About the Book: My Name Is Gauhar Jaan
The earliest recordings of Indian music are characterised by the high-pitched
announcement, ‘My name is Gauhar Jaan.’ This declaration epitomised a milestone
in the history of Indian classical music, one that would forever change its
content, structure and style.
The musical scene in India at the turn of the 20th century witnessed tumultuous
changes. The traditional custodians of the art form, the devadasis in the south,
and the nautch girls in the north, who had nurtured the art for centuries,
became victims of the morality laws of the British government and the prudery of
an ‘enlightened’ Indian elitist class.