One of the world famous musician, Ustad Bismillah Khan have performed across the globe. He was born in a traditional Muslim family in 1916 in Dumraon Bihar. His Grandfather Rasool Baksh Khan scream him as a name “Bismillah” at his birth and hence he come to known as Bismillah Khan. He was the Second son of Paigambar Baksh Khan and Mitthan a popular musician of that time and worked with Dumrao palace by the Raja of Bhojpur as a post of Musicians. His great grandfather Ustad Salar Hussain Khan and grandfather Rasool Baksh Khan were also musicians in the Dumrao palace.
In 1937 he performed in Calcutta All India Music Conference and that was the turning point of his life and then he suddenly found a very big place in the heart of Indian audience with only Shehnai. He was really dedicated to Shehnai and he love this instrument too that’s why he referred this instrument as “begum” after the death of his wife.
Due to his dedication the Government of India was awarded him as Bharat Ratna in 2001. He has also performed on the eve in India’s Independence in 1947 as well as eve of India’s first Republic Day ceremony in 1950. Soon in all Cultural program his performance was mandatory and Doordarshan would be regularly telecast his performance along with the Prime Minister’s address from Red Fort in Delhi.
Apart from shehnai concerts, Ustad was also associated with films. He acted in Satyajit Ray’s films and played Shehnai in Goonj Uthi Shehnai in 1959 which was directed by Vijay Bhatt. A documentary movie has also been directed on his life with title Sang-e-Meel Se Mulaqat.
When we was death Government declared National Mouring day and he was buried in Varanasi under a neem tree at Fatemaan burial ground along with his shehnai and got 21-gun salute from the Indian Army.
On the occasion of 102nd Birth Anniversary, Google Paid tribute to this great Musician with a his popular product doodle. We could only say about this great personality that “Even if the world ends, the music will still survive.”