Satyavathi Rathod is an Indian playback singer, anchor and actress, who is known for her work mainly in the Telugu film industry. She is popularly known as Mangli in Tollywood and is famous for giving hit songs like ‘Saranga Dariya’ from Love Story and ‘Bhoom Badal’ from Krack. She is known for singing Telangana songs at the festivals like Bathukamma, Bonalu, Sankranthi, Telangana Formation Day, Ugadhi, Sammakka Sarakka Jataraevents, etc, in India and abroad.
Satyavathi Rathod was born on 10 June in Gooty, Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. She always had a keen interest in singing, right from her school days. She says,
I would always get the first prize for singing at school, but honestly I had no goal till I turned 18.”
She discontinued her graduation and followed music. Later, she did her diploma in Carnatic Music from SV University and learnt classical music for three years. Mangli used to take home tuitions and teach Bharatanatyam and music in schools before beginning her career as a singer.
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Satyavathi Rathod belongs to the Banjara community and her mother tongue is Gor Boli; also called Lambadi, which is famous for having no script.
Parents & Siblings
Not much is known about her parents other than the fact that her parents especially her father brought her up with a nonconforming mindset and encouraged her to become what she wanted, despite belonging to a community, which forces girls to get married by the tender age of 12 or 13.
She has 3 siblings i.e. 2 younger sisters and 1 brother, Shiva.
One of her younger sisters, Indravathi Chauhan is also a hit playback singer who is known for singing the blockbuster item song “Oo Antava Mava Oo Antava” for the movie Pushpa: The Rise (2021). In an interview, Mangli expressed her views about her younger sister’s success. She said,
When she was younger, Indravathi used to sometimes sing folk songs along with my father or me, but I never imagined that she had this kind of talent in her, and I’m happy that she got this particular opportunity,”
Not much is known about her other sister and brother, Shiva.
Mangli follows Hinduism and is a part of the Lambada community which is often known as Banjaras in India. In an interview with The News Minute, she expressed about her religion and said,
I do not come from a family of scholars [pandit implying Brahmins]. I am a woman from a Girijana community who worship trees and mounds. Like the Batukamma and Bonalu festivals, we worship nature in our Banjara during the Teej and Sheetala (Sati Bhavani) festivals. Whether we are in trouble or happy, we share our feelings with our village deities whom we worship. We see them as members of our household. The offerings we make to our gods are what we eat and what we drink,”
She regularly worships in a temple and she stated in a Facebook post that she has built Anjaneya Swami Temple in her hometown.
She belongs to the Lambada community which is categorised as Scheduled Tribes in India. In an interview, she talked about her community and said,
In our community, girls would get married by 12 or 14 and most families prefer sons, but my parents weren’t like tha. Anyway, things are slowly changing these days.”
She further added,
The problem with the Banjara community is that they are illiterate. They discontinue education and take up some work or the other. I actually see some awareness happening and whenever I go to the thandas, I emphasise people should educate their children.”
Mangli gives the credit of her singing and dancing talent to her community and says,
Singing and dance is in our DNA. Our tribe is very hard working and is now progressing well.”
As Playback Singer
Sathyavathi’s debut song “Shailaja Reddy Alludu Choode” was for the movie ‘Shailaja Reddy Alludu’ in Telugu, in 2018. This opened the door of opportunities for her and she gave several back-to-back hit songs such as “Vaadu Nadipe Bandi” from the film ‘George Reddy’ (2019), “Ramuloo Ramulaa” from the film ‘Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo’ (2020), “Saranga Dariya” from the film ‘Love Story’ (2020), “Bhoom Bhaddhal” from the film ‘Krack’ (2021), etc. She also sang songs in the Kannada language, such as “Yennegu Hennigu” from the film ‘Ek Love Ya’ (2021) and “Oo Anthiya Oo Oo Anthiya” from the film ‘Pushpa: The Rise’.
As Lead Artist (Singles)
Satyavathi is known for her singles on special occasions and festivals such as Bathukamma, Bonalu, Sankranthi, Telangana Formation Day, Ugadhi, Sammakka Sarakka Jataraevents, etc. She prefers to keep a balance between filmy songs and folk songs in order to keep both the rural as well as the urban population entertained. She has sung songs like ‘Bathukamma’ (2017), ‘Ammava Rati Bommava’ (2017), ‘Rela Re Rela Re’ (2017), ‘Deepawali’ (2018), ‘Dussehra’ (2018), ‘Bonalu’ (2018), ‘Jago Banjara’ (2019), ‘Jagan Anna’ (2020), ‘Laire Lallaire’ (2021) etc.
