Republic Day special: 6 patriotic songs nobody should forget!

It has been 65 years since India was declared a nation of the people, by the people and for the people. And the people express their joy at being Indian with song and dance, reflected in Hindi movies. Here are some of the memorable numbers that for some reason, we forgot…

India is celebrating its 65th Republic Day and Bollywood is part of the party in a big way. B-town musicians have composed many patriotic songs, often used to motivate the armed forces at the nation’s borders. Remember Lata Mangeshkar crooning Ae mere watan ke logon, Mohammad Rafi singing the melodious Ab tumhare hawale watan saathiyon or Manna Dey singing the soulful Ae mere pyaare watan, tujhpe dil kurbaan? Although these songs have left an indelible impression on our minds, others were as good, but have for some odd reason been forgotten. Have you heard these…?

Jai jawan: This song from the 2013 film War Chhod Na Yaar would not have been heard by too many. This song fills you with josh as you listen to it. It speaks of all the jawans protecting our borders day and night. The powerful voice of Sukhwinder Singh is the best part, as he sings lyrics by Faraz Haider set to music composed by Aslam Keyi.

Yeh des hai mera: This song from the 2010 film Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey was not given much airtime, since the movie itself – which tells the story of the Chittagong uprising – did not work at the box office or with critics. The song was composed and sung by Sohail Sen with lyrics by Javed Akhtar. It is a call to all Indians to wake up and work towards saving the motherland. It fits aptly in the present day situation, where the Indian public wants to save the country from the corruptness of the politicians who run it.

Khoon chala: From the 2006 film Rang De Basanti, this one was composed by AR Rahman and sung by Mohit Chauhan, but failed to capture listeners. The song is about the armed forces who shed their blood to keep the nation and its people safe, while an uncaring government gives more importance to less important aspects of everyday existence. The pathos of the families of those slain bravehearts is depicted very well through Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics.

Kandhon se milte hai kandhe: This number from the 2005 film Lakshya is indeed remembered, but rarely sung as part of any national day celebrations. It talks about the journey that a soldier goes through when he leaves his near and dear ones behind and prepares for an impending war, even as he watches his fellow soldiers dying in the conflict. Sung by Kunal Ganjawala, Sonu Nigam, Roop Kumar Rathod, Vijay Prakash, Hariharan and Shankar Mahadevan, this one was penned by Javed Akhtar. The tune was composed by the trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

Aisa des hai mera: This song from the 2004 film Veer Zaara will echo in the minds of those who watched the film. It has been very beautifully written by Javed Akhtar and makes a comparison of sorts between what goes on in Pakistan and across the border in India. The song has two individuals talking about how the two countries are alike in every manner and how they should always live in brotherhood. It is sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan, Gurdas Mann and Pritha Mazumder and set to music composed by the late Madan Mohan.

Yeh jo des hai tera: The 2004 film Swades starring Shahrukh Khan had all his fans humming this one. The song was composed and sung by AR Rahman and the lyrics were courtesy Javed Akhtar. It depicts the mindset of an individual who wants to come back and develop his home nation, but cannot leave his job elsewhere. The words and the tune are nicely amalgamated to form a kind of string that pulls a NRI back to his own nation.

We dedicate these songs to the unsung heroes of the battlefield and wish everyone a very happy Republic Day!