Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani has produced a music video titled ‘Mera desh hai mahaan, mera desh hai jawan’ which, he says, is to “thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all that he has done for the nation”.
The 6.43-minute video was uploaded on YouTube on November 10, and a shorter version is now being played during the interval of the latest Salman Khan-starrer Prem Ratan Dhan Payo in several cinema halls across the country.
“Since I am from the film industry, I have good relations with Rajshri Productions, who have made Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. I requested them to attach it to the film,” said Nihalani, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
WATCH VIDEO: Mera Desh Hai Mahaan, Mera Desh Hai Jawan
An official from the production house said that “the song is a deshbhakti song, and Nihalani had a genuine, personal request which is why Rajshri Productions agreed”. He added that the video is being played in halls run by PVR, INOX and Carnival.
Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd, said that “the ad comes stitched with the film, and no one was directly in touch with us for this”.
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The song shows, among other sequences, Modi sitting on an icy mountain top, in a meditative pose, with school children waving flags and shouting “Modi kaka”, apart from a spread-out montage of his several meetings with world leaders such as US President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Three young men — a Hindu with a teeka on his forehead, a Muslim with the skullcap and a Christian with the cross around his neck — thump their chest, beat drums, wave the tri-colour, sing Modi’s praise, and recount the several programmes and initiatives undertaken by the Prime Minister.
“Yeh kamaal hai Modi ka, yeh Make in India hai / Hai desh-videsh Modi ki leher, ab sabko haath batana hai,” goes the song.
“I began work on this video two months ago. PM Modi has given so much to the common man, and this is my own tribute to him. No one asked me to do it, no political parties are involved. I have done this with my own money,” said Nihalani.
The video has been shot by Mumbai-based Munesh Rawat, who was assistant director on a number of David Dhawan films such as Biwi No. 1 and Judwaa. “PM Modi has started great initiatives such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and through this video we are spreading his message,” said Rawat, who has extensively used VFX in the video.
According to the 45-year-old director, “unity” was one factor he wanted to showcase in the video. “Just the way Hindus and Muslim co-exist in the film industry, they exist in the country,” said Rawat.
The song talks about the power of yoga — ‘jahan yog se ho din ka aarambh, wahan rog kaha phir hona hai’ — Digital India, as the three men sing ‘azaadi ke baad nayee azaadi aayi hai’ and the Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao initiative with ‘pita aur beti ki selfie se maa ka swabhimaan badhana hai’.
Heritage sites and development are shown side by side. In one sequence, Modi is shown with Mahatma Gandhi, with the line ‘jo sapna dekha Bapu-Modi ne, usse mil jul kar hume sach kar dikhana hai’ being repeated a few times.
For 30-year-old Ishwar Kumar, who composed the tune, the video is the “public’s way of thanking PM Modi”.