Music / 10.01.2017

By Anjum Altaf Ustad Fateh Ali Khan of the Patiala gharana died on January 4. Classical music in Pakistan died earlier. Nothing epitomizes that more than the headline in a leading newspaper: “Renowned Qawwal Ustad Fateh Ali Khan passes away.” It is just as well one can’t read one’s own obituary - that would have been the unkindest cut of all for the doyen of the khayal tradition of North Indian classical music. Another leading newspaper had referred to Roshan Ara Begum as Gulshan Ara Begum a while back. Mercifully the Malika-e Mausiqi was no longer alive to realize how quickly she had been forgotten. These kinds of gross oversights in leading newspapers are indicative of the fact that many now have no familiarity with the tradition or the achievements of its leading exponents. One can say that classical music is dead in Pakistan because the art...