Why Vilayat Khan not given his recognition and due

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Steven Bhullar

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Apr 6, 2004, 5:19:49 PM4/6/04
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I ask the readers to please read at article in Frontline Magazine, a
publication of Hindu newspaper:
http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2107/stories/20040409001909300.htm

It was very interesting to read Mr Partha Datta speak up and say that:

"In post-Independence India the public sphere increasingly came to be
dominated by smug Brahminical nationalists. Vilayat Khan felt his
exclusion keenly and it is for this reason that he always rejected
official honours. I have heard well-meaning Bengalis complain that
Vilayat Khan only spoke pidgin Bengali despite having spent a good
part of his life in Kolkata. He probably did this on purpose, to keep
a distance from the all-knowing and stifling patronage circles of
Bengali babus".

Also will the readers please look at article "A true Bharat Ratna in
times of cricket" in New Sunday Express, in which Mr T.J.S. George
says:

http://www.newindpress.com/sunday/colItems.asp?ID=SEC20040320074823

"Vilayat Khan died at the wrong time...Vilayat
was unlucky because he died at a time when his country
had no time to notice it. It had time only for cricket.

Vajpayee noticed. He is a poet after all. Virtually no one
else seemed to realise that one of the greatest innovative
classicists of Indian history had moved on. How can
they? The bulk of those who presume to lead our country
are vulgarians who equate the wondrous sweep of
culture with the narrow confines of religion.

One of them, sitting in the culture minister's chair in
Bhopal, recently objected to naming a music school after
Allauddin Khan. His reason was that the great Ustad was
a Bangladeshi. What he meant, but did not have the guts
to say, was that he was a Muslim and therefore unworthy
of recognition by self-appointed champions of cultural
nationalism".

I was very shocked to read these two statements by two very different
writers. But then I remember one thing my father told me that my
grandfather said to him in Chandigarh. My father had started taking
interest in sitar he said, and my grandfather said taht Ravi Shankar
and Nikhil Bannerjee will become very famous. My father said he asked
why, and my grandfather said that because of both are Brahmin and
Bengalis. I think I now know why Vilayat Khan always it said he did
not get his due and recognition in India. This is very sad.

Rajan P. Parrikar

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Apr 6, 2004, 5:39:15 PM4/6/04
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gx2...@yahoo.co.uk (Steven Bhullar) writes:
>
>I ask the readers to please read at article in Frontline Magazine, a
>publication of Hindu newspaper:
>http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2107/stories/20040409001909300.htm
>
>It was very interesting to read Mr Partha Datta speak up and say that:
>
>"In post-Independence India the public sphere increasingly came to be
>dominated by smug Brahminical nationalists. Vilayat Khan felt his

True, we should have stuck with the domination of the
white superbrahmins who were ruling us. Or perhaps
adopted Partha Datta's superbrahmin deity Marx.

It is time to bury this rubbish about Vilayat not
getting his due. It is a peculiarly Indian conceit
this, the belief that the country owes you something.
Vilayat can't have it both ways. On the one hand
he was given honours which he disdainfully refused.
On the other hand, he complained that he was being
ignored.

Warm regards,


r

Sachin

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Apr 7, 2004, 12:55:55 AM4/7/04
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"Vilayat can't have it both ways. On the one hand
he was given honours which he disdainfully refused.
On the other hand, he complained that he was being
ignored."

The awards given to Ustad Vilayat Khan were an insult to him. He was
right in refusing them. It is a truth that he was not given his dues.
If any other instrumentalist deserved Bharat Ratna, Khansahib deserved
it before him.

Rajan's bias against him is well known. He has even described him as
Vilayat Khan - "of the "Mommy-mommy-I-didn't-get-the-Bharat-Ratna"
fame"! Shame on you, Rajan, Khansahib was never a crybaby. He had
guts. He refused the awards.

- Sachin

Rajan P. Parrikar <mylas...@yaaahoooterrs.com> wrote in message news:<c4v82...@drn.newsguy.com>...

Sachin

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Apr 7, 2004, 5:35:40 AM4/7/04
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Stop spitting at Sun, Rajan. It will fall back on your face.

- Sachin
Rajan P. Parrikar <mylas...@yaaahoooterrs.com> wrote in message news:<c4v82...@drn.newsguy.com>...

Abhik Majumdar

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Apr 7, 2004, 7:19:29 AM4/7/04
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>Or perhaps
>adopted Partha Datta's superbrahmin deity Marx.

Think I ought to set the record straight. Partho (not "Partha") Datta
happens to be a personal friend of mine, and the idea of him having
anything to do with Marxism is about as beilevable as Saddam Hussein
joining the Dubya Fan Club.

It is strange how these days any disparaging reference to Brahminical
nationalism is automatically construed as a plug for Marxism. This
threatens to take away the space of free liberal thought, for which
reason I have no hesitation in treating such attitudes on par with
Marxist scholarship at its worst.

That said, what he possibly meant was the unprecedented bout of
centralisation, standardisation and (most crucially) bureaucratisation
Indian culture was going through in the first few decades after
Independence.

