The legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar is not going to sing the patriotic song “Ae Mere Vatan Ke Logon” solo or in chorus at the Mahalaxmi Race Course function where BJP prime minister candidate Narendra Modi will be the chief guest. Instead, she will be felicitated by the BJP’s prime minister candidate a Modi to commemorate the song which was rendered by Mangeshkar exactly 51 years ago. A grand stage with a backdrop of India Gate has been errected from where Modi is going to give a speech.
The grand function Shreshta Bharat Divas, organised by Shahid Gaurav Diwas and Lodha Foundation has indicated that one lakh people will sing the number along with Mangeshkar in its statement and hoardings displayed across the city. The invitation which states Ae Mere Vatan Ke Logon …with Lata Mangeshkar appears to have been misleading as people believe it will be a replay of January 27, 1963 when Mangeshkar rendered the song in presence of late prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The song which moved Nehru to tears is a historic moment. However, Race Course event ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha elections is altogether a different event. The invitation card mentions the occasion is to mark the completion of 50 years of the song… with Lata Mangeshkar on Jan 27, 2014. However, this year it marks 51 years of the song.
Speaking to Indian Express, Lata Mangeshkar said, “ I am not going to sing the song… Ae Mere Vatan Ke Logon…. Neither solo nor in chorus. I was asked to attend the function as they wanted to felicitate me at the hands of Modiji.” Mangeshkar clarified that there is a misconception gaining ground that I am going to sing the full number because of the publicity and hoarding which is not true. The melody queen explained,, “ From the very beginning I was given to understand that they would like to felicitate me for the song. Nobody had told me to sing. In any case there were no talks of singing the number. ”
She also indicated that nature of function and arrangements which are being made will not allow her to sing the song which would require a different stage and setup. However, she disclosed that there would be some other singers who are likely to perform along with people.
Adding, “If at all I feel I may hum a line….I am not sure … as the stage is more for the speeches and overall function. It will not be possible.” According to organisers there is a great enthusiasm amongst the people across sections and prominent personalities who will attend the function because of the presence of Modi and Lata Mangeshkar. One of the officials Niranjan Parihar said, “Modi will felicitate Lata Mangeshkar. One lakh people including defence persons and war heroes will sing Ae Mere Vatan Ke logon in chorus in presence of Mangeshkar.” Adding, “ It will be a tribute from people singing her song in her presence. She will also hum along…naturally..” However, he added, “ The event is primarily to felicitate Lataji at the hands of Modiji.”
The song was dedicated to the soldiers of our country who had valiantly fought to defend our borders during the Indo – China War in 1962. The organisers have ensured several family members of the freedom fighters are felicitated by Modi on the occasion.