When the air went out of Bismillah Khan‘s shehnai, the Indian government in its bottomless wisdom chose to bid goodbye to the Bharat Ratna with a 21-gun salute.
The irony couldn’t have been starker: a magician of melody passing into the netherworld not to the soft strains of the organ he had elevated from its funereal origins, but to the boom and thud of a war instrument.
With war clouds now hanging over the western front, the propaganda machines are slowing whirring into activity to pump up patriotism. And among the feel-good nationalistic videos currently on air is this fine rendition of ‘Jai Hind‘.
Music: Ustad Zakir Hussain
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar