When Lata Mangeshkar moved Jawaharlal Nehru to tears with Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon, revealed what he told her in 1963
- Lata Mangeshkar was ‘nervous’ at first when she was summoned by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru after a show and thought she made a mistake. However, he told her that she had moved him to tears.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar turns 92 on Tuesday. In her career spanning nearly eight decades, she has sung thousands of songs. However, the patriotic song Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon has a special place among them all. Did you know that former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was moved to tears with her rendition of the song?
On January 27, 1963, Lata performed the song in front of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi. It was written in honour of the Indian soldiers who died in the India-China War of 1962.
At first, when Lata was given just a day’s notice and requested to sing Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon, she said that she could not do it. However, lyricist Kavi Pradeep insisted on it, and she agreed. She could only rehearse once before her performance. She made these revelations in 2014, at an event in Mumbai to mark the 51st anniversary of Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon, according to The Indian Express.
When the function came to an end, Nehru wanted to speak with Lata. “At first I was nervous, thinking I have committed some mistake. But when I met Panditji (Nehru), I saw tears in his eyes.. ‘Lata, tumne aaj mujhe rula diya’,” she said, quoting him.
Lata is the recipient of three National Film Awards, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the Bharat Ratna, among other honours. As she turned 92, PM Narendra Modi took to Twitter to wish her. “Birthday greetings to respected Lata Didi. Her melodious voice reverberates across the world. She is respected for her humility & passion towards Indian culture. Personally, her blessings are a source of great strength. I pray for Lata Didi’s long & healthy life. @mangeshkarlata,” he wrote.