Bhopal: Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan says his family has been ignored and humiliated for years by his home state Madhya Pradesh, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should look into his complaint.
The legendary musician says he and his sons have been invited to perform the world over, but not in Madhya Pradesh. He also accuses the state government of not honouring the memory of his father, Ustaf Haafiz Ali Khan, on his death anniversary on Sunday.
"In the 42 years since he died, Madhya Pradesh's cultural department has not offered any tribute or homage to the legendary sarod guru of Gwalior. Our family faces discrimination by Madhya Pradesh's cultural department," Mr Khan, 69, told NDTV.
"PM Modi has to step in and find out. If such people are in the cultural department, then the BJP (which rules Madhya Pradesh) will get a bad name. I have never cared about governments. Our direct contact is with the people, who love us," he added.
Mr Khan said he felt disappointed and "humiliated" that though he and his sons were invited to play at prestigious events in several countries - including the Nobel Peace prize ceremony in Oslo - they had never received any invite from Madhya Pradesh to perform even in his hometown Gwalior.
Earlier this month, the maestro and his sons Amaan and Ayaan performed the "Raga for peace" at the Nobel ceremony, which saw Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai sharing the big prize.
A senior Madhya Pradesh government official today denied Mr Khan's allegations and listed a series of events that he claimed the veteran and his sons had been invited to.
"It is not true that his family has been neglected for 42 years. We were surprised to read his comments. We have great reverence for him and did not expect this," said Manoj Srivastava, the principal secretary of the Madhya Pradesh cultural department.
Mr Srivastava also said Mr Khan's older brother had established a music academy that had been receiving grants from the state government.