Bollywood songs have been igniting the spark of patriotism among the masses. This Republic Day, we revisit some of these tunes to freshen our memory
The contribution of cinema in our society is over a century old in India. While the filmmakers have so far touched almost all aspects of the country and society in their own ways, one thing the people have lapped up the most is patriotism, painted on the celluloid by Bollywood filmmakers for us. The list of filmmakers embedding patriotism among the people is long but dated.
More importantly, the Indian cinema did not just sing the tunes of liberty after the country’s freedom, but it has been doing so since the country was oppressed in shackles of slavery. It can be said that our filmmakers also fought the battle for independence through their work on celluloid. They inspired a whole generation of young men to fight against British oppression.
The beginning of patriotic songs and movies is believed to be in the 1940s. Director Gyan Mukherjee’s movie ‘Bandhan’ was perhaps the first movie to ever display the sense of patriotism on screen. When you see it this way, it seems like both independence and cinema stepped into our country at the same time. Such emotion of nationality among its people is interesting but at the same time unique as well. One of the major torchbearers of this journey was poet Pradeep.
chal chal re naujawan
The description of patriotic songs in Indian cinema will be incomplete without mentioning the name of Kavi Pradeep. His song ‘chal chal re naujawan’ in the film “bandhan” galvanized the fans with the spirit of patriotism. The song is still sung by the school and college students on most national festivals and other important occasions.
Door Hato Ai Duniyawalon
The film ‘Kismat’ was released back in 1943. The lyrics of his song ‘Aaj Himalaya ki choti se fir humne lalkara hai, dur hato ai duniyawalon Hindustan humara hai’ inspired the freedom fighters to march on the road to freedom. The song was also widely acclaimed in the ‘Quit India Movement’. It can be said that Bollywood along with Kavi Pradeep contributed to the Indian freedom movement.
Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon
The film industry has contributed numerous songs as tribute to the freedom fighters, but another song by Ram Chandra Dwivedi alias Kavi Pradeep, sung in the golden voice of Lata mangeshkar ‘Aye mere watan ke logon, zara aankh me bhar lo pani, jo shahid hue hain unki, zara yaad karo kurbani’ is one of the most emotional song written and picturised till date. Lata Mangeshkar sang this song at the National Stadium in Delhi for the first time in presence of the then Prime Minister Nehru who broke into tears listening to it. The respect for this song is still intact among the people even after half century of the song being written.
Anand Math and Jagriti
Released in year 1952, another song in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice ‘Vande Mataram’ of movie ‘Anand Math’ still overwhelms the listeners. She sung this song in a different tune than the tune popular these days. Similarly, the song in movie Jagriti -, ‘Hum lae hain tufan se kashti nikal ke, is desh ko rakhna mere bacche sambhal ke’ by Mohammed Rafi under Hemant Kumar’s composition still instills the patriotism feeling among the audience.
Rafi’s Patriotic Songs
The king ofv melodies, Mohammed Rafi has sung patriotic songs in several Bollywood movies. These songs include ‘Ye desh hai veer jawaano ka’, ‘Watan pe fida hoga amar vo naujawan hoga’, ‘Apni aazadi ko hum hargiz mita sakte nahi’, ‘Us mulk ki sarhadon ko koi chhoo nahi sakta jis mulk ki sarhad ki nigah baan hain aankhein’, ‘Aaj gaa lo muskura lo mehfile saja lo’, ‘Hindustan ki kasam na jhukenge sar vatan ke naujavanon ki kasam’, ‘Mere deshpremiyon, aapas mein prem karo deshpremiyon’.
His songs enveloped the youth of the country with the spirit of patriotism. The popularity of these songs is still in place.
Dhawan will always be remembered
Prem Dhawan is the name in Bollywood industry that is remembered as a songwriter whose wonderful lyrics in the industry’s greatest patriotic songs instantly fill the listener’s hearth with the spirit of Indian patriotism. Prem Dhawan’s songs like ‘Aye mere pyare vatan’, ‘Mera rang de basanti chola’ and ‘Aye vatan tujhko meri kasam’ still awakens the spirit of nationalism in the minds of our people.
Prem Dhavan’s song by background singer Manna De ‘Aae Mere Pyare Vatan, Aae Mere Bichde Vatan’ in the movie ‘Kabuliwala’ still fills the listener’s eyes with tears. The song ‘Chhoro kal ki baatein, kal ki baat purani’ in ‘Hum Hindustani’ was a super hit. On the request of producer-director Manoj Kumar, Prem Dhavan composed the song in movie ‘Shaheed’. Some of the mellifluous songs in this movie like ‘Aye vatan aye vatan’ and ‘Mera rang de basanti chola’ are still in vogue.
Chetan Anand made a film ‘Haqeeqat’ based on the Indo-China war of 1965. Kaifi Azmi wrote a
song ‘Kar chale hum fida jaan-e-tan saathiyon, ab tumhaare havaale vatan saathiyon’ still
makes people paints the people in the colors of patriotism. The song fills
the heart every time it comes up on radio.
Bharat Kumar’s Heorism
Manoj Kumar’s name is particularly known for making patriotic movies. His film ‘Upkaar’ gained such popularity that people started calling him Bharat Kumar afterwards. This film was bestowed six Filmfare Awards. The stories of the film’s making were also quite interesting. Manoj Kumar actually made the film on request of the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Manoj himself revealed that he invited Shashtri Ji on the premier of ‘Shaheed’, the first movie on Bhagat Singh’s life in the sixties. He came for a short while. He liked the movie and later called Manoj Kumar to his place and said, here is my new slogan- Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, can there be a movie on this.
After meeting Shastri, Manoj Kumar had to return from Delhi to Mumbai by train. He asked some of the passengers in the train to give him a paper and pen. By the time when the train reached Mumbai next morning, he had already completed the script for next movie ‘Upkaar’. His name in the film was Bharat. The listeners
still tear up listening to the patriotic songs in the movies like ‘Shaheed’, ’Upkaar’, ‘Purab and Paschim’, ‘Kranti’, ‘Jai Hind, the Pride’.
Dil Diya Hai, Jaan Bhi Denge
The form of patriotism has changed in the new generation patriotic movies. It can be especially seen in the films following the 1986 movie ‘Karma’. The song in the movie Karma, ‘Dil diya hai, jaan bhi denge’, is quite popular.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra made a good film on patriotism back in 1994. The movie starring Anil Kapoor and Manisha Koirala, ‘1942 A love Story’, showed the pre-Independence love story in a refreshing way. The later coming movies like ‘Krantiveer’, ‘Tiranga’, ‘Border’, ‘Sarfarosh’, ‘Gadar’, and ‘Rang De Basanti’ also gained special success on the box office.
Many movies were also made on ‘Shaheed’ Bhagat Singh. These movies were appreciated by the audience but the songs in the movie could not gain similar prominence.
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