Pandit Bhimsen Joshi cremated with state honours

Pune: The mortal remains of Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi were consigned to flames this evening with state honours in the presence of tearful mourners.

Buglars played the last post as ceremonial gun salute was accorded to the titan of the Indian music world as notes of "Mile sur mera tumhara..." floated in the air.

The mourners -- men and women, young and old – lined up the streets to pay their last respects to the maestro as his last journey began from his residence and terminated at Vaikunth crematorium.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, emissary of the Prime Minister, led the mourners in paying tributes to the departed musician.

Krishna described Joshi as a legend in his own lifetime and one of the greatest musicians ever born.

Chavan hailed Joshi`s contribution in taking classical music to the households of common people with a fascinating voice that would live forever.

Earlier, fans and people from all walks of life made a beeline to pay their last respects to Joshi at his residence ‘Kalashree’.

Dignitaries who filed past the body included Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and former RSS chief K S Sudarshan.

Yeddyuruppa said his government would launch a Rs Ten crore scheme to preserve the legacy and memory of the vocalist at his home town in Karnataka.

Joshi`s elder son Raghavendra performed the last rites at the electric crematorium where bhajans and songs sung by him were played even as several of his admirers shed silent tears listening to the powerful voice that enthralled them for decades.


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