Tribute to Pt. Ravi Shankar by Ms Aurélie Flippetti
Tribute to Pt. Ravi Shankar by Ms Aurélie Flippetti, French Minister of Culture and Communication, Ministry of Culture and Communication
Pandit Ravi Shankar has departed from this world that he had enthralled with the magical notes of his sitar. This is a day of deep sorrow for his native India, for whom he was truly a Bharat Ratna, for California, where he lived, and for all those who loved his music. He was one of the vibrating strings of the extremely strong artistic ties between France and India.
He had popularised this age-old art, the jewel of India’s cultural heritage, and spread his spirit of tolerance and gentleness throughout the world. Apart from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, numerous artists in France and Europe drew their inspiration from their interaction with him. He leaves behind the example of a profoundly humanist artist, who was always ready to listen to the voice of the most deprived. None can forget his Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 with George Harrison, his former pupil.
My thoughts go out to his family, and his daughters, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar, who are themselves remarkable artists, and to whom he has left the most precious of heritages.