Aao bachcho tumhein dikhayen jhanki….ki

August 15, 2014

Independence Day greetings to India and Pakistan

Jagriti-BedariFill in the blank in ‘Aao bachcho tumhein dikhayen jhanki…ki’. We all know the answer – ‘Hindustan’. If you think of it, ‘Pakistan’ also fits in perfectly. It is quite befitting that this is so, because no two countries have such shared history, shared culture, language, musical tradition, dress and appearance. India and Pakistan both got independence on the same day (August 15/14) from the British rule by the same Act of British Parliament, ‘India Independence Act 1947’. This was more like a surgeon separating two children at birth, with the ‘surgeon’ Radcliffe cutting the land into two by drawing his scalpel on the map, creating two nation-states.

With such shared legacy, we must admire the people who decided to recreate the inspirational/ patriotic film, Jagriti (1954), on the other side as Bedari. Actor Ratan Kumar (Nazir Rizvi) was the common link. After getting fame for his roles in Boot Polish and Jagriti, he moved to Pakistan, where he played the same role of a differently-abled nice boy, who reforms the wayward boy in Bedari. Ratan Kumar went on to become a major star there.

Kavi Pradeep, the legendary singer-lyricist of patriotic-inspirational songs wrote the lyrics for Jagriti and Hemant Kumar composed its music.  The lyrics of Bedari are credited to Faiyaz Hashmi.  I believe he is the famous lyricist who wrote all those great non-film geets and ghazals of Jagmohan, Hemant Kumar and Talat Mahmood.  Fateh Ali Khan is said to be the music director of Bedari, but his job must have been very easy as he had to simply fit in different words in a karaoke track.

Let us greet the two nations on their Independence Day with the songs from Jagriti and their versions with identical tunes from Bedari. This post also fits into one of the sub-sub categories of Ashok Vaishnavji’s omnibus Multiple Version Songs (patriotic songs from different countries having the same tune!), and if he agrees we can treat it as Multiple Version Songs (19): Patriotic Songs.

1. Aao bachcho tumhe dikhayen by Pradeep

This is one of the most recognizable songs of Kavi Pradeep, who was not only one of the greatest lyricists of Hindi films, but also a singer endowed with a uniquely powerful and attractive voice, ideally suited for patriotic and inspirational songs. Picturised on the idealistic teacher, Abhi Bhattacharya, the song is also a reference to Gandhi’s Bharat Darshan on the train to understand India, on his return from South Africa.

Aao bachcho tumhe dikhayen jhanki Hidustan ki: Film Jagriti


And here is the Bedari song

Aao bachcho sair karayen tumko Pakistan ki

Aao bachcho sair kareyen tumko Pakistan ki: Film Bedari


2. De dee humein azadi by Asha Bhosle

One of the most well known eulogies to Gandhi, credited with getting our Independence, with the sole weapons of truth and non-violence.

De dee humein azadi bina khadg bina bhaal: Film Jagriti


Qayad-e-Azam occupies the same place on the other side.  So you have De dee humein azadi, on the other side, as a tribute to him. Said to be sung by Munawwar Sultana, lyrics are credited to Faiyyaz Hashmi.

De dee humei azadi…. ae Qayad-e-Azam tera ehsan hai ehsan by Munawwar Sultana

De dee humein azadi.. ae qayad-e-azam tera ehsan hai ehsan: Film Bedari


3. Hum layen hain toofan se kashti nikal ke by Rafi

This is another iconic song from Jagriti, sung by Mohammad Rafi. A sombre song, addressed to the children, explains the value of the hard-won independence and urges them that it is now upon them to preserve it.

Hum layen hain toofan se kashti nikal ke: Film Jagriti


As it turns out, preserving and protecting the nation was no less important on the other side. So you have its version song, said to be sung by Saleem Raza.  The song has in the end K-rhetoric which belongs to the 1950s.  Much water has since flown in the Chenab; and, hopefully, the two peoples can enjoy our rich common cultural and musical heritage.

