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Amitabh Bachchan Honoured With Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar: Says “I’m Fortunate….”

On Wednesday, April 24, Amitabh Bachchan was honored with the prestigious Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar. The megastar expressed his gratitude, considering it a privilege to receive the award named after the legendary singer whose voice transcended mere entertainment, connecting listeners to a higher realm. The award was instituted by the Mangeshkar family and trust in memory of Lata Mangeshkar, the eldest of the Mangeshkar siblings, following her passing in 2022 due to multiple organ failure.

Bachchan was bestowed with this recognition on April 24, the memorial day of Deenanath Mangeshkar, a theater and music veteran and father of the Mangeshkar siblings. With a career spanning over five decades in the film industry, Bachchan is celebrated for his iconic roles in films like “Zanjeer,” “Deewar,” “Chupke Chupke,” “Mohabbatein,” and “Piku.” Reflecting on the honor, the 81-year-old actor expressed his humility, acknowledging that he never deemed himself worthy of such accolades. He shared an anecdote about being invited to the ceremony last year by Hridyanath Mangeshkar, apologizing for not attending due to health reasons. This year, however, he felt compelled to accept the invitation.

In his acceptance speech, Bachchan paid tribute to his father, the renowned Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, who likened Lata Mangeshkar’s voice to a “stream of honey,” emphasizing the divine quality of her singing. He articulated how her voice, akin to the unbroken flow of honey, had the power to touch souls and connect them with the divine. Singer Usha Mangeshkar, the third eldest of the Mangeshkar siblings, had the honor of presenting the award to Bachchan on behalf of the family.

Veteran singer Asha Bhosle, the second sibling of the Mangeshkar family, was initially scheduled to present the awards but was unable to attend due to health reasons. The Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar, given annually, recognizes individuals who have made groundbreaking contributions to the nation, its people, and society. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first recipient of this award, followed by Asha Bhosle in 2023. The ceremony, presided over by music composer Hridaynath Mangeshkar, the youngest sibling, was a testament to the family’s commitment to honoring excellence across various fields.

Renowned music maestro A R Rahman received the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar for his significant contributions to Indian music. Rahman, who has collaborated with Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle on numerous memorable songs, expressed his deep connection with the Mangeshkar family. He recounted how his father, composer R K Shekhar, drew inspiration from Lata Mangeshkar’s photograph while working in the southern film industry. Rahman attributed much of his success to the love and support he received from the Mangeshkar family, underscoring their dedication and influence on his artistic journey.

Additionally, the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar was awarded to the non-profit organization Deepstambh Foundation Manobal for its commendable work in the field of social service. The drama “Galib,” produced by Malhar and Vajreshwari under the banner of Ashtavinayak Prakashit, was recognized as the best drama of the year. Marathi writer Manjiri Phadke received the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar (Vagvilasini Puraskar) for her noteworthy contributions to literature.

Actor Randeep Hooda was honored with the Vishesh Puraskar for his outstanding contributions to cinema and drama, particularly for his role in the film “Swatantrya Veer Savarkar.” Expressing his gratitude, Hooda highlighted the special significance of receiving an award associated with Veer Savarkar, a prominent historical figure with close ties to the Mangeshkar family.

Actor Ashok Saraf was recognized for his remarkable contributions to cinema and drama, while actor Padmini Kolhapure was honored with the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar for her outstanding achievements in cinema. Kolhapure, niece of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the award, attributing her success to the support of her family, particularly Asha Bhosle, who played a pivotal role in her entry into the film industry.

The recipients also included singer Roopkumar Rathod for his significant contributions to the field of music, Bhau Torsekar for his editorial services, and Atul Parchure for his contributions to theater and drama. Overall, the ceremony celebrated excellence across various domains, paying tribute to the enduring legacy of the Mangeshkar family and their profound impact on Indian culture and society.

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