>It is time to bury this rubbish about Vilayat not
>getting his due. It is a peculiarly Indian conceit
>this, the belief that the country owes you something.
>Vilayat can't have it both ways. On the one hand
>he was given honours which he disdainfully refused.
>On the other hand, he complained that he was being
>ignored.

This leads to the poinf I am trying to make. The network of princely
states ensured a multiplicity of patronage sources. On the one hand,
musicians were dependent on their patrons for their livelihood. On the
other hand, because of the prestige associated with employing famous
musicians, the patrons were also in a way dependent on them. After
all, if a musician did not like a particular court, he could always
shift to another one.

One consequence of this was a mutual-admiration scenarion that existed
between patron and musician. Just as artistes tended to display high
levels at times, so did the patrons habitually massage their ego.

Vilayat Khansahib's problem lay in that he had failed to understand
that the game had changed, and the bureaucratised scenario meant the
new patrons had no need to massage musicians' egos. Pt. Ravi Shankar
and others recognised this, and played the new game for what it was.
Khansahib, on the other hand, being brought up in a courtly
atmosphere, simply could not understand why he was not being given
"his due", and why relative "upstarts" from non-musical families were
upstaging him.

As such this is neither a virtue in terms of a principled stand
against injustice, nor a vice in the form of extreme egotism. I'd say
it only reflects a certain immaturity in understanding realpolitik,
and maybe we should treat it as such and nothing more.

To respond to Steven's point:

>my grandfather said taht Ravi Shankar
>and Nikhil Bannerjee will become very famous. My father said he asked
>why, and my grandfather said that because of both are Brahmin and
>Bengalis. I think I now know why Vilayat Khan always it said he did
>not get his due and recognition in India.

To my mind this correlation is unwarranted. The fact remains that
Vilayat Khan did get a lot more recognition than many of his
contemporaries. Even Nikhilbabu managed only a Padma Shri and a
posthumous Padma Bhushan. Moreover, the kind of patronage Allauddin
Khan, Hafiz Ali Khan and (at a later stage) Amjad Ali Khan (and how!)
received gives lie to the foregoing characterisation.

Yes, people like Halim Jafar Khan, Mushtaq Ali Khan and Radhika Mohan
Maitra, along with vocalists like Vasantrao Deshpande and
Jagannathbuwa Purohit, were largely deprived of state patronage. But
once atain it is difficult to impute any correlation with their
antecedents.

Abhik


abhik.majumdar at b i g f o o t dot c o m (remove extra spaces)

S. Chowdhury

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Apr 7, 2004, 8:25:46 AM4/7/04
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gx2...@yahoo.co.uk (Steven Bhullar) wrote in message news:<6d2c9d4f.04040...@posting.google.com>...


> Bengalis. I think I now know why Vilayat Khan always it said he did
> not get his due and recognition in India. This is very sad.

You need not be sad. He got all the recognition that he deserved and
much more – from audiences everywhere. Vilayat Khan was a great
musician but he was no god. He made his point, whatever it was, by not
accepting awards from the Indian establishment and that was that. All
these people who talk about the injustice done to Vilayat Khan know
little and care little about music but are keen to politicize it.
Their favorite pastime is to compare Vilayat Khan with Ravi Shankar.
To state that Ravi Shankar and Nikhil Bannerji became famous because
they were Brahmins is ludicrous beyond belief. Ravi Shankar and Nikhil
Bannerji are among the greatest contributors to Indian music of the
twentieth century. Vilayat Khan's death was noted by all who care
about music. Yes India did not come to a standstill. That did not
happen either when Nikhil Bannerji passed awy or when V.G.Jog passed
away or when Kumar Ghandharva passed away.


- Surinder Chowdhury

naniwadekar

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Apr 7, 2004, 9:16:49 AM4/7/04
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"Abhik Majumdar" <a.maj...@mailinator.com> wrote -

>
> To respond to Steven's point:
>
> >my grandfather said taht Ravi Shankar
> >and Nikhil Bannerjee will become very famous. My father said he asked
> >why, and my grandfather said that because of both are Brahmin and
> >Bengalis. I think I now know why Vilayat Khan always it said he did
> >not get his due and recognition in India.
>
> To my mind this correlation is unwarranted. The fact remains that
> Vilayat Khan did get a lot more recognition than many of his
> contemporaries. Even Nikhilbabu managed only a Padma Shri ...
>

Partho Datta has also made the same, silly attempt to insinuate
correlation where none exists.

>
> As such this is neither a virtue in terms of a principled stand
> against injustice, nor a vice in the form of extreme egotism. I'd say
> it only reflects a certain immaturity in understanding realpolitik,
> and maybe we should treat it as such and nothing more.
>

There was more to Vilayat's immaturity than his 'failure to
understand the changed scenario', viz. his jealousy of Ravi
Shankar. That Vilayat saw it fit to constantly harp on Ravi
Shankar being from a non-musical family only helped
to expose Vilayat's sour foolishness. Inevitably, it became
a self-sustaining cycle in the end. The more Vilayat complained
about the eminence (rightfully) accorded to Ravi Shankar,
the more his shrill protests were ignored.


- dn

Shree

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Apr 7, 2004, 9:21:04 AM4/7/04
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> Khansahib was never a crybaby. He had guts. He refused the awards.
>
> - Sachin
>

That is such a paradoxical statement !! You are either a crybaby, or
you don't refuse awards because you think you deserved it before
anyone else; you can't be both.

