Maharashtra Government on Thursday said legendary singer Asha Bhosle has been selected for Maharashtra Bhushan award, the state government’s highest honour. A committee chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to select Bhosle for the award for the year 2020.
The award, instituted in 1996 by the state government to recognise distinguished work and achievements of eminent persons from the state, representing different walks of life, carries a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a citation. Bhosle, whose sister Lata Mangeshkar won the award for 1997, said she got to know from Uddhav Thackeray that she has been selected for the award for 2020. “I thank him that he thought of choosing me for the award,” Bhosle said.
“People of Maharashtra have loved me a lot and have treated me as part of their family over these many years,” she said. Asked what does it feel to be in her mid-80s, Bhosle said, “Age is just a number. I feel I am as old as my mind.”
In another video featuring Asha with granddaughter Zanai, they are seen celebrating the win. “Asha aayi, the government has given you the Maharashtra Bhushan Award,’ how are you feeling (Asha aayi how are you feeling after winning the award)?”
Asha replies, “I am feeling very delighted, as I have received a lot many awards, and this award is from my maayka (mother’s home) that is why I am extremely happy. I am very much thankful to the Maharashtra government as they have given me this award. Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra.”
Born on September 8, 1933, in Maharashtra’s Sangli district, Bhosle was initiated into music by her father, the renowned Marathi stage actor-singer Dinanath Mangeshkar. Having sung her first song for a Marathi film in 1944, she has the distinction of having sung thousands of songs in practically every major Indian language.
The versatility of her voice and talent has been acknowledged through a host of awards conferred on her, including the National Award twice, the prestigious Filmfare Award eight times, and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Bhosle received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2000. The first Maharashtra Bhushan awardee was Marathi writer P L Deshpande and the last winner of this award was historian Babasaheb Purandare who got it for the year 2015.