Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he generally stays away from felicitation ceremonies but made an exception to receive the first Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar award named after the legendary singer whom he considered his ”elder sister”. Modi received the award at Shanmukhanand Hall in Mumbai on Sunday, which marked the 80th death anniversary of Master Deenanath Mangeshkar, the singing legend’s father.
”I generally keep myself away from such felicitation ceremonies. I cannot adjust myself (in such programmes). But when an award is named after an elder sister like Lata Mangeshkar, then it becomes an obligation for me to accept it because of the affection and right of the Mangeshkar family over me,” the prime minister said in his award acceptance speech. In a statement, the family and the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratishthan had said they decided to institute the award beginning this year in the honour and memory of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, who breathed her last in February following multiple organ failure. She was 92. ”When I was contacted for this award, I told my assistants to confirm my presence at once. I informed my staff that I will plan other things later. I could not say no to such an event. I dedicate this award to all Indians,” the prime minister added.
He said Lata didi always used to say that a person becomes great by his deeds and not by age. ”I think we all can learn from her thoughts,” the PM said. Amid a tussle between Shiv Sena and former ally BJP, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray gave a miss to the event. Maharashtra Industries Minister Subhash Desai attended the event.