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Noted classical musician Ustad Imrat Khan dies in US

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New Delhi | Classical music stalwart Ustad Imrat Khan, who dedicated his life to propagating the sitar and the surbahar worldwide, has died in the US after a brief illness, his son said Friday. He was 83.

He breathed his last on Thursday in a hospital in St Louis, his home for over two decades, after a stroke, his son Nishat Khan told PTI. “He had developed pneumonia. He was in hospital for a week. He had a stroke last night. He had not been keeping well for the last few months,” Nishat, a sitarist of repute himself, said before leaving for the US. The funeral will take place on Saturday, he said.

Imrat Khan, who famously turned down the Padma Shri last year saying the recognition had come too late and diminished his achievements, belonged to the illustrious Etawa gharana, or the Imdadkhani Gharana, named after his grandfather Ustad Imdad Khan.  His elder brother was Ustad Vilayat Khan.

The gharana, one of the oldest in India with a musical legacy of over 400 years, traces its roots to Agra. The family later moved to Etawa before finally settling down in Kolkata with Ustad Inayat Khan, Imrat Khan’s father.  The family is credited with developing the musical instrument surbahar, a stringed instrument that is sometimes called the “bass sitar”.

Imrat Khan toured the world with his music and performed at the Cannes Film Festival in 1970 for a Merchant-Ivory partnership. He was also a regular at various music festivals in India.

Calling his father one of the greatest surbarhar players of his time, Nishat said his father carried forward the country and the family’s heritage till the very end. “He was my guru, mentor, teacher and father. He was a great philosopher, an evangelist for music. He really carried forward the heritage of Indian classical music all over the world to the very end of his life,” Nishat said.

One of the big disappointments of his life was not being recognised for his musical contributions by the government even when his students and juniors were given the Padma awards.

Refusing the Padma Shri was not a matter of self-aggrandisement but “an issue of propriety”, he told PTI in an interview in February last year.  Having performed with stalwarts like his brother as well as Ustad Bismillah Khan, Ustad Amedjan Thirakwa Khan and Pandit V G Jog, Imrat Khan said he did not want to compromise this legacy by accepting the award.

“My music has been the centre-stage of my life and I have put it on the highest pedestal with a lifetime of devotion to its art, refusing any form of corruption to its form and essence. I do not expect at this moment in my life that my devotion and contributions be diminished to a level lower than my followers, students and sons – by age or reputation,” he had told PTI.  He said he had never compromised in his life.

“Why should I compromise now when this award presented to me is not parallel to my worldwide reputation and contributions in the name of the pure arts and culture of India?”  Nishat said his father was “heartbroken” when his name was announced as a Padma Shri winner.

“He was so disappointed that the award was being given to him when even my juniors were awarded with the Padma Shri. He was really sad and heartbroken about it.  “It’s an ‘anyay (injustice) that the government could not see his contribution to Indian classical music,” Nishat said.

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Hasmukh Adhia rumoured to be the next RBI governor: sources

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Hasmukh Adhia

New Delhi | After the resignation of Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel on Monday, former Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia is rumoured to be the next RBI governor, as per unconfirmed sources.

Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), served as a secretary in the Department of Financial Services after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister.  A close of aide of  PM Narendra Modi and Arun Jailtley retired on November 30 this year.

Adhia also served as the Union Revenue Secretary and Union Financial Services Secretary, in the Union Government which makes his case stronger for the post of the RBI governor.

Earlier Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

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Breaking: Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India

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Vijay Mallya

London | In what could be termed as end of the party for the king of good time, Liqour baron Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India as the London court gives its nod for the same

London’s Westminster Magistrates Court orders the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India. The Court has further referred the matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India to the Secretary of State. The Central beaurue of Investigation has welcomed the decision of the London’s court. Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot announcing the order stated that he found prima facie a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Speaking on the extradition CBI said,”We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process.”

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Urjit Patel resigns from RBI governor’s post

Anil Rajpurohit

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Urjit Patel

New Delhi | Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel earlier appeared before a parliamentary panel to brief on demonetisation and NPA situation in the public sector banks, among other issues. The RBI Governor appeared before the panel days after the central bank’s face-off with the finance ministry over issues ranging from appropriate size of reserves to be maintained by RBI to easing of lending norms for small and medium enterprises.

Business Editor of HW Business and Finance Akhilesh Bhargav states it is not only the failure of the finance ministry but the board of the Reserve Bank of India.

Urjit Patel who was appointed as the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) succeded Raghuram Rajan on 4 September 2016.

 

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