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Subhash K Jha’s Patriotic Playlist



  1. Ae mere watan ke logon:  Nothing to beat this ode to Bharat Mata  sung to eternal  fame  by  the  Goddess Of All Melodious Things Lata Mangeshkar. It  ranks as the most popular patriotic song of  Independent India.Interestingly Lataji almost didn’t sing  this  timeless  classic. Both poet Pradeep and composer  C Ramachandra insisted that I do the song though I was unwell. After its first performance in Delhi, the newspapers next morning were filled with the story of how the song made Pandit Nehru cry.
  2. Mera joota hai japani(Awara): Considered as the ultimate pop anthem, Mukesh’s rendition added a poignant yet comic shade to Raj Kapoor’s character of a nationalistic nomad in Shri 420. Shailendra’s lyrics were a great boost.
  3. Kar chale hum fida jaan-o-tan saathiyon(Haqeeqat): Rafi poured his soul into this paean to patriotism, penned by Kaifi Azmi, for Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat. Strong on sentiments, this song moves listeners to tears every time.
  4. Vande mataram(Anand Math): Lata Mangeshkar’s rendering of the immortal lines for Hemant Kumar in the 1952 film Anand Math, remains an enduring  classic.
  5. Jahan daal-daal par sone ki chidiya karti hai basera(Sikander-e-Azam) : Giddy-headed utopian view of a newly independentIndia from the film Sikandar-e-Azam, brought to life by Mohammed Rafi.
  6. Mere Desh ki dharti(Upkar): This number from Manoj Kumar’s Upkar ranks among the most celebrated patriotic songs. Manoj and Mahendra Kapoor’s combo came up with some great patriotic songs.Remember Mora rang de basanti  cholafrom Shaheed? Kalyanji-Anandji composition Dulhan chali ho behan chali teen rang ki choli from Purab Aur Pachchim? Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s composition Ab ke baras tujhe dharti rani kar denge from Kranti?
  7. Ae mere pyare watan(Kabuliwala)  : Penned by Gulzar and composed by Salil Chowdhary, this is one soul-stirring song rendered by Manna Dey.
  8. Ae watan tere liye(Karma):Subhash Ghai’s Karma boasts of an unthinkable feat — Laxmikant-Pyarelal composition without any singing greats like Lata, Rafi, Mukesh, or Asha. It was rendered by Mohd Aziz and Kavita Krishnamurthy and is still remembered.
  9. Mere dushman mere bhai(Border) : J P Dutta’s post-glasnost song of Indo-Pak unity, Javed Akhtar’s lyrics set to music composed by Annu Malik and sung by Hariharan, is replete with affection and anguish.This song pleaded for sanity and amity between the two countries at a time when politicians were baying for blood.”
  10. Suno jaane wale laut ke aana(LOC Kargil): Penned by Javed Akhtar and composed by Anu Malik, this song from J P Dutta’s LOC, rendered by Alka Yagnik is a poignant plea to the soldiers to return to their homes.
  11. Maa tujhe salaam: A R Rahman’s passionate number is one of the greatest tribute to our motherland since Ae mere watan ke logon.
  12. Ae watan  abaad rahe  tu: ArjitSingh(Raazi):  This Raazi number is  the only patriotic  number  I’ve heard in any recent  film, and hence included here strictly for the sake of contemporaneity.  The  lyrics by Gulzar Saab are  filled with emotions  that scarcely get ample voice in the rendition. Arjit’s version is  more affluent in feelings. Alia Bhatt…ummm…more try-colour than tri-colour.
  13. Hai preet  jahan  ki reet sadaa(Purab Aur Pachchim): Manoj  Kumar in Mahendra Kumar’s booming voice  teaches the  gora  log  the  true value  of  being Indian. “jab zero diya mere bharat ne bharat ne mere bharat ne duniyaa ko tab ginati aayi taron kii bhashaa bharat ne duniyaa ko pehle sikhalaai.”  Bharat Mata Ki Jai!
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