Lata Mangeshkar is no more: Nation in mourning as an era ends

National flag to fly at half-mast for two days : Rich tributes pour in

GN Bureau | February 6, 2022


#Bollywood   #films   #music   #Lata Mangeshkar   #Bharat Ratna  
(Photo: Wiki/Creative Commons)
(Photo: Wiki/Creative Commons)

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, reepient of the highest civilian honour – Bharat Ratna passed away at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai Sunday morning. Popularly known as ‘Melody Queen’ and ‘Nightingale of India’, was 92. She had been admitted to hospital on January 8 after having tested positive for COVID-19.

The union government has announced a two-day national mourning. As a mark of respect, the national flag will fly at half-mast for two days. The Maharashtra government announced a public holiday on Monday.

A state funeral was being held at Shivaji Park Sunday afternoon, with prime minister Narendra Modi among those present. Others included Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan, Javed Akhtar, Ranbir Kapoor and numerous film personalities. Earlier, Amitabh Bachan and Anupam Kher went to her residence at Prabhu Kunj to pay their last respects.

Expressing his condolences, President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted: “Lata-ji’s demise is heartbreaking for me as it is for millions the world over. A Bharat Ratna, Lata-ji’s accomplishments will remain incomparable.”

Vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu said India has lost its voice in the death of Lata-ji, who enthralled music lovers in India and across the globe for many decades with her mellifluous and sublime voice.

Prime minister Modi in his tribute said that he had always received immense affection from Lata Mangeshkar and that interactions with her would remain unforgettable. In a tweet, he said: “Lata Didi’s songs brought out a variety of emotions. She closely witnessed the transitions of the Indian film world for decades.”

Other ministers, artists and people from various walks of life have expressed their grief and condolences on the demise of the great vocalist.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari visited the Breach Candy Hospital Sunday morning to pay his last respects. Union minister Piyush Goyal had visited Lata Mangeshkar in the hospital Saturday.

Members of the film fraternity are mourning the loss of the great singer. Shri Prasoon Joshi, Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification expressed his respect for the late singer on Twitter.

Lata Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929, to a Marathi and Konkani musician Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar. Originally named Hema, she was the eldest of five siblings, including veteran singer Asha Bhosle. Her father Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar was a classical singer and theatre actor.

Lata Mangeshkar recorded her first playback song for a Marathi film, ‘Kiti Hasaal’, at the age of 13, and even acted in a Marathi film, Pahili Mangalagaur in 1942. In 1946, she recorded her first Hindi film playback song for ‘Aap Ki Seva Mein’, directed by Vasant Jogalekar.

In the 1950s, she had emerged as the reigning queen of the Hindi film music. In 1963, after India’s defeat in the war with China, her rendering of the memorable patriotic song ‘Aye Mere Watan ke Logon’, brought tears to the eyes of prime minister Nehru – and provided a way for the entire nation to make peace with the grief.

In 1972, she won the first National Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the film ‘Parichay’. Over the years, the veteran singer won numerous national and international awards including the prestigious Bharat Ratna, the title of Officer of the French Legion of Honour, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, three National Film Awards, four Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards, Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award and many more. In 1984, the Madhya Pradesh government instituted the Lata Mangeshkar Award, while the Maharashtra government also instituted a Lata Mangeshkar Award in 1992 to promote singing talent.

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