Lata insecure of my father’s success, says Rafi’s son

Published: September 27, 2012
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Shahid Rafi challenged Lata to produce the apology letter if she claims that the legendary singer wrote one. PHOTOS: FILE

Shahid Rafi challenged Lata to produce the apology letter if she claims that the legendary singer wrote one. PHOTOS: FILE

MUMBAI: Shahid Rafi, son of legendary playback singer Mohammad Rafi, has refuted claims by Lata Mangeshkar that his father had sent her an apology letter to resolve an issue between them.

He said that he feels “strongly” about Lata’s allegations as his father “has never been involved in a controversy before this”.

An old feud came back to limelight when Lata claimed in an interview to a leading daily on Tuesday that she had refused to sing with Rafi and had only agreed when Rafi sent her an apology letter.

Shahid called a press conference on Wednesday to give his response on Lata’s claim.

“If she claims that my father had written an apology letter to her, then she should come out and produce it. In case she does, I am ready to apologise,” Shahid told reporters.

“My father’s fan following is bigger than any artist. I think she (Lata) is insecure of my father’s fan following and that is why she has done this,” he added.

Mohammad Rafi was one of the most popular singers of 1950s and 1960s and gave hits like “Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho” and “Maine Poocha Chand Se”. He also sang duets with Lata such as “Yunhi Tum Mujhse Baat Karti Ho” and “Tujhe Jeewan Ki Dor Se”.

Shahid also claimed that his father had no competition at the time, whereas Lata did. “There is no competition between her and my father, as actors like Shammi Kapoor and Dharamendra wanted him to sing for them. But there were female singers like Suman Kalyanpur, Hemlata and Mubarak Begum and others who might have been competition to her,” he said.

Shahid further acknowledged, “I have not tried calling her regarding this as she always seemed busy whenever I called her in the past.”

He also added that he was being supported by others in the industry as well, but refused to take any names.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2012.         

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Sajid
    Sep 27, 2012 - 9:21PM

    Even if Rafi had apologized, does this make him any smaller? I think Rafi’s son is the one who is insecure.

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  • anwar suhail
    Sep 27, 2012 - 9:55PM

    There was some misunderstanding between Lata and Rafi in late 60s on issue of royalty.
    Why Lata had raised this nonissue after four decades, is beyond me!
    Rafi passed away in 1980, and Lady has taken 32 years to come out with this story.
    Lata is Great singer but not necessarily the most intelligent and fair person on planet.
    She should refrain from digging the graves.

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  • sabi
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:08PM

    Absulutly rubish,no voice can be compared with lata.
    Lata is a phenomenon and will remain phenomenon.I have heard that french scientists have requested Lata mangeshkar throat for research after her death.Lata is the best.

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  • anwar suhail
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:18PM

    There was a disagreement between Rafi and Lata in 60s on issue of royalty and they didn’t sing together for three years. Rafi died in 1982. Lata had spoken on this episode from time to time but never about any apology. Now after four decades, she has come up with the story of apology letter.
    Lata is Great singer but not necessarily the the most intelligent and upright person on the planet. For her sake she should stop digging the graves.

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  • anwarsuhail
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:36PM

    I don’t believe in Lata’s account. Why is she digging the grave after 40 years. Guilty conscious or simply tactless!

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  • anwar suhail
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:42PM

    @Sajid:
    I don’t think he did. But why to raise this nonissue after 40 years. Not the most sensible or generous act.

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  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    Sep 27, 2012 - 11:15PM

    Is that an issue really?Recommend

  • Pankaj
    Sep 27, 2012 - 11:48PM

    cheap chap… wants to earn 2 mins of limelight.

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  • unbeliever
    Sep 28, 2012 - 12:32AM

    there was no need for LATA to bring up the point, especially when RAFI is no longer alive.

    btw, all his acquaintances spoke of him as a very humble and down to earth man, and their is a chance that he may have writen the letter, owing to his humility.

    but what was the need to bring up the point?

    not good…..

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Sep 28, 2012 - 12:52AM

    Late jee is a very big singer and is respected by all and so was Muhammad Rafi. I think Lata jee should not enter into any controversy due to her highest name in singing for thousand of films and so many languages. Rafi is no longer in this world but unfortunately we could not produce or find anyone whom we can compare as voice of Muhammad Rafi. Both Lata jee and Rafi can not be replaced. We who know music from all angles give lot of respect to both these singers. They are ever green and shall remain so.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Sep 28, 2012 - 12:55AM

    Late jee is a very big singer and is respected by all and so was Muhammad Rafi. I think Lata jee should not enter into any controversy due to her highest name in singing for thousand of films and so many languages. Rafi is no longer in this world but unfortunately we could not produce or find anyone whom we can compare as voice of Muhammad Rafi. Both Lata jee and Rafi can not be replaced. We who know music from all angles give lot of respect to both these singers. They are ever green and shall remain so.Recommend

  • Common Man
    Sep 28, 2012 - 8:16AM

    There is no comparison between Rafi Saheb and Lata. Rafi Saheb is always ahead than Lata
    and the world knows it. She got Bharat Ratna. Why no Bharat Ratna for Rafi Saheb?
    Rafi Saheb’s range was far better than Lata.
    Her comments is not going to make any difference.
    Rafi Saheb was great and will remian great forever!Recommend

  • Jedi
    Sep 28, 2012 - 9:29AM

    There was feud between the two singers over royalty. While Lata wanted more share Rafi was of the opinion that he is happy with whatever he is getting and refused to become part of Lata’s protesting and threatening gang. Rafi took the high road and he has my respect for this humble and down to earth action as opposed to Lata’s greed. It’s sorry to see someone like LAta’s stature to indulge in controversy like this more than 30 years after Rafi’s death.