Hum layen hai toofan se kashti nikal ke by Saleem Raza

Hum layen hain toofan se: Film Bedari


4. Chalo chale ma sapno ke gaon mein by Asha Bhosle

Jagriti also had an extremely melodious Asha Bhosle song, a loving mother-son song that talks of going to a dreamland.

Chalo chale ma: Film Jagriti


Dreams are no different on the other side; and, as Shahrukh Khan said in Veer Zara, mothers are equally lovely on both the sides. You have Chalo chalen ma from Bedari, said to be sung by Nazir Begum. The child Ratan Kumar is the same in both the films, with different mothers though.

Chalo chale ma sapno ke gaon me by Nazir Begum

Chalo chale ma: Film Bedari


Since Bedari came three years after Jagriti, there is no doubt who got inspired by whom. Lest someone should think that it has been a one-way traffic, our music directors, too, have been hugely inspired by musicians from Pakistan right since the 1940s, when Lahore school of music (then part of India), led by Ghulam Haider hit Bombay. This tradition has continued all along. If Bedari can be seen as a tribute to Jagriti, Anu Malik and Bappi Lahiri have repaid the debt many times over. It is said that they were the most grief-stricken on the demise of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, even more than his family members.

Wishing the two peoples of India and Pakistan a great future on the occasion of our shared Independence Day, and also wishing that the musical bond between the two grow forever.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mumbaikar8 August 15, 2014 at 1:52 am

Joining AK in wishing avery happy independence day to all.

2 Anu Warrier August 15, 2014 at 7:46 am

What a way to connect the theme of multi-version songs to Independence Day(s), AK. 🙂

Wishing the two nations will eventually remember that they were once one, and that we have so much in common.

3 AK August 15, 2014 at 8:47 am

When I came across this unique case, the connection presented itself. We only wish that the two states find out a way to move away from tortuous politics to the beautiful commonality between the two peoples.

4 arvindersharma August 15, 2014 at 11:15 am

AK Ji and and all the readers of SoY,
A very Happy Independence Day to all.
It would be very appropriate to celebrate this auspicious day with a great patriotic song originally composed by the great poet Iqbal, who migrated to Pakistan after partition.
My salutations.

5 dustedoff August 15, 2014 at 11:16 am

What a good idea for an Independence Day post, AK! Nice. And yes, it is high time India and Pakistan accepted the fact that, as people, we have more in common than not, and that this commonality should be celebrated.

6 Arunkumar Deshmukh August 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Sharma ji,
Poet Iqbal died in 1938.

7 arvindersharma August 15, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Arun Ji,
The error is greatly regretted as I was under the impression that Iqbal later changed his stance from a believer in the freedom of India to someone who later favored the creation of Pakistan.
This does not make him a lesser human being in my opinion as he was entitled to his own belief.
Arun Ji,
Thanks once again for the correction.

8 arvindersharma August 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm

A correction once again.
My impression that poet Iqbal changed his stance is correct. My inference drawn, that he migrated to Pakistan because of this is factually incorrect.
(A faux pas is a faux pas)😴

9 N Venkataraman August 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm

AK ji,
Thanks for the memorable and meaningful post on this Independence Day. I liked your approach in presenting the songs without going into the controversy that we often find in the comments of most of the blogs. I endorse the views expressed by my friends. There remains a very strong sense of emotional bonding with the people of all the three nations (Bangladesh included) across the border and I believe this sense of camaraderie will go a long way in transcending the artificial barricade (Line of Control which is the authority of the state) and mental blockade (psychological symbols dividing people). I would like to share this clip, if you have not watched this before.

As I have said this earlier, I think in Madhu ji’s blog, Solution to any problem is simple, but the complication lies in the mind. Pray to almighty to bless us so that we can remain simple at heart. Happy Independence Day friends.

10 SSW August 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Happy Independence day to all… I remember this poem by W H Auden on Radcliffe…These last verse perhaps sums up everything.

