Address by Governor at presentation of the Fifth ‘Yash Chopra Memorial National Award’ in Mumbai
Address by Shri Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the presentation of the Fifth ‘Yash Chopra Memorial National Award’ instituted by the TSR Foundation to Smt Asha Bhosale at J W Marriott Hotel, Mumbai at 19.30 pm on Friday, 16 February 2018
My esteemed friend and Member of Parliament Dr T Subbarami Reddy, Smt Pamela Chopra and other distinguished members of the Selection Jury, Smt Jaya Prada, Smt Rekha, the brightest star of today’s evening Smt Asha Bhosale, Shri Shashi Ranjan and Smt Anu Ranjan, invitees, dear friends,
I am truly delighted to associate myself with the presentation of the Yash Chopra Memorial National Award instituted by the TSR Foundation.
This is my fourth year of attending and presenting the Yash Chopra Memorial Award. This time, I suggested my friend Dr Subbarami Reddy to change the chief guest. But, he didn’t agree. My association with Dr Subbarami Reddy is so old that his invitation becomes an order for me. I am happy that he prevailed upon me to come.
I am feeling extremely honoured to have been asked to present the Yash Chopra Memorial National Award to the legendary playback singer Smt Asha Bhosale.
I have grown up listening to the melodious songs of Asha Ji from my childhood. In fact, several generations of people from India and even abroad have grown listening to her songs. Every song sung by Asha Ji be it in Hindi, or in Telugu, or Tamil or in Marathi or for that matter in any language, is fresh in the memory of people and even today young people sing those in Reality Shows and singing competitions. I have no hesitation to say that Ashaji gave eternity to lyrics through her superb rendition.
By honouring her with the Yash Chopra Memorial Award, the stature of the Award has been enhanced. I congratulate Asha Ji for accepting this great award.
I also congratulate and compliment the most distinguished jury comprising Smt Pamela Chopra, filmmaker Boney Kapoor, singer Alka Yagnik, actress Padmini Kohlapure, director Madhur Bhandarkar, script writer Honey Irani, and Smt Anu and Shri Shashi Ranjan for selecting the most deserving winner in the form of Asha Ji.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The host of this evening, the humble, smiling and ever-so-cheerful Dr Subbarami Reddy is a multifaceted personality.
He has been a business leader, a politician, a Parliamentarian, a philanthropist and above all a warm hearted and religious minded person. Even though he belongs to a different political party, I call him a ‘Party Man’ because of his penchant for hosting grand star-studded parties in various parts of the country.
As a film producer, Dr Subbarami Reddy has produced some of the finest films, including a couple of films by Yash Chopra ji. By instituting the Yash Chopra Memorial Award, he has done his best to perpetuate the memory of the legendary filmmaker. I congratulate and compliment Dr Subbarami Reddy.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Yash Chopra Memorial Award has been presented to stalwarts like Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, Shri Amitabh Bachchan, Shri Shah Rukh Khan and Smt Rekha. This is for the first time that the Award is going to the same family – the first family of playback singing in India.
Speakers before me have spoken of the greatness of Ashaji. I think she is a unique singer who has delivered the widest range of songs from different genre.
Asha Ji has sung Lavni or Ghazal with the same grace, ease and perfection as she has sung devotional songs, disco songs or pop songs.
She has sung for the best of musicians in India such as Madan Mohan, Jaidev, S.D. Burman, O P Nayyar, Naushad, Khayyam, Ravi, Salil Chaudhary, R.D.Burman, Ilaiyaraaja, A R Rehman and many others.
The second most important attribute of Asha Ji is her courageous nature and her spirit of experimentation.
After Pt Ravi Shankar, the great Sitar maestro, it is Asha Bhosale who took Indian music onto the global stage. In that sense Ashaji is India’s Ambassador to the world of music.
During the last more than seven decades, Asha Ji has sung around 20,000 tunes in 20 languages. She has also recorded with Robbie Williams, Michael Stipe and the Kronos Quartet, and lent her name to ‘Brimful of Asha’, one of the landmark No 1 hits of the 1990s in the United Kingdom. I have listened to many songs of Asha Ji from her non-film private collections.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Indian films are watched, admired and appreciated not just in India, but in the entire Indian Subcontinent including in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Central Asian Countries, Russian Federation countries, Egypt, Indonesia and even in European countries. These days, Indian movies are becoming very popular in China and Japan too.
The reach and popular appeal of Hindi cinema is unimaginable. I want Bollywood to use its popularity and potential to promote and foster brotherhood, harmony and friendship among nations of the world.
The Indian Cinema owes its popularity to many towering men and women, the actors, directors, film producers, lyricists, musicians and above all, playback singers like Asha Ji.
I congratulate Asha Bhosale ji for her services to the world of music. I congratulate her once again and wish her a long life and best health to continue to serve the cause of music in India.
Once again I thank Dr Subbarami Reddy and the TSR Foundation for selecting Smt Asha Bhosale Ji for the Yash Chopra Memorial Award and for inviting me to do the honours.