Award in memory of Bismillah Khan

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has instituted an award in memory of Bismillah Khan who died on 21 August, 2006.


Former home minister Kripa Shankar Singh said, “I was the first one to go to Benaras for Khan sahab’s crematorium. After offering ‘shraddhanjali’ to the greatest ‘shehnai player,’ I came back to Mumbai and had spoke to the chief minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh to encourage music and keep the memories of Bismillah Khan alive by instituting an award. We have decided to call it ‘Shenai Ratna’. It will also carry a cash prize of Rs 150,000. This will also encourage every aspiring musician to take to shehnai. We are working out the economics to have this award bestowed every year.”


He further adds, “I’m also planning to organize a musical extravaganza ‘Ek Shaam Bismillah Khan Ke Naam’ in Mumbai, where we will invite both his sons to perform. They are tabla and shehnai specialists. The proceeds from the show will be donated to the family.”


The U.P. government has already announced an award of Rs 500,000 every year in memory of the shehnai maestro and is also planning to launch a music academy that will be set up in the name of Bismillah Khan in Lucknow.