Musician Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, has admitted she was abused as a child.
In a video to support a global campaign to end violence against women – One Billion Rising – Anoushka Shankar said the abuse had been by “a man my parents trusted”.
Anoushka Shankar said she had suffered “groping, touching and verbal abuse”.
There has been growing outrage in India at the treatment of women after the fatal gang rape of a woman in December.
The One Billion Rising movement was started by American playwright and feminist Eve Ensler to mark the 15th anniversary of the V-day campaign to end violence against women.
A number of events have been organized in India on 14 February – the day the campaign is calling for one billion people around the world to rise up against gender-based crimes.
Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, has admitted she was abused as a child
In the video, recorded in her London home, Anoushka Shankar, 31, appealed for people to support the campaign in memory of the 23-year-old gang rape victim.
The brutal attack on the physiotherapy student on a Delhi bus led to weeks of protests by thousands of people across India and the world.
“As a child I suffered sexual and emotional abuse for several years at the hands of a man my parents trusted implicitly,” she said.
Anoushka Shankar added that she was taking part in the One Billion Rising movement “for the child in me who I don’t think will recover from what happened”.
Anoushka Shankar grew up in London, Delhi and California and began learning to play the sitar from her father at the age of nine. Ravi Shankar, 92, died in a hospital in California in December after an illness.
Ravi Shankar, Indian sitar maestro, has died in a hospital in San Diego, aged 92.
His family said he had been admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego last week, but had failed to recover fully from surgery.
Ravi Shankar gained widespread international recognition through his association with The Beatles.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described him as a “national treasure and global ambassador of India’s cultural heritage”.
In a statement quoted by Reuters, Ravi Shankar’s wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka said he had recently undergone surgery which would have “potentially given him a new lease of life”.
“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery,” they said.
“We were at his side when he passed away.
“Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives. He will live forever in our hearts and in his music.”
Anoushka Shankar is herself a sitar player. Ravi Shankar’s other daughter is Grammy award winning singer Norah Jones.
Ravi Shankar, Indian sitar maestro, has died in a hospital in San Diego, aged 92
George Harrison of the Beatles once called Ravi Shankar “the godfather of world music”.
He played at Woodstock and the 1967 Monterey Pop festival, and also collaborated with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and jazz saxophonist John Coltrane.
Ravi Shankar also composed a number of film scores – notably Satyajit Ray’s celebrated Apu trilogy (1951-55) and Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982) – and collaborated with US composer Philip Glass in Passages in 1990.
Talking in later life about his experiences at the influential Monterey Pop festival, Ravi Shankar said he was “shocked to see people dressing so flamboyantly”.
He told Rolling Stone magazine that he was horrified when Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire on stage.
“That was too much for me. In our culture, we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God,” he said.
In 1999, Ravi Shankar was awarded the highest civilian citation in India – the Bharat Ratna, or Jewel of India.
Born into a Bengali family in the ancient Indian city of Varanasi, Ravi Shankar was originally a dancer with his brother’s troupe.
He gave up dancing to study the sitar at the age of 18.
For seven years Ravi Shankar studied under Baba Allauddin Khan, founder of the Maihar Gharana style of Hindustani classical music, and became well-known in India for his virtuoso sitar playing.
For the last years of his life, Ravi Shankar lived in Encinitas, California, with his wife.