Lata Mangeshkar, the legendary singer, died Sunday at the age of 92 due to multiple organ failure. She was admitted to Mumbai’s Bridge Candy hospital on January 8 after testing positive for COVID-19 and being diagnosed with pneumonia. 

One of the most famous episodes of Lata Mangeshkar’s seventy-year-long career is the time when her music moved India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears. 

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On January 27, 1963, during the backdrop of the Indo China War, the Nightingale of India sang ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon’ in the presence of then- PM Nehru. The song rendered in the immortal voice of this legendary singer moved him to tears.

The song was sung as a part of the Republic Day celebration and was a live tribute to the soldiers who were martyred in the Indo China War. The song inspired the masses to not be disheartened by defeat and it’s morale boosting words in her soul stirring voice provided solace to a nation agonized by defeat. 

The classic invokes vivid images of soldiers laying down their lives for the country and it moved many in the audience to tears, along with the then Prime Minister.

Lata Mangeshkar sang the song to an illustrious audience composed of the then President S Radhakrishnan, Indira Gandhi and people from film fraternity like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Mohammad Rafi and Hemant Kumar.

The patriotic song has a special place in Indian History and is revered next to the National Anthem and the National Song (Vande Mataram). 

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While the ‘Nightingale’ has gone silent, her music will live on in the hearts and minds of people in many parts of the world. Her songs have covered the transitions of every decade from gramophone to radio and to the digital age.