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Kairana : A UP town remembered for all the wrong reasons

Kairana is often in the news for the communal riots that take place in the town. However, we are on the verge of forgetting that it is the birth place of one of the greatest gharanas of Indian classical music.

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Ustad Majid Khan, Ustad Abdul Karin Khan and Ustad Abdul Haqq Khan. Image Courtesy : thewire.in
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  •  Kairana is a small town, located in the Shamli district of western part of Uttar Pradesh
  • Shamli district is part of Muzaffarnagar, which was the seat of communal riots, in the recent past
  • These days, it is the tales of so-called religious violence that keeps Kairana in the news

It has always been the birth place of one of the most popular and culturally enriched gharanas of classical music of India.

Kairana, the small town of Uttar Pradesh has been in the news for the apparently nonviable conditions it possesses for its Hindu residents. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has strengthened its claim by saying that the Hindus live in deplorable state over there and almost have to flee from there to shield themselves from the torture that the Muslims inflict upon them. Journalists who have visited Kairana have found these accusations to be untrue and have failed to get hold of proofs that may give legitimacy to the claims of the VHP.

Bhimsen Joshi with others. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons
Bhimsen Joshi with others. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

What has almost ebbed away from our memory is that Kairana used to be the seat of one of the most prominent gharanas of Indian classical music. It has given birth to stalwarts of classical music like Bhimsen Joshi, who is the only recipient of Bharat Ratna in the category of male vocalist. Joshi was the composer of the renowned song “Rag Miya Ki Malhar”, an indelible piece of musical genius.

Ustad Karim Khan. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons
Ustad Karim Khan. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, the revolutionary of the Kairana Gharana of Indian classical music, was employed by the Gaekwards in their court for his unparalleled musical brilliance. Bhimsen Joshi had stated that the reason he pursued Indian classical music was the Ustad himself. His children, Hirabai Barodekar, Sureshbabu Mane and Saraswati Rane were eminent musicians of Kairana Gharana, after him.  Even after the independence of India, Karim Khan and his Kairana gharana’s legacy carried on and spread through India. Kairana gharana came to be known as the perfect amalgamation of the music of the north and the south.

It is said that Ustad Abdul Karim Khan spent his last days in Miraj, Maharashtra. Every year, the place erupts in musical celebrations to remember the maestro. It serves as a grand attraction to the biggest names in classical music today.

The Hindu Exodus issue of Kariana. Image Courtesy : theindianexpress.com
The Hindu Exodus issue of Kariana. Image Courtesy : theindianexpress.com

Kairana, thus, had been a place where music had kept the Hindus and the Muslims united from the very beginning. The elders of the town say that there was friendly relations between both the communities in Kairana. Nobody was aware of their religious identity, they were more acclimatised with their caste identities.  But now things have changed, now, people have been made aware of their religious identities which have led to a lot of bad blood between the Hindus and the Muslims of the region.

It is a shame, indeed.

-This report is prepared by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Ustad Karim Khan is indeed one of the best musicians and surprising to know that he comes from Kairana!

  • shridhar nagansur

    Bhimsen Joshi was born and brought up in Karnataka ,please check your sources before posting in article!

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Is UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath losing his shine?

His failure to deliver on his promise to get all pot-holed roads fixed by a given deadline last year; the rollback -- under pressure -- in privatisation of the power sector in five cities

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Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath. IANS

Is Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath — in power for just over a year — fast losing his lustre?

Many here feel so.

A litany of complaints about his public conduct, his behaviour with colleagues as well as common people is fast eroding the aura he had built up as the five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur who was catapulted to the Chief Minister’s office of a socially diverse and politically volatile state of 220 million people.

Adityanath Yogi is known for his aggression and excellent oratory skills.
Adityanath Yogi is known for his aggression and excellent oratory skills.

Last week, 24-year-old Ayush Bansal shocked many when he broke down in front of media in Gorakhpur and disclosed how the monk-turned-Chief Minister mocked him during a “junta darbaar” where he had gone to complain about a land-grab case in which independent legislator from Nautanwa, Amanmani Tripathi, was involved.

He also accused the Chief Minister of calling him “awaraa” (wayward) and pushing him while throwing his file in the air. “Maharaj ji angrily snapped at me and said my work will never be done and that I should get out of his sight,” Bansal told IANS.

While officials got down to damage control and said the matter was being looked into, the fact that Adityanath behaved in a manner unbecoming of a Chief Minister was neither contradicted by officials nor denied by the ruling party.

Barely had the din over this episode died down when two MPs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained of similar behaviour. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP MP from Robertsganj Chhote Lal Kharwar, accused Adityanath of “scolding him and asking him to get out”. The MP said he was deeply pained at the behavior of the Chief Minister as he tried to draw his attention to issues faced by the party faithful.

Ayodhya
In the picture, Yogi Adityanath addressing a rally at Raipur. Wikimedia Commons

“Never did the local administration listen to my plaints and when I went to meet the Chief Minister twice over many issues, ‘unhone mujhe daantkar bhaga diya’ (he scolded me and chased me away),” the lawmaker said in his letter.

The BJP leader has also shot off a letter to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, seeking help. Lal also says that definite proof of wrong-doing and corruption presented by him went unheard and unaddressed. What is surprising is that all this happened to a man who is the state president of the BJP’s SC/ST Morcha.

While Modi is learnt to have assured Lal of action, there are other similar murmurs about Adityanath’s rough behaviour. Etawah MP Ashok Dohre has also written to Modi accusing the state police of lodging fake cases against SCs and STs during the Bharat Bandh. When asked why he did not petition the Chief Minister, Dohre said he considered Modi his leader, and thus petitioned him.

Also Read: Little Known Facts About U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Alarmed by the sudden “unease” among the party’s lawmakers, Amit Shah summoned Yogi to New Delhi over the weekend and is learnt to have asked him to mend his ways. Adityanth also met Modi. Interestingly, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who party insiders admit doesn’t see eye to eye with Yogi, was also called to Delhi at the same time.

Ironically, till not long ago, the 45-year-old Chief Minister was being venerated by the party faithful as a man next only to Modi. Insiders, however, now admit that not only has Adityanath failed to show his “pakad” (hold) on the party, but is also “awkwardly arrogant in his public conduct”, and not very able in his administration.

“He may be a busy man, so have been his predecessors… he remains inaccessible and uses foul and unacceptable language at times,” conceded a senior minister who did not wish to be named. Though stopping short of calling the Chief Minister arrogant, he suggested that “Yogi-ji is better advised to be more courteous and improve his time management”.

A senior party functionary too noted “the changing ways of Maharaj-ji”, though he felt “mood swings and the tongue-lashings could be because he has to handle a big state like Uttar Pradesh”.

Yogi Adityanath
Yogi Adityanath is losing his shine. (IANS)

A senior bureaucrat also alleged that the Chief Minister often “goes off the handle” and could be very acerbic in his dealing with officials. The Chief Minister’s loyalists, however, point out that he does not like people to hang around him and wants officials to deliver fast and work within the system that has been set up. When there is any breach, he loses his temper, a close aide told IANS.

His failure to deliver on his promise to get all pot-holed roads fixed by a given deadline last year; the rollback — under pressure — in privatisation of the power sector in five cities; the poor showing in the Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha by-polls and reports that he and his deputy, Keshav Prasad Maurya, don’t get along well have already rung alarm bells in the establishment, sources said. IANS