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When SAHIR LUDHIANVI answered KAVI PRADEEP & MUHAMMAD IQBAL with his thoughtful parody-lyrics using the same poetic phrases. (Did You Know - 84)

09 Apr, 2015 | Articles on Music, Poetry and Life / Did You Know! / Articles on Cinema

Sahir Ludhianvi

In the early decades of Hindi films post-independence, when lyricists and composers used to heartily appreciate the memorable works of their fellow artists, there was a rare instance when a socially relevant song in film Nastik (1954) was answered later in a comic-parody form in film Railway Platform (1955) by an entirely different team of known creative men in all good spirits.
The memorable, realistic song depicting the inhuman aftermath of partition and hypocrisy practiced in the society was both penned and sung by the respected Kavi Pradeep in the composition by C. Ramchandra (film directed by I. S. Johar) and is still remembered as one of the most iconic songs of Hindi cinema surprisingly relevant even today in the present scenario. And its true to life lyrics go as:
Dekh Tere Sansaar Ki Haalat Kya Ho Gayi Bhagwaan,
Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan….., Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan,
Sooraj Na Badla, Chaand  Na Badla, Na Badla Re Aasmaan
Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan….., Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan!
A quite bold poetic statement for those nation-building times, the song took the entire country by storm and was answered by Sahir Ludhianvi in the next year along with Mohd. Rafi, S. D. Batish (as singers) and Madan Mohan (as composer using the same tune of C. Ramchandra) in film Railway Platform (1955) directed by Ramesh Saigal (the first movie of actor-director-politician Sunil Dutt). The song was a funny parody also shot in a comic setting on screen, mocking at the hypocrite social standards revealing the wide gap between the rich and the poor in relation to the supreme Almighty. And its lyrics using the subjects in reverse order were:
Dekh Tere Bhagwaan Ki Haalat Kya Ho Gayi Insaan,
Kitna Badal Gaya Bhagwaan….., Kitna Badal Gaya Bhagwaan,
Bhookhon Ke Ghar Mein Phera Na Daaley, ‘Sethon’ Ka Ho Mehmaan,
Kitna Badal Gaya Bhagwaan….., Kitna Badal Gaya Bhagwaan!
No doubt the lyrics of the parody presented a much more sarcastic vision of our society as an answer, blaming it all on the supreme power only in return. But at the same time, using the exactly similar thought, meter and composition of another team, certainly gives us a clear idea of the healthy creative environment existing among the talented creators of those times who mutually had an honest wish to have a better and peaceful society ahead in the independent India and did believe in “Imitation as the sincerest form of flattery” complimenting each other.
Interestingly a few years later in 1958, Sahir came up with another introspective answer to two highly esteemed poetic expressions of the most respected Urdu poet and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal (also known as Allama Iqbal), titled Tarana-e-Hind’ or ‘Tarana-e-Hindi’ (Song of the nation Hindustan) and ‘Tarana-e-Milli’ (Song of the Religious community).

To simplify the terms, we know ‘Tarana-e-Hindi’ by the countrywide popular phrase of “Saarey Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamara” and its opening lines go as:
Saarey Jahan Se Achha, Hindustan Hamara,
Hum Bulbuley Hain Is Ki, Yeh Gulsitan Hamara!
Whereas ‘Tarana-e-Milli’ talked about the Islamic community alone beginning as:
Cheen-O-Arab Hamaara, Hindustan Hamaara,
Muslim Hain Hum, Vatan Hai Saara Jahaan Hamaara!
Taking the two expressions together, Sahir again came up with an exceptional, hard hitting parody using similar phrases in film Phir Subah Hogi (1958 – based on Dostoevysky’s Crime & Punishment) sung by Mukesh in the music direction of Khaiyyam (film directed by Ramesh Saigal). And the answer very daringly depicted the cynical realities of life simply rejecting the optimistic vision of Muhammad Iqbal in a rebellious manner as:
Cheen-O-Arab Hamaara, Hindustan Hamaara,
Rehney Ko Ghar Nahin Hai, Saara Jahaan Hamaara!

Jitni Bhi Buildingen Thi, ‘Sethon’ Ne Baant Li Hain
Footpath Bambai Ke Hain Aashiyaan Hamaara
Soney Ko Hum Qalandar, Aatey Hain Bori Bandar
Har Ek Coolie Yahaan Ka, Hai Raazdan Hamaara

Cheen-O-Arab Hamaara, Hindustan Hamaara,
Rehney Ko Ghar Nahin Hai, Saara Jahaan Hamaara!
It is said that the song became a youth anthem at that time, just a decade after the Indian independence when all educated unemployed youngsters had no clear directions of where to move ahead with their individual careers. Considered as ‘controversial lyrics’ it was well-noticed by the authorities too for its unpleasant but true representation of the times by the one and only Sahir Ludhianvi, who till date finds no parallel when it comes to such poetic-satirical comment on the sad state of our society and its changing mindsets. For instance just look at the word “Seth” (Capitalists) used in both the songs mentioned above painting an ugly picture of the wide divide, painfully exploiting the poor.
However the biggest irony is that the meaningful lyrics written by the blessed poet in the mid 50s are still equally relevant in the present, after more than half a century gone and many generations changed. In fact that’s what perfectly represents the introspective, futuristic vision of an extraordinary poet with incomparable writing skills fondly known as Sahir Ludhianvi.
Incidentally Sahir too got a sharp answer for his “Taj Mahal” nazm by another renowned poet-lyricist Shakeel Badayuni in film “Leader” (1964) directed by Ram Mukherjee with music composed by Naushad and the track beautifully sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd. Rafi.
To give you the exact phrase, towards the end of his famous nazm Sahir wrote,
“Ik Shahenshah Ne Daulat Ka Sahaara Le Kar
Hum Gareebon Ki Mohabbat Ka Urhayaa Hai Mazaaq,
Meri Mehboob Kahin Aur Mila Kar Mujh Se!”
And in answer to that Shakeel expressed it in his lyrics as,
“Ik Shahenshah Ne Banwa Ke Hasin Tajmahal
Saari Duniyaa Ko Mohabbat Ki Nishaani Di Hai,
Iske Saaye Mein Sada Pyaar Ke Charchey Hongey
Khatm Jo Ho Na Sakegi Woh Kahaani Di Hai”
Again two exceptionally talented poets/lyricist of our ‘Golden Era’ at their creative best!

Bobby Sing
© Bobbytalkscinema.com April 2015 

Tags : Sahir Ludhianvi answers Kavi Pradeep and Allama Iqbal, Did You Know facts about Hindi Cinema at bobbytalkscinema, Unknown Hindi Films Facts by Bobby Sing, Lesser known facts about Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing
09 Apr 2015 / Comment ( 2 )
Prakash Bhatia

Hi Bobbyji,
There is another wonderful song by Sahir sahab during that period for Guru Dutt sahab \'s Pyasa \'jinhey naaz hai hind par woh kahan hain\' echoing revolutionary satire.Cheers

Bobby Sing

Hi Prakash ji,
Yes indeed......who can forget PYAASA and its lyrics that actually caused a split between Sahir and SDB.
But here was actually keen to depict the answering back to another creation in the same verses.... (and in the first case, same composition too).

However have later added the answer given to Sahir too by another exceptional talent Shakeel Badayuni.

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