Punjab Tabla Gharana and its Khalifah

181 views
Skip to first unread message

Ameer Khusro

unread,
Aug 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/6/98
to
Greetings to all in RMIC-land,

This post is meant to bring up a very serious issue. For those who are
familiar with the major traditions of Tabla it is a commonly known fact
that the gharanas of Tabla are namely Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow,
Farrukhabad, Punjab, and Benaras being added as a sixth for their use of
Tabla as well even though the repertoire is highly Pakhawaj influenced.
Each of these gharanas has a Khalifah or head who has inherited the
intricacies of the baj through lineage or through a bequeathal by his
elders.

A few weeks ago I purchased the new edition of Robert Gottlieb's
monumentous work of the Tabla of North India. I was highly impressed
with his work and very much enjoyed the tapes of the old masters. While
reading his take on the gharanas and their present conditions I was
shocked to read that he believes the center of the Punjab Gharana to now
be in Bombay!!!! How untrue!!!! While it may be true that Punjab baj
is located and represented in a major way in Bombay in India with Allah
Rakha Khanshb how can Mr. Gottlieb categorically state that the center
of the gharana has shifted from Lahore?! What's more he goes on to say
that the Punjab gharana has no Khalifah; nothing could be further from
the truth!!!! Miyan Kader Baksh has left his nephew, Akhter Hussain of
Peshawar, behind who every one affiliated with the Punjab ghar
recognizes as Khalifah. All of the great Tabla Nawaz of Pakistan (who
are almost all affiliated with Punjab), and I'm sure Allah Rakha Khanshb
call him the Khalifah of the Gharana.

If Mr. Gottlieb's purpose is only to talk of the modern nation of India
then it may be proper to say that the center of Punjab baj IN INDIA is
Bombay but truly the center of the gharana still lies in Lahore where so
many great Tabla players of Punjab got their training, including Allah
Rakha Khanshb. At the most one may say that it may have shifted to
Peshawar where Akhter Hussain Khanshb lives; but to say that Punjab baj
has moved to Bombay is a lie and a tragedy!!! The center of Punjab baj
still lies safely within the confines of Lahore. I would further
venture to say that the Punjab baj is still highly represented in those
portion of Punjab which are now in India (Jullundhar and Amritsar being
major cities) although it is not recognized as such.

I would welcome all with thoughts on this to please contribute.

Thank You and with Warm Regards,
"AK"


Sajjad Khaliq

unread,
Aug 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/7/98
to
Ameer Khusro (khus...@muslimsonline.com) wrote:

: A few weeks ago I purchased the new edition of Robert Gottlieb's


: monumentous work of the Tabla of North India. I was highly impressed
: with his work and very much enjoyed the tapes of the old masters. While
: reading his take on the gharanas and their present conditions I was
: shocked to read that he believes the center of the Punjab Gharana to now
: be in Bombay!!!! How untrue!!!! While it may be true that Punjab baj
: is located and represented in a major way in Bombay in India with Allah
: Rakha Khanshb how can Mr. Gottlieb categorically state that the center
: of the gharana has shifted from Lahore?! What's more he goes on to say
: that the Punjab gharana has no Khalifah; nothing could be further from
: the truth!!!! Miyan Kader Baksh has left his nephew, Akhter Hussain of
: Peshawar, behind who every one affiliated with the Punjab ghar
: recognizes as Khalifah. All of the great Tabla Nawaz of Pakistan (who
: are almost all affiliated with Punjab), and I'm sure Allah Rakha Khanshb
: call him the Khalifah of the Gharana.

Isn't it true to say that the Punjab Gharana was based originally in
Jullunder? Isn't Jullunder where Mian Qadir Baksh used to be based up
until 1947? This is the information I have from a family friend. As a
young boy this person told me that he used to pass Mian Qadir Baksh' house
on his way to school in Jullunder. The boys would deface Mian Qadir Baksh'
sign outside his house, which read "Ustad Qadir Baksh, Tabla saz". They
would change it to "Ustad Qadir Baksh, Tabla par"!

As far as Ustad Alla Rakha being the present Khalifa of the Punjab
gharana: I think there is a strong case for this. Alla Rakha after all,
having been taught directly by Mian Qadir Baksh, is the only and most
senior tabliya adhering strictly and completely to the Punjab gharana
style of playing. The only other great contemporary Punjabi tabliya, Ustad
Shaukat Hussain of Lahore was initially trained in the Delhi style. And
Ustad Alla Ditta died a long time ago, in the 1960's (I think).


--
Sajjad Khaliq / Hamilton / Ontario / Canada


TANSEN8106

unread,
Aug 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/7/98
to
Hi to all

Sajjad Khaliq wrote:
>As far as Ustad Alla Rakha being the present Khalifa of the Punjab
>gharana: I think there is a strong case for this. Alla Rakha after all,
>having been taught directly by Mian Qadir Baksh, is the only and most
>senior tabliya adhering strictly and completely to the Punjab gharana
>style of playing.

It is a tradition that the Khilafat changes within a family. After the head of
a gharana dies the next senior most family member gets the Khilafat. If the
Khalifa does not have any family then the Khilafat is passed on to the senior
most disciple. For example, the head of the Dehli Gharana is Ghulam Haidar Khan
who is the son of Inam Ali Khansahib, the Khalifa of the Farrukhabad Gharana is
Sabir Khan, son of Keramatullah Khsb, the Khalifa of Benaras gharana is Pt.
Sharda Sihai. All of these musicians have direct lineage to the founder members
of the gharana. There are rare cases in which the Khilafat changes hands
outside the family. I think Pt. Pandit Pratap Narayan is the head of the Mewati
Gharana which was originally a gharana founded my muslim musicians.

