Courtesy : You Tube

New Delhi. 06 February 2022. For a website on aerospace and defence ADU is taking a detour from it’s routine coverage to pay homage to the greatest singer of all times who left for her heavenly abode this morning. A voice which is synonymous with the voice of India, has gone into eternal silence. Lata Mangeshkar is no more.

A soul stirring voice which inculcated patriotism in generations of Indians with her songs of nationalistic fervor, gave immortal melodies to military bands which are played even today. Come Independence Day and Republic Day , her songs are the ones which make the adrenalin rush and create a tsunami of patriotism making each of us more patriotic than the day prior. This is the effect Lata Mangeshkar’s voice on the common Indian.

Lata Mangeshkar’s music transcends borders. There are no boundaries of religion, region, language and time. Expressing grief over the demise of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari stated that “I am saddened by the news of the demise of the famous Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar, who has decorated many Nepali songs with her melodious voice.” 

This is a loss for the complete Indian subcontinent. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed profound shock and sorrow at the death of Lata Mangeshkar. In a message of condolence, she said, ‘A great void is created in the sub-continent’s musical arena at the demise of the Sursamraggi.’

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry tweeted,” A legend is no more, #LataMangeshkar was a melodious queen who ruled the world of music for decades she was uncrowned queen of music her voice shall keep ruling the Hearts of people for all times to come #RIPLataMangeshker

For my generation which grew up listening to Vividh Bharti on All India Radio, the special Jaymala for the armed forces ‘fauji bhaiyon ke liye’ where popular Bollywood celebrities would speak to them via the radio, remember the programme hosted by Lata Mangeshkar. It was my first introduction to the fact that she traveled to borders as a part of various troupes to sing for the soldiers with the Ministry of Defence , which was a great effort by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to organise in an era when there was no google, no you tube, no social media and no other means of entertainment for our soldiers at borders.

For someone you hailed from Goa, she never forgot even after all the popularity of Bollywood that her parent state was still under foreign rule whereas rest of the nation was free. She performed at a concert in Pune during that time to help raise money to purchase arms to free Goa, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli from the Portuguese.

Very few know that an Indian army officer who was a prisoner of war in China after the 1962 aggression was allowed to listen to hindi songs and Lata Mangeshkar’s songs gave him solace and the strength in tough times. The story of Col Srikant Hasabnis (Retd.) is an ode to Lata Mangeshkar’s voice in India’s soul.

And for India no story on Lata Mangeshkar will be complete without the oft repeated fact of Prime Minister Nehru shedding tears as she sang the patriotic song ”˜Ai Meri Watan Ke Logo’ for the first time in front of him.

Courtesy : Zee TV