We should remember that bansuri has its origins as a folk instrument,
an instrument made from a natural material easily procured
and accessible to all including the so called lowliest.
A good bansuri will be in tune with itself, will have a clean cork and will have nicely cut tone holes and mouth holes, be treated with appropriate oil/s in its making and will be tied with string at the ends to protect it from cracking. None of this should involve that much in expenditure for the maker. A professional bansuri should be in concert pitch and the current universal standard since about 1970 is A440 hertz. Thats not difficult either for a skilled maker. But the cost is not just about material it is about rewarding expertise and supporting the maker by paying for his or her time.
So what is 10,000 rupees - thats about $300 australian or US$250 roughly, isn't it? i Is that expensive for an E Sa bansuri ? Only yesterday I spent $300 on a new starter motor for my car and this is only going to last me 4 years. $300 is not too much money in Australia for a large, clean, well made, well tuned flute. (I do get worried though when a small C# bansuri can cost $165.)
However, what is reasonable by overseas standards may not be reasonable by Indian standards. I think it is the fad and fashion for bansuri in the West that has caused this price hike (even though I am not complaining about the price). I say fad because most in the West seem obsessed by the idea that bansuri = the style of just one player they have heard and want to imitate that player clonelike and just about every famous bansuri maker claims to make flutes for that player.
I would like to think that the high price of bansuris these days
is a strategy to put people off becoming bansuri players on whimsy.
Of course, imagining such things makes me feel happier about the world. We all need our little fantasies, don't we?