Shubha Mudgal (born 1959) is an Indian singer of Hindustani classical music. Her repertoire includes the genres of Khayal, Thumri and Dadra, as also popular Indian pop music. She has received several awards and accolades for her artistic accomplishments, including the Padma Shri, awarded in 2000. Apart from music, Mudgal is known for supporting left-wing causes and associating herself with radical organizations like Shabnam Hashmi's ANHAD  and SAHMAT.
|Birth name||Shubha Gupta|
1959 (age 58–59)|
Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Genres||Pop, folk, Indian classical, playback singing|
|Years active||1986 – present|
Shubha was born in Allahabad into an academic family, the daughter of Prof. Skand Gupta and his wife, Prof. Jaya Gupta. Both of her parents were professors of English Literature at Allahabad University, and both of them had a deep interest in Classical Hindustani Music and the Kathak form of classical dance. Shubha's paternal grandfather, Prof. P. C. Gupta, had also been a Professor at Allahabad University.
Education and musical trainingEdit
Shubha grew up in Allahabad and after finishing school, attended St. Mary's Convent Inter College. As children, she and her sister were sent by their artistic-minded parents to a dance class to learn Kathak. However, her interest in dance was never great and the fact that she attended a non-descript dance-class in the neighbourhood did not conduce to high levels of accomplishment. She once replied to a dance examiner's routine query of "Aap kis gharaane ki Kathak naachti hain? (what is the style/school of Kathak to which you belong?)" with the retort, "Hum apne gharaane ki Kathak naachte hain (I dance my own style of Kathak)". She later switched to Hindustani Classical Music as her vocation of choice while maintaining the same individualistic attitude. Her first traditional teacher (guru) was Pandit Ramashreya Jha in Allahabad.
After completing inter-college, Shubha moved to New Delhi and enrolled at Delhi University for her undergraduate studies. In Delhi, she continued her musical education under Pandit Vinay Chandra Maudgalya, who was the founder of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, a famous school of fine arts. He had founded the institution in 1939 and ran it from his residence near Plaza cinema, Connaught Place, New Delhi. Apart from being an outstanding classical musician, Pandit Maudgalya was also an accomplished lyricist; the song Hind Desh ke Niwasi, used in the animation film Ek Anek Aur Ekta by Vijaya Mulay, which won the National Film Award for Best Educational Film, was written by him. Shubha Gupta not only became Pandit Mudgalya's student but also his daughter-in-law; she married (and was later divorced from) Pandit Mudgalya's son, Mukul Mudgal. It is by this marriage that she acquired the surname 'Mudgal' by which she is known professionally.
After graduating from Delhi University, Shubha continued her training under Pandit Vasant Thakar in Delhi, and more informally with other established singers as Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, Naina Devi and Pt.Kumar Gandharva.
Shubha Mudgal started performing as a Hindustani classical singer in the 1980s, and gained a certain reputation as a talented singer. In the 1990s, she started experimenting with other forms of music, including pop and fusion varieties. She says, "I believe in music. Khayal and Thumri are my favourites, but that does not mean that I should not experiment with other forms. Why should I curtail my musical urges? ..... I want to allow the artist in me to come through. If you are a musician, how can you say, 'this one is from devotional poetry, so I am not going to sing it."' In addition to her recordings and concerts, she briefly ran a website called raagsangeet.com aimed at lovers of Classical Indian Music.
Mudgal was awarded the 1996 National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction for 'Amrit Beej', the 1998 Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music, at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival, for her music in the film Dance of the Wind (1997), and the Padma Shri in 2000.
Shortly graduating from Delhi University, she married Mukul Mudgal, son of her guru Pandit Vinay Chandra Maudgalya. It is by this marriage that she acquired the name 'Shubha Mudgal' by which she is known to the world. Her husband, who was also an accomplished musician, chose not to pursue music as a profession but made an extremely successful career as a lawyer and jurist; he retired as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and thereafter headed the Mudgal Committee. The Mudgals had one son together, namely Dhaval Mudgal, who is a lead singer in the Delhi-based band 'Half Step Down.' Dhaval is also a promising poker player. This marriage ended in a divorce.
Shubha is now married to Aneesh Pradhan.
- Interview The Hindu, 26 November 2005.
- "The Origin , Structure, Constitution of Governing Board of Anhad". ANHAD. 25 September 2007.
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- This above all The Tribune, 15 August 1948.
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- Milestones[permanent dead link] Shubha Mudgal Official website.
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Dasgupta, Amrita (22 July 2010). "Life notes". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
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- Shubha Mudgal straddles a range of musical worlds.. The Hindu, 14 July 2006.
- Music Review: No Stranger Here Music Aloud, 1 March 2012.