Lata Mangeshkar is easily the most recognised voice in India. Born on September 28, 1929, in
Indore, Lata has sung every kind of song, from bhajan to pop, in about 20 languages. From Madhubala to Preity
Zinta, she has been the voice of every heroine down the ages. Her father, Dinanath
Mangeshkar, was a reputed figure in Marathi theatre music and was trained in the Gwalior school. He gave her singing lessons, but she also studied with Aman Ali Khan Sahib and later Amanat Khan.
When her father died in 1942, she turned to the film industry to support the family and even acted in eight films, in Hindi and Marathi. She made her debut as a playback singer in the Marathi film,
Kiti Hasaal (1942), but the song was edited out. The first Hindi film in which she gave playback was
Aap Ke Sewa Main (1947). It was in 1949, with the release of four films—Barsaat,
Andaz, Dulari and Mahal (with the evergreen Aayega aanewala)—that Lata began her phenomenal run in Hindi cinema. Her high, sweet and supple voice captured the nation's imagination. It is often said that you could tune an instrument to her singing. Though Lata sang under the baton of all the top composers, barring
O.P. Nayyar, it was Madan Mohan who brought out the best in her voice. One of her own
favourites, however, is a number from Bazaar—Dikhayi diye yoon ki bekhud
(From the 1950s till the '90s, it was Lata and her sister, Asha Bhonsle, who dominated playback singing. The flipside were the accusations of monopolising the business, and preventing other female playback singers from coming into the limelight.)
Mohammed Rafi (1924-80)
Along with Kishore Kumar and Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi was one of the most popular male playback singers from the '50s to the '70s. He was regarded as the most proficient and versatile of the three, equally at ease with a purely classical song
(Man tadpat Hari darshan) as with light numbers (Chakke pe chakka, chakke pe
gadi). In between, he could also perfectly render a romantic song like Hum bekhudi mein tumko pukare chale
gaye. Born in Kota Sultansingh village, now in Pakistan, he moved to Lahore to train under Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan (of Kirana
gharana), Jeevanlal Matto and Ghulam Ali Khan. He sang at Radio Lahore and moved to Bombay in 1944, where Naushad gave him his first break. He found stardom with Mehboob's
Anmol Ghadi (1946). While he gave great songs with S.D. Burman (Pyaasa and
Kaagaz Ke Phool) and Shankar Jaikishen, it was with Naushad that he performed at his best, particularly in
Baiju Bawra (1952).
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Dikhayee diye yoon...composed by Khayyam written by Moir TAqee Mir in around 1790. Yes 1790....
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