Nawab Wajid Ali Shah
- July 30, 2023 marks the 201st birth anniversary of Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab to sit on the throne of Awadh.
- Mirza Wajid Ali Shah (July 1822 – 1 September 1887) was the eleventh and last King of Awadh, holding the position for 9 years, from 13 February 1847 to 11 February 1856.
- His kingdom was annexed by the East India Company on 11 February 1856 and the Nawab was exiled to Garden Reach in Metiabruz, a suburb of Kolkata, where he lived out the rest of his life on a generous pension.
- He was not only a patron of music, dance, drama, and poetry but was also a gifted composer.
- He is said to have composed many new ragas and named them Jogi, Juhi, Shah-Pasand, etc.
- The light classical form, thumri was created by Wajid Ali Shah.
- He introduced Kathak, a major form of classical Indian dance as a court dance after the decline of Mughals for recreation activity.
- The king introduced the Jogia Jashan, a magnificent event featuring Rahas (dance-dramas), poetry, lyrical compositions, and Kathak performances paving the way for the growth of Hindustani theater.
- The famous poet Mirza Ghalib received the patronage of Wajid Ali Shah.
- Wajid Ali Shah was himself a poet of considerable merit.
- He had equal command over Persian and Urdu and wrote several books in both languages. His notable work is Sawat-ul-Qalub.