INDIA. Mumbai: The mortal remains of legendary singer Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar were consigned to flames with full state honours in presence of VIPs, celebrities, and thousands of her well-wishers at Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai on late Sunday evening.
Lata, who was admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital on January 8, died after weeks of hospitalization on Sunday morning breaking a million hearts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the nation in paying homage to the departed megastar. The prime minister who reached the venue at 6.20 pm paid his respect and consoled the Mangeshkar family including Lata’s sisters –singers Asha Bhosale and Usha Mangeshkar and brother Hrudaynath Mangeshkar. Modi left the venue before the funeral.
Lata’s body draped in the national tricolour was kept on a pedestal for people to pay the last respect. The members of the armed forces-Army, Navy and Air Force played the last post and offered a gun salute. Later they handed over the national tricolour in which her body was draped to her family with full honours.
After Vedic rituals, Hridaynath lit the funeral pyre at 7.16 pm and the mortal remains of the country’s greatest singer went in an infinity. Hridaynath was weeping inconsolably and the people around him had a hard time consoling him.
Cricketers,politicians and celebrities pay homage to Lata Mangeshkar
Those who paid respect and floral tributes to Lata included: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Protocol Minister Aditya Thackeray, and other members of the state cabinet.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, NCP President Sharad Pawar, NCP MP Supriya Sule, Maharashtra Assembly Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis, BJP leader Vinod Tawade, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, and MNS Chief Raj Thackeray also paid homage.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar paid tributes with his wife Anjali. The Bollywood celebrities included Amir Khan, his daughter Ira Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Vidya Balan, Shraddha Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, lyricist Javed Akhtar, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, and singer Kailash Kher.
A serpentine queue of well-wishers, who included young and old alike, gathered to have the last darshan of the singer, was seen at Shivaji Park.
The people continued to stream in till night. The police in large number were deployed to manage the crowds and some of the roads around Shivaji Park were closed down to allow the free movement of the VVIP’s vehicles.
Soon after the news of Lata’s demise broke out, some celebrities including Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, reached her residence “Prabhu Kunj” in South Mumbai and consoled the family members in the morning. Lata’s body was brought in a flower-bedecked military vehicle from Prabhu Kunj to Shivaji Park in the evening.
While a public holiday has been declared on Monday in Maharashtra, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who expressed her “deepest sadness” over the demise of Lata Mangeshkar, has directed authorities to play Lata’s songs in public places for the next 15 days. In 2016, the West Bengal government had conferred the ‘Banga Bibhushan’ award on the singer for her contribution to Bengal music.
Also Read: Legendary Singer Lata Mangeshkar Passes Away at the Age of 92