Unbiased at least he was when he arrived on his mission,
Having never set eyes on this land he was called to partition
Between two peoples fanatically at odds,
With their different diets and incompatible gods.
‘Time,’ they had briefed him in London, ‘is short. It’s too late
For mutual reconciliation or rational debate:
The only solution now lies in separation.
The Viceroy thinks, as you will see from his letter,
That the less you are seen in his company the better,
So we’ve arranged to provide you with other accommodation.
We can give you four judges, two Moslem and two Hindu,
To consult with, but the final decision must rest with you.’

Shut up in a lonely mansion, with police night and day
Patrolling the gardens to keep assassins away,
He got down to work, to the task of settling the fate
Of millions. The maps at his disposal were out of date
And the Census Returns almost certainly incorrect,
But there was no time to check them, no time to inspect
Contested areas. The weather was frightfully hot,
And a bout of dysentery kept him constantly on the trot,
But in seven weeks it was done, the frontiers decided,
A continent for better or worse divided.

The next day he sailed for England, where he quickly forgot
The case, as a good lawyer must. Return he would not,
Afraid, as he told his Club, that he might get shot.

11 AK August 15, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Thanks for your appreciation. And very well said. The video link Venkataramanji has given conveys the same sentiments so beautifully.

12 AK August 15, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Here are two interesting Wikipedia links that give the history of Saare jahan se achcha Hindostan hamara and profile of Iqbal.


It is not proper to discuss the political and philosophical transformation of Iqbal here. Let us remember him as the writer of one of the most iconic patriotic songs.

13 AK August 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Thanks a lot for this lovely and very moving video link. I had not seen this before. Yes, there is a lot which can cause bitterness between the two states, and there is a lot which is beautiful between the two peoples. The saner people on both the sides must be hoping for the good to prevail over the bad between the two countries.

14 AK August 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm

The poem on Radcliffe is fabulous. But, it sounds so uncannily like an SSW ‘pome’! This exactly describes what was going on. If you think about it, Mountbatten was no less irresponsible. Would you like to write one on him?

15 Soumya Banerji August 15, 2014 at 11:36 pm

I had no idea that Jagriti was re-made in Pakistan. As usual SoY has broadened my horizon of knowledge. A very appropriate post for the occasion.

16 Gaby August 16, 2014 at 1:07 am

The sun has set on the 68th Independence Days of Pakistan and India. Burdened by indescribable poverty and archaic laws of patriarchy, both nations need to seek their destinies as brothers and not as foes. The euphoria of celebration is spent and the gravity of reality returns. Reminds me of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Subhe-e-Azaadi.

Subh-e-Aazaadii Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Ye daagh daagh ujaalaa, ye shab-gaziida sahar,
Vo intizaar thaa jis-kaa, ye vo sahar to nahiiN,
Ye vo sahar to nahiiN jis-kii aarzu lekar
Chale the yaar ke mil-ja`egi kahiiN na kahiN

Falak ke dasht meN taroN kii aakhiri manzil,
KahiN to hogaa shab-e sust mauj kaa sahil,
KahiN to jaake rukegaa safiina-e-gham-e-dil.

JawaaN lahu kii pur-asraar shaahrahoN se
Chale jo yaar to daaman pe kitne hath paRe;

Diyaar-e-husn kii be-sabr khwaabgaahoN se
Pukaarti-rahiiN baahen, badan bulaate-rahe;
Bahut ‘aziiz thii lekin rukh-e-sahar ki lagan,
Bahut qariin thaa hasiinaN-e-nuur kaa daaman, ,
Subuk subuk thii tamannaa, dabii dabii thii thakan.

Sunaa hai ho bhii chukaa hai firaaq-e-zulmat-o-nuur,
Sunaa hai ho bhii chukaa hai visaal-e-manzil-o-gaam;

Badal-chukaa hai bahut ahl-e-dard kaa dastuur,
Nishaat-e-vasl halaal o ‘azab-e-hijr haraam.

