When there was just one television channel for entertainment, India’s Independence day and Republic day were special events. Actually every festival was a special day. There would be the day-specific programs. Among the most prominent would be the Hindi Flim song programs like Chitrahaar, Rangoli and Mumbai Doordarshan’s Chayageet.
Similarly during Independence Day and Republic day, patriotic songs were the order of the day. The songs played during those days were to promote communal harmony and bring a sense of pride for the country in the heart of its citizen. Most of the songs were sung with enthusiasm to make the blood run faster. We as children would be so pumped up that we were in the “Love for country” mood for that time.
I remember a number of songs
Chodo Kal Ki baatein
Chodo kal ki Baatien,
Kal Ki baat Purani
Naye Daur main Likhenge
Um milkar Nayi Kahani, Hum Hindustani.
The song featured Sunil Dutt from the Movie “Hum Hindustani”. As far as I remember the song, it showed the progress Indi made in industry and farming. The song depicts to forget the past mistakes and move ahead to make the country a developed nation.
Mere Desk Ki dharti
Manoj Kumar in Upkaar. Mere Desh ki dharti was about a farmer and a soldier in tune with Jawaharlal Nehru’s “Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan” slogan. The song would always feature in the Independence Day celebration.
Aye mere Pyaare watan, Aye merey bichde chaman
The song sung by Manna Dey from the movie Kabuliwala. Kabuliwala was about a person who comes from Kabul to earn money in India. In the film, he is singing most probably about Afghanistan but somehow the song touched the chord with Indians with Manna Dey soulful singing of the song. The song has come to symbolize the love of the country for people staying away from India.
Nanha Munna rahi hoon, Desh ka sipahi hoon,
Bolo mere sang jai hind!
This was one of the most popular song among the children. The movie name was “Son of India” and showed a small boy with a dog out to save his father. I don’t remember it well but the story was similar to this.
Jahaan Daal Daal Par Sone ki Chidiya karti hai basera,
Woh Bharat Desh hai Mera
This song from Sikander-E-Azam made us proud. It described how great India is with its history, its wealth and its diverse culture.
Saare Jahaan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamaara,
Hum bulbule hain iske, Yeh Gulsita Hamaara Hamaara.
I guess every school going child of that time knew that song from the movie Jagriti sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Sung on every occasion and public function, this song was used and reused in schools and colleges and even during picnics.
The most controversial song of all from the movie Anand Math sung by Lata Mangeshkar. The song is a fast paced one giving a poped up feeling. Years later, A R Rehmaan sung the same song with a slower tune and different lyrics but still the essence of the song did not change.
Kar Chaley hum Fida jaan-o-tan Saathiyon
Ab tumhaarey hawaaley watan saathiyon
The song sung by Mohamad Rafi from Haqeeqat was picturized on soldiers fighting in the Indo-Chinese war. The song was a tribute to the Indian Soldiers who give up their life for their country and motivate the next generation to take up the responsibilities.
Aao Bacchon Tumhe Dikhaye Jhakhi Hindustan ki…..and
Hum Laye Hain Toofan Se
Both the songs from the movie ‘Jagriti’ sung by Hemant Kumar were a class apart. Jagriti was based on a school teacher who teaches his student to love their country and make them responsible citizen. It had the most number of patriotic songs in it.
Har Karam Apna Karenge Aye Watan Tere Liye,
Dil Diya Hai Jaan Bhi Denge Aye Watan Tere Liye..
Subash Ghai once made good movies. The movie, “Karma” was about 3 inmates out to kill a don out to destry in India had this one song sung by Mohamad Aziz and Kavita Krishnamurthy. Sadly Subash Ghai went overboard with his India love in “Pardes”. Remember “I love my India”.
Patriotism has changed the way its shown over the years. Earlier, the songs would be more associated with India’s independence struggle and the three wars we fought. The emphasis was more on the enemy and the progress it made in terms of science, technology and development. Those were the times when wars and development were used to rake up patritoism from India’s citizen.
Patriotism as seen now is more to do with understanding our responsibilities as a citizen. People are more concerned about their own self rather than look where the country is heading. Patriotic songs nowadays are written to awaken a person rather than motivate him to fight the enemy so much so that they do not have a mention of India but still I consider them patriotic song because now the need of the country has changed. Although we do need to learn from our Independence struggle, it is also much important to understand our responsibilities as the citizen of India.
Some of the songs I can remember are
Kitne Baju Kitne Sar Dekhe Dushman Jaan ke.
Haarega who har baazi jo khelenge jeen jaan se
This song by Sudesh Bhosale for Amitabh Bachchan was for the movie Main Azad hoon. The story of a common man who rises to lead people and motivates them to change. There is very less information available about the movie but this song has always remained etched in my mind. I remember Amitabh motivating a group of people. The sound of sticks hitting the ground and the strong words could bring passion in anybody’s heart.
Kandhon se milte hain kandhe, qadmon se qadam milte hain
Ham chalte hain jab aise toh dil dushman ke hilte hain
Farhan Aktar coming of age story had this wonderful song picturized on soldiers. The song was sung by Shankar Mahadevan, Sonu Nigam, Hariharan, Kinal Ganjawala and Roop Kumar Rathod. The song is picturzed on soldiers who are getting ready for a long battle. The song is a fast paced one where the soldiers are singing together. The song is an inspirational number sung asking the soldiers to be brave and strong, fight together so that the enemy is afraid and defeated by their unity alone. Picturized on Hrithik and others.
The climax song from “Rang De Basanti” was sung by A R Rehmaan and Naresh Iyer. This has become a cult film in its own right inspiring a whole generation. The film was used to motivate doctors during their strike against reservation. Rubaroo speaks the common man language. It is the realization of the power that a simple man holds. Again an inspirational song that motivates to fight against all odds as the lyrics says it all
Aandhiyon se jaghad rahi hai lau meri
ab mashaalon si bhad rahi hai lau meri
naamo nishaan rahe na rahe
ye kaaravaan rahe na rahe
ujaale mein pee gaya
roshan huaa jee gaya
kyon sehte rahe
Yeh Jo Desh Hai Tera
Finally the Ashutosh Gowartikar’s critically acclaimed movie, Swades. Shahrukh Khan plays a NASA Scientist who has to decide to work in US or come back and work for his country. The sound of Shehnai, the voice of A R Rehmaan. A soft number which makes you yearn for your country with its simple lyrics. Most of the Indian staying abroad would identify with the sentiments of the song. Even though it cannot be termed a pure patriotic song, it still has the feeling of being in love with your country.
There are many many gems out there but I have touched only a few which make me feel proud as an Indian.
Happy Independence Day to all.