Statement on Mehmood Dholpuri
Born on March 23, 1954 in the Dhaulpur District of Rajasthan, Mehmood Dholpuri was one of the country's acclaimed harmonium players. Initiated into music by his grandfather Buddha Khan, Dholpuri began to play the harmonium as early as when he was merely eleven years old. Later, his close association and training with the masters of the Dilli Gharana including Nasir Ahmad Khan, honed his talent and skills and he soon became a front ranking harmonium player who accompanied legendary vocalists like Parveen Sultana, Pandit Bhimsen Josji, Pandit Jasraj, Girija Devi and many others luminaries on the firmament of the Indian classical music. Dholpuri became the first harmonium artiste to be awarded the prestigious Padmashri by the Government of India. Apart from his deep commitment and dedication to the world of Hindustani Classical Music and the harmonium, Dholpuri resolutely upheld the composite secular cultural fabric of the nation. Born a Muslim, he spent many years living in temple precincts in Delhi, and was a long time supporter of SAHMAT raising his voice against communal forces through the power and strength of his music.