Indian president Ram Nath Kovind and prime minister Narendra Modi mourned the artiste’s death who was put on ventilator support after her health condition deteriorated on Saturday (5). She was admitted to the Breach Candy Hospital last month after testing positive for Covid-19 and diagnosed with pneumonia. Her doctor said she died of multi-organ failure.
“Lata-ji’s demise is heart-breaking for me, as it is for millions the world over. In her vast range of songs, rendering the essence and beauty of India, generations found expression of their inner-most emotions. A Bharat Ratna, Lata-ji’s accomplishments will remain incomparable,” president Kovind wrote on Twitter along with a photo with the veteran playback singer.
“An artist born but once in centuries, Lata-didi was an exceptional human being, full of warmth, as I found whenever I met her… My condolences to her family and admirers everywhere,” he said in another post.
Modi also shared a photo with Mangeshkar and said the legendary singer’s demise leaves a void that can’t be filled.
“I am anguished beyond words. The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” he wrote.
“Lata Didi’s songs brought out a variety of emotions. She closely witnessed the transitions of the Indian film world for decades. Beyond films, she was always passionate about India’s growth. She always wanted to see a strong and developed India,” he added.
In another post, the prime minister said he spoke with Mangeshkar’s family and expressed his condolences. I consider it my honour that I have always received immense affection from Lata Didi. My interactions with her will remain unforgettable. I grieve with my fellow Indians on the passing away of Lata Didi,” he said.
Indian vice president Venkaiah Naidu also tweeted his condolences, saying that he is extremely saddened by Mangeshkar’s death.
“India has lost its voice in the death of Lata ji, who has enthralled music lovers in India & across the globe with her mellifluous & sublime voice for many decades,” the leader said.
Nitin Gadkari, a central Indian minister who visited Breach Candy Hospital earlier in the morning, said Mangeshkar was a pride of India.
“She took the country to greater heights, all over the world with her singing. Her voice was magical. Her loss is humungous, it’s a void for all of us. I visited the hospital and had her darshan. It’s the end of an era,” he told reporters.
The Indian film industry, to which Mangeshkar had catered over the decades, also plunged into mourning over the news.
Among those who paid tributes to the icon are actors Shabana Azmi, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and filmmaker Hansal Mehta.
Calling Mangeshkar India’s national treasure, Azmi said her voice “lit up our lives, gave us solace when we were sad, gave strength when we were low”.
“Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hain, Gar Yaad Rahe’… And how can one forget such a voice! Deeply saddened by the passing away of Lata Mangeshkar ji, my sincere condolences and prayers,” Kumar tweeted.
Devgn wrote on Twitter, “An icon forever. I will always savour the legacy of her songs. How fortunate were we to have grown up listening to Lataji’s songs. Om Shanti. My deepest condolences to the Mangeshkar family.”
Mehta said the heavens are blessed to be in the company of the Nightingale of India. “The nightingale moves on. The heavens are blessed. There will never be another Lataji. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle said one of the greatest Indians has left us today. “Thank you for the songs, the memories, the pride we felt because of you. #LataMangeshkar,” he tweeted.
Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw also tweeted her condolences.
“She has silenced our lives with her passing Om Shanthi,” she tweeted.
Former India cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar, veteran actor Anupam Kher, lyricist Javed Akhtar and other personalities were seen visiting Mangeshkar’s residence to pay homage.
Regarded as one of Indian cinema’s greatest playback singers, Mangeshkar started her career at the age of 13 in 1942 and has sung over 30,000 songs in her career spanning several decades.
In her over seven-decade career, she has sung a host of memorable tracks, including ‘Ajeeb dastan hai ye’, ‘Pyar kiya to darna kya’ and ‘Neela asman so gaya’.
The singer was awarded with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, as well as the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan and the Dada Saheb Phalke Award.