Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ai mere watan ke logo

“Ai Mere Vatan Ke Logo...”

“Ai Mere Vatan Ke Logo, Zara aankh mein bhar lo paani,
Jo shaheed hue hain unkee, Zara yaad karo qurbaanee....”

O! my fellow countrymen!
Let tears fill your eyes. 
But always remember,
Those brave-hearts, 
For the sake of Nation
Sacrificed their lives.

This 50 years old well known patriotic song reminds of first Chinese aggression on Indian soil in 1962.  Written by Poet Pradeep and music composed by C. Ramachandran, this song was performed live by Lata Mangeshkar (then 34 years old) on January 27, 1963 in a concert held at National Stadium New Delhi in the presence of the then Prime Minister  Jawaharlal Nehru. The concert was organised by Govt of India in aid of families of our brave-heart soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Chinese aggression on India in 1962.
Behind the slogans of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai, India was taken unaware by treacherous Chinese.  Our Army was not well equipped for subzero warfare. Our soldiers were not equipped with capable armament. They had no option but to fight in freezing temperature, with outdated weapons of WWII and winter clothing that was insufficient for sub zero and high altitude location.
To help Indian Government raise funds to equip Indian Army, Indian Film Industry organised a function in New Delhi where Lata Mangeshkar sang this song. Moved by the lyrics of the song, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was observed wiping his damp eyes during the performance. The entry tickets were priced at Rs 25, 50, 100 and 200, which, in today’s value is approximately 30 times the value.
Though television in India started in April 1959, with an experimental telecast, through a small transmitter in a makeshift studio in Delhi, in 1963, there was no provision for live outdoor telecasting.  This program was broadcast live, by All India Radio and it was relayed by all radio stations in India.
In the touching lyrics, poet Pradeep aptly expressed his emotions after he too was moved by the sacrifices of the ill-equipped Indian soldiers in Sino-Indian war.
The original song had sound of a  DC-3 (Dakota) aircraft flying over the venue.  So the Gramophone Company Ltd., owners of trade mark "His Master’s Voice" gramophone records and the only recording company in India those days, decided for a retake of this song in their recording studios. Lata Mangeshkar sang this song once again at HMV’s sound studio in Mumbai.  Professional quality retake of the song was released on 78 RPM gramophone records (the only format in vogue those days).  
All the artists, technicians, musical instrument players, involved with this song, (totaling about 175), including singer Lata Mangeshkar, music director C. Ramachandran, lyricist Pradeep, technicians and sound recordists, did not charge for their professional performance and rather donated additional funds to Armed Forces War Widows Fund. The Gramophone Company of India donated entire profit received by sale of these records, to National Defence Fund.
This was an exemplary soul touching song that received an equally exemplary popularity and an unusual display of heart warming patriotism by Indians.
The song concludes as follows:
Jai Hind, Jai Hind Ki Sena

Jai Hind,  Jai Hind,  Jai Hind....

Fifty years have passed by. a lot has undergone change. India has developed Nuclear capabilities, Inter Continental Ballistic Missile capability and emerged as a world power. On the other side of the fence, China too has emerged as a world power.  But, unfortunately, even after 50 years, there is no change in the attitude of Chinese leaders. Their army is still attacking our border posts, injuring and killing our soldiers and gradually taking possession of Indian soil.  

The most sad part is that our politicians are still chanting “Hindi Cheenee Bhai Bahi.”  An unparalleled nonsense of highest order!


  1. very nice. A good piece of information.The new generation doesn't know so many difficulties which our elders have gone through. Please paste it on FB. worth reading.

    1. Thank you Aparna. As suggested, I have posted the link on my FB account as well.

  2. Very nice article Papa. I loved it! :)

    1. Thank you Mudit. I am glad you liked it. Please ask Shweta to have a look and post remarks as she only taught me how to write blogs.