AFAIK, the prospective awardee is consulted before considering him/her
for Bharata Ratna (or any of the national awards). Therefore,
rejection of a Bharata Ratna award implies that the person had
previously agreed to be nominated for the award but has now a changed
mind. Inspite of all the associated politics, Bharata Ratna is the
highest national award, and rejecting it at a very late stage stating
ridiculous reasons is an insult to the Nation.

Methinks we should have a penal law for people who whine and hold the
Nation in such contempt. It does not matter if the person in focus
has great achievements to his/her credit.

IIRC, this issue has been discussed on this forum many times before
(e.g. the case of Sitara Devi)

--Shree

naniwadekar

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Apr 7, 2004, 9:49:19 AM4/7/04
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"Shree" <maz...@hotmail.com> wrote -

>
> AFAIK, the prospective awardee is consulted before considering him/her
> for Bharata Ratna (or any of the national awards). Therefore,
> rejection of a Bharata Ratna award implies that the person had
> previously agreed to be nominated for the award but has now a changed
> mind. Inspite of all the associated politics, Bharata Ratna is the
> highest national award, and rejecting it at a very late stage stating
> ridiculous reasons is an insult to the Nation.
>

Please note that Vilayat Khan was never offered
the Bharat Ratna award. The award he rejected
was Padma Vibhushan, in January 2000, I think.
By then, Ravi Shankar had already been awarded
the Bharat Ratna.

http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1703/17030300.htm


- dn

bdixit

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Apr 7, 2004, 10:37:54 AM4/7/04
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Mr. T J S George says, " Vilayat Khan died at the wrong time........
Vilayat was unlucky because he died at a time when his country had no
time to notice it. It had time only for cricket. And PARTHO DATTA says,
"USTAD VILAYAT KHAN slipped away quietly on the evening India won the
first One Day International cricket match in Karachi. In the ensuing
euphoria and self-congratulatory messages that flooded the media, this
important news lay buried and surfaced a full day later.
These are some of the silliest statements that I have read. Cricket
is a game which is enjoyed and appreciated by millions in India and by
the people of many other countries. This is true of many other sports.
Indian classical music has never been a point of attraction of so many,
and it will never be equal to cricket in popularity. Now to say that
the celebratory euphoria that was seen in India after the Indian team's
win somehow enormously overshadowed the importance that should have been
attached to the accomplishments and the death of a celebrated Indian
classical musician is unimaginative to the highest degree. People who
celebrated Indian team's win with euphoria were justified in expressing
their joy. It cannot be construed as showing irreverence to the
accomplishments of Ustad Vilayat Khan as an accomplished musician.
Then Mr. Datta adds, "In post-Independence India the public sphere

increasingly came to be dominated by smug Brahminical nationalists.
Vilayat Khan felt his exclusion keenly and it is for this reason that he
always rejected official honours." This is the height of ignorance
anyone can show, and Mr. Partho Datta has done it. To insinuate such a
connection is idiotic. Just look at the honors that have been bestowed
on so many muslim musicians in India - Faiyaz Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali
Khan, Amir Khan, Bismillah Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Hafiz Ali Khan, Ali
Akbar Khan, Allauddin Khan, Ahmedjan Thirakwa, Karamtulla Khan, Habib
Khan, Alla Rakha and now Zakir Hussain, and many others, and how they
are respected for their accomplishments and contributions. Only recently
when Bismillah Khan had complained about his financial situation, in
less that six months he received, by one account, close to 80 lakhs of
rupees. Is this an indication of the evil "domination of these smug
Brahminical nationalists?" Mr. Datta insinuates? May be Mr. Datta knows
something which is not known to many others. Can he list some of these
Brahminical nationalists who are behind this evil conspiracy, "to make
Vilayat Khan feel so excluded." In Indian classical music, and in
other performing arts, "domination by smug Bhahminical nationalists" has
never been an issue. Mr. Datta now wants to make that an issue. The
fact is that Ustad Vilayat Khan rejected some of the highest honors that
were bestowed on him. He had his own reasons for doing what he did, and
may be he was justified in his actions. The insinuation by Mr. Datta of
the "domination by smug Bhahminical nationalists" is unwarranted and
silly, and unjustified. But being a reporter Mr. Datta has the right to
be silly and disingenuous. And who knows what Mr. Bhullar is thinking
when he introduces the links to the reports of Mr. Datta by saying, "It
was very interesting to read Mr. Partha Datta speak up and say
that"........BND

Steven Bhullar

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Apr 7, 2004, 11:41:40 AM4/7/04
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Rajan P. Parrikar <mylas...@yaaahoooterrs.com> wrote in message news:<c4v82...@drn.newsguy.com>...
>
> True, we should have stuck with the domination of the
> white superbrahmins who were ruling us.

Why if wrong was done in the past history by British, should it be
justified to continue doing wrong in the present? It is no excuse that
brahmin supremacists continue to dominate because British supremacists
did same before.

> Or perhaps adopted Partha Datta's superbrahmin deity Marx.

