Mukund Lath, prominent cultural historian and exponent of Mewati gharana, passes away at 82
A trained singer in Indian classical music, Mukund Lath studied under the tutelage of Pandit Maniram, Ramesh Chakravarti, and later more rigorously, under Pandit Jasraj.
Mukund Lath, prominent cultural historian, scholar, and an exponent of the Mewati gharana passed away on 6 August, 2020 at the age of 82.
Born in 1937 in Kolkata, West Bengal, Lath graduated from Delhi University in English and acquired a master's degree in Sanskrit Literature from Jadavpur University in 1965. His flourishing career in academia began with his association with the University of Rajasthan at the Department of History and Indian Culture, where he taught until his retirement in the year 1997.
During his time in Jaipur, Lath dived more deeply into the intricacies of music and culture, translating several medieval texts and critiquing music practices and traditions of the past and present — while widening his focus to include to the tenets of natya. Some of his noted works on performing arts are A Study of Dattilam: A Treatise on the Sacred Music of Ancient India (1978), Sangita evam Chintan (1992), and Transformation as Creation (1998). Lath was awarded India's fourth highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri, in 2010 for his trailblazing contributions to the filed of arts and cultural history.
A trained singer in Indian classical music, Lath studied under the tutelage of Pandit Maniram, Ramesh Chakravarti, and later more rigorously, under Pandit Jasraj, whom he also accompanied on several tours and concerts. It is due to Pandit Jasraj's efforts, along with his apprentices including Lath, that the Mewati gharana has become one of the most recognisable genres of Hindustani classical music.
Classical singer Jayateerth Mevundi explains the nuances of Kirana gharana and how some of its doyens like Ustad Amir Khan and Pt Bhimsen Joshi have had an indelible impact
Pandit Jasraj handled well known and rare ragas with mastery which revolved around something that was a wondrous rarity in the world of Khayal – pronouncing the text of the composition right, and presenting the composition as if it mattered.
In a career spanning eight decades, Pandit Jasraj has been awarded numerous accolades and titles. He is credited to bring to the fore the unique and distinct style of the Mewati gharana to the world of Hindustani classical music.