Jigar kii aag, nazar kii umang, dil kii jalan,
kisii pe chaara-e-hijraaN kaa kuchh asar hii nahiiN.
KahaaN se aa’ii nigaar-e-sabaa, kidhar ko ga’ii?
Abhii charaagh-e-sar-e-rah ko kuchh khabar hii nahiiN;
Abhii giraanii-e-shab meN kamii nahiiN aa’ii,
Najaat-e-diidaa-o-dil ki ghaRii nahiiN aa’ii;
Chale-chalo ke vo manjil abhii nahiiN aa’ii

Dawn of Freedom (August 1947) (Literal Translation)

This stain-covered daybreak, this night-bitten dawn,
This is not that dawn of which there was expectation;
This is not that dawn with longing for which
The friends set out, (convinced) that somewhere there we met with,

In the desert of the sky, the final destination of the stars!
Somewhere there would be the shore of the sluggish wave of night,
Somewhere would go and halt the boat of the grief of pain.

By the mysterious highroads of youthful blood
When (we) friends set out, how many hands were laid on our skirt’s;

From impatient sleeping-chambers of the dwellings of beauty
Arms kept crying out, bodies kept calling;
But very dear was the passion for the face of dawn,
Very close the robe of the sylphs of light.
The longing was very buoyant, the weariness was very slight.

— It is heard that the separation of darkness and light has been fully completed,
It is heard that the union of goal and step has been fully completed;

The manner of the people of suffering (leaders) has changed very much,
Joy of union is lawful, anguish for separation forbidden.

The fire of the liver, the tumult of the eye, burning of the heart, —
There is no effect on any of then of (this) cure for separation.
Whence came that darling of a morning breeze, whither has it gone?
The lamp beside the road has still come no lessening,
The hour of the deliverance of eye and heart has not arrived.
Come, come on, for that goal has still not arrived.

Translation by VJ Kiernan
This leprous daybreak, dawn night’s fangs have mangled —
This is not that long-looked-for break of day,
Not that clear dawn in quest of which those comrades
Set out, believing that in heaven’s wide void

Somewhere must be the stars’ last halting-place,
Somewhere the verge of night’s slow-washing tide,
Somewhere an anchorage for the ship of heartache.

When we set out, we friends, taking youth’s secret
Pathways, how many hands plucked at our sleeves!
From beauty’s dwellings and their panting casements
Soft arms invoked us, flesh cried out to us;
But dearer was the lure of dawn’s bright cheek,
Closer her shimmering robe of fairy rays;
Light-winged that longing, feather-light that toil.

But now, word goes, the birth of day from darkness
Is finished, wandering feet stand at their goal;

Our leaders’ ways are altering, festive looks
Are all the fashion, discontent reproved; —
And yet this physic still on unslaked eye
Or heart fevered by severance works no cure.
Where did that fine breeze, that the wayside lamp
Has not once felt, blow from — where has it fled?
Night’s heaviness is unlessened still, the hour
Of mind and spirit’s ransom has not struck;
Let us go on, our goal is not reached yet.


I am sorry to seem cynical, but for the teeming millions of South Asia, the rosy dawn hasnt yet arrived.

17 Subodh Agrawal August 16, 2014 at 11:42 am

I spent a few days in Pakistan as part of an official delegation. The similarities were striking, as were the differences. True to their reputation the Pakistani Punjab’s government rolled out the red carpet for their Indian counterparts. There was a performance of a play based on the famous ‘Anarkali’ story in the Lahore fort where the space was big enough to show live galloping horses. It was something of a cross between a play and a sound and light show. At dinner later that evening a violinist played tunes from the golden era of Hindi films.

The differences were as stark as the difference between the ‘posh’ part of Lahore and the old city. The old city is like Chandni Chowk. The newer part is cleaner and better maintained than Chanakyapuri. The poor have been banished from the domain of the rich – unlike Indian cities where they co-exist. Despite all the bonhomie I could sense the undercurrents of discomfort throughout the trip. I fully share the sentiments expressed by AK and others that the two nations find a way of living together in harmony; but it may not be as easy as it sounds despite the shared history and strong cultural links. It is not just the politicians. Even at the cultural level the nuances are there. People who see Mahmud Gaznavi as the aggressor will not easily see eye-to-eye with those who see him as Gazi. The best hope seems to be to put the contentious issues on the back-burner for some time and let the cultural links do their work. Let’s hope that happens.

