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‘India loses a legend of performing arts’: Tributes pour in for kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj

Belonging to the Lucknow Gharana, Pandit Maharaj was also a singer par excellence. He received the second-highest civilian award in the country -- Padma Vibhushan in 1986

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 17, 2022 2:01:17 pm
birju maharajMany took to social media to express their condolences on the passing away of Pandit Birju Maharaj (Source: Express Photo by Ravi Kanojia)

Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj passed away at the age of 83 in the early hours of Monday (January 17). He was reportedly suffering from a kidney ailment, and was on dialysis treatment.

The exponent’s grandson, Swaransh, confirmed the news on Instagram. “With profound grief and sorrow, we inform the sad and untimely demise of our most beloved member of the family, Pt Birju Maharaj Ji. The profound soul left for the heavenly abode on January 17, 2022. Pray for the departed soul,” he said.

 

Another grandson also said, “Dada is no more”.

As soon as the news broke, people took to social media to express their condolences.

PM Narendra Modi wrote that the maestro’s passing away is a huge loss to the entire art world.

Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman also remembered the exponent.

“Pandit Birju ji Maharaj was a doyen of India’s art and culture. He popularised the Lucknow gharana of Kathak dance form around the world. Deeply pained by his demise. His passing away is a monumental loss to the world of performing arts. Condolences to his family and admirers,” wrote Defence minister Rajnath Singh.

Rahul Gandhi too expressed his condolences.

Politician Sambit Patra also took to Twitter to express condolences.

“Extremely saddened by the news about the passing away of legendary kathak dancer– Pandit Birju Maharaj ji. We have lost an unparalleled institution in the field of the performing arts. He has influenced many generations through his genius. May he rest in peace [sic],” wrote singer Adnan Sami.

His most favourite disciple, actor and Kathak dancer Madhuri Dixit Nene wrote on Instagram, “He was a legend but had a child like innocence. He was my guru but also my friend. He taught me the intricacies of dance and Abhinay but never failed to make me laugh at his funny anecdotes. He has left behind grieving fans and students but also left a legacy we will all carry forward. Thank you Maharajji for everything you taught me in dance along with humility, elegance and grace.”

Belonging to the Lucknow Gharana, Pandit Maharaj was also a singer par excellence.

He received the second-highest civilian award in the country — Padma Vibhushan in 1986.

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