Fan to build Mohammad Rafi memorial in Birmingham
London : Singer Mohammad Rafi will soon be immortalised in the city centre in Birmingham as an architect fan is building a shrine with the idea of making the late singer a saint.
Tasawar Bashir, 39, is a former film producer and is also the festival curator for the Mirage Film Festival 2007 in Birmingham. He is keen to build a modern day memorial to one of the stalwarts of Indian film industry.
Rafi was born at Kotla Sultan Singh, near Amritsar, on Dec 24, 1924, and died on July 31, 1980, leaving behind several haunting melodies in various Indian languages, including in Marathi and Telugu.
Reports from Birmingham say that the Indian high commission is supporting the project that is set to first appear at Birmingham's Festival of Extreme Building in the summer.
Bashir, a student at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, told the Birmingham Evening Mail: "Millions of people across India and the world loved to listen to Rafi ... so when he died Bombay (Mumbai) hosted the biggest ever procession for a Bollywood personality.
"He was a cross between Frank Sinatra and Engelbert Humperdinck and I think he deserves to be a saint.
"There is no official way of making someone a saint in Hindu or Muslim religions but if I can get enough people to see the shrine then he could be immortalised."
The project is expected to cost over 20,000 pounds and will involve building the structure on Fazeley Street in the Birmingham city centre by June.