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Bismillah unsung on death day

Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan comes alive during elections but remains forgotten on his death anniversary.

The BJP wanted someone from his family to propose Narendra Modi’s name for the Varanasi seat during Lok Sabha polls. On Thursday, the Buxar district administration forgot it was the death anniversary of this music giant at his birthplace, Dumraon. No remembrances were held. Only some residents came forward to pay tributes.

Then chief minister Lalu Prasad had, in 1994, laid the foundation stone of a town-hall-cum-library named after Bismillah Khan on 1.75 cottahs donated by Dumraon’s Maharaja Kamal Singh to the maestro.

In 2006, Nitish Kumar announced the installation of Bismillah’s life-size statue and construction of a museum there. Both plans remain forgotten on what is now a ramshackle cowshed.

Even the plaque laid by Lalu is nowhere to be seen at the spot. It lies, instead, at the corner of a room in Purana Thana (old police station).

Buxar district magistrate Raman Kumar said he would look into what came of the plans. “The matter concerns the home department,” he said.


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