Political beliefs have nothing to do with this. Don't try to dismess
this Brahmin's view because he his a Marx. He could be Leninist,
Communist, Socilaist, Capitalist. Doesn't make a diffference.

> It is time to bury this rubbish about Vilayat not
> getting his due. It is a peculiarly Indian conceit

It is a piculiarly Indian conceit that the Brahmin and or Bangali
babus get all the credit, and are given the god like status and have
the monopoly on the good musical values and esthetics and ragadaari.
The fact of matter is that these muscial values of the Brahmin
musicians are coinciding with those of smug Brahminical nationalists
asit is written by Mr Parata Datta, and that is why they give all the
recognition and critical acclaim to people like Ravi Shankar or Nihkil
Bannerjee and not Vialayat Khan whose values are different.

Sitariya

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Apr 7, 2004, 12:25:04 PM4/7/04
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This debate is futile and inappropriate specially when we are paying
tribute to this great musician. I donot understand why people are
talking about VK not getting his due. He was one of the high paid and
most popular musicians in the country. He was also most influntial and
followed sitarist of the last century.

As for the lack of media attention compared to Ravi shankar, it has
more to do with his dislike of the media and RS's more verstile
contribution to the glamorous music fields ( films). But for serious
music lovers and artists, he will remain inspiration for generations
to come.

As for the awards, I am with Rajan on this. Also there are so many
great artists in the past who contributed immensely to classical music
and did not get any recognition.

sac...@rediffmail.com (Sachin) wrote in message news:<c6fcb878.04040...@posting.google.com>...

xss

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Apr 7, 2004, 12:33:28 PM4/7/04
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gx2...@yahoo.co.uk (Steven Bhullar) wrote in message news:<6d2c9d4f.04040...@posting.google.com>...
> I ask the readers to please read at article in Frontline Magazine, a
> publication of Hindu newspaper:
> http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2107/stories/20040409001909300.htm
>

> and Nikhil Bannerjee will become very famous. My father said he asked
> why, and my grandfather said that because of both are Brahmin and
> Bengalis. I think I now know why Vilayat Khan always it said he did
> not get his due and recognition in India. This is very sad.


Vilayat Khan was not a Brahmin, but he was Bengali. Bismillah
Khan and Lata Mangeshkar, two recent recipients of Bharat Ratna
are neither Brahmin nor Bengali. What is sad is how people *use*
Vilayat Khan for their own petty grouses/political agenda/personal
frustrations.

s.

Rajan P. Parrikar

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Apr 7, 2004, 1:25:35 PM4/7/04
to
Abhik Majumdar writes:

>It is strange how these days any disparaging reference to Brahminical
>nationalism is automatically construed as a plug for Marxism.

Why is it strange? Given the history of Indian Marxists
and the copious reams of bile they have produced, the
principle of induction has often been fruitfully applied
in this regime.


>This threatens to take away the space of free liberal thought, for which
>reason I have no hesitation in treating such attitudes on par with
>Marxist scholarship at its worst.

You have it backwards. One can't get the Indian liberal
Club Card these days until one has taken a dump on Hindus
or some symbol dear to the Hindus. A variation on this is
a dump on the Brahmins while pretending to speak up for the
plight of those other Hindus at the receiving end of their
oppression. Such fecal largesse of the Indian 'liberal'
does not extend to the mullah, mind you, for while the
Indian 'liberal' loves his 'liberal' thought (if one can be
bold enough to call it that), he loves his bones even more.


>That said, what he possibly meant was the unprecedented bout of
>centralisation, standardisation and (most crucially) bureaucratisation
>Indian culture was going through in the first few decades after
>Independence.

He played a straightforward teental that was taught to
him in 'Indian Liberal Thought 101' and now you tell us
that he played ektal instead. This anti-Brahmin theka
has been played many times before, most notably by that
baara-baje mother of all Indian 'liberals' - Khushu Singh.


>Vilayat Khansahib's problem lay in that he had failed to understand
>that the game had changed, and the bureaucratised scenario meant the
>new patrons had no need to massage musicians' egos. Pt. Ravi Shankar
>and others recognised this, and played the new game for what it was.
>Khansahib, on the other hand, being brought up in a courtly
>atmosphere, simply could not understand why he was not being given
>"his due", and why relative "upstarts" from non-musical families were
>upstaging him.

Why only "upstarts"? Vilayat also considered Baba
Allauddin Khan to be a "bandmaster."

There is an alternative, and far simpler, explanation
than your tortuous attempt: great men can be mean, petty,
egotistic, insecure and cruel. Admiration of great men
is possible without sending one's mind on a vacation.
Perhaps the syllabus of the Indian Liberal Thought 101
class should be tweaked to include these elementary matters.

Warm regards,


r

Steven Bhullar

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Apr 7, 2004, 2:07:13 PM4/7/04
to
bdixit <bdi...@pitt.edu> wrote in message news:<40741242...@pitt.edu>...

> And who knows what Mr. Bhullar is thinking
> when he introduces the links to the reports of Mr. Datta by saying, "It
> was very interesting to read Mr. Partha Datta speak up and say
> that"........BND

Mr Bhullar is thinking that it is notable that after death of Vilayat
Khan some peopel are speaking out what Vilayat Khan was saying for so
long. There are exmples of this in history where after the death the
person gets the recognition that was denied during lifetime. I dont
think any true artist is hungry for awards or money. They just wants
their rightful acknowledgment and place in history.

