Wednesday, August 23, 2006

AN OBITUARY AND A PROTEST: Death of Ustad Bismillah Khan

Left:In Happier Times: The Ustad with this blogger's father

State mourning was declared on the day of noted shehnai-maestro Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan’s demise; on the same day, the first Speaker of the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha, Pandit Rajendra Prasad Shukla was cremated with full state honors. On this sad day, the organization of an official function followed by dinner at the Chief Minister’s Residence was not only inopportune and insensitive but also highly objectionable.

Ustad Bismillah Khan was the embodiment of ‘the Ganga-Jamuni culture’. He was a firm believer in the ideal of Hindu-Muslim Unity. Despite being a true Mussalman, he considered it an honor to play shehnai at the Kashi Vishvanath Temple at his hometown, Benares. Indeed his entire life and philosophy, which epitomized the essence of India’s rich and heterodox culture, went against the very fundamentals of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its parent-body, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which believe in turning brother against brother and religion against religion. Under the circumstances, the organization of a felicitation function and dinner at the Chief Minister’s Residence on the day of the Ustad’s demise under the auspices of this BJP state-government, yet again exposes its communal mentality.

After the formation of the state, the Ustad had very kindly consented to perform at the Chakradhari Cultural Festival at Raigarh on the invitation of the then state government. At the time, he recalled very fondly vivid details of his childhood days when he had traveled by bullock-cart from Sarangarh to Raigarh. The Ustad had deep relations with the soil of Chhattisgarh, and love and respect for its people and their rich and glorious heritage. It is most shameful that when the entire nation was mourning the loss of such a personality as his, the Chief Minister of the state he loved so immensely was busy presiding over a felicitation function and dinner organized at his own residence.

The organization of the aforesaid function and dinner, and the publicity given to it by the state Directorate of Public Relations (DPR), despite nationwide official mourning having been declared by the Government of India, is regrettable. It must be condemned. This incident is a living proof of the Fascist Objectives and Communal Character of the state BJP government.

The Chief Minister must personally apologize to the people of the state for this incident, in which he himself was present and presided.


2 comments (टिप्पणी):

Stalingam said...

I think one day you will be the chief minister of Chattisgarh ?

Thats only if we don't dismantle parliamentary democracy anytime soon.

Amit Aishwarya Jogi said...

I have no clue why you said this? But have you given thought to 'dismantling parl. democracy' from within- ? Walking that road, you might get there faster and with a lot less bloodshed.

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