Address by Governor at the presentation of the Mohammed Rafi Awards at Rang Sharada, Bandra (W), Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the presentation of the Mohammed Rafi Awards at Rang Sharada, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400050 on 24th December 2017
Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President of India, Hon’ble Minister (name yet to be confirmed), Shri Raj Thackeray, President, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Shri Ashish Shelar, MLA and Founder, Spandan Arts, Smt Madhuwanti Shrikant Thackeray, Miss Pournima Shreshtha, distinguished invitees, ladies and gentlemen,
I am indeed very happy in the midst of this august gathering to witness the presentation of the Mohammed Rafi awards for this year.
If you ask me who is your singer of the 20th Century India, my reply would be only one: Shri Mohammed Rafi.
The late Mohammed Rafi was admired, and continues to be admired, not only in India, but also in many countries of the world.
It is therefore befitting that an award carrying his name has been instituted and presented the best known personalities in the field of music.
I congratulate the Spandan Art for instituting the Mohammed Rafi Lifetime Achievement award and for conferring this year’s award posthumously on late Shri Shrikant Ji Thackeray.
Let us all convey our appreciation to late Shri Shrikantji Thackeray with a round of applause.
I am also very happy that Miss Pournima Shreshth popularly known as Sushma Shreshtha has been selected for the Mohammed Rafi Award given to promising. She is among the very few artists, who had the rare privilege of singing alongside Rafi Sahab. My heartiest congratulatations to Ms Sushma Shreshtha.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Hon’ble Vice President has come especially to present the Mohammed Rafi awards today. I would like to inform him that this suburb of Bandra has a very rich history of its own. The Portuguese held this place under its control for more than one hundred years, before passing on to the British. Bandra is a shining example of India’s unity and national integration. There are Christians, Muslims, Parsees, Jains, Hindus and Buddhists, who live here in perfect harmony. Most importantly, Bandra is where several great personalities – past and present lived. Mohammed Rafi lived here, so did Talat Mehmood, Naushad and many other musicians. Gulzar lives here and so does Sachin Tendulkar. Balasaheb Thackerey and Sunil Dutt lived here and so did Vinda Karandikar, the Jnanapith Awardee. Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pt Ram Narayan, Smt Rekha, Shri Amir Khan, and so on.. the list is endless.
If you calculate the Per Capita Talent of all places in India, Bandra will surely emerge as the Number One locality in the country. If am glad that we are presenting the Award to Rafi Saab in Bandra itself.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Mohammed Rafi was the sweetest angel produced by India. He was a ‘Gandharva’ to have visited the Bollywood.
If the period between 1960’s and 1980’s is regarded as the Golden Era for Indian film industry, Mohammed Rafi was the most charming prince belonging to the era. He didn’t sing through his vocal chord alone; he sung his songs through his heart, through his mind, body and soul. It would be correct to say that he lived every song.
Rafi Saheb has sung the toughest of classical songs, love songs, patriotic songs, children’s songs, devotional songs and so on with same intensity and aplomb.
No wonder, Mohammed Rafi’s songs are lively, cheerful and eternal. Of course, one must also admire and salute the numerous musicians and lyricists who composed music during the Golden Era.
Late Shrikantji Thackeray was one of the finest musicians produced by Maharashtra. Despite growing in the shadow of his more famous elder brother, Shiv Sena Pramukh late Shri Balasaheb Thackeray, – Shrikant Ji Thackeray created an identity of his own work through his exceptional work in the field of music.
It was late Shri Shrikant Ji Thackeray who convinced the legendary Rafi Sahab to sing Marathi songs and the two delivered some most popular chartbusters of the time.
Shri Shrikant Ji Thackeray was a versatile artist. All the songs composed by ShrikantJi are unique. By honouring him with the Mohammed Rafi Life Time Achievement Award, we have enhanced the stature of the Award.
In tribute to Rafi Sahab, I would say:
Sau saal pahele, mujhe tum se pyaar tha
Aj bhi hai, aur kal bhi rahega
There cannot be another Mohammed Rafi and there will not be another Shrikantji Thackeray.
Therefore we must perpetuate the memory of these great people. One way of doing it, is to award scholarships to promising singers and musicians. The other way could be to organize a World Music Festival dedicated to Mohammed Rafi here in Bandra. I am sure, Ashish Shelar Ji can do it !
I convey my appreciation to Smt Madhuvanti Thackeray for accepting the award on behalf of late Shri Shrikantji Thackeray.
I also congratulate Sushma Shrestha for receiving the most prestigious award in the form of Mohammed Rafi Award.
I congratulate Spandan Arts and its entire team once again, for honoring great musicians and singers and for supporting the cause of arts and wish the organization success in its future endeavours.
Before I conclude, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year !!
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!