NEW YORK (TIP): Padma Shri awardee and former ”Hazuri Raagi” at the Golden Temple, Nirmal Singh Khalsa died at Amritsar of coronavirus Thursday, April 2 morning, news reports reaching New York said.
The 62-year-old ”Gurbani” exponent had recently returned from abroad and tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, April 1, according to information received from health officials in Amritsar.
Bhai Sahib had many admirers and friends in New York. A close friend of his Bhai Bhupinder Singh, Head Granthi at the oldest and the largest Gurdwara on the East Coast, Gurdwara Sikh Cultural Society, Richmond Hill described Bhai Sahib as a jewel of the Sikh community and termed his death as a terrible blow to the Sikh religion and the Sikh community, the world over.
An admirer of Bhai Sahib, Harjit (Harry) Singh Panaser from New Jersey, condoling his sad demise recalled Bhai Sahib’s association with his family in India and said his death is a personal loss to him as much as it is a loss to the Sikh community.
Bhai Sahib was born on 12th April 1952 in Village Jand Wala Bhime Shah, Distt. Ferozepur, Punjab. He obtained a diploma in gurmat sangeet from the Shaheed Missionary College, Amritsar in 1976. He served as a music teacher in Gurmat College, Rishikesh, in 1977 and in Shaheed Sikh Missionary College, Sant Baba Fateh Singh, Sant Channan Singh, Budha Johar, Ganga Nagar, Rajasthan, in 1978. From 1979, he started serving as ‘Hazoori Raagi’, at Sach Khand Sri Harmandir Sahib. He has also performed Kirtan at all the five Takhts, historical Gurdwaras in India and in many countries. He was one of the finest raagis having knowledge of all the 31 Raags in Gurbani of Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
For his services in the field of “arts”, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award by the government of India in 2009.He was the first hazoori raagi to receive this award.
We, at The Indian Panorama express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and pray for eternal peace to the departed soul.