Mohd Rafi never apologised to Lataji
The late singer’s son Shahid Rafi lashes out at Mangeshkar alleging she maligned his dad’s name
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Posted On Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 02:46:10 AM
A day after Lata Mangeshkar's interview to this newspaper titled "I am far from perfect - I have a fierce temper" dated September 25, 2012, where the songstress recalled her fight with (late) Mohd Rafi over royalty rights and said she later got a written apology from him, Rafi's son Shahid Rafi has come out in strong protest, alleging she is lying and maligning his father's name, especially now when neither Rafi nor composer Jaikishen are alive to defend themselves.
Lataji had told Mirror: "At a meeting attended by prominent singers and musicians, Rafi Saab stood up and said, 'Main aaj se Lata ke saath nahin gaoonga'. I retorted, 'Rafi Saab, ek minute. Aap nahin gaayenge mere saath yeh galat baat hai. Main aapke saath nahin gaoongee'. I stormed out and called my composers there and then and informed them to rope in another singer if it was a duet with Rafi Saab." Asked about their patch-up, she had said, "Composer Jaikishen took the initiative. I asked him to get a written apology from Rafi Saab. I got the letter and ended the cold war. But whenever I'd see him, the hurt would return."
Shahid Rafi, explaining their side of the story, says "The controversy went on for a while. Lataji and some other singers were looking for royalty, saying they should get a cut from the producer, director etc. My dad wasn't very keen on that. He was this humble, soft spoken, amazingly generous person. His stand was, 'Our job is to sing and we get money for that. There is no point in getting greedy'. Hence, they had a fight and he decided to stop singing any duet with her."
Questioning Lataji's claim that his dad had given her a written apology, he adds, "If that is the case, let her show the letter. My father passed away about 25 years ago, and now she is talking about this letter? People keep valuable documents for even fifty years. Why hasn't she retained the paper which would give her dignity?"
Shahid's version of the patch-up is rather different. He says after his dad stopped singing with Lataji, he continued getting offers for duets and opted to sing with another brilliant singer, Suman Kalyanpur. At this point, Lataji started feeling insecure and approached composer Jaikishan to make peace between them. "When Jaikishan approached my father and requested him to make amends with Lataji, he immediately agreed because he wasn't the kind to hold on to grudges. But there is no way he would have apologised to her because he always stood by his principles. Why didn't she bring up this issue when he was alive?" Shahid says, adding, "I don't have to give any further justification about my dad's reputation. Even today, my dad has more followers than Lataji."