Steven Singh Bhullar

Archisman

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Apr 7, 2004, 10:37:09 PM4/7/04
to
Sadistic as this may sound, but Vilayat Khan-sahib's demise makes me
anticipate gleefully for a possibility. This might prompt HMV
(SaReGaMa)to release ALL his 78 rpms, EPs & LPs in cassette & CD
formats. To give them their due, they HAVE made a recent attempt to
release come of his old recordings. Yet, some of the dazzling Lps of
the 60s (which I used to hear in the listening library of NCPA-Bombay)
have still not seen the transformed light of the day. (like the
Rageshwari-Jai-jaywanti LP, for example.)

A compilation of ALL his recordings in one set will do us a world of
good. HMV ought to realise that 50 years hence, maybe, despite their
best marketing efforts, there may not be many buyers for compilations
like these.

One a related chain of thought, HMV is yet to release in cassette/CD
format, the awesome LP of Ustad Sharafat Hussain Khan which had Nand
on one side & Kamode Nat (a scintillating 'nevar baaje re' in drut
teentaal, a rare Hussaini Kanhra & a pretty good rendition of 'banao
batiyan chalo kahe ko jhoote'). Its a veritable treat, this LP. I'm
yearning to hear these songs again!

My 2-penny thoughts on the main topic of this thread. I think
Khan-saheb found it very difficult to come to terms with the morally
high stand that he had taken that 'let the awards go to lesser
mortals, my true worth will be appreciated by the music lovers'. Much
to his disappointment, the quality of listeners dipped exponentially
from the late 70's & early 80's where, save the small percentage of
discerning listeners, the bulk was attracted by star values etc. etc.
I'm sure that even seeing cassette releases of 'Ravi Shankar 70' &
'Pandit Jasraj - Aath Prahar' etc. must have made him ponder what
extra could he have done to deserve a similar release!

It's a perfectly human reaction & has no correlation to his utter
genius when he had a sitar in his hand (during his illness-free days).

Regards-Archisman.

Sachin

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Apr 8, 2004, 1:25:36 AM4/8/04
to
"You are either a crybaby, or you don't refuse awards because you
think you deserved it before anyone else; you can't be both."

There is nothing paradoxial in my statement. I repeat it - Khansahib
was never a crybaby. I do not find any logic in your "either or" in
fact. You need guts to reject these big "Padma" awards. You can call
the way he rejected the awards as rather "blatant", but crybaby? out
of question! The reasons he stated were not ridiculous either.

I do not understand how rejecting an award becomes an insult to
nation. If I remember right, he critisized the committee deciding
about such awards, not the nation.

"Methinks we should have a penal law for people who whine and hold the
Nation in such contempt. It does not matter if the person in focus
has great achievements to his/her credit."

How about having a penal law for people who play filthy tricks like
lobbying for getting the awards?

- Sachin
maz...@hotmail.com (Shree) wrote in message news:<cb799687.0404...@posting.google.com>...

naniwadekar

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Apr 8, 2004, 2:03:54 AM4/8/04
to

"Archisman" <arch...@yahoo.co.in> wrote -

>
> Much to his disappointment, the quality of listeners dipped exponentially
> from the late 70's & early 80's where, save the small percentage of
> discerning listeners, the bulk was attracted by star values etc. etc.
>

How do you know that a) Vilayat shares your view about the
dip in the quality of listeners and b) that he was disappointed
by it? My limited exposure to his public pronouncements
suggests that you are passing off your thoughts as Vilayat's.
Besides, any undesirable changes among listeners don't
automatically mean that the awards were being given to
lesser artistes.


> I'm sure that even seeing cassette releases of 'Ravi Shankar 70' &
> 'Pandit Jasraj - Aath Prahar' etc. must have made him ponder what
> extra could he have done to deserve a similar release!

> It's a perfectly human reaction ...
>

Why is it a perfectly human reaction? If artists like Kumar
Gandharva and Abhisheki can avoid being affected by the
hype associated with Ravi Shankar or Jasraj, why can't
Vilayat? Vilayat's blind fans, like yourself, have imbibed his
cry-baby mentality.


- dn

Sachin

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Apr 8, 2004, 6:16:53 AM4/8/04
to
"Why is it a perfectly human reaction? If artists like Kumar
Gandharva and Abhisheki can avoid being affected by the
hype associated with Ravi Shankar or Jasraj, why can't
Vilayat?"

At least you have accepted, there is hype associated with RS. Thanks.
His blind fans dont like to accept such facts. What do you want to
suggest? Khansahib should have kept quiet, kept watching the tamasha?

"Vilayat's blind fans, like yourself, have imbibed his
cry-baby mentality."

Have not Ravi's blind fans imbibed his pseudo-intellectual, showy
mentality? The best example is of Rajan Parrikar, the guy in his
adolescence, claiming to be "recognized expert on Indian Classical
music".

- Sachin
"naniwadekar" <nani3...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<c52q0n$2ouldn$1...@ID-75735.news.uni-berlin.de>...

