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This old interview of shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan talking about religious harmony is going viral

The clip from a 1989 documentary on the shehnai maestro resurfaced recently on the internet and is being shared widely.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 10, 2020 10:51:32 am
anti caa protest, Ustad Bismillah Khan, religious harmony, Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, Bismillah Khan benaras video, viral videos, indian express The great musician highlights how such integrity and plurality is only exclusive in ‘Hindustaan’ and valued it is.

Even as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act continue, an old interview of shehnai maestro and Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan talking about religious harmony is going viral.

In the video, Khan talks about his days in Benaras.

Ganga mein nahaaye, masjid mein namaaz padhe, aur Balaji mandir mein riyaaz kar liye (We bathed in Ganga, offered namaz in mosque and practiced our recitals in Balaji temple),” the Bharat Ratna awardee says.

In ther video, Khan talks about how such integrity and plurality is only unique to India and how highly it is valued.


The clip is part of a 1989 documentary film titled ‘Sangemeel Se Mulaqat’ by Goutam Ghose.

“The India of Music has never discriminated one from another on the basis of Religion, Caste, Language, Gender or any other factor. Music unites Humanity. Let this simple Humanity triumph over all other facets that desperately try to disintegrate the Nation,” wrote one user sharing the clip on Facebook.

Another commented, “Ustad Bismillah Khan while recounting his days as a struggling musician, draws a portrait of India that most of us believe in. It is shameful that the current government is hell bent on burning this country, it’s institutions and its students. Take a stand, reject hate. No to NRC, CAA, NPR.” (ALSO READ | ‘From Bharat chhodo to Bharat jodo’: Netizens cheer 101-year-old freedom fighter protesting against CAA)

Here’s how others reacted to to the clip:

“It was Ustad Bismillah Khan who changed the fortune of the shehnai. A sub-continental equivalent of the oboe, the shehnai was an improvement over the pungi or the been that was used by snake charmers. It is a delicate instrument that needs a pitch-perfect reed — the sound tends to alter even with the slightest variation in temperature and altitude. Khan’s father, Paighambar Bux alias Bachai Miyan, was a court musician in the royal palace of Dumraon in Bihar. He played the shehnai, and young Bismillah, his second son, listened to the music with rapt attention,” says this Suanshu Khurana article on the shehnai’s place in Indian music.

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“In Dumraon, among the many legends that float around about Bismillah Khan, one goes thus: in 1921, when the maestro was five years old, his father took him to the Biharji Temple. The young boy sang, “Ehi matiya me bhulail hamar motiya hai Rama (It’s in this place that I lost my pearl)”, much to the amazement of those present. The boy was rewarded with a motichur laddu and rigorous training in shehnai from his uncle, the late Ali Baksh Vilayatu, a shehnai player attached to Varanasi’s Balaji Temple.”  (Read the full piece)

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First published on: 09-01-2020 at 04:54:42 pm

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