With regards to Allah Rakha Khsb being the Khalifa of the Punjab gharana, that
cannot happen because the nephew of Mian Qadir Bukhsh, Ustad Akhtar Hussain
Khan is himself a highly accomplished tabla player, he lived in Peshawar for
over 30 years but after the death of Khsb Shaukat Husaain Khsb he came to
Lahore .

Lets suppose if Akhtar Hussain Khsb wasn't any relation to Mian ji, there are
still many other tabla players who have the same rights as Allah Rakha Khsb
and play in the strict Punjab style, these are Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan Tafu,
Pandit Laxmi Singh BAshir Hussain Khan, Khsb Rakhu Khan, Khsb Mureed Hussain
Khan. These maestros can also cliam the Khilafat.

Regards
Tansen8106

pras...@netvigator.com

unread,
Aug 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/10/98
to
In article <6qdqq8$e6r$1...@mohawk.hwcn.org>,

aa...@freenet.hamilton.on.ca (Sajjad Khaliq) wrote:
> Ameer Khusro (khus...@muslimsonline.com) wrote:
>
> : A few weeks ago I purchased the new edition of Robert Gottlieb's
> : monumentous work of the Tabla of North India. I was highly impressed
> : with his work and very much enjoyed the tapes of the old masters. While

Gentlemen,

As a Tabla enthusiast, two questions :

One is regarding RG's work. I will be grateful to know what is it and how to
procure it.

Secondly, what is a Khalifa of a Gharana.

In the same vein, may I also ask if any of Pakistan's great Tabla players'
works are available, on CDs, tapes etc.

Thanks in advance,

...Pradeep

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/rg_mkgrp.xp Create Your Own Free Member Forum

vinay...@gmail.com

unread,
Feb 25, 2018, 12:42:23 AM2/25/18
to
On Thursday, 6 August 1998 19:00:00 UTC+12, Ameer Khusro wrote:
> Greetings to all in RMIC-land,
>
> This post is meant to bring up a very serious issue. For those who are
> familiar with the major traditions of Tabla it is a commonly known fact
> that the gharanas of Tabla are namely Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow,
> Farrukhabad, Punjab, and Benaras being added as a sixth for their use of
> Tabla as well even though the repertoire is highly Pakhawaj influenced.
> Each of these gharanas has a Khalifah or head who has inherited the
> intricacies of the baj through lineage or through a bequeathal by his
> elders.
>
> A few weeks ago I purchased the new edition of Robert Gottlieb's
> monumentous work of the Tabla of North India. I was highly impressed
> with his work and very much enjoyed the tapes of the old masters. While
> reading his take on the gharanas and their present conditions I was
> shocked to read that he believes the center of the Punjab Gharana to now
> be in Bombay!!!! How untrue!!!! While it may be true that Punjab baj
> is located and represented in a major way in Bombay in India with Allah
> Rakha Khanshb how can Mr. Gottlieb categorically state that the center
> of the gharana has shifted from Lahore?! What's more he goes on to say
> that the Punjab gharana has no Khalifah; nothing could be further from
> the truth!!!! Miyan Kader Baksh has left his nephew, Akhter Hussain of
> Peshawar, behind who every one affiliated with the Punjab ghar
> recognizes as Khalifah. All of the great Tabla Nawaz of Pakistan (who
> are almost all affiliated with Punjab), and I'm sure Allah Rakha Khanshb
> call him the Khalifah of the Gharana.
>
> If Mr. Gottlieb's purpose is only to talk of the modern nation of India
> then it may be proper to say that the center of Punjab baj IN INDIA is
> Bombay but truly the center of the gharana still lies in Lahore where so
> many great Tabla players of Punjab got their training, including Allah
> Rakha Khanshb. At the most one may say that it may have shifted to
> Peshawar where Akhter Hussain Khanshb lives; but to say that Punjab baj
> has moved to Bombay is a lie and a tragedy!!! The center of Punjab baj
> still lies safely within the confines of Lahore. I would further
> venture to say that the Punjab baj is still highly represented in those
> portion of Punjab which are now in India (Jullundhar and Amritsar being
> major cities) although it is not recognized as such.
>
> I would welcome all with thoughts on this to please contribute.
>
> Thank You and with Warm Regards,
> "AK"

Interesting conversation.

Amol

unread,
Feb 26, 2018, 12:32:16 AM2/26/18
to
I am not sure about how or on what basis is the Khalifa is awarded within a gharana, but I am sure of two things:

1. Abbaji or Ustad Allarakha was not the Khalifa anytime of the Punjab gharana.

2. Ustad Zakir Hussain was awarded the Khalifa of Punjab gharana few years back in Mumbai during the yearly Gurupournima celebrations of the Ustad Allarakha Institute by the Namdhari group who had travelled from Punjab and this was on insistence of their guruji whom Zakirji goes to visit whenever in Punjab. I have personally attended this Gurupournima celebration event and have seen the Khalifa ceremony in presence of Pandit Shivkumar Sharmaji. Zakirji always has this pearl necklace around his Baayaan which was given to him during this ceremony.

SP

unread,
Jun 26, 2022, 2:10:32 AMJun 26
to
This is all very interesting my friends. I wonder can the sons of ustad latif ahmed khan (babar and akbar latif khan), become khalifas of delhi gharana. My thinking is that I read on wikipedia that Ustad Gameh khan was ustad latif ahmed khan's uncle. Ustad Gameh khan's son was ustad inam ali khan who was also a khalifa. So as a result they should also be eligible right? I am not much familiar with the lineage so please enlighten me
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages