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South Asia grieves over Lata Mangeshkar's death; reflects subcontinent's cultural connectedness

The passing away of legendary Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar has triggered an outpouring of grief not just in India, but in the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives as well, showing that music has no boundaries and recognises no political divisions

Feb 07, 2022
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Lata Mangeshkar (Photo: Twitter)

The passing away of legendary Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar has triggered an outpouring of grief not just in India, but in the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives as well, showing that music has no boundaries and recognises no political divisions. 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, for once eschewed his acerbic comments on India and Indian affairs, to tweet, “With the death of Lata Mangeshkar, the subcontinent has lost one of the truly great singers the world has known. Listening to her songs has given so much pleasure to so many people all over the world.”

The country's information minister Fawad Chaudhry condoled the veteran singer's demise, while Bangladesh's foreign ministry issued a statement paying tribute to the singing icon who songs were equally popular among the South Asian population outside India. 

Chaudhry said Mageshkar has ruled the world of music for decades and the magic of her voice will live on forever.

“Lata Mangeshkar’s death marks the end of an era in music. She ruled the world of music for decades and the magic of her voice will live forever,” Chaudhry wrote in a series of tweets in Urdu from Beijing, where he is part of a delegation led by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“Wherever Urdu is spoken and understood, there are crowds of people saying goodbye to Lata Mangeshkar,” he said.

In a separate post in English, the Pakistani minister said, "A legend is no more. Lata Mangeshkar was a melodious queen who ruled the world of music for decades. She was the uncrowned queen of music. Her voice shall keep ruling the hearts of people for all times to come.”

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her death left a “great void in the subcontinent's arena.” 

"I have deep respect and gratitude for Lataji for her role in the Liberation War of Bangladesh. She, along with her fellow Indian artists, contributed immensely towards promoting the cause of Bangladesh," Hasina was quoted as saying by a statement released by the Bangladesh government. 

“Deepest condolences on the demise of Lata Mangeshkar, the legendary singer, who will continue to live in the hearts of the people of India and also those in the subcontinent and world for her unparalleled contribution to music. Our prayers are for eternal peace of her departed soul,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, said on Twitter.

Incidentally, Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh's Prime Minister, and Mangeshkar were both born on September 28; while the former was born on this date in 1947, the latter was born in 1929, PTI news agency said. 

Maldives President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih said that Mangeshkar's music crossed cultural frontiers.

Solih tweeted, “Saddened to hear of #LataMangeshkar’s passing. Her music crossed cultural and linguistic boundaries and continues to bring joy to millions around the world. #India has lost a national treasure and I offer my condolences to her loved ones and the people of India.”  

Sri Lankan leaders, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Sajith Rajapaksa, also condoled her death. 

"Rest In Peace Nightingale of #India, #LataMangeshkar. Thank you for the decades of entertainment that transcended borders & gave life to the phrase ‘music is a universal language’, Rajapaksa tweeted, sharing a photograph of the singing icon.  

(SAM) 

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