Ustad Bismillah Khan passed peacefully at the age of 91 he had a peaceful death. He was honoured with every possible presitgious awards of the country like Padma Shree, the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan as well as the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. Anyone who knew him or worked with him had only good things to say about him. He had anguish that continued to haunt him was the indifference of successive governments to his request for allotment of a LPG agency. Bismillah Khan had in the past urged not only then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee but also then President K R Narayanan to get him a gas distributorship — that could serve as a source of livelihood for his large joint family. He was surviving on the meagre royalty received from His Masters Voice, one of India’s leading music companies. He use to say “Isn’t it ironical that a gas agency can be released to any Tom, Dick or Harry on one recommendation from a Member of Parliament or even a legislator; but a similar request from an artist like me for none other than my own grandson carries no value.” Even HMV had for past few years, HMV has been really lax about payment of my royalty,” he had complained in an interview to this scribe sometime ago. He had said that “I am old and in no position to run after them. My sons and grandsons have been running from pillar to post, but HMV management have shown utter disregard and indifference,”.
But his last wish to play at the India Gate in New Delhi remained unfulfilled. though the Govt had welcomed his suggestion and Arjun Singh who had visited Ustad during his last time assured that he would be welcome to do whenever he wants. He would be given all possible help to fulfill his last wish. But unfortunately God also have scarcity of good people and today ustad finally passed away peacefully. We would like to salute this great legend and would pray to God that his sould rest in peace.