18 AK August 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Before the Internet era, our knowledge was very poor. I too came to know of it a couple of years back.

I would take a less cynical view of the present, especially with regard to India. There are a lot of things both on the political and economic fronts we can be proud of. But without getting into the politics, let me commend you on your excellent translation of Faiz. I presume the first one is yours, which is far superior to the second translation.

19 AK August 16, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I can see what you are saying. Now to share a secret, this post was ready for 15 August 2012, then I pulled it back at the last moment thinking the timing was not appropriate. Same thing happened in 2013. I was faced with the same dilemma this time. But as they say in (your!) French, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. I realised there is never going to be an ‘appropriate’ time for this post, and carried it this time.

The overwhelming hospitality is one feature of our visits to Pakistan and vice versa. People who have gone there as private citizens also have the same experience. When we meet them in a third country (I have lived in the US for two years and the UK for a year), the prominent feeling is that we can relate to each other with the same language, same food and same jokes about the goras. The interpretation of history and culture even within our own country becomes very contentious. May be there is still hope that the commonalities may lead towards a more harmonious political relationship.

20 mumbaikar8 August 16, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Yesterday there was an atmosphere of hope and optimism for the relations, between the twin countries, I was following it with my cynicism, this sher arose in my mind and I kept grinning all day long,
हुमको मालूम है जन्नत की हक़ीक़त लेकिन,
दिल के खुश रखने को, ‘Ghalib’ ये ख़याल अच्छा है,
But with all my cynicism and pessimism I would pray to the Almighty for this MIRACLE to happen!

Thank you very much for the beautiful poem

21 Gaby August 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm

AK, for the sake of the teeming millions of South Asia who have faced unremitting hardship for the past 68 years, I hope we have reason to be optimistic. In the case of India, I wish we would move beyond the issue of GDP based growth and become truly inclusive.
Oops, I should have mentioned the website where I read the translation of this lovely poem ( http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Freedoms-Dawn-August-1947/212904). I would be pleased as punch if my knowledge of Urdu was 1% of this unknown translator’s.

Mumbaikar8, thanks for the appreciation, but I am afraid all appreciation in the case of this poem belongs entirely to Faiz:).

22 SSW August 16, 2014 at 8:02 pm

The literal translation of Faiz’s poem is also by Kiernan. I have the book and he meant it to be an introduction to Urdu poetry for western and non-western readers. His aim in doing the translation was to indicate how the literal translation into English would miss the nuances of the rhythm and sensibilities of the original Urdu.
I prefer the non-literal translation because to me for e.g. this
Vo intizaar thaa jis-kaa, ye vo sahar to nahiiN,
has a better feel like this
This is not that long looked-for-break of day
than like this
this is not the dawn of which there was expectation

23 mumbaikar8 August 16, 2014 at 9:28 pm

I feel strongly too, about the nuances of the rhythm and sensibilities of the original being lost in translations, I cannot appreciate the translation as much as the original, googling challenging words, to comprehend, is much better option for me.
I feel handicapped in appreciating Bangla literature.

24 Arunkumar Deshmukh August 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Venkataraman ji,
Ref comment no.9…..
Extremely emotional Advt VDO. I must have seen it atleast 50 times since it came on TV. Thanks for this Ad. which so effectively underlines the friendships of two countries.
It is possible !

25 AK August 16, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Thanks a lot or explaining the story behind the two translations.

26 Gaby August 17, 2014 at 12:03 am

SSW sir, thanks for your explanation. I have just ordered Kiernan’s book on Amazon. Seems just the right book for a beginner like me.

27 SSW August 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

Gaby I really like the book and the translations. Some you might cavil at but most are excellent. The only drawback is that reading the Urdu with a romanized script tends to be difