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Lata’s songs still the craze of all

The write-up, Queen of Melody — Lata Mangeshkar (Saturday Extra, Sept 25) by Paramjit Singh was informative. However, there are some factual errors. He writes that Lata came in contact with music director Ghulam Haider, who signed her for Majboor. This is incorrect.

In 1948, Haider called Lata to record Badnam na ho jaye mohabbat ka fasaana...’ for Shaheed. Unfortunately, however, producer S. Mukherjee rejected Lata’s vocals as being too thin for the heroine Kamini Kaushal. Ultimately, Surinder Kaur’s song was recorded for the film.

The writer also says that Lata sang for films like Baiju Bawara, Mughal-e-Azam, Aag, Kohinoor, Shri 420 and Madhumati in 1960s, which were hits. But the fact is Raj Kapoor’s Aag had three heroines — Nargis, Kamini Kaushal and Nigar. Shamshad Begum sung all the songs for them under composer Ram Ganguli.

Lata did not sing for Aag. Her association with Raj Kapoor and Shankar Jaikishan began with Barsaat. She was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 1969 and not in 1968. Moreover, she won the Filmfare award for six, not seven times.

M. L. DHAWAN, Chandigarh

Master Tara Singh

I read Baldev Singh’s letter “Master Tara Singh” (Perspective, Sept 26). Tara Singh never hacked down the Muslim League flag. None of the two dozen historians who have written books on Punjab partition has written about tearing off the flag.

It was just a figment of imagination of some people. Where was the Muslim League flag? It was in the hands of the armed crowd which was advancing towards the Assembly Hall to hoist it atop the building.

Master Tara Singh, with some Akalis, was standing on the footsteps of the Assembly Hall. He did shout the slogan “Death to Pakistan”. The crowd stopped at considerable distance.

Thus, there was no occasion to hack down the flag. Moreover, it was only the Sikhs who were butchered during the Mughal rule in Punjab and the Hindus were not touched.



Gandhi and Partition

I read the letters under the heading “Gandhi and Partition” (Perspective, Oct 3 and Aug 29) with great interest. All the writers observed that Partition was a tragedy for Mahatma Gandhi. He was very much disappointed at that time. One of them said that the Congress Working Committee members including Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel agreed to Mountbatten’s Partition plan against Gandhiji’s wishes and without his consent.

However, Gandhi, after Patel and Nehru persuaded him, had accepted the Partition plan. That’s why, the people wanted to see the country’s unification began to cry and complain. Over Gandhiji’s U-turn, their disappointment is reflected in their writings. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in his autobiography India Wins Freedom (Page 203) writes thus:

“I received the greatest shock of my life for I found that he (Gandhji) too had changed. In despondency I (Maulana) said at last “If even you (Gandhiji) have now adopted these views (views of accepting position), I see no hope of saving India from catastrophe”.

Besides, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, in his symbolic poem named Siyasi Leader Ka Nam, too, complains somewhat in similar words. The Siyasi leader denotes Gandhiji (see Faiz-Nama by Ayyoob Mirza, p. 70). He writes:

Tera Sarmaya (assets) Teri aas (hope) Yehi Hath (Hindu-Muslim) to hain; Aur kuchh bhe to nahin pass yehi hath (Hindu-Muslim) to hain,

Tujh ko manzoor nahin Ghalba-e-Zulmat

(slavery) lakin,

Tujh ko manzoor hai hath Oalam ho jaen

(Hindu-Muslim to be separated),

Aur Mashriq ki kameengah mein dharkta hua din (emergence of Independence)

Rat ki ahni mayyit ke tale dab jae (crush under the dead body of slavery).




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