Prime Minister Narendra Modi will confer the title of “Daughter of Nation” on Lata Mangeshkar, on September 28, which marks the Indian Nightingale’s 90th birthday. The honour is a tribute to Mangeshkar for her contribution to Indian music over seven decades. Noted poet-lyricist Prasoon Joshi has written a special song to mark the occasion.

According to India Today, an informed source from the government said, “Modiji is a very big fan of Lataji’s voice. She represents the collective voice of the Indian nation. Honouring her is to honour the daughter of the nation and that’s what we will officially designate her on her 90th birthday.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Lata Mangeshkar to be honoured as “Daughter of Nation” on her 90th birthday.
  • Poet-lyricist Prasoon Joshi has written a special song for the occasion.
  • She was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s Highest Civilian Award in 2001.

Her early life:

Being the eldest among her four siblings, Meena Khadikar, Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar and Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Lata took over the responsibility of the family after the untimely demise of her father.

Lata Mangeshkar, the melody queen and the most recorded playback singer in the world to be listed in the Guinness World record 1974, has played a big role in the shaping of Indian film music. With her ethereal voice and about 25000 hit songs, her contribution remains unparalleled. Born on September 28,  1929, in Indore, Lata Mangeshkar’s sojourn in the Indian Music industry began at the age of 13, when she lost her father Deenanath Mangeshkar. Though she had begun singing and acting in her father’s musical plays when she was only five. Being the eldest among her four siblings, Meena Khadikar, Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar and Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Lata took over the responsibility of the family after the untimely demise of her father. Is 1942, she recorded her first song ‘NaachuYaa Gade, Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhaari’ for a Marathi film Kiti Hasaal with composer Sadashivrao Nevrekar. However, the song was omitted before the release of the movie.

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The Nightingale arrives:

Mangeshkar moved to Bombay in 1945 in search of better opportunities. After series of rejection because of her “too thin and sharp voice,” as opposed to the preferred style of the time, her first major hit came with ‘Aayega aanewala’ from the movie Mahal (1949). Her career and journey as the most loved voice of India thus began. As a playback singer, she has given her voice to numerous phenomenal actresses of different ages, from Vaijayanti Mala to Preity Zinta. She recorded a series of hit songs across various genres, both solo and in collaboration with great male singers like Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi and Manna Dey among others. Including Hindi, she has recorded songs in 20 Indian Languages. Furthermore, she has also worked as a music director and producer for many Indian films. She launched several music albums during her musical career including Chala Vahi Des (1979) with Brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Ram Ratan Dhan Payo (1983) and Shraddanjali-My Tribute to the Immortals (1994).

As a playback singer, she has given her voice to numerous phenomenal actresses of different ages over many decades, be it Vaijayanti Mala or Hema Malini to Madhuri Dixit or Preity Zinta.

Awards and honour:

Lata Mangeshkar won her first Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer in 1958 for the song ‘Aaja Re Pardesi’, from the film Madhumati. Over decades she has been felicitated with awards such as Padma Bhushan (1969), Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1989), Padma Vibhushan (1999), Maharashtra Bhushan Award (1997), NTR National Award (1999), and ANR National Award (2009). She was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 2001.

The Evergreen songs:

In 1963, she performed, ‘Ae mere watan ke logo’ in front of the then India Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru in the memory of the martyred soldiers of Indo-China war.  The song that reflects the sacrifice of the soldiers at the border for the good and safe life of the citizens still resonates its patriotic message. It is said that the song moved Jawaher Lal Nehru to tears then and even today it does not fail to arouse our patriotic spirit. Her other hit songs like Ajeeb dastan hai ye, Lag ja gale, Tu jahan jahan chalega among others still go unrivaled as the most romantic and soothing songs in film music.

In 1963, she performed, ‘Ae mere watan ke logo’ in front of the then India Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru in the memory of the martyred soldiers of Indo-China war, which is said to have brought tears to his eyes.

Recently in news:

Lata Mangeshkar has been in news recently for her reaction on the “internet sensation” Ranu Mondal’s singing. On being asked about her views on the popularity of Ranu Mondal, Lata Mangeshkar appreciated her singing but with reservations. She said, “Imitation is not a reliable and durable companion for success. By singing my songs or Kishoreda’s (Kumar), or (Mohd) Rafi Saab’s, or Mukesh Bhaiyya or Asha’s (Bhosle) numbers, aspiring singers can get short-term attention. But it won’t last.” Advising new artists, she further said, “Be original. By all means, sing the evergreen songs by me and my colleagues. But after a point, the singer must seek and find his or her own song.”

Fans have registered outrage on Twitter, critiquing Lata Mangeshkar’s  “ungracious” reaction to a new singer. However, Mangeshkar’s fans have pointed out that her remarks were being misquoted on social media and that they weren’t directed solely towards Mondal.

Lata Mangeshkar: The golden era of Indian music

Despite the disappointments of fans on Lata Mangeshkar’s reaction, which actually is an advice for the upcoming talents, Lata Mangeshkar can never be undermined. Her melodious singing that gave Indian music its golden era deserves an evergreen honour like “The Daughter of the Nation”. Neither will her songs fade away, nor the honour.

Picture Credit: idiva.

Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

Also Read: Lata Mangeshkar to receive Bengal’s highest civilian honour

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