ustad Rashid Khan

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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The sad demise of Ustad Rashid Khan

By Justice Markandey Katju

One of the greatest present-day Hindustani classical music singer, and one of my favourites, Rashid Khan, died today at the relatively young age of age of 55.

Here is his song in raag megh malhaar, the raag of the rainy season, ( one of my favourites ), which he rendered exquisitely

As I had mentioned in an earlier Facebook post, two communities have made the greatest contribution to Hindustani classical music, Maharashtrians and Pathans (whose surname is Khan).

Hindustani classical music is closely connected with nature. The song above creates the ambience of rains. One can feel the clouds gathering, thunder and lightning in the sky, and then the rain pouring down.

The most important form of Hindustani classical music is called khyaal, which starts slowly with an alaap, and then gradually gathers momentum. Rashid Khan was essentially a khyaal singer.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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