Archisman

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Apr 8, 2004, 2:20:56 PM4/8/04
to
Dear Mr. Naniwadekar,

"naniwadekar" <nani3...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<c52q0n$2ouldn$1...@ID-75735.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> "Archisman" <arch...@yahoo.co.in> wrote -
> >
> > Much to his disappointment, the quality of listeners dipped exponentially
> > from the late 70's & early 80's where, save the small percentage of
> > discerning listeners, the bulk was attracted by star values etc. etc.
> >
>
> How do you know that a) Vilayat shares your view about the
> dip in the quality of listeners and b) that he was disappointed
> by it? My limited exposure to his public pronouncements
> suggests that you are passing off your thoughts as Vilayat's.
> Besides, any undesirable changes among listeners don't
> automatically mean that the awards were being given to
> lesser artistes.

Technically, your questioning of this view of mine is correct. An
incident of my childhood may throw some light about my views. In the
mid-80's, I had the chance to attend an 'all night' programme in my
home town in up-country West Bengal, where artistes of these statures
appeared, perhaps, once in a couple of years. Khan-sahib, who started
playing at about 9.30 p.m. commenced with raag Bihag. For about 40
mins, the alaap was so mesmerising that I (an un-musical
impressionable teenager) was moved to tears. However, the majority of
the crowd was extremely upset that the handsome Ustad Zakir Hussain
was sitting at Khan-saheb's side twiddling his thumbs & promptly
hooted Khansaheb to end his alaap and 'get on with the gat'.
Khansaheb, with a pained, wry smile promptly ended his alaap & started
playing the gat. One could make out that the passion had gone out of
his recital while the crowd was agog with excitement at the
'sawal-jawaab' that ensued. They revelled in the 'ding-thud ding-thud'
duel & went home happy. My father, who was at my side, vouchsafed that
at the same location, a decade and a half ago, the same Amjad Ali, a
young performer, had captured the hearts of the audience with a
recitals where the audience was swept off their feet by Khan-saheb's
alaap, jod & jhala & of course, his masitkhani & rezakhani gats. (The
tabla accompanist was Keramat-ullah Khan).

If the decline of appreciation of fine arts has been a global
phenomena, surely Hindusthani music can also fall prey to it?


>
>
> > I'm sure that even seeing cassette releases of 'Ravi Shankar 70' &
> > 'Pandit Jasraj - Aath Prahar' etc. must have made him ponder what
> > extra could he have done to deserve a similar release!
> > It's a perfectly human reaction ...
> >
>
> Why is it a perfectly human reaction? If artists like Kumar
> Gandharva and Abhisheki can avoid being affected by the
> hype associated with Ravi Shankar or Jasraj, why can't
> Vilayat?

The intensity of love & respect that Kumar Gandharva has got in the
western & south western part of India was perhaps more that what
Vilayat Khan must have received in any part of the country. Kumar-ji's
records & cassettes were and are much more in number than Vilayat
Khan's and I have no issues with it. That Kumarji was still
hermit-like in his acceptance of the fact that Jasraj was getting more
recognition than him (though I doubt it) was his greatness. And as for
Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, I'm not so sure whether one can club him
with Vilayat Khan in his abilities as a Hindusthani Classical
performer. And if Vilayat Khan was, at least, no inferior to Ravi
Shankar or Jasraj as a performer (even his worst critic will not have
an opinion like this), surely he can be excused about 'pondering'
about the unequal treatment.



Vilayat's blind fans, like yourself, have imbibed his
> cry-baby mentality.

Don't you think you have jumped to a hasty conclusion? I'm a 'blind
fan' of all greats and that includes Ravi Shankar, among other greats
as well. Music can never be enjoyed if one glorifies the artist more
than his art. Vilayat Khan's genius deserved more than he got. By the
same token, I'm willing to wear the 'cry-baby' hat if I get evidence
that Jasraj has got more recognition than Kumar Gandharva (though, I
repeat, I doubt the occurrance very much.)

Regards-Archisman.

naniwadekar

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Apr 8, 2004, 5:53:39 PM4/8/04
to

"Archisman" <arch...@yahoo.co.in> wrote -

>
> One could make out that the passion had gone out of
> his recital ...
>

Vilayat was quite happy to play for tabla-loving half-wits
and even say words in their praise throughout his career.
If you want to talk about artists who had courage of their
convictions and refused to pander to public taste, you
should look towards Kesarbai, Mogubai, Amir Khan,
Mansur or Abhisheki.

>
> And if Vilayat Khan was, at least, no inferior to Ravi
> Shankar or Jasraj as a performer (even his worst critic will not have

> an opinion like this) ...
>

I know quite a few worthy critics who like Vilayat's sitar
but rank Ravi Shankar above him. Put other way, they
think Vilayat was 'inferior to Ravi Shankar'. I don't disagree.

>
> Vilayat Khan's genius deserved more than he got.
>

Would you care to specify what exactly (you think) should
have happened to Vilayat in terms of him getting his due?


- dn

Abhik Majumdar

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Apr 8, 2004, 7:44:35 PM4/8/04
to
>Why is it strange? Given the history of Indian Marxists
>and the copious reams of bile they have produced, the
>principle of induction has often been fruitfully applied
>in this regime.

