We introduce ourselves as music lovers trained in Indian classical music (sarod and sitar) under Ustad Dhyanesh Khan and then under maestro Ustad Aashish Khan.
We frequently visit the Net and surf for articles relating to Indian classical music, and came across much valuable information presented by you.
We wish to bring to your kind attention the injustice of the authorities not conferring the Bharat Ratna on a pride of India -- the legendary maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. We are not aware about the right channel to put forward our grievance. We had tried to address the issue to leading newspapers of India but they seem to be more inclined to flash either Ricky Martin or some other stupid Indian pop musicians on their front pages.
To date, from the world of music, four have been conferred the country's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (Pandit Ravi Shankar, Smt Subbalakshmi, Smt Lata Mangeshkar and Ustad Bismillah Khan). We sincerely thank the central government prize committee for recognising (though late) these great sons and daughters of India.
However, the committee seems to be quite unjustifiably unkind to some. The award should have been bestowed posthumously on the late Baba Allauddin Khan, before anyone else from music world. Also we would like to remind the committee about the living legend and sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Two of the most precious flowers in the garden of Indian music -- Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan -- rose to world eminence under the guidance of the legendary Baba Allauddin Khan. This is known to everyone.
Though maestro Ali Akbar Khan's unwillingness to be in the limelight is a fact, ignoring him is unacceptable. It is not to be forgotten that the world of music has to be permanently indebted to Ali Akbar Khan (and his gurubhai Ravi Shankar).
& Abir Banerjee
on 26 October 2001
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