Undivided India was home to certain gems and these gems got distributed on the either side upon partition of India. A few chose to move to newly created Muslim majority nation of Pakistan though quite a few chose to stay back in secular India. Yet there was one thing common to both sets – they got love, admiration and adoration from their admirers on both sides of the border and they went on to form what we today call “ shared legacy”. There was Mallika-a-Tarannum ( or Queen of singing) Noor Jahan , who was already a big star by the time partition happened. She was loved as a singer as also an actress and our nightingale Lata remains her fan till date! Mallika Pukhraj and Mehndi Hasan were other two greats who were continued to be loved by people and their performances were eagerly awaited by people on this side too! Many who chose to stay back continued to earn adoration of people on that side – Sehgal, Lata, Rafi and of course, Dilip Kumar, who was awarded the highest civilian award, “ Nishan-e-Imtiaz” by Pakistani government. His death recently got as much and even more coverage in Pakistan as in India. Of course, all the above represent a fast vanishing breed that was born in undivided India and was thus truly eligible for being categorised as shared legacy. But this didn’t stop with the ageing and demise of the members of the above breed and several artists born either just before or post partition in either India or Pakistan continued to be adored in both the countries. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Khan trios, Ghulam Ali, Jagjit Singh constituted this elite group.
Music, literature, other performing and fine arts know no boundaries and work of high class and passion will be like a free flying bird knowing no bounds. When the world seems to be in the throes of one problem or the other, fine arts and their exponents provide much required diversion. These artists and their art are in fact bridges that can to and extent cover an increasingly widening chasm between two neighbours.