Hindustani classical music has many well known performers like Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Nisar Hussain Khan, Ustad Fateh Ali-Amanat Ali Khan and Ustad Allah Rakha and Amjad Ali Khan, belonging to various gharanas (schools) such as Agra, Gwalior, Patiyala, Rampur-Seheswan, Kirana, Dilli, Jaipur-Atrauli, and Banaras etc.

In 1947, at the time of the Partition of India, a large number of Muslims, including many gharana musicians migrated to Pakistan while many Hindu and Sikh connoisseurs of music from that region came to the Indian side.

Moreover, since Pakistan was looking for a national cultural identity that would be different from India, it tried to ‘cleanse’ its culture of many older roots and moved towards a more ‘Islamic’ culture. As a result, many practices of music such as dhrupad, khayal and other forms were not promoted well in Pakistan, and their practitioners were left with hardly any patronage or audience.

However, other forms such as qawwali, ghazal, folk and pop music thrived and developed further in Pakistan.

A documentary film named ‘Khayal Darpan’ explores this ‘loss’ and development of classical music in Pakistan, through the eyes of an Indian filmmaker.


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