‘India is losing a performing arts legend’: Tributes pour in for kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj

Kathak Master Pandit Birju Maharaj passed away at the age of 83 in the early hours of Monday (January 17). He apparently suffered from kidney disease and was undergoing dialysis treatment.

The exhibitor’s grandson, Swaransh, confirmed the news on Instagram. “With deep sorrow and profound sadness, we inform of the sad and untimely passing of our most beloved family member, Pt Birju Maharaj Ji. Deep soul departed for heavenly abode on January 17, 2022. soul of the deceased,” he said.

As soon as the news broke, people took to social media to express their condolences.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written that the death of the maestro is a huge loss for the whole art world.

Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also remembered the exhibitor.

“Pandit Birju ji Maharaj was a dean of Indian art and culture. He popularized the Lucknow gharana of the Kathak dance form all over the world. Deeply saddened by his passing. His passing is a monumental loss to the performing arts world. Condolences to his family and admirers,” Defense Minister Rajnath Singh wrote.

Politician Sambit Patra also took to Twitter to express his condolences.

“Extremely saddened by the news of the death of legendary kathak dancer– Pandit Birju Maharaj ji. We have lost a unique performing arts institution. He influenced many generations with his genius. May he rest in peace [sic]“wrote singer Adnan Sami.

Belonging to the Lucknow Gharana, Pandit Maharaj was also a singer par excellence.

He was awarded the country’s second highest civilian honor – Padma Vibhushan in 1986.

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