Post the Pulwama attack, the entire nation has come forward to help and contribute to the welfare of the Indian Army. Lata Mangeshkar is among the top celebrities who have come forward to donate a huge sum to the soldier's welfare fund. She has donated approximately Rs 1 crore to the jawans, which will be handed over to them on the occasion of her father, Master Dinanath Mangeshkar's death Anniversary. We got in touch with the songstress and she said, “Iss mein kaun si badi baat hai? Badi baat toh hamare jawaan kar rahen hain, jaan gawa rahen hain hamari khatir, hamare desh ki khatir. Unhe mera laakhon pranaam.” (What’s the big deal in it? Our soldiers are doing a great deal. They are losing their lives for us and for our country. I salute them).
When further probed about the huge donation she has made, she said, “It’s the least I could do. We should be doing a lot more for the army. Considering what they do for us we can never repay their debt to us. However, this doesn’t mean we should lie back and do nothing. Not only I, everyone from my family my brother and my sisters have donated whatever they could for the soldiers. Even my driver Mahesh has donated 5,000 rupees.”
The death anniversary of Pandit Dinananth Mangeshkar falls on April 24. However, Lata Mangeshkar asserts that the donation cannot wait till then. “Whatever the amount, the time to come forward with the donations is now when there is a crisis looming over the border. Our soldiers need to know we are with them in their hour of need. Why are they giving up their lives to protect us? Because they love their country. Makes no sense to wait till my father’s death anniversary. Everyone should give what they can.”
Further, the Nightingale of India is happy to see the entertainment industry coming forward to support our brave soldiers. “We in this industry have always done our bit. Way back in the 1960s Sunil Dutt Saab used to take his troupe (Ajanta Arts) to the border to entertain the soldiers. I’ve also been with Dutt Saab and his wife Nargisji on these tours. Whenever we can we’ve pitched in to show our solidarity with the soldiers.”
With the tension growing between the two nations, AICWA has demanded a ban on Pakistani artistes in our industry. On this, Lata Mangeshkar says, “Until the differences on the political level are sorted out there ’s no point in these cultural exchanges. I am sure Pakistan has good talent. But we are not short of talent. We can manage without them.”