Amid COVID-19 lockdown and in an attempt to send a message of communal harmony, renowned classical singer Ustad Rashid Khan has decided to go digital to mesmerise his audience through various social media platforms. He has also composed three ‘bhajans’ (devotional songs) written by Narayan Jha Agarwal.
Ustad Rashid Khan said, “There is a lockdown everywhere and therefore I have decided to go digital. My son helped me in setting up the digital platform. I think through this digital platform, I will be able to stand with the nation in spreading the message of love and brotherhood. There is nothing to distress people through music and it will be a small contribution from my side to my beloved India.”
He said, “I have composed couple of bhajans including ‘yeh andhiyara mith jayega, raat nahi rehne wali, jago jago utkar dekho.. purab main ayi lali’ (This darkness will go, it’s not going to remain forever, woke up and see there is a sunrise). Another two bhajans, which I composed were ‘dheere dheere re mana’ and ‘subah ho shaam tera naam
japu’. These are wonderful bhajans and perfectly suitable for current pandemic situation in the world.”
The musical maestro already recorded songs for the much-awaited annual ‘Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh’ (music and dance festivals) at the Sankat Mochan temple. This year the musical festival will be held from April 12 to 17 and
will be viewed only on digital platforms.
“I have already recorded my performance for ‘Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh’. There are other musicians who will be participating through digital platform. On Sunday (April 12, 2020), I have two digital live shows lined-up including one for ‘Jashn-e-Rekhta’ (music festival celebrating Urdu and composite culture) in Delhi and another one for actress Padmini Kolhapure in Mumbai. Padmini’s father, Pandharinath Kolhapure, was a well known vocalist and Veena player. I respect him,” he said while adding that I would like to pray for everyone in this world who are suffering from this COVID-19.
When asked how he is spending time, he said, “Me and my son are indulged in digital platform and doing our ‘riaz’ everyday because ‘sangeet merey liye ibaadat hai’ (Music is worship for me). I request all the stay safe and stay at home. Our digital reach musical programmes are an exemplary effort to maintain the social distancing.”
Ustad Rashid Khan belongs to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana and is the great-grandson of gharana founder Inayat Hussain Khan. He gave his first concert at age eleven. He was rewarded with Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2006.