Kathak Legend Birju Maharaj Dies at 83

People from different walks of life are paying heartfelt tributes to Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj. Political fraternity, too, expressed grief after learning about the demise of Birju Maharaj.

“The demise of legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj marks the end of an era. It leaves a deep void in the Indian music and cultural space. He became an icon, making unparalleled contribution to popularise Kathak globally. Condolences to his family and admirers,” President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.

Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu, described Pandit Birju Maharaj as “an institution and inspiration.”

“Deeply saddened by the passing away of the legendary Kathak dancer, Pandit Birju Maharaj. The world renowned Kathak exponent with his unique style was an institution and an inspiration across the globe. His death is a huge loss to the world of performing arts,” he wrote on Twitter.

The 83-year-old, who was the torchbearer of the Kalka-Bindadin gharana of the Lucknow style of Kathak, breathed his last on Monday. Reportedly, he suffered a heart attack.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted that Pandit Birju Maharaj and Kathak were complementary and synonymous to each other.

Paying her heartfelt condolences, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, tweeted, “India loses a legend of performing arts. Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj is no more. Born into a family of Kathak masters, belonging to the Lucknow gharana, Pandit Birju Maharaj took kathak to wider audience. Took forward the traditions,held through generations,with great elan.”

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, too, mourned the demise of Birju Maharaj.

“Received the sad news of the demise of Kathak maestro Shri Birju Maharaj.My condolences to his family, friends and fans. His contribution to the field of Indian classical dance is unparalleled and he will be remembered for it,” he wrote.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also condoled the Kathak maestro’s demise.

He tweeted, “The demise of Kathak Emperor, Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj ji is extremely sad. His passing is an irreparable loss to the art world. Praying to Lord Ram to grant the departed soul a place at his feet and strength to the bereaved family members to bear this loss.”

The Kathak legend was a recipient of the country’s second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan. He was fondly called Pandit-ji or Maharaj-ji by his fans and followers. (ANI)

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