Asha is made up of a different mettle. Today she rushed where the waxy giant like Amitabh Bachcan had feared to tread.
COURAGE IS grace under pressure, said Ernest Hemingway and the evergreen and ever gracious Asha Bhonsle stands testimony to this.
To speak against the Mantras of Shiva Sena and MNS in Maharshtra needs strength of character and courage. Asha Tai has proved irrevocably that is she not short of that. Politics is not her cup of tea. Not very long ago, at the age of 60-plus, Asha Bhonsle had dared to challenge the youngsters on the scene, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurty, Sadhana Sargam in evocative songs ‘Yai Re, Yai Re…’ and ‘Tanha Tanha…’ both from Rangeela or ‘Rang De…’ from Takshak.
She teamed with Adnan Sami and ‘Ghulam Ali’ with equal ease for private albums of songs or ghazals. That is her field. Today she rushed where the waxy giant like Amitabh Bachcan had feared to tread. He had put to shame his own wife and all Indians when he begged mercy from the MNS chief. Asha is made up of a different mettle.
In Pune, on the terra firma of the Sena Juggernaut, she challenged Bal Thackrey and remonstrated MNS founder Raj Thackrey indirectly to give up their nasty parochial approach of ‘Mumbai for Marathi Manoos only.’ She categorically reminded them that Mumbai belongs to every one. The veteran singer backed her argument with the appropriate logic.
“Mumbai belongs to all those who work tirelessly, day and night, in the city. Our people (Maharashtrians) should also do such hard work. I worked tirelessly and that is the reason why no one could snatch away what was due to me,” she said. Dwelling upon her own struggles, she said she had to undergo extreme hardship. Responding to a question in a public interview conducted by a TV channel, Bhonsle said she belonged to all of India as she has sung in various languages. At the same time, she was proud of being a Maharashtrian.
She could not have chosen a better occasion to deliver her message. Asha Bhonsle has been a glittering star of the Hindi film industry since the last four decades. Let us remember that she had to grow up in the shadow of her sister, Lata Mangeshkar. Asha has indeed done very well for herself. Initially she had to face the inevitable – unfair comparisons with her more popular sister. But she did not let that affect her. Perseverance paid off. In no time she overtook tough contenders like Geeta Dutt.
We salute you Asha Tai for the honesty, integrity and courage you have shown. We also salute you Sachin Tendulkar for being the real Maratha and our hats off for Shahrukh Khan who remained undaunted in the face of worst threats and anticipated adversities.