Prez, VP, PM express condolences on Pt Birju Maharaj’s death

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed condolence on the demise of Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj.

Legendary Kathak dancer and Padma Vibhushan awardee passed away at the age of 83 after suffering a heart attack in the wee hours of Monday in New Delhi.

President Ram Nath Kovind said, “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.”

Vice President took to Twitter and said, “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. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members. Om Shanti!”

PM Modi shared a throwback picture with Pandit Birju Maharaj and wrote in Hindi, “Deeply saddened by the demise of Pandit Birju Maharaj ji as he gave the Indian dance a unique recognition across the world. His death is an irreparable loss to the entire art world. My condolences to his family and fans in this hour of grief.”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted: “Pt. Birju Maharaj and Kathak were complementary and synonymous to each other. He took Indian art and culture to new heights on the world stage. His death is an irreparable loss to the country. I express my condolences to his family and fans. May God give place to the departed soul at his feet. Om Shanti.”

“Pandit Birju ji Maharaj was a doyen of India’s art and culture. He popularised the Lucknow gharana of Kathak dance form around the world. Deeply pained by his demise. His passing away is a monumental loss to the world of performing arts. Condolences to his family and admirers,” said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel said the death of Pt. Birju Maharaj will create a vaccum in the art fraternity.

Taking to Twitter, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said: “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. Om Shanti”

He further said Pt. Birju Maharaj was one of the leading dancers of Lucknow Kalika-Bindadin Gharana of the classical Kathak dance.

Pandit Birju Maharaj was born on February 4, 1938 in Lucknow. Initially his name was ‘Dukh Haran’, which was later changed to ‘Brijmohan’, a synonym of Krishna. Brijmohan Nath Misra was shortened to ‘Birju’, which remains the name he is fondly known by.

The Government had honoured him with the country’s second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, in 1986. He received Sangeet Natak Academy Award at the age of 28.

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