Oh boy! This really makes my day.

Non-sequitur 1:

Indian Marxists have turned out bile by the ton attacking Brahminism,
so any attack on Brahminism amounts to a plug for Marxism.

Non-sequitur 2:

Why is this so? Because the principle of induction has been applied
fruitfully earlier, therefore it is applicable in the present
context.

In other words, a non-sequitur to justify a non-sequitur.

A question here: Does all this make Partho Datta a Marxist even when
he's not?

(Maan na maan, tu bana Marxman)

>You have it backwards. One can't get the Indian liberal
>Club Card these days until one has taken a dump on Hindus
>or some symbol dear to the Hindus.

You disappoint me, Dr. Parrikar. This descends to the level of rant.

>A variation on this is
>a dump on the Brahmins while pretending to speak up for the
>plight of those other Hindus at the receiving end of their
>oppression.

"Pretending to speak up". Interesting turn of phrase if nothing else.
This amounts to an accusation with respect to not only action but also
state of mind. As a lawyer I can tell you mental state is about the
most difficult to establish conclusively.

>Such fecal largesse of the Indian 'liberal'
>does not extend to the mullah, mind you

Not true. Simply not true. You haven't met too many liberals, have
you?

>He played a straightforward teental that was taught to
>him in 'Indian Liberal Thought 101' and now you tell us
>that he played ektal instead.

Yo! I ain't tellin' you nuthin'! I have not been in touch with the
author in the last few days, and I wouldn't dream of taking the
liberty to speak on his behalf. What he meant in the article is best
left for him to clarify.

All I did was express a possible conjecture, once again *without*
presuming to speak for him. To extend your analogy, I was wondering
whether instead of Teentaal he was not attempting to play Tilwada
instead. In other words, shifting points of emphasis and varied tenor
within the same format.

In other words, maybe the problem lies with the expression rather than
the thought behind it?

>Why only "upstarts"? Vilayat also considered Baba
>Allauddin Khan to be a "bandmaster."

Accepted. Only serves to reinforce my point.

>There is an alternative, and far simpler, explanation
>than your tortuous attempt: great men can be mean, petty,
>egotistic, insecure and cruel. Admiration of great men
>is possible without sending one's mind on a vacation.

Once again, that doesn't detract from what I am saying. As such
Vilayat Khan's egotism, as also Ravi Shankar's womanising and Bhimsen
Joshi's alcoholism, are best treated as essentially human
failings/weaknesses, nothing more, nothing less.

My 'tortuous attempt' was more an effort at exploring the reasons
behind such behaviour.

>Perhaps the syllabus of the Indian Liberal Thought 101
>class should be tweaked to include these elementary matters.

By all means. Just so long as you don't ask them to dabble in
non-sequiturs.


Abhik Majumdar (card-carrying non-Marxist, card-carrying
non-Hindutvavaadi)

Pradeep

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Apr 8, 2004, 11:06:34 PM4/8/04
to
arch...@yahoo.co.in (Archisman) wrote in message news:<eb384a5e.04040...@posting.google.com>...

> Technically, your questioning of this view of mine is correct. An
> incident of my childhood may throw some light about my views. In the
> mid-80's, I had the chance to attend an 'all night' programme in my
> home town in up-country West Bengal, where artistes of these statures
> appeared, perhaps, once in a couple of years. Khan-sahib, who started
> playing at about 9.30 p.m. commenced with raag Bihag. For about 40
> mins, the alaap was so mesmerising that I (an un-musical
> impressionable teenager) was moved to tears. However, the majority of
> the crowd was extremely upset that the handsome Ustad Zakir Hussain
> was sitting at Khan-saheb's side twiddling his thumbs & promptly
> hooted Khansaheb to end his alaap and 'get on with the gat'.
> Khansaheb, with a pained, wry smile promptly ended his alaap & started
> playing the gat. One could make out that the passion had gone out of
> his recital while the crowd was agog with excitement at the
> 'sawal-jawaab' that ensued. They revelled in the 'ding-thud ding-thud'
> duel & went home happy.

So what made this grandstanding artiste succumb to the pressure of the
ignorant crowd and carry on with the performance? Not just that, he
went on to indulge in the 'ding-thud-ding-thud' duel that so pleased
that crowd!

...Pradeep

Sitariya

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Apr 8, 2004, 11:27:22 PM4/8/04
to
"naniwadekar" <nani3...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<c54hlg$2p5b3m$1...@ID-75735.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> "Archisman" <arch...@yahoo.co.in> wrote -
> >
> > One could make out that the passion had gone out of
> > his recital ...
> >
>
> Vilayat was quite happy to play for tabla-loving half-wits
> and even say words in their praise throughout his career.
> If you want to talk about artists who had courage of their
> convictions and refused to pander to public taste, you
> should look towards Kesarbai, Mogubai, Amir Khan,
> Mansur or Abhisheki.

There is a difference between an instrumental and vocal concert. In
the instrumental music, tabla does play major role ( sometimes too
much that turn into tabla and the specific instrument jugalbandi
concert). But I would like you to spend some time listening to VK's
recordings with samta prasad, kishen maharaj and Nizamuddin khan to
get over your ignorance about VK's music. First listen to the music
and then comment.

