Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Patriotic Poet

How do Indians show their patriotism? They say it with a song. Many singers and poets have gloriously conquered the psyche of the Indians with their work. One such artist who had the ineluctable creativity and power to do it consistently was Kavi Pradeep. Enslaved by the fervid love for the country, he wrote many songs which captured the imagination of the nation like Chal Chal Re Naujawan (film - Bandhan), Aao Bacchon Tumhe Dikhayein (film - Jagriti), and Upar Gagan Vishal (film - Mashaal).

During the Quit India movement, the ebullient poet wrote a song "Dur Hato Ae Duniya Waalon" (film - Kismet) out of sheer gumption and aplomb which echoed the sharp cry of the freedom struggle and acted as a catalyst to motivate the people. When the British government understood the underlying meaning of this song, they issued an arrest warrant for Pradeep, who was then forced to go underground.

The song written for the film Jagriti in the year 1954 "Dedi hamein azaadi bina khadag bina dhaal" dedicated to the Father of the Nation was a major hit.

In the year 1962, when we were attacked by China, one of our soldier- Param Veer Major Shaitan Singh Bhati fought valiantly with the enemy and laid down his life. Moved by his valor, the doughty poet penned “Ae mere watan ke Logon”. Lata Mangeshkar poured forth her ineffable and melodious voice from the crucible of her throat for the song. This song soon became patriotic opium of the masses. Jawaharlal Nehru had a soul stirring experience hearing Lataji render it. The song is bestowed as the greatest patriotic Indian song ever. Even after decades it still brings tears even in the eyes of pimply teenagers.

Some people have an ability to make other people happy. Kavi Pradeep was definitely one of the possessors of such ability. He, in fact, was truly a sui-generis.

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