7 Songs That Defined India’s Patriotism In the Last Century

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Patriotic songs bring a sense of responsibility and pride in our hearts. It is a medium through which we express respect for the motherland and martyrs, solidarity, and hopefulness amid the times of difficulty.

Hindi films have given us countless patriotic songs that are filled with powerful lyrics and soulful music. From Manna Dey’s Ae Mere Pyaare Watan to A. R. Rehman’s Ye Jo Des Hai Tera, patriotic songs in Hindi films have been something we turn to to express our love for the country. With that spirit, celebrating the 73rd Independence Day of India, let us look at 7 songs from the last century that defined our sense of patriotism.

1. Saare Jahaan Se Achha

Previously known as Tarānah-e-Hindi, Sare Jahan Se Accha was originally written for children by Muhammad Iqbal (popularly known as Allama Iqbal) in 1904. Written in the ghazal style, it was an ode to Hindustaan that comprised present day India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The song’s popularity even after a whole century can be owed to its simple yet honest lyrics that depict true yearning and love for the country.

2. Ye Desh Hai Veer Jawaano Ka

Written by Sahir Ludhiyaanvi and beautifully sung by Mohammed Rafi, Ye Desh Hai Veer Jawaano Ka is a song that became an anthem for the labour movement when mechanization was fast replacing human labour. It was written for the 1957 film Naya Daur and was picturized on Dilip Kumar The song is a celebration of the youth of our country and the month of Shraavan that is believed to bring prosperity with it. The fast pace rhythm of the song coupled with Rafi’s magical voice makes this song so popular even today.

3. Chin O Arab Hamara

Sahir Ludhiyaanvi’s hard-hitting lyrics and Mohammed Zahur Khayyam’s beautiful composition makes Chin o Arab a special song. It was written for the 1958 film Phir Subha Hogi starring Raj Kapoor and Mala Sinha. Like the film, the lyrics of this song talks about social injustice and inequality spread in the nation post independence. While we celebrate the 73rd Independence Day of India, Ludhiyanvi’s words from 1958 still hold true.

4. Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein

India’s economy post Independence was in shatters, but we couldn’t sit and keep blaming the colonizers and instead start paving way towards better economic conditions. Prem Dhavan’s words Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein encouraged the country to forget the past, forgive the oppressors and move on positively for a better future. The song was sung by the amazing Mukesh and the music was composed by Usha Khanna.

5. Ae Mere Pyaare Watan

This song is a love letter to one’s country. If you’re away from your country and often get nostalgic thinking about it, you’re likely to shed a few tears on hearing Manna Dey’s Ae Mere Pyaare Watan. This song is so beautiful that it is almost painful. It was written by lyricist Prem Dhawan while the music was composed by Salil Chaudhary.

6. Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo

A list of Hindi patriotic songs cannot be complete without this legendary song sung so beautifully by the Lata Mangeshkar. It was first sung by her on 26 January 1963 in the presence of India’s then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It had been only three months since India was attacked by Chinese troops on October 20, 1962. This song commemorates Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the India-China war.

7. Ae Watan Ae Watan Humko Teri Kasam

Post Independence, many wars took place during the 1960s between India and neighboring countries. Soldiers were dying and the country’s economic conditions were getting poorer. Lifting up the patriotic spirit was important around this time. Songs like, Ae Watan Ae Watan Humko Teri Kasam comforted the families who lost their loved ones during the wars. Written by Prem Dhawan and sung by Mohammed Rafi for the film Shaheed (1965), the song captures the spirit of the country’s soldiers.

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