Amitabh Bachchan deserves Bharat Ratna: Lata Mangeshkar


2 May 2011
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Amitabh Bachchan felicitated Lata Mangeshkar by honouring her with the very first 'Hridayanth' award on the occasion of her 82nd birthday last night in Mumbai.

Also present at the occasion were the Mangeshkars lead by Pandit Hridayanath Mangeshkar, renowned filmmaker Yash Chopra, ace Tennis player Leander Paes, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and renowned singers like Sonu Nigam, Sadhana Sargam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Suresh Wadkar, Kavita Krishnamurthy & Bela Shende.

Inspite of being a legendary actor, Amitabh Bachchan chose not be fashionably late. He was right on time to honour the nightingale of India.

After presenting Lata didi the trophy, Lata Mangeshkar thanked the superstar.

"Yash Chopra considers me her sister and I consider Amitabh Bachchan as my brother. So I have my three brothers here tonight. As Hridaynath said earlier, I want to present this very 'Hridaynath' award to Amitabh next year on his birthday or mine. By then I am sure he will be given the Bharat Ratna. It will then become special as one Bharat Ratna will give away the award to other Bharat Ratna'. "

Lata's younger brother Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar was actually the first one to point out how Bachchan deserves the country's highest civilian award.

He said, "For presenting the 'Hridaynath' award to Lata, we were looking for someone who is as experienced as Lata is in her field but then we kept the 'age' factor aside and zeroed in on Amitabh Bachchan. He is a legendary actor and has immensely contributed to the Hindi cinema. I wonder why the government cant see what we can! He deserves a Bharat Ratna and should ideally get it till next year."

Bachchan expressed gratitude for being given an opportunity to honour 'Bharat's kokila'.

While most sang Lata Mangeshkar's songs, Sundhi Chauhan sang Mariah Carey's Hero, & Te Amo from Dum Maaro Dum. Suresh Wadkar enthralled everyone as he sang one of the most complex marathi compositions of Pt Hridaynath Mangeshkar 'Dayaghana'. Kavita Krishnamurthy sang 'Naino mein badra' from Meara Saaya, Sudesh Bhosale sang Tere beena zindagi se koi from Aandhi.

The most fitting tribute however came from Sonu Nigam who sang Lataji's songs with great conviction. He sang the title track of 'Mera Saaya' and then Lata's only cabaret number, 'Aa Jaane ja'...
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