Several Bollywood stars, directors, music directors and singers have saluted the massive turnout and the world record at the Lokmat Media initiative in Aurangabad, where close to a lakh-and-a-half people turned up for singing the National Anthem in unison. Here is what Vidya Balan, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Mahesh Bhatt, Arbaaz Khan, Manoj Kumar, Farha Khan, Jackie Shroff, Anupam Kher, Sunil Shetty, Johnny Lever, Ismail Durbar and Subhash Ghai have to say.
Dilip Kumar, reflecting on winning the Lokmat Jeevan Gaurav Award at the Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year Awards 2011, writes on his blog: “In more ways than one it is Maharashtra that holds the roots of my life and career. I had my schooling at Barnes School in Deolali, Nashik, as a day scholar. The moderate climate, especially the cool summers attracted my parents to stay in Deolali since my mother was ailing with asthma. Years later, after I became known as actor Dilip Kumar, I revisited Deolali in the course of my search all over Nashik District for an ideal location to film Ganga Jamuna’s outdoor scenes.”
Addressing the audience at the Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year Awards 2011, where he received a Lokmat Maanbindu Award from President Pratibha Patil, Amitabh Bachchan said, “I have spent 42 years– that’s more than three fourths of my life – in the venerable land of Mumbai and Maharshtra. And excepting my parents and education, whatever else I have been blessed with – recognition and public respect, my life partner and my grihast jeevan (married life), my children, my grandchildren – I have received only because of the love, respect and honour I have received from this wonderful, benevolent land of Maharashtra.”