PM Modi receives first Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award

Averring that that there was a strand of patriotism in the Mangeshkar family, Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Sunday described Lata Mangeshkar as a “melodious manifestation” of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’, as she sang thousands of songs in more than 30 languages and showed how music can be “immortal with Indianness”.

Speaking after receiving the first-ever Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award at a ceremony held at Shanmukhananda Hall at Sion in north-central Mumbai, Modi said that there was a strand of patriotism in the Mangeshkar family.  “Along with the song, the consciousness of patriotism that was within Lata Didi, her father, was the source of it,” he said.

Dwelling upon Lata Didi’s  illustrious career, the Prime Minister said “Lata ji was like a melodious manifestation of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’.

She sang thousands of songs in more than 30 languages. Whether it was Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit or other Indian language, her sur was equally at home everywhere”.

Instituted by the Pune-based Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratishthan in in memory of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, the Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award – beginning from this year — is given every year exclusively to one individual for exemplary contribution towards nation building. Governor of Maharashtra Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari and members of Mangeshkar Family were among those present on the occasion.

“From culture to faith, from east to west, from north to south, Lata ji’s notes worked to unite the whole country. Globally too, she was India’s cultural ambassador. She was  ingrained in the minds of people in every state, in every region. She showed how music can be immortal with Indianness,” Modi said.

Dedicating the Lata Mangeshkar award bestowed on him to “all the countrymen”,  Modi said: “As Lata Didi belonged to people, this award given to me in her name also belongs to people”.

“Lata ji’s physical journey was completed at a time when our country  is celebrating Amrit Mahotsav of its freedom. She gave voice to India before independence, and the country’s journey of these 75 years was also associated with her voice,” Modi said.

Admitting that he did not have not too deep a knowledge of music but by cultural appreciation, Modi said: “Sangeet is both a ‘sadhna’ and an emotion…. the one that expresses the unexpressed is word. One that fills the expressed with energy and consciousness is ‘naad’. And the one that fills conscious with emotions and feelings and takes it to the extreme of creation and sensitivity is ‘sangeet’. Music can fill you with valour, motherly affection. It can take one to the pinnacle of patriotism and sense of duty. We are fortunate to have seen this capability and strength of music, in the form of Lata Didi”.

“On a personal note, for me Lata Didi was the ‘Sur Samragyi’ as well as my elder sister. What can be a greater privilege than to have received the love of a sister from Lata Didi, who has given the gift of love and emotion to generations”, he said.

Touching his government’s philosophy “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas , Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas” and the concept of  ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’, Modi said that such a notion of development could not be achieved by just material capabilities. “For this spiritual consciousness is critically important. That’s why, India is providing leadership in areas like yoga, Ayurveda and environment. I believe, our Indian music is also an important part of this contribution of India. Let us keep this heritage alive with the same values and carry it forward, and make it a medium of world peace”, the Prime Minister said.