Ustad Bismillah Khan- came into the world on March 21, 1916, in the Dumraon region as the second next son of father Paigambar Khan and mother Matthan. He was initially called Qamaruddin to rhyme with Shamsuddin, his brother. His ancestor, Rasool Baksh Khan- pronounced “Bismillah later gazing at the newborn. Therefore, he was called Bismillah Khan. His forefathers were official musicians and handled to play in Naqqar khana in the regal regions of Bhojpur, presently in Bihar. His dad was a shehnai professional in Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh from Dumraon Estate. Despite his popularity, Khan’s life grasped its traditional Benaras charm. His main mode of transportation remained the cycle rickshaw. A fellow of tenderness, he supposed in remaining private; and that players are supposed to be heard and not seen. He was a pious Shi’a Muslim and, like many Indian musicians notwithstanding of faith, a follower of Mother Saraswati. He oftentimes performed at various temples and on the shores of the river Ganga near Varanasi, besides operating outside the great Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. He endured his training supporting his uncle, the late Ali Baksh, a shehnai player connected to Varanasi’s Vishwanath Temple. Khan signified perhaps single-handedly accountable for making the shehnai a well-known classical apparatus. He induced the shehnai to the core stage of Indian musicology with his performance at the Calcutta All India Music Conference in 1937. People started to consider Bismillah and the shehnai are nearly synonyms.
Khan is one of the best musicians and one of the best representatives of Hindu-Muslim unity in India. His theory of music was exquisite, and his foresight, excellent. He formerly remarked, “Even if the universe ceases, the melody will yet persist, and he often said, the art of music has neither caste nor religion. He has played in Afghanistan, Iran, Europe, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Canada, West Africa, the USA, USSR, Japan, Hong Kong in nearly every capital town over the world.
Khan had the unique honor of performing at Delhi’s Red Fort on the night of India’s Independence in 1947. He also played the song Raga Kafi from the Red Fort at India’s first Republic Day ceremony on January 26, 1950. His recital had almost become a cultural part of the Independence Day Celebrations telecast on Doordarshan every year on Independence day. On August 17, 2006, Khan got ill and got admitted to the Heritage Hospital in Varanasi. He expired after four heydays on August 21, 2006, owing to a cardiac arrest. He was ninety years old. The Government of India announced one day of public mourning for his loss. His body was concealed on Fatemain’s funeral ground of gray Varanasi below a neem tree including a 21-gun tribute from the Indian Army. His life story inspires each person to make efforts and spend his life relishing their hard work. Bismillah Khan taught us that art and tradition have no boundaries; it acts as a binder to unite the different commodities and spread love. Khan’s demise was a shock to every person, but his story would always live in our hearts.