As TV Presenter
Mangali started her career in 2013 when she was invited as a guest artist on a Telugu information channel ‘V6 Information’ for a festival special show titled ‘Dhoom Dhaam’. Later, she played Matakaari Mangli on a news show titled Teenmaar Vaarthalu. She also worked with the HMTV channel for Jordar News. She then went on to work with a web channel, MIC TV as an anchor and runs her show titled ‘Mangli Muchata with’, in which she interviews various celebrities.
She started her acting career with her debut movie Maestro in 2021.
- A case was filed against Mangli for allegedly using disrespectful words in the lyrics for the goddess Maisamma about whom she was singing in her song ‘Chettu Kinda Koosunnavamma’. It was filed by Malkajgiri BJP corporator who met Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat to lodge the complaint. He said,
This is hurting the sentiments of the Hindu community; it is an insult to the community,”
The lyrics of the song translate to ‘While we make rounds around your deity and pray with our hands raised, you have been sitting idle like a village elder without answering to our prayers’. The objection was raised on the word Mothavaari which when roughly translated means village elder.
Kiranmai alias RJ Kiran, who is a self-proclaimed Hindutva activist, led a social media campaign against the song. Because of the campaign, Mangli was asked to share her marginalised caste location and was also asked to prove herself as a Hindu.
Replying to all those who were offended, Mangli gave a statement and wrote,
Lyricist Palamuru Rama Swamy penned this song 25 years ago and in 2008, an audio company had even released it. This 80-year-old man’s folk songs have always excited me and I wanted to sing this particular one. With his permission, I did just that for this year’s Bonalu. He penned over 300 folk songs, all of which are in Ninda Stuthi, which blame the goddess as a form of worship.”
Understanding the viewpoint of others, she replaced the lyrics of the song and said,
I learnt that over a period of time the meaning of the word Motevari has changed. What once meant head of the village now means the exact opposite. As I had no intentions of hurting anyone, we have changed the lyrics now with Rama Swamy’s permission.”
Amid all the chaos and blames, certain Dalits and Bahujan intellectuals came forward in support of Mangli and said that everything was exaggerated and it all stemmed from casteism because she belongs to the scheduled tribes. They said,
The campaign reflects Manuvaadi mindset. Those with Manuvaadi ideology keep stifling any growing voice from the Bahujan community. For them, any good or bad should only come from their upper caste community. That’s their unwritten rule. These Hinduvadis with their Brahminical thinking are unable to digest how Dalits and Bahujans are taking over the space which was previously restricted only to certain communities.”
- Mangli attended the wedding party of Andhra Pradesh’s education minister Adimulapu Suresh’s daughter in Ongole, in 2021, where she was mobbed by her fans for selfies and autographs. Initially, she requested them to maintain social distancing but the fans did not listen. This angered the Saranga Dariya singer which is why she shouted at them to stay away from her.
#SingerMangli has once again made headlines, she serious on people, who surrounded her for take selfies at a function. #Mangli#Prakasham #AndhraPradesh
— Repeeatuu (@repeeatuu) December 28, 2021
In the video, Mangli can be seen telling her guards to break the phones of those who are being adamant and misbehaving.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Received Enadu Vasundhara Pushkar Award in 2019
- Received award from Telangana government on the occasion of Women’s Day in the Folk Singer category which was presented by Chief Minister of Telangana, Shri. K.Chandrashekar Rao Garu, Minister for ST Welfare, Women & Child Welfare, Smt.Satyavathi Rathod Garu, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Government of India, Shri.Kishan Reddy Garu, Minister for Cinematography, Shri.Talasani Srinivas Yadav Garu, Minister of Prohibition & Excise, Sports & Youth Services, Tourism & Culture and Archaeology, Shri.Srinivas Goud Garu.
- Actor: Chiranjeevi Konidela
- Politician: Yeduguri Sandinti Jagan Mohan Reddy
- Mangli hails from a small village that is never even heard of and has went on to give spectacular performances not only in India but in foreign countries as well. Reminiscing the same, she said,
I come from a thanda that is not well known but today my community considers me their brand ambassador, so I consider myself lucky.Music is my life now. I don’t get time for anything else during Dasara or Ganesh Utsav. I have travelled everywhere from America to Australia for Bathukamma events and Telangana Formation Day celebrations.”
- She aims to sing for Bollywood in the upcoming time.
- She is inspired by her father and says,
My dad would sing all kind of songs during festivals. He is happy with my career now.”
- She has garnered around 2 Million followers on youtube and received a Gold Play button.
- She has earned a loyal fanbase over time and one of her fans even got her name tattooed on his arm.
- She is also famous for her Banjara apparel and dance.