Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar dies at 92 : The Tribune India

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Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar dies at 92

Two-day national mourning, state funeral for the singing legend; President, PM lead tributes

Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, February 6

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday led the nation in paying tributes to Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar who passed away at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital, drawing curtains on a long and illustrious life as a singer and a cultural icon.

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The legendary singer had been admitted to the ICU on Tuesday after testing COVID positive.

Two-day national mourning will be observed from February 6-7 and the Tricolour will fly at half mast in respect for the departed legend, government sources said.

The 92-year-old singing legend will be accorded state funeral.

“An artist born but once in centuries, Lata didi was an exceptional human being, full of warmth, as I found whenever I met her. The divine voice has gone quiet forever but her melodies will remain immortal, echoing in eternity,” President Kovind said.

The PM voiced anguish saying, “The kind and caring Lata didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people.”

Remembering Lata, the melodious voice of the nation, the President said her demise was heart-breaking for him as it is for millions the world over.

“In her vast range of songs, rendering the essence and beauty of India, generations found expression of their inner-most emotions. A Bharat Ratna, Lata-ji’s accomplishments will remain incomparable,” he added.

The PM said it was his honour to have always received immense affection from Lata Didi.

“My interactions with her will remain unforgettable. I grieve with my fellow Indians on the passing away of Lata Didi. Spoke to her family and expressed condolences,” the PM said.

He said Lata Mangeshkar’s songs brought out a variety of emotions.

“She closely witnessed the transitions of the Indian film world for decades. Beyond films, she was always passionate about India’s growth. She always wanted to see a strong and developed India,” the PM added as condolences poured in for the legend who died at 92, signalling the end of an era.

PM Modi, meanwhile, cancelled his virtual meeting scheduled for the Goa Assembly polls today in the wake of Mangeshkar’s demise.

Born in 1929, Lata Mangeshkar was the eldest of five siblings, including Asha Bhosle and Usha Mangeshkar. She was awarded Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Dada Saheb Phalke awards.

Lata was born to classical musician Pt Deenanath Mangeshkar and began her career as a singer and part actor when she was 13.

In 1945, Lata Mangeshkar scripted her first hit with Mahal’s hauntingly beautiful song, “Aayega aanewala”, and then there was no looking back as she rendered playback singing for great hits like Baiju Bawra, Mughal-e-Azam, Mother India among several others.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla condoled the death of Mangeshkar saying that, "Lata Mangeshkar gave music new heights with her rich and melodious voice. Bridging the linguistic and cultural barriers, her songs brought people together and reached every part of the world. On many occasions, she boosted the morale of our soldiers through her songs and inspired millions of youth to pursue music. Her death is an irreparable loss to the entire nation.”

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur paid rich tributes to Lata Mangeshkar saying India has lost a great daughter.

“She was the Nightingale of India and through her songs made an immense contribution to the cultural integration of the country. Her passing away is an immense loss to our nation and the void is going to be impossible to fill,” said the former PM Singh in a statement.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi paid tribute to Lata Mangeshkar saying, “I am numbed that the voice of the Nightingale of India has fallen silent today. An era has ended. Her soulful voice, patriotic melodies and a life of struggle will always inspire generations."

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his tributes said Lata Mangeshkar remained the most beloved voice of India for many decades.

“Her golden voice is immortal and will continue to echo in the hearts of her fans,” he said.

Lata Mangeshkar’s most famous rendition was of the patriotic composition “Aye mere watan ke logon”, a salutation to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the 1962 Indo-China war.

She had presented the musical tribute to the fallen soldiers during the Republic Day address in New Delhi in 1963.

The composition had left the gathering, including then PM Jawaharlal Nehru, teary eyed.

Mangeshkar also received France’s top civilian honour Officer of the Legion of Honour in 2019 and was widely respected and hailed.

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