| 08 Dec 2022
Bihar to set up music varsity after Bismillah Khan

MUMBAI: The Bihar government plans to set up its first music university, named after shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan, in Muzaffarpur district, Minister of Art and Culture Binay Bihari said.

Bismillah Khan, who was born in Bihar, was conferred the country's highest civilian award the Bharat Ratna in 2001.

The minister said the department of art and culture has proposed to set up Bismillah Khan Music University in Muzaffarpur.

"I have already met and discussed the proposal with Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. He has assured all possible help," Bihari said.

"My department will seek government's approval within a month," he said.

Earlier, the government proposed to turn Patna-based Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir into a music university. But the plan did not materialise.

Bismillah Khan was born Qamaruddin at Bhirung Raut Ki Gali in Dumraon, about 15 km from Buxar. According to the local people, Bismillah Khan's ancestors were court musicians in the princely state of Dumraon. His father was a shehnai player in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh of Dumraon.

When he was barely six or seven, Bismillah moved to his maternal grandfather's home in Varanasi. His uncle, Ali Baksh 'Vilayatu', a shehnai player attached to Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath temple, was his guru.