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  • anwar suhail
    Sep 28, 2012 - 3:35PM

    @Common Man:
    Fully agree with you.
    Rafi has unique voice, apt for all modes, seasons and range. Apparently he was benign, humble and pleasant soul who never interfered with anyone. It’s sad to see Lata amongst all leveling this inconsequential allegation.
    Bad taste to say the least.

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  • Hillarious
    Sep 28, 2012 - 10:17PM

    Well..It was expected from a son . A real son always praises his father . But an apology doesn’t make anyone smaller . But I disagree with his statements . Both are great singers and apples can’t be compared with apples .Rafiq had range , but Lata has numbers .Above these two , there is the super daddy Kishore Kumar. Lata should refrain from these kinds of statements .

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  • dpd
    Sep 29, 2012 - 2:17AM

    I Love RAFI. MUKESH is my SOUL. KISHORE is Always Entertaining. LATA is Pure Harmony. ASHA sizzels. SHAMSHAD is pure MAGIC. TALAT is Fantastic. MANNA is always a Pleasure. Mehdi is Great.. But the voice that is more enchanting and captivating is that of the Master NUSRAT and RAHAT follows as well!!!!! . Enjoy, listen and appreciate ALL and critisize NONE. Be ONE with all and LET the MUSIC cultivate LOVE FOR ALL.

    Recommend

  • Wajib
    Sep 29, 2012 - 3:44AM

    unbeliever says: “btw, all his acquaintances spoke of him as a very humble and down to earth man, and their is a chance that he may have writen the letter, owing to his humility.”

    I think this sums it up…we may have our differences over who was a greater artist, but none can diagree who is the greater human being…Rafi sahab seemed scarcely to be aware of his own gift – pride just did not touch that noble soul – couple of interviews I have heard of him bring this out beautifully.Recommend

  • Pankaj
    Sep 29, 2012 - 9:27AM

    Lataji is the greatest artist produce my India. She was not after the fame. she refrained herself from taking any award because this will kill the chances for any other singers. Many Music directors openly said that lataji is the main reason of their success.

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  • Positive Pakistani
    Sep 29, 2012 - 1:50PM

    Are we left no other important topic to discuss???

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  • anwar suhail
    Sep 29, 2012 - 3:43PM

    @Positive Pakistani:
    We devote our time to important issues and problems. But evolved humans also take healthy interterest in art, history and literature hence authors and artists.
    It’s nice to have healthy interest and it makes life bearable.

    Recommend

  • AB
    Sep 29, 2012 - 6:24PM

    Rafi was great,but Lata is the greatest.Recommend

  • Honest Opinion
    Sep 29, 2012 - 11:45PM

    it was lata who gave this statement, so she started this…. Rafi is a LEGEND period

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  • Gaurav
    Sep 30, 2012 - 8:45AM

    Probably age is taking toll on Lata, Rafi is the greatest Indian playback singer. A great human

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  • anwar suhail
    Sep 30, 2012 - 5:54PM

    Indeed Rafi was a GREAT singer and a great human. Never spoke a word against any one.

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  • Subhash Kaul
    Sep 30, 2012 - 10:11PM

    OP Nayyar proved very successfully that Lata was dispensible. Rafi was not.

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  • Neeraj Anand
    Oct 11, 2012 - 1:43PM

    @sabi:
    sabi ji
    lata is a great singer, there is no denying this but the highest slot of singing is reserved for md rafi dont speak of french connoisseur or indian govt, compare their voice quality, range,flexibility. rafi had a cutting edge over lata. rafi is the greatest singer ever born on the earth.

    Neeraj Anand
    Recommend

  • Neeraj Anand
    Oct 11, 2012 - 1:57PM

    @Pankaj:
    I donot buy your idea. rafi is the greatest singer ever born on our planet. lata is ethereal but rafi is heavenly.compara the songs sung by both the singers separately or together. rafi has a winning edge over lata.a composer could survive without lata but not without rafi. in gaayaki, range, flexibility of voice and quality of voice taken together rafi is far ahead of lata.

    Neeraj Anand

    Bhubaneswar
    Recommend

  • anwar suhail
    Oct 11, 2012 - 4:07PM

    @Pankaj:
    Lata is indeed great artist. However I won’t call her the Greatest. Personal liking aside, majority will perhaps call Rafi the Greatest singer. Rafi had unique voice for all modes, seasons and range.
    Lata at times can be hard on ears specially when she hits the high tones.

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  • anwar suhail
    Oct 11, 2012 - 4:15PM

    @sabi:
    Sorry but I have to disagree with you. Rafi had superb tonal quality, that retained it’s beauty, feel and expression equally in both lower and higher registers

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  • Subhash Kaul
    Oct 11, 2012 - 8:56PM

    OP Nayyar said ” I have nothing against Lata. It is just that her voice is not good enough. It is thread like.”

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  • anwar suhail
    Oct 11, 2012 - 11:55PM

    Lata’s account on Rafi sahib’s alleged apology letter betrays professional jealousy.
    Otherwise why one would raise such issue after 40 years.we love her songs, not her statements.

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  • Oct 15, 2012 - 1:16PM

    Mohammed Rafi is great singar & a good respectable man . Rafi should not be insulted. If Lata is telling the truth , let her show letter given bx Rafi Shab or say sorrey.

    Recommend

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