Updated: February 7, 2022 7:12:14 am
Lata Mangeshkar, the legendary singer beloved of countless Indians across four generations or more, was cremated at 7.14 pm with full state honours in the presence of her family, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, and thousands of Mumbai residents who thronged Shivaji Park to pay their last respects.
Mangeshkar, 92, died on Sunday morning at 8.12 am at Mumbai’s Breach Candy hospital following post-Covid complications.
Salami as funeral is leaving Prabhu Kunj, residence of Lata Mangeshkar and moving to Shivaji Park.
— Express Mumbai 😷 (@ie_mumbai) February 6, 2022
Dr Prateet Samdani, Internal Medicine specialist at Breach Candy, who had been treating Mangeshkar, said in a statement, “It is with profound grief that we announce the sad demise of Lata Mangeshkar didi this morning at 8.12 am. She died because of multiple organ failure after around 28 days of hospitalisation post COVID.”
As tributes poured in from across the country and abroad, the Centre announced two days of national mourning. The Maharashtra government declared a public holiday on Monday.
In a tweet, President Ram Nath Kovind said: “Lata-ji’s demise is heart-breaking for me, 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.”
#WATCH | State honour being given to veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park
(Source: DD news) pic.twitter.com/9fMvwyT9W6
— ANI (@ANI) February 6, 2022
The President added: “An artist born but once in centuries, Lata-didi was an exceptional human being, full of warmth, as I found whenever I met her…”
In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “anguished beyond words”.
“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,” Modi said.
— ANI (@ANI) February 6, 2022
Mangeshkar’s songs brought out a variety of emotions, the Prime Minister said. “Beyond films, she was always passionate about India’s growth. She always wanted to see a strong and developed India,” he said.
In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said, “Government of India has decided that as a mark of respect, two days of State Mourning will be observed from February 6 to 7. During State Mourning, National Flag will be flown at half-mast from February 6 to 7 throughout India and there will be no official entertainment. It has also been decided that State Funeral will be accorded to Kumari Lata Mangeshkar.”
As a mark of respect to the legend, Rajya Sabha will adjourn for an hour on Monday after reading her obituary.
Mangeshkar had been admitted to Breach Candy on January 9 after she tested positive for Covid. Doctors said that though she had recovered from the disease almost a week ago, her condition deteriorated as she suffered from multiple organ failure.
Speaking to Indian Express, N Santhanam of Breach Candy Hospital said, “We tried our best, but age was not on her side. She was brought to the Covid ICU on January 9 and was on a Bipap machine.”
Mangeshkar was taken off the invasive ventilator last week, but her condition turned critical on Friday, following which she was again put on invasive ventilation, Santhanam said. She lost the battle on Sunday morning.
Mangeshkar’s body was taken to her Prabhu Kunj residence on Pedder Road, where thousands had gathered to pay their respects to their beloved ‘Didi’, as she was fondly called.
Sister Asha Bhosle, a legend in her own right, and the entire Mangeshkar family was present at her home. Among those who called on the family to express their condolences were superstar Amitabh Bachchan, and politicians Aaditya Thackeray, Raj Thackeray, and Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Around 5.40 pm, Mangeshkar’s body reached Shivaji Park in a funeral procession from Prabhu Kunj.
Modi reached the ground around 6.20 pm, accompanied by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, state Cabinet Minister Aaditya Thackeray, and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis, among others.
The Prime Minister was received by Adinath Mangeshkar, Lata’s nephew. He met her siblings Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar, Hridaynath Mangshkar, and other members of the family.
At 7.14 pm, Hridaynath lit the pyre.
Anticipating a huge crowd at the cremation, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had temporarily accorded Shivaji Park the status of a cremation ground. This was the first time this happened since 2012, when Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray was cremated at Shivaji Park.
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(With ENS, New Delhi)
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