It is remembered as one of the most poignant moments in modern Indian history, with a patriotic song at the core of it.  It was shortly after the Sino-Indian conflict of 1962, when Lata Mangeshkar sang the iconic song composed by C. Ramachandra and penned by Kavi Pradeep recalling the valour and martyrdom of Indian soldiers in the war. Lata sang the highly popular song in the presence of the India's first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for the first time at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on January 27, 1963.  After she finished singing the song, and the function concluded, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru called for her.

Nehru with Lata Mangeshkar
Nehru with Lata Mangeshkar

A nervous Lata Mangeshkar went to him, but as she recalled when she saw him she noticed tears welling up in his eyes. Pandit Nehru admitted that with her poignant song she made him weep (“Lata, tum ne aaj mujhe rula diya”).
The song, which generations of Indians grew up with, has an interesting beginning. Kavi Pradeep is learnt to have called up Lata one morning and insisted that she sing a song he had just finished writing. Lata was at first a touch reluctant to sing at such short notice, it is said. However, she obliged the poet also because the song struck a deep emotional chord within her, legend has it. "AI mere watan ke logo" went on to become one of the most celebrated numbers in popular Indian culture associated with patriotism. Here it is......

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