Narendra Kusnur cherry picks 10 of his favourite Desh Bhakti songs that will make you swell in pride and enjoy our 72nd Republic Day remembrance.
Vande Mataram – Anand Math (1952)
Based on words by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, this was also a popular patriotic song during the Independence movement. The film version was composed by Hemant Kumar, with separate renditions by him and Lata Mangeshkar.
Aao Bachchon Tumhe Dikhayein – Jagriti (1954)
This classic was written and sung by Kavi Pradeep, with music by Hemant Kumar. The film had other memorable patriotic songs like ‘Sabarmati Ke Sant’ by Lata Mangeshkar and ‘Hum Laaye Hain Toofan Se’ by Mohammed Rafi.
Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawanon Ka – Naya Daur (1957)
Picturised as an energetic village dance, this song proved music director O.P. Nayyar’s ability to do rustic tunes. Sung by Mohammed Rafi and Balbir, it was penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. The fact that star actor Dilip Kumar led the dance sequence added to the charm.
Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960)
Mukesh, Manna Dey and Mangeshkar combined on this classic composed by Shankar-Jaikishen and filmed mainly on Raj Kapoor. Lyricist Shailendra touched a chord with the lines “Hum us desh ke waasi hai, jis desh mein Ganga behti hai”.
Nanha Munna Raahi Hoon – Son of India (1962)
The magical combination of music director Naushad and lyricist Shakeel Badayuni create this gem, sung by Shanti Mathur and chorus. This worked well as both a children’s song and patriotic tune, and was performed regularly in schools.
Ae Watan, Ae Watan – Shaheed (1965)
Prem Dhawan composed and wrote this song sung by Rafi. The film was based on the life of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, and also had the popular songs ‘Mera Rang De Basanti Chola’, ‘Watan Pe Marne Waala’ and the Bismil Azimabadi-penned ‘Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna’.
Mere Desh Ki Dharti – Upkar (1967)
One of Mahendra Kapoor’s most famous songs, this was picturised on Manoj Kumar and composed by Kalyanji-Anandji. Gulshan Bawra wrote the lines “Mere desh ki dharti sona ugle ugle here moti, mere desh kid harti”. A must on Independence Day and Republic Day.
Hindustan Ki Kasam – Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973)
A tribute to those in the Indian Air Force, this song featured Manna Dey, Rafi and others. Music was by Madan Mohan, with Kaifi Azmi writing “Na jhukega sar watan ka har jawaan ki kasam”. The war film starred Raaj Kumar.
Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyara Hai – Roja (1992)
Rahman’s music in Mani Ratnam’s Roja gave him a major career boost. It was released in Tamil first before being dubbed, and the Hindi lyrics were written by P.K. Mishra. Hariharan sang this outstanding song.
Maa Tujhe Salaam – non-film (1997)
This was the opening song of Rahman’s album Vande Mataram, released to mark 50 years of Independence. The composer sings the song himself, and the lyrics are written by Mehboob. The video by Bala and Kanika also made news because of its scale.