On Tuesday (9 January), the renowned music maestro Ustad Rashid Khan, who had been undergoing treatment for prostate cancer at a Kolkata hospital, passed away.
The 55-year-old artist, who was on a ventilator and receiving oxygen support, succumbed to the illness at approximately 3:45 pm, according to an official quoted by Hindustan Times from the private hospital where he was admitted.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed deep sorrow over Rashid Khan's demise, stating, "This is a great loss for the entire country and the entire music fraternity. I am in a lot of pain as I still can't believe that Rashid Khan is no more."
The artist's health deteriorated following a cerebral attack last month. Initially seeking treatment at Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, the 55-year-old musician chose to continue exclusive treatment in Kolkata at a later stage, with early positive responses, as per insider reports.
Hailing from Badayun, Uttar Pradesh, Rashid Khan, also the nephew of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, received his initial training from his maternal grand-uncle Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan (1909–1993).
Recognising his musical talents, Ghulam Mustafa Khan provided initial training in Mumbai, while the primary training was under Nissar Hussain Khan, initially at his residence in Badayun.
At 11, Rashid Khan delivered his debut concert, and in 1978, at the age of 14, he performed at an ITC concert in Delhi. In April 1980, when Nissar Hussain Khan transitioned to the ITC Sangeet Research Academy (SRA) in Calcutta, Rashid Khan also joined the academy.
Venturing into blending classical Hindustani music with lighter genres, he participated in experimental collaborations, including concerts with Western instrumentalist Louis Banks. Additionally, he showcased his versatility through jugalbandis, sharing the stage with sitarist Shahid Parvez and other musicians.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!