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Kathak legend Birju Maharaj passes away at 83

Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj died at his home in Delhi late Sunday after suffering a heart attack. He was 83.

The news: According to reports, Birju Maharaj was playing with his grandsons late on Sunday night when his health deteriorated and he became unconscious. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.

What happened: The Kathak legend had been suffering from a kidney ailment and was under dialysis treatment.

The backstory: A recipient of the country’s second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, he was fondly called Pandit-ji or Maharaj-ji by his disciples and legions of followers, and was one of India’s best-known artists.

What they’re saying: “He was under treatment for the past month. He had sudden breathlessness at around 12:15-12:30 am last night; we brought him to the hospital within 10 mins, but he passed away,” Ragini Maharaj, Birju Maharaj’s granddaughter informed.

His sudden demise is being mourned by numerous, including Adnam Sami who very aptly stated how India just lost an unparalleled institution. “Extremely saddened by the news about the passing away of Legendary Kathak Dancer- Pandit Birju Maharaj ji.

We have lost an unparalleled institution in the field of the performing arts. He has influenced many generations through his genius. May he rest in peace,” were his heart-warming words for the Kathak maestro. 

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