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Pt Bhimsen Joshi cremated with state honours

January 24, 2011 20:41 IST

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

Buglers 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 Pune 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 10 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.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit also condoled the demise of the legendary vocalist, saying he used to create magic with his unique golden voice.

Describing the death of the 87-year-old Hindustani classical vocalist as an irreparable loss, Dikshit said he was known for the intensity and passion of his singing.

Joshi, the most-celebrated exponent of the 'Kirana gharana' of Khansahib Abdul Karim Khan, passed away at a hospital in Pune on Monday after a prolonged illness.

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