Rafi’s son mulls legal action against Lata Mangeshkar

Mumbai: A day after singer Lata Mangeshkar claimed in a newspaper interview that late singer Mohammed Rafi had apologised to her in writing, his son Shahid Rafi has refuted her, saying that it’s was a publicity stunt and he might even take legal action.

“My father was national property. I am hurt and so are his fans. His fan following is much bigger than any other artist. If she can prove that my father had written an apology letter to her, then I am ready to apologise. But the main thing is that she should come forward and produce that letter. All I want is that the truth should come out,” Shahid told reporters here at a press conference.

“If that is the case, let her show the letter. My father passed away about 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,” he said.

Shahid said that Mangeshkar made these claims because she is insecure. “I think this is a publicity stunt as she is insecure with the huge fan following my father has, even after his death,” he said. Shahid said that before calling the press conference, he did not feel the need to call Mangeshkar because she seemed always “busy”, when he had called her up in the past.

If Mangeshkar fails to submit the letter, Shahid Rafi is contemplating legal action. “I will wait for eight to ten days. I might take legal action, but I will have to take legal opinion regarding the same,” he said. Shahid said that Mangeshkar is a good singer. However, by saying such things like she had grudges when she started singing with his father, she is sending a wrong message to the younger generation.

“This feud between her and my father was during 1961 to 1967. At that time there was no competition for my father, as actors like Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Rajendra Kumar and others wanted my father to sing for them. While there were many other female singers like Suman Kalyanpur, Hemlata and Mubarak Begum. So, may be her career was at stake that time,” he added.

In an interview to a newspaper, Lata was quoted saying that she and Rafi fought over royalties and that when he said that he would not sing with her at a meeting attended by other musicians, she had retaliated by saying that it was she who would not sing with him.

Mangeshkar went on to say that peace was initiated by composer Jaikishen. “I got Rafi’s letter and ended the cold war, but whenever I would see him, the hurt would return,” she was quoted in the newspaper.