And also cut the crap about adding Abhisheki in the company with Amir
Khan and Mansur. Abhisheki was a great composer that revolutionized
the sangeet marathi natak. But as classical musician, he was never in
the vicinity of Bhimsen or Mansur ( or even early Jasraj). Sometimes
he was plain mediocre and boring.

>
>
>
> >
> > And if Vilayat Khan was, at least, no inferior to Ravi
> > Shankar or Jasraj as a performer (even his worst critic will not have
> > an opinion like this) ...
> >
>
> I know quite a few worthy critics who like Vilayat's sitar
> but rank Ravi Shankar above him. Put other way, they
> think Vilayat was 'inferior to Ravi Shankar'. I don't disagree.

Seriously can you give the names of these worthy critics who think 'VK
is inferior to RS' ??. Talking about yourself, going by your
performance here, you are hardly one of them.

Archisman

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Apr 8, 2004, 11:28:28 PM4/8/04
to
Dear Mr. Naniwadekar,

"naniwadekar" <nani3...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<c54hlg$2p5b3m$1...@ID-75735.news.uni-berlin.de>...


>
> Vilayat was quite happy to play for tabla-loving half-wits
> and even say words in their praise throughout his career.

Even Amjad Ali Khan (I'll stick to his example has I had invoked his
example) has, on sevaral occasions, played a very rudimentary
alaap-jod-jhala in concerts & subsequently taken great pleasure in
engaging himself in a sawal-jawab routine with the tabla
accompaniment. For me, (and I'm not cribbing much), playing the drut
portion elaborately without establishing the raag-roop defeats the
purpose of a recital. However, on days, when the artist is in a mood
to introspect, the audience ought to respect that mood. The incident
which I had narrated showed a conspicuous absence of that tolerance &
that is something, a crowd of the 50's & 60's (in the same location)
would not have done.


> If you want to talk about artists who had courage of their
> convictions and refused to pander to public taste, you
> should look towards Kesarbai, Mogubai, Amir Khan,
> Mansur or Abhisheki.

Kesarbai, Moghubai, and Amir Khan did not have the daunting task of
facing the crowd of the late 70's & 80's (my initial point of
contention). Mallikarjun-buwa was a genius (shockingly recognised so
late in his career). I can't comment on Jitendra Abhisheki, though I'm
inclined to believe that the other 4 names mentioned by you were in a
league of their own.

> > And if Vilayat Khan was, at least, no inferior to Ravi
> > Shankar or Jasraj as a performer (even his worst critic will not have
> > an opinion like this) ...
> >
>
> I know quite a few worthy critics who like Vilayat's sitar
> but rank Ravi Shankar above him. Put other way, they
> think Vilayat was 'inferior to Ravi Shankar'. I don't disagree.

Fair enough. No complaints. For me, though, the philosophy is that
'not that I like Ravi Shankar any less, I like Vilayat Khan more'. The
virtuosity & command which he displayed over the instrument transcends
all superlatives. It was as if the sitar was an extension of his body.

> > Vilayat Khan's genius deserved more than he got.
> >
>
> Would you care to specify what exactly (you think) should
> have happened to Vilayat in terms of him getting his due?

I'm too humble a person to dwell on the entire canvas of such great
artists getting their dues or the lack of it). I have only touched
upon a very innocuous aspect of HMV not releasing Vilayat Khan's
entire recordings with the dignity & fanfare that it deserves. Every
artist, worth his salt, has had the 5-set series of 'Legends' released
by HMV (even Hariprasad & Shivkumar) but Vilayat Khan wallows in the
dusty archive rooms of HMV. It's a traversity of justice by any
standards.

Regards-Archisman.

Archisman

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Apr 10, 2004, 1:15:43 AM4/10/04
to
arch...@yahoo.co.in (Archisman) wrote in message news:<eb384a5e.04040...@posting.google.com>...
> It's a traversity of justice by any
> standards.

Should have read 'travesty'. Apologies for the typo.

Sachin

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Apr 12, 2004, 4:06:22 AM4/12/04
to
Khansahib was much ahead of his contemporaries in maintaining high
musical and moral standards. It is wide off the mark to draw any
conclusions based on the "interpretation" drawn about ONLY ONE of his
mehfils by ONE of the listeners.

- Sachin

pras...@netvigator.com (Pradeep) wrote in message news:<e512a42b.04040...@posting.google.com>...

saif...@gmail.com

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Aug 16, 2016, 9:56:10 PM8/16/16
to
he never rejected bharat ratna, because he wasnt offered one. thats the case.

saif...@gmail.com

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Aug 16, 2016, 10:03:23 PM8/16/16
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I agree with the parrikar comment. The dude in one mehfil with baday fateh ali khan of patiala sat on a harmonium, and wanted himself to be announced as a musical enthusiast or something instead of his real profession. His arrogance, often shown from his terrible words, is beyond words, and seems more like a show off. What a bad mouthed disciple of great Ramrang.

Abhijit M

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Jul 14, 2021, 4:07:07 AM7/14/21
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Why has Ustad Vilayat Khan lesser recording (compared to other artistes of those day) in HMV archive?
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