Mamata recites Lata’s song

Friday, February 25, 2011

NEW DELHI - A gentle nudge from Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar made Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee recite the famous Hindi song sung by Lata Mangeshkar about the contribution of the defence forces that had made India’s first prime minister shed tears.

As Banerjee, wearing a white coloured sari with green border, announced sops for the defence personnel in her third rail budget, Meira Kumar gently reminded her: “Don’t miss the beautiful couplets.”

Banerjee smiled and said: “I will first read the couplet.”

Then in her heavily accented Hindi, she started off: “Koi Sikh, koi Jaat, Maraatha, koi Gurakha, koi Madaraasi, sarahad pe maranevaala har veer tha Bhaaratavaasi. (Some Sikhs, Jaats, Marathis, Gurkhas, Madrasis, all who fought on the border were Indians.)

She went on to add from the song: “Jab ghayal hua Himaalay, khatre mein padi aazadi, jab tak thi saans lade vo phir apni laash bichha di (When the Himalayas were in danger, they fought till they died).”

The minister then reminded the Lok Sabha that the famous song “Ae mere watan ke logon” (Oh my countrymen!) was sung by Lata and had made Jawaharlal Nehru emotional.

Before this, the confident looking Banerjee recited an Urdu couplet. The opposition, which disrupted her budget speech, for once listened quietly.

Banerjee, before she started reading out the rail budget from the written text, had said that she would be leave out some portions from the text and they should be considered read.

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