Versatile Kashmiri folk singer Rashid Hafiz gets Sangeet Natak Award

Kashmir’s versatile folk singer Abdul Rashid Hafiz was today honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function here attended by some of the country’s finest musicians, dancers and theatre artists.

The 61-year-old singer was among the 40 artists who received the 2014 Akademi awards from the hands of the President in the Durbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan for their contribution to music, dance, theatre, traditional and folk music, puppetry as well as scholarships in the performing arts.

The citation described Hafiz as the king of Kashmiri folk singing, who had represented his state in many prestigious festivals. A top grade artist of AIR and Doordarshan, he has also won other awards including one from the State Government.

Hafiz said later that it was an honour not only to him but also a recognition of the best traditions of the Kashmiri music.

He is the third singer from the State to have won the prestigious award, the other two having been Raj Begum and Ali Mohammed Shaikh.