One-day mourning in Karnataka for Hindustani music doyen
Bangalore: The Karnataka government Saturday declared a one-day mourning to pay homage to Puttaraj Gavai, a doyen of Hindustani music, who passed away Friday.
The funeral will take place Saturday evening in Gadag, 480 km north of Bangalore.
Gavai, 96, an exponent of the Gwalior Gharana and provider of education to thousands of children from poor families, died at his Veereshwara Punyashrama (complex) in Gadag after a brief illness.
Schools and colleges in Gadag, Haveri and Dharwad districts will remain closed as a mark of respect to the man hailed in Karnataka as a 'living god' and 'light of the blind' because of his social services, particularly for the visually impaired.
Hundreds of people from across Karnataka stood in serpentine lines to pay their last respects to Gavai who had turned near blind when he was just six months old but overcame the disability to become a scholar in Kannada, Hindi and Sanskrit.
Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, several ministers and leaders of Congress and Janata Dal-Secular paid their respects to Gavai, who had mastered Carnatic music and played various instruments -- violin, sarangi, tabla, veena -- as well.