I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar. India has lost an eminent son, the world of sitar has lost one of its ablest exponents ever and a shining light in the firmament of music has been extinguished. Like many others around the world, I join you in grieving this loss and in extending to you and your loved ones my heartfelt condolences.
I consider it a personal privilege to have known Pandit Ravi Shankar and to have served together with him as a member of the Rajya Sabha. It was difficult, often, to judge what was more remarkable - the man or his music. The nation was fortunate not only to be able to enjoy his music, but also to have him as one of its most effective cultural ambassadors across the world. His humanism, combined with his musical genius, helped him in building cross-civilizational contacts that served the world of music and benefited humanity at large.
I am aware that it will be difficult to come to terms with this grievous loss and that words are scant consolation at such a time. I pray that Pandit Ravi Shankar's soul find eternal peace and that you and your family members be granted the strength and fortitude to bear this loss. Once again, please accept my sincerest condolences.