Patel, Air India apologise to Amjad Ali Khan for damaged sarod

Patel, Air India apologise to Amjad Ali Khan for damaged sarod

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan displaying his damaged sarod during a show in Mumbai on Thursday night. PTI

"I spoke to Amjad Ali Khan myself and told him whatever happened is unfortunate. He also accepted that he has been travelling for so many years and that's one of the things that just happened," Patel told reporters here.

Khan's Sarod was found damaged during the flight from Ahmedabad forcing him to cancel his performance in the Fine Arts Academy in Mumbai.

Khan, who arrived here on Friday morning, noticed the damage in the evening when he opened the box to change a few strings of the sarod before leaving for the concert hall.

Air India too said sorry to the sarod maestro with its Executive Director Jitendra Bhargava personally speaking to Khan and "profusely apologising" to him.

Such incidents "should not happen on any flight", Patel said adding, it would also not be "fair to single out any single airline in this case as these things do happen."

But in future all airlines should take precautions that these kind of incidents do not occur, he said. Airlines should be careful the world over "now that there are better ways to look after this kind of expensive but fragile cargo".

The Minister said he would ask the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to "advise the airlines to do the needful" in this regard.

"My heart is bleeding. I have never experienced such a thing in my life before," the maestro said.

"If this were to happen with me while travelling in a foreign airliner, I would have sued it. Unfortunately, it is our own national carrier that is responsible for my loss. It is sad to know that our national carrier cannot take care of musical instruments of an artist like me," Khan said.

The 64-year-old veteran was to give a solo performance at the Academy last evening.

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