Mohammed Rafi is nothing short of a legend (“Forgetting the phenomenal talent of Rafi?” Open Page, Oct. 25). His melodious voice remains a favourite of millions — almost three decades since his death. He immortalised the music, lyrics and video sequences of many musicians, lyricists and filmmakers. He could sing for all variations and moods. Most important, he was humble and a good human being. It is indeed time the government recognised his contribution.
The article has echoed the views of millions of Rafi’s fans. Often I have wondered why a singer like Rafi did not receive the recognition due to him. I second the writer’s view that Bharat Ratna and the Dada Saheb Phalke awards be conferred on Rafi posthumously. In fact, an award can be instituted in his name.
In his tribute to Rafi, the author has been carried away by his admiration for the singer. His contention that Rafi was Mukesh, Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar all rolled into one is unacceptable. Rafi was one among many singers though very popular. He had his own fan following as others did. Lata Mangeshkar is the queen of melody while Rafi was one among the many kings. Of course, he was a great singer worthy of awards. But whether he deserves Bharat Ratna is debatable.
R. Ramachandra Ayyar