PM Modi conferred with 1st Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award in Mumbai

Mumbai, April 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with the 1st ‘Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award’ at a glittering function in Shanmukhananda Hall, here on Sunday evening.
As per his own request, Modi did not sit on dais but occupied a front seat among the audience and walked onto the stage when his name was announced to accept the honour as a commoner.
Present on the occasion were almost the entire Mangeshkar clan, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Minister Subhash Desai, though Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray kept away reportedly as his name did not figure in the official invite.
This is the first award instituted in memory of the late Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, the melody queen of India, who passed away in Mumbai on February 6, at the age of 92.
“I was introduced to her by Master Sudhir Phadke… For me she was my Lata Didi and Sur Samragyi.. I always received love and blessings from her. The oncoming Rakshabandhan festival will be the first without her,” said Modi in an emotional voice, receiving the honour instituted by the Master Deenath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratisthan Charitable Trust and Hriday Arts.
He said he has known the Mangeshkar family for over four decades and Lata Didi was like a ‘Ma Saraswati’ who sang for four-to-five generations of actors, gliding from gramophone records to cassettes to VCD, DVD, pendrive and online, leaving her mark and inspiring aeons.
Narrating incidents and anecdotes, Modi praised the immense contribution to the world of music and culture, saying though her physical journey ended during the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence, she gave her voice to India well before freedom and the country’s passage of 75 years is also associated with her.
Lauding the patriotism strands of the Mangeshkars, the PM said that her father was the source of the conscious love for the country that was within Lata Didi – who passed into eternity on February 6.
He recalled the incident of a song, challenging the British, penned by Veer Savarkar that was rendered by Master Deenanath in a program attended by the then Viceroy in Shimla during the freedom struggle.
“Lata Didi considered music as her ‘rashtra bhakti’ (worshipping the nation) and patriotism was inspired through her songsa like ‘Jai Hind Ki Sena’, and ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’,” said the PM.
Lauding her long and illustrious career, Modi said that Lata Didi was like “a melodious manifestation of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat’, she sang thousands of songs in more than 30 languages, ranging from culture to faith, east to west and north to south, her notes united the country, and worldwide, she was India’s cultural ambassador”.
The PM said that generally he is not comfortable about receiving awards but when the Mangeshkar family called with the honour in Lata Didi’s name, then he could not refuse and it became a symbol of her love and affection for him.

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