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Lata Mangeshkar’s matchless voice had a divine flavour, says PM Modi

On the occasion of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar's 93rd birthday, PM Modi lauded her and called her seeker of Maa Saraswati (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@ narendramodi)

On the occasion of the 93rd birthday of Swar Kokila or Nightingale of India Lata Mangeshkar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the legendary singer, who he said was elated when the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ayodhya temple was held.

PM Modi addressed a gathering on the occasion of dedication of Lata Mangeshkar Chowk in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, which was inaugurated by the State Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath.

A prominent sculpture of veena – 40 feet long and 12 feet high – engraved with the image of Goddess Saraswati symbolising music and art to which Mangeshkar was dedicated lifelong was installed at the intersection. The sculpture has been designed by Padma Shri awardee Ram Sutar.

Observing that today on the third day of the ongoing Navratri festival when Maa Chandraghanta is worshipped, PM said devotees through their rigorous sadhana are able to experience the divine voices of the Maa. “Lata Ji was one such seeker of Maa Saraswati, who stunned the whole world with her divine voice. Lata Ji did sadhana, we all got the boon!” he remarked.

He highlighted that the Veena of Maa Saraswati installed at the Chowk in Ayodhya will be seen as a symbol of musical practice. He added that the 92 white lotuses made of marble in the flowing waters of the lake in the chowk complex represent the life span of Lata Ji.

Going down the memory lane, PM looked back at several emotional and affectionate memories connected with Lata Didi. He said that the familiar sweetness of her voice mesmerized him every time he spoke to her. “Didi often used to tell me: ‘Man is not known by age but by deeds, and the more he does for the country, the bigger he is!” I believe that the Lata Mangeshkar Chowk of Ayodhya and all such memories associated with her will enable us to feel a sense of duty towards the nation.”

Talking about Lata Mangeshkar’s association with Ayodhya and the Ram Temple there, PM recalled the call he received from her after bhoomi pujan for the construction of the Temple. He said she expressed her great happiness at the development. He also recollected a hymn sung by her — ‘Mann ki Ayodhya tab tak sooni, jab tak Ram na aaye’ – and remarked on the imminent arrival of Lord Shri Ram to the grand temple of Ayodhya.

Quoting from Ram Charit Manas – “Ram te adhik, Ram kar dasa” – the PM said the competition of the Chowk before the Ram Temple signified the arrival of the devotees of Lord Ram before His arrival.

Citing examples of the hymns and songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar like Manas Mantra ‘Shri Ramchandra Kripalu Bhaj Mann, Haran Bhava Bhaya Darunam’, ‘Payo Ji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo’ of Meerabai, Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite ‘Vaishnav Jan’, and melodies like ‘Tum Asha Vishwas Hamare Ram’, PM said the nation and its people experienced Lord Rama through her songs. “We have experienced the supernatural melody of Lord Ram through the divine voice of Lata Didi,” he remarked.

Concluding his address, PM said Lata Mangeshkar will continue to be remembered for years to come, he said: “Lata didi’s vocals will connect every particle of this country for ages to come.”