Patriotic songs have always been an important part of the Hindi films. Today as we celebrate our 71st Independence Day, let’s look back at the first patriotic song picturised in a Hindi film.
Of course, it was written by Rashtrakavi, Kavi Pradeep, whose ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon’ still brings tears to eyes of every Indian.
During the peak of Quit India movement, Gyan Mukherjee made a film called Kismet in 1943. It is considered a landmark film as for the first time in the history of the Indian cinema it dealt with some bold themes like anti-hero character and an unmarried girl getting pregnant. Kismet was severely criticised for glorifying crime and portraying a criminal in good light. Despite all the criticism, the movie shattered all box office records, becoming the first Indian movie to gross Rs10 million at the box office because of just one song.
Kismet is still known for its famous song “Dor Hato Ae Duniya Walon Hindustan Humara Hai”. The song was written by Kavi Pradeep and composed by Anil Biswas. The singers were Ameerbai Karnataki and Khan Mastana.
Despite strict British censorship the song was allowed in the film because of clever lyrics by Kavi Pradeep and picturisation by Gyan Mukherjee.
In the song, the Indian soldiers were shown wearing British army uniforms and since the British were fighting Germans and Japanese in the world war, Pradeep added one line ( Tum na kisi aage jukhana German ho ya Japani) which convinced the censors that it was not anti-British song.
However, the patriotic overtones of the song were very much evident to Indians. The song had such an intense impact on the people that it created a mass hysteria among cinegoers who literally went crazy when the song blazed on the screen.
According to reports when the song used to appear on screen, the sitting audience used to give a standing ovation and amidst thunderous applause demanded a repeat run of the song, which the theatre owners usually obliged. The unprecedented popularity of the song forced the lyricist Kavi Pradeep to go underground to avoid being arrested by the British authorities for sedition.