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Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon: When Lata Mangeshkar moved Jawaharlal Nehru to tears

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New Delhi, Feb 06: Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar passed away on Sunday morning. She was 92.
"She is no more. She died in the morning," Usha Mangeshkar, the singer's younger sister, told PTI.

Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon: When Lata Mangeshkar moved Jawaharlal Nehru to tears

In her career spanning nearly eight decades, she has sung thousands of songs. However, the patriotic song Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon has a special place among them all.

On January 27, 1963, Lata performed the song 'Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon, Zara Aankh Mein Bhar Lo Pani, Zara Yaad Karo Qurbani' in front of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.

Jawaharlal Nehru was devastated over the defeat India suffered at the India-China war.

The song, composed by C Ramachandra, was written by Kavi Pradeep in honour of of the Indian soldiers who died in the India-China War of 1962.

Coupled with Mangeshkar's mellifluous voice were the powerful, hard-hitting lyrics of Kavi Pradeep that famously moved Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears.

Lata Mangeshkar had told in one of her interviews that she had initially refusedto sing Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo, the name of Asha Bhosle was considered as a replacement. However, Kavi Pradeep managed to persuade Lata to sing it.

Kavi Pradeep was approached by producer Mehboob Khan to write a song so that it could act as a fund raiser at the National Stadium in New Delhi. Pradeep also accepted this offer. It is said that he chose music director C. Ramchandra for this song and Lata Mangeshkar for singer.

Lines written on the aluminum foil of a cigarette box

Pradeep had revealed that the lines of Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo had come to his mind when he was taking a stroll on Mahim Beach, Mumbai. As he did not have a pen or a paper, he asked for a pen from a stranger passing by and wrote the lines on the aluminium foil of a cigarette box.

Lata is the recipient of three National Film Awards, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the Bharat Ratna, among other honours.

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