With Independence Day around the corner, patriotism seems to be the favorite of the season. Of course, it would be better if this nationalistic sentiment stayed uniform throughout. But nevertheless, the important fact to note here is it is a day to reminisce of the extremely hard struggle for freedom, a time to recall the sacrifices of the freedom fighters and if possible try not to ruin the India they fought for. Perhaps the below songs would help in evoking these feelings in one and all!
1. Zindagi Maut Na Ban Jaye
In the 1999 film Sarfarosh, starring Aamir Khan, Sonali Bendre, and Naseeruddin Shah, was released at the helm of the Kargil conflict when tensions between India and Pakistan are high. It went on to become a success and the song ‘Zindagi Maut Na Ban Jaye’, sung by Sonu Nigam and Roop Kumar Rathod, earned accolades for being a heart- touching number. This is certainly, by all means, a pick for this list.
2. Aye Watan Tere Liye
This song features in the 1986 film Karma. Directed by Subhash Ghai, this film starred Dilip Kumar, Nutan, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and Naseeruddin Shah in prominent roles. The song ‘Aye Watan Tere Liye’ is a wonderful ode to the country. It is a definite pick in this list. It is one of the best compositions by the Indian composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
3. Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera
This is one of the masterpieces by A. R. Rahman. It’s hard to listen to this song and not feel at least a certain degree of loyalty towards your nation. It appeared in the film ‘Swades’ written, produced and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker starring Shah Rukh Khan. It is certainly one of the songs worth mentioning in this list with widely acclaimed vocals by the music maestro A. R. Rahman.
4. Main Jahan Rahu
The 2007 Hindi Romantic comedy film Namastey London featured the song ‘Main Jahan Rahu’. The song has a very earthy feel and connects instantly to people living in foreign countries, often missing and longing for their motherland. Sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Krishna Beurathis, it is an excellent song. So without a doubt, this song lands up in this list.
5. Bharat Ka Rehne Wala Hoon, Bharat Ki Baat Sunaata Hoon
This song features in a Manoj Kumar classic Purab Aur Pachhim. Produced and directed by the actor himself, the film starred Manoj Kumar, Saira Banu, Ashok Kumar, Pran and Prem Chopra in lead roles. The music was composed by Kalyanji Anandji who gave us this beautiful song. Sung by Mahendra Kapoor, it is one of the songs that inevitably come to mind when patriotic songs are the topic.
6. Aye Mere Pyare Watan
This melodious song which featured in the 1961 movie ‘Kabuliwala’ is another gem in the collection of patriotic songs. ‘Aye mere pyare watan’ has a mesmerizing tone to it which is impossible to ignore. It was sung by Manna Dey and the song was written by Prem Dhawan. The music of Salil Choudhury made this composition unforgettable. It is said that the song was written and composed on the eve of the Indo-China war; perhaps the reason for it being so heart rendering.
7. Aye Watan, Aye Watan
In 1965, when the quintessential villains in the Indian society were still the British, ‘Shaheed’, a movie based on Bhagat Singh’s life was made. Starring Manoj Kumar, this movie went on to win Best Feature Film in Hindi at the 13th National Film Awards. The movie had many patriotic songs, ‘Aye watan, aye watan’ is just one of them but a great at that. It was sung by Mohammad Rafi and is surely a fantastic song in all respects.
8. Kar Chale Humfida
This is another great song which evokes a deep sense of devotion to the nation. In 1964, a Hindi war film named ‘Haqeeqat’ was made; directed by Chetan Anand, it was based on the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The film went on to win the National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film in 1965. ‘Kar chale humfida’, sung by Mohammed Rafi, written by Kaifi Azmiand and composed by Madan Mohan, has become one of the anthems of patriotism for this country.
9. De Di Hamein Azaadi
The song ‘De Di Hamein Azaadi’ featured in the 1954 film ‘Jagriti’ based on a Bengali film Paribartan. Sung by Asha Bhonsle, this is another great patriotic song that graced the screens of Indian Cinema. The song talks about the magic of Gandhi who helped India cross the threshold of Independence through his principles of ahimsa or non-violence. It was and still a great song; hence a must have in this list.
10. Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo
This is perhaps the most touching patriotic song ever written and sung. It was written by Kavi Pradeep and composed by C. Ramchandra. It was composed as a tribute to the Indian soldiers who had laid down their lives for protecting the country in the Sino-Indian War. It was performed by Lata Mangeshkar on 27th January 1963 in presence of the erstwhile Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on the occasion of Republic Day, just a few months after the war. It is said that this song had moved the Prime Minister to tears.