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Why Vocalist Bhimsen Joshi And Playback Singer Mohd. Rafi Migrated from Kairana

Kairana: Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana Lok Sabha constituency, which was in news over alleged ‘Hindu exodus’, has lost its sheen as one of the leading schools of Hindustani classical music.

The rhythm of the traditional Khayal singing is not reverberating in the air as most of the vocalists and playback singers have migrated from the place in search of greener pastures.

Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan, a torch-bearer of Kairana Gharana, now lives in Kolkata. Speaking to News18, Khan said, “Notorious politicians have have given Kairana a bad name. Both Hindus and Muslims live together peacefully.” On being questioned about the news of migration, he said, “My entire family migrated to Kolkata as the atmosphere was not conducive for singing here. Several people were also forced to leave the place in search of greener pastures.”

Ustad Abdul Karim Khan (1872- 1937), one of the most important musicians of this gharana, and his entire family went to West Bengal for the same reason.

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Speaking on the issue, Mashkoor Ali Khan said Kairana has given us top-notch singers like Bhimsen Joshi, Gangubai Hangal, Sawai Gandharva, Sureshbabu Mane, Roshanara Begum, Begum Akhtar and Hirabai Barodekar. Apart from this, popular playback singer Mohd. Rafi belonged to this gharana.

Riyasat Ali Tabish, author of Almas e Kairana, says Kairana has always spread the message of love and harmony. The place hasn’t witnessed a single incident of Hindu-Muslim violence.

“The exodus did take place here. Both Hindus and Muslims migrated to other places for livelihood, not for communal tension or violence,” he added.

Legendary singer and Padmabhusan Manna Dey respected this place like no one did. He even used to remove his shoes as a show of respect to the soil whenever he reached Kairana.

The term ‘Hindu exodus’ reared its head in 2016 when BJP leader Hukum Singh alleged that 346 Hindu families had migrated from Kairana fearing for their lives due to attack from “another community”.

ALSO READ: Kairana is No Kashmir, Rajnath Singh Shuts Up BJP Motormouths