Moving towards Kapurthala, coming from Jalandhar, you will find the tomb of erstwhile singer Miyan Mir Nasir Ahmad. The musician is credited with establishing Punjab’s vital connection with the Senia-Beenkar tradition that Tansen mastered.
Situated near the famous Pir Chowdhry Tomb, where thousands of residents pay obeisance every Thursday, the tomb of the famous Dhrupad singer and the harbinger of Khyal Gayaki in Kapurthala is in a shambles. The plaster on its walls has peeled off and wild bushes and Congress grass have make the tomb their dwelling.
The old Nanakshahi bricks are crumbling and a building of heritage importance represents a deserted outpost. Even to reach the tomb, one has to wade through wild grass and bushes.
Residents of the town are also oblivious to the fact that they have a heritage building in their midst and the connection of the tomb with the renowned Kapurthala Gharana.
“None of the residents of city, except those belonging to heritage societies or researchers, know about Miya Mir Nasir. Even here there is no signboard marking the tomb. Of the thousands who come here every week to the tomb of Peer Chowdhary, nobody will have any knowledge about the building,” says Hussain Ahmed, the maulvi of nearby mosque.
The premise spread in around 2 acres is being used as the graveyard by the local muslim community. The Wakf Board had been made incharge of the building.
In 2004, the building was declared as a Heritage Building, but due to negligence, the building is now close to ruins.
“Several surveys were done by the heritage experts and district administration, after media highlighted the matter. In 2007, the union tourism ministry launched a project called ‘Destination Kapurthala’ to promote tourism. The project to restore the building to its previous glory was started and it was planned to develop the area as a museum for music lovers. However, nothing resulted,” said Bikramjeet Singh, a local resident.
Members of the Muslim community, have meanwhile, expressed concern over the proposed development if ever initiated.
Maulavi Hussain Ahmed said: “Several deputy commissioners have visited the site along with teams from heritage societies. We made a representation to them that we are using the site as a graveyard and if it is to be converted into a museum, where will we go?”