Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo (1963)
In the aftermath of the Indo-Sino war, a disturbed Kavi Pradeep wrote this song on an empty packet of cigarettes. It was first sung on January 27, 1963. Composed by C Ramachandra in raag Asavari, it was sung by Lata Mangeshkar in Delhi’s National Stadium. The occasion was a fundraiser by the film industry for war widows. The six-and-a-half-minute ditty moved Pandit Nehru to tears.
Ye Desh Hai Veer Jawaano Ka (Naya Daur, 1957)
This OP Nayyar and Sahir Ludhyanvi song featured Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala. It was a story set in post-independence India. The film is still remembered for its man versus machine premise and this folk piece.
Aye Mere Pyaare Watan (Kabuliwala, 1961)
Prem Dhawan’s lyrics were an ode to the country that was put to tune by Salil Chaudhury who delivered a Persian melody with Indian compositional principles in place. With a single tabla and rabab, the song reached many hearts. Manna Dey, the vocalist, said that the song’s first take was kept.
Apni Azaadi Ko Hum (Leader, 1964)
Shakeel Badayuni’s line ‘Sar kata sakte hain lekin sar jhuka sakte nahi’ in Ram Mukherjee’s Leader reminded people of the fight for independence and the line of thought that Bhagat Singh spoke of.
Mere Desh Ki Dharti (Upkar, 1967)
After his famed movie Shaheed, Manoj Kumar got a call from the then Prime Minister Pt Lal Bahadur Shastri, who requested him to make a film on his famous election-winning slogan, ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. Upkar was born soon after. The entire nation crooned “Mere Desh ki dharti” with Mr Bharat. This Kalyanji-Anandji piece was written by Gulshan Bawra and sung by Mahendra Kapoor.
Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyaara Hai (Roja, 1992)
Hariharan and AR Rahman aced this piece, which went on to become an anthem for Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations.
Maa Tujhe Salaam (Vande Matram, 1997)
A piece from AR Rahman’s studio album, “Maa tujhe salaam” was created to commemorate the 50th year of India’s independence and appealed to the younger audiences. The piece was a musical movement in itself for its rousing quality and addition of the phrase Vande Matram with it.
Rang De Basanti (Rang De Basanti, 2006)
This AR Rahman tune, set to lyrics by Prasoon Joshi, and sung by Daler Mehendi, found Punjabi gusto at the heart of its style. The pulsating piece reached many hearts in no time.
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