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In 1900 for 8 months he taught Kesarbai Kerkar, who would go on to be one of the 20th century's most renowned vocalists. In 1913, he founded the Arya Sangeet Vidyalaya in Poona to teach students. He would wholeheartedly teach all his students unlike other family ustads of the era. He finally settled down in Miraj till his death in 1937 when returning from a concert tour of the south.

Some time ago we celebrated with honour the birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita, the great exponent of Indian Culture in the world. I used to go to Ramakrishna Mission in my school and college days and read her works. I was also a participant in the discussions on Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna and Sister Nivedita besides other scholars on Hindu View of Life there. There was no politicisation of religion those days.

Sister Nivedita also supported the Indian Freedom Struggle in a big way. So supportive to Indian culture that,she was of the view :

"The whole history of the world shows that the Indian intellect is second to none. This must be proved by the performance of a task beyond the power of others, the seizing of the first place in the intellectual advance of the world. Is there any inherent weakness that would make it impossible for us to do this? Are the countrymen of Bhaskaracharya and Shankaracharya inferior to the countrymen of Newton and Darwin? We trust not. It is for us, by the power of our thought, to break down the iron walls of opposition that confront us, and to seize and enjoy the intellectual sovereignty of the world."

Fake Hindutva merchants are selling our religion these days and great philosophers like Sister Nivedita are now forgotten or in the heinous political market ! So sad that we speak of Hindutva, but don’t have even a nodding acquaintance with history of our country. All Alis and Johns are basically Hindus.Hinduism includes all religious beliefs, all Christians and Muslims in the country were converted at one point of time and can follow the Vedic Values if we keep religion free from party politics.

This is the time of harmony, for our very existence in the beautiful earth is under threat ! We should not forget that ‘happiness comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors’, as felt by Sri Aurobindo.

While remembering these great philosophers, we should not forget the performers liked by them. Today I am remembering Legendary Hindustani Classical Vocalist and founder of Kirana Gharana Ustad Abdul Karim Khan Saheb on his 84th Death Anniversary (27 October 1937) ••

Ustad Abdul Karim Khan (11 November 1872 - 27 October 1937), was an Indian Classical Vocalist and the pivotal founder of the Kirana Gharana of Hindustani Classical Vocal Music.

Abdul Karim Khan was born in Kairana village in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India into a musical family which traced its roots to musician brothers Ghulam Ali and Ghulam Maula. His father, Kale Khan was the grandson of Ghulam Ali. Karim Khan received training under uncle Abdullah Khan and father Kale Khan. He also received guidance from another uncle Nanhe Khan.

Apart from Vocals and Sarangi, he also learnt Veena (Been), Sitar and Tabla. According to a story, he was initially a Sarangi player, but decided to switch to Vocals because of the low status of Sarangi players. In early years he used to sing with his brother Abdul Haq. They appeared before Murtuza Khan of the Maula Bakhsh khandan in order to appear before the Mahajara and were influenced by Murtuza's style. The Baroda ruler was impressed by this singing duo and made them court musicians. This is where he met Tarabai Mane, who was the daughter of Sardar Maruti Rao Mane, a member of the royal family.

When they decided to get married, they were ousted from Baroda. The couple settled down in Bombay. In 1922 Tarabai Mane left Abdul Karim Khan, which apparently had a major impact on his music - making it pensive and meditative. Karim Khan's first wife, Gafooran was the sister of another Kirana master Abdul Wahid Khan, who was also his cousin.

This great performer was once invited to the Mysore court where he met famous Carnatic music, Carnatic masters which also influenced his music. In particular, the singing of his Sargam was a direct influence of Carnatic practice. He became a frequent visitor to Mysore Darbar which conferred on him the title "Sangeet Ratna". On the way to Mysore he used to stay with his brother in Dharwad where he taught his most famous disciple Sawai Gandharva.

In 1900 for 8 months he taught Kesarbai Kerkar, who would go on to be one of the 20th century's most renowned vocalists. In 1913, he founded the Arya Sangeet Vidyalaya in Poona to teach students. He would wholeheartedly teach all his students unlike other family ustads of the era. He finally settled down in Miraj till his death in 1937 when returning from a concert tour of the south.

Every year in August commemorative music concerts are held in Miraj. The innovations he brought to his vocal style distinguishes Kirana style from others. The slow melodic development of the raga in Vilambit laya's slow tempo was the most characteristic aspect of his music. He worked hard to maintain his voice to be sweet and melodious which shaped his music. The thumri style he developed was also quite different from the Poorab ang or Punjabi ang. His thumri progresses in a leisurely languor with ample abandonment.

He was also the first Hindustani musician to seriously study the Carnatic system and probably the first to be invited to sing all over the south. He has even recorded a Thyagaraja Krithi. He was also influenced by Rehmet Khan of the Gwalior gharana and adopted the direct style of presentation.

His some popular disciples were Rambhau Kundagolkar ( Sawai Gandharva), Balkrishna Kapileshwari, Roshanara Begum, Sureshbabu Mane, Dashrath Mule, Vishwanathbuwa Jadhav, Ustad Waheed Khan, Hafizulla Khan, Mahmood Khan, Mashkoor Ali Khan, Arshad Ali, etc.

On his Death Anniversary, Hindustani Classical Music And Everything pays rich tributes to the Legend and are very grateful for his great contributions to the Hindustani Classical Music.Discussion on these great exponents of Indian Culture is an exchange of knowledge; an argument is an exchange of ignorance. The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.

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