Rajya Sabha pays tribute to former member Ravi Shankar

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 12, 2012 07:26 hrs

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

Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari made reference to the passing away of Ravi Shankar as soon as the house 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.

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

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.

He said the sitar maestro was a recipient of several awards, including the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.

Shankar was a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1986 to 1992, Ansari said.

Shankar is a national treasure: PM

 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the passing away of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, saying he was a national treasure and a global ambassador of India's cultural heritage.

"An era has passed away with Pandit Ravi Shankar. The nation joins me to pay tributes to his unsurpassable genius, his art and his humility," the Prime Minister said in his message.

Singh said that Ravi Shankar was "a national treasure and global ambassador of India's cultural heritage."

In her message, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said India has lost a distinguished son.

The sitar icon's health had been fragile for the past several years and on Thursday he underwent a surgery at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California where he breathed his last. He was 92.

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