The Downfall Of Patriotic Songs In Bollywood In Recent Times! – Part 5

There was a time when Bollywood patriotic songs were popular among the masses. However, today the scenario is different. The patriotic songs of today lack that charm which the olden days had. That’s the reason come any national day of patriotic significance the nation starts echoing with old patriotic numbers. The most common among them being – Aye mere watan, Mere desh ki dharti…, Apni azaadi ko hargeez…, Jahan dal dal pe sone ki

So what’s the magic in the bygone era patriotic numbers? Gulzar, the popular lyricist, and filmmaker said, “The magic was in the lyrics. Patriotic songs touch our hearts if the lyrics have the substance to move hearts. Fortunately, in those days we had uncanny poets who could write lyrics that would move even stone to tears!! Poets like Shakeel Badayuni, Kavi Pradeep, Majrooh Sultanpuri, or Kaifi Azmi and Sahir Ludhianvi whose words worked wonders. That’s the reason even today Aai Mere Watan Ke Logon or Kar Chale Hum Fidanever loses its shine”

Agreeing with Gulzar, ‘Bharat Kumar‘ aka – Manoj Kumar – maker of umpteen patriotic films beginning with Shaheed, Upkaar, Purab Aur Paschim to Kranti, say, “It is true that the dearth of good lyricists in Bollywood is the prime cause for the downfall of good patriotic numbers in recent films. In 2002, three films were made on the film of Bhagat Sigh viz. The Legend Of Bhagat Singh; 23rd March 1931: Shaheed and Shaheed-e-Azam (2002) but not a single could match the standards of the lyrics of Prem Dhawan‘s poetry in my movie Shaheed (1964).”

Lyricist Sameer who did his best in Rajkumar Santoshi‘s film The Legend of Bhagat Singh however, disagrees with Manoj Kumar. Defending himself he said, “The irony in our country is that youngster is never praised but once these same youngsters turn gray they are applauded to the skies. Remember R. D. Burman, when he introduced the jazz revolution he was criticized to a pulp. But today after his death the same ‘discarded’ and outclassed R. D. Burman is being crowned as one of the legends of Indian cinema. The same applies with me my songs in The Legend of Bhagat Singh may not be as popular as old patriotic songs  today but mark my words after 20 years they will be included in the legendary list!”

Showering sympathy on the wounded Sameer, the industry’s most respected and highly intellectual lyricist Javed Akhtar said, It’s true a patriotic song to make it ‘mark’ needs hard core lyrics. It’s also true the brilliance of Sahir, Kaifi and monarch of patriotic lyrics Kavi Pradeep cannot be replaced so easily. However, to point finger on each and every lyricist under the sun is also not correct.” Javed added, “Even today the industry possess some brilliant poets but the problem with us poets is that we do get challenging situation to display our skill. However, whenever we have got opportunities we have proved our worth for instance Anand Bakshi’s song Har Karam Apana Karenge Aye Watan Tere Liye..Dil Diya Hai Jaan bhi Denge..Aye Watan Tere Liye.. (Karma) is even today a huge hit. Besides, my lyrics Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera… in Swades or Gulzarbhai‘s lyrics in Jai Ho in Danny Boyle’s hit Hollywood film Slumdog Millionaire are excellent. Thus to compare the old genera with present is incorrect. Both are apt in their own place.”

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