Parliament pays tribute to Ravi Shankar

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 12, 2012 09:08 hrs

Members in both houses of parliament Wednesday stood in silence to pay tribute to sitar maestro and composer Pandit Ravi Shankar, a former member of the Rajya Sabha, who passed away in a US hospital.

Ravi Shankar died in a hospital in San Diego at 4.30 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday. He was 92.

Both Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar made references to the passing away of Ravi Shankar as soon as the houses met for the day.

"Members, I refer with profound sorrow to passing away of Pandit Ravi Shankar, a former member of the house," Ansari said in the upper house.

"I have to inform the house about the sad demise of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar. We deeply mourn the loss of such a dynamic and versatile personality," said Meira Kumar told members of the lower house.

"A legendary music sitarist and composer, he was India's most esteemed musical ambassador," she said.

Ravi Shankar was a nominated Rajya Sabha member from 1986 to 1992 and was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1999.

Describing him as "one of the most versatile instrumental musicians of our time", Ansari said his death was "an irreparable loss to the world of music".

Ansari, also India's vice president, said Ravi Shankar was educated in Varanasi and Paris and joined All India Radio in 1949.

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