From 8 am to 8:30 am All India Radio (Old Channel) broadcasts very useful news based programme. Normally, I take my bath at that time and also listen to radio. At the end of the programme the announcer usually describes all the important events that happened on the particular day in the past. Today the 5th of March enumerated a number of important events. I will talk about 2 of these.
- That Amir Khusrow the great musician, poet and scholar started his historical journey on this day.
- That Gangubai Hangal the great classical singer was born on this day in 1913.
Amir khusrow was a great sufi Poet and Musician. His contribution to the cultural history of Indian subcontinent is remarkable. Mostly, he wrote his poetry in Persian. But he also wrote in Hindavi. Khusrow is known as “Father of Qawwali” later on Qawwali became very popular form of devotional music. Besides, a number of the Hindi films were successful because of great Qawwalies. Those who are fond of old Hindi songs will remember the great qawwali of ‘Barsat ki Raat’ – Na toh karwaan ki talash hai na humsafar ki talash hai…….. Further, some historians say that Gazal style was also introduced by Khusrow.
Yet important contribution of Amir Khusrow was invention of two unique musical instruments. Tabla and Sitar.
It is difficult to imagine our Hindi songs and Gazals in case these two great instruments were not available. In fact, both these instruments are also critical in development of the Indian Classical Music.
Gangubai Hungal was born on 5th March 1913 in a family of low status. She is known for her great rendering of ‘Khyal’ Genre of Hidustani Classical Music. Because of the low family status she had to struggle a lot to make her career. Initially she started singing for All India Radio. At that time she sang ‘Bhajan’ and ‘Thumri’. But later on she concentrated on ‘Khayal’. She served a honorary music professor for Karnataka University. She had won many awards for classical singing during her illustrious career. These include:
- Karnataka Sangeet Nritya Academy Award, 1962
- Padma Bhushan, 1971
- Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 1973
- Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, 1996.
- Padma Vibhushan, 2002.
She gave her last musical concern in March 2006. This marked her 75th year of singing career. She was diagnosed suffering from Cancer but her love for life enabled her to overcome the bone marrow cancer in 2003. She died at the age of 96 due to Cardiac arrest. She donated her eyes as she wanted to spread the awareness of organ donation.
Thank you for reading.