INDIA. Mumbai: Legendary singer Asha Bhosale was conferred the prestigious Maharashtra Bhushan award for her contribution to the field of art and culture at a glittering function held at the Gateway of India in South Mumbai on Friday. The award, for the year 2021, carries a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, a citation, and a memento.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde called Bhosale the pride of Maharashtra and said that her long and successful life was an example to follow. She sang a variety of songs-from devotional songs to disco songs and gave music lovers a treasure trove of mellifluous songs. “Conferring Maharashtra Bhushan to Bhosale is to express our gratitude,” he added.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar, Cultural Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Guardian Minister Deepak Kesarkar, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Manukumar Srivastav, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Vikas Kharge, singer Udit Narayan, and many other dignitaries and industry stalwarts were in attendance.
Responding to the felicitation, Asha Bhosale said, “I am a daughter of entire India. I have the blessings of my parents, Guru, Lata didi, and Goddess Mangeshi. I am excited to receive this award against the backdrop of the historic Gateway of India. This award has been given to me by my people. It is like a Bharat Ratna to me.”
“I feel pampered like a girl is pampered when she visits her parental home. I am from Maharashtra. I recorded my first song for the film ‘Majh Bal’ in 1943 when I was 10 years old. The country was not independent at that time. I have been signing in the film industry since 1946. I sang over 10,000 songs. Since the people appreciated me, I could reach this stage. I have been signing since pre-Independent India and I will continue to sing,” Bhosale said.
Earlier in the day, members of the Maharashtra Legislative Council objected to the official invitation for the event not having the name of Legislative Council deputy chairperson Neelam Gorhe. Congress’ Bhai Jagtap and NCP’s Shashikant Shinde said such oversight was happening for the first time and must be protested, while Shiv Sena (UBT) MLC Sachin Ahir said Gorhe’s name was not included intentionally.
The Government of Maharashtra gives out the Maharashtra Bhushan every year as its highest civilian award. When the Shivsena-BJP alliance came to power in 1995, it proposed to institute this award. The Maharashtra Bhushan was first awarded in 1996. It was initially conferred in the fields of literature, art, sport, and science. Later, the fields of social work, journalism, public administration, and public administration and health services were included.
Also Read: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Receives First Lata Mangeshkar Award