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Lata Mangeshkar to sing patriotic song for Shiv Sena

Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar will sing a specially-composed patriotic song May 1 at a celebration organised by the Shiv Sena to mark the golden jubilee of Maharashtra's formation.

Making the announcement, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray told mediapersons here Saturday that the song would be composed and set to music by well-known music director Anil Mohile.

"He is famous for his musical works. We have requested him to perform his magic with a composition for this momentous occasion," Uddhav said.

Besides Lata, several other prominent singers will also take centre stage at the musical extravaganza to be held at Bandra-Kurla Complex in Bandra east.

The CDs of the special number - "Garja Jai Jaikar" - in memory of the 105 martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement (SMM) will be made available to the people later, he added.

When asked whether prominent personalities like Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan would be invited for the function, Uddhav sidestepped the query by saying that "anybody who loves Maharashtra is welcome for the function, there is no entry fee or tickets...."

The musical function will be preceded by a 'Mahayagna' of blood donation to commemorate the sacrifices made by the leading lights of SMM and the martyrs who fought successfully for carving out a separate state of Maharashtra with Mumbai as the capital from the erstwhile Bombay state.

"It is because of their sacrifice that we secured Mumbai and Maharashtra for the Marathis. Now, even we are prepared to shed our blood for Mumbai," Uddhav asserted.

He appealed to all people to come out in large numbers and take part in the blood donation 'Mahayagna' on April 25 at Goregaon suburb in north-west Mumbai.

He said that though the present generation was aware of the SMM, the future generations would remain ignorant if efforts were not made to enlighten them.

The SMM movement came into being in 1956 after the legendary Marathi writer and orator Acharya P.K. Atre criticised the central government, then headed by former Prime Minister Jawaharal Nehru, for not conceding the demand.

Uddhav's grandfather, the late Prabodhankar Keshav Sitaram Thackeray (Bal Thackeray's father), was one of the leading lights of the SMM during its heydays.

The Sena leader said that at midnight on April 30-May 1, a special prayer ceremony would be held at the historic Hutatma Chowk (Martyr's Square) in south Mumbai in memory of the SMM martyrs.

Besides, this the party plans to set up two murals depicting the life and times of the great Maratha warrior king, Chhatrapati Shivaji, at Shivaji Park in Dadar, central Mumbai. (IANS)

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