“Not Our Demand”: Lata Mangeshkar’s Brother On Shivaji Park Memorial Row

“Not Our Demand”: Lata Mangeshkar’s Brother On Shivaji Park Memorial Row

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar died on February 6 in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital.


Musician Hridaynath Mangeshkar, brother of Lata Mangeshkar said that the demand for a memorial for the singing legend at Shivaji park in Mumbai is not one shared by his family urging that the controversy around it must be stopped.

“Please stop politicizing the issue of Lata didi’s memorial at Shivaji park. The demand for it has not come from our family’s side as we don’t wish for it,” Mr Mangeshkar said in a fervent appeal in Marathi.

The demand for a memorial for Lata Mangeshkar, who died at the age of 92 on February 6, has resulted in an acrimonious back and forth between the ruling Shiv Sena- Congress combine in Maharashtra and the opposition BJP.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ram Kadam had written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray demanding that a memorial be set up at Shivaji Park where the 92-year-old singer was cremated. The demand was then backed by Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole, Shiv Sena’s state ally in the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance, who later softened his stand on the proposed memorial.

The demand put the Shiv Sena in a tight spot as the party has an emotional connection to the public park. The late party supremo Bal Thackeray hosted the annual Dussehra rally at the 28-acre park. Party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has also followed the tradition.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Sandeep Deshpande however requested that petty politics must not be played on this issue.

“The Dadar residents have fought for long to protect the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Park from encroachments. I request everyone not to sacrifice Shivaji Park for their petty party politics,” Mr Deshpande said in a tweet.

Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar dismissed the demand saying that the memorial must be built befitting the stature accorded to Lata Mangeshkar.

“We have all spent our childhood at Shivaji Park and we need to preserve the ground which has produced legendary cricketers,” Mr Ambedkar said of the park which is also known as the cradle of Cricket in India.

The Maharashtra government has, however, decided to set up an international level music academy at Kalina in Mumbai spread across 2.5 acres as a tribute to Lata Mangeshkar. The academy will be built at a cost of Rs 1,200 crore.

“The music academy is the best tribute to Lata didi,” her brother concurred with the state’s decision.

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