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Ustad will get sandstone tomb

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    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    Varanasi (UNI): Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan today announced that the tomb of shehnai legend Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan at Karballeh Fatimaan here will be built in red sandstone. The minister today visited Karballeh Fatimaan and offered prayers at the grave of the shehnai legend, who passed away on August 21 last in Varanasi only. Later, Mr Khan announced the tomb for the musical icon will be built in red sandstone and directed Varanasi Municipal Commissioner Abhay Kumar Vajpayee to begin work for the tomb shortly.

    The UP Minister later went to the residence of the Bharat Ratna and consoled the grieving family members. ''Khan Sahib was a devout Muslim, whom I once saw offering namaz at a railway platform,'' recounted Mr Khan. Interacting with newspersons the minister termed Khan Sahib as an unrivalled music legend, who elevated shehnai to a classical instrument. When told about the reservations of the musician fraternity of Varanasi on Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's recent announcement of a Shehnai Academy in memory of Khan Sahib at Lucknow, Mr Khan said the concerns of musicians of this city have been hooked to the CM. The CM believes a shehnai academy in Lucknow will serve the interest of shehnai learners from across the state better than an academy in Varanasi. Mr Khan, however, did not rule out a similar arrangement in Varanasi in future.

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