It is a proud moment for Sikhs round the world as Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa has become the first sikh kirtania to get Padma Shri Award (one of the highest civilian honor) in India. Bhai Sahib is the Hazoori Raagi of Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.
Government of India has officially communicated its decision in a Press Release (Padma Awards-2009 ) to honor Bhai Sahib Bhai Nirmal Singh Ji Khalsa this year. (you can find his name at 23rd number in of Padma Shri list).
Bhai Sahib Bhai Nirmal Singh Ji Khalsa is doing kirtan for past 25 years and is one of the finest raagis having knowledge of all 31 raagas in the Gurbani of Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Bhai Sahib has also a notable knowledge of bani in Dasam Granth (baani of guru gobind singh ji) and he sings Dasam Bani in raags too. Bhai Nirmal Singh Ji is the one of the few Gursikhs to get Padma honor after Bhai Sahib Bhai Veer Singh Ji, Bhai Ganda Singh Ji, Bhagat Puran Singh Ji and other prominent Sikhs.
A little about Bhai Nirmal Singh Ji
Bhai Nirmal Singh Ji Khalsa was born on April 12, 1952, at Jandwala Bhim Shah village in Ferozepore. He did his diploma in gurmat sangeet from Shaheed Sikh Missionary College, Amritsar, in 1974-76. He has been 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 till date he has been serving as “hazoori raagi”, Sach Khand Harmandir Sahib. He has also performed kirtan at all the five takhts, historical gurdwaras in India and 53 other countries.
Interestingly, Bhai Nirmal Singh Ji Khalsa is contemplating to create history of sorts in the music world by cutting a joint album of shabad kirtan with legendry ghazal singer of Pakistan Ghulam Ali. This would be the first-ever joint album of the “ustad-shagirad” (teacher-disciple) duo even as Bhai Nirmal Singh considers Ghulam Ali his teacher in the field of music. No other “hazoori raagi” has ever sung gurbani with the ghazal maestro so far.
The T-Series company, Music Today, Music Memories, Tips, Fine Touch and Saaga have released more than 50 audio cassettes/VCDs/DVDs and MP-3 of Bhai Nirmal Singh Ji. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Punjab Languages Department for selection of awardees in the field of development and kirtan sub-committee member of the SGPC.
That’s simply great!
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh