Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Wednesday said India has lost a great son in the unfortunate demise of Pandit Ravi Shankar, and added that the sitar maestro spread the Indian musical genius around the world.
"Shri Ravi Shankar spread the Indian musical genius around the world. He not only enriched Indian music and culture, but synthesized it with other musical traditions and created an extravaganza for musical lovers. In his unfortunate demise, India has lost a great son," he added.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla also echoed similar sentiments, saying the demise of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar has not only given a shock to the Indian cultural world, but it is also a loss for the whole society.
"He was not only a member of the Rajya Sabha, but he has made an immense contribution to spreading the Indian music globally. I don't think anyone else will be take the Indian music to such a height over the next decade as he did," he added.
Pandit Ravi Shankar, who was admitted in the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for breathing difficulties, passed away in San Diego on Tuesday at the age of 92.
The sitar maestro had been admitted at the Scripps Memorial Hospital on December 6.
The sitar exponent was responsible for making Indian classical music popular in the West and was also India's musical ambassador.
He had collaborated with several international artists including George Harrison of 'The Beatles', which had garnered him fame all over the world.
He was active as a professional musician till the end and was one of the contenders for the next Grammys.
Panditji is survived by his wife Sukanya and musician daughters, sitar player Anushka Shankar and singer Norah Jones.
Ravi Shankar was born as Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury on April 7, 1920 and was referred by the title Pandit.
Shankar was born in Varanasi and spent his youth touring Europe and India with the dance group of his brother Uday Shankar. He gave up dancing in 1938 to study sitar playing under court musician Allauddin Khan.
After finishing his studies in 1944, Shankar worked as a composer, creating the music for the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray, and was music director of All India Radio, New Delhi, from 1949 to 1956.
In 1956, he began to tour Europe and America playing Indian classical music and increased its popularity there through teaching, performance, and his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison.
He was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1999, and received three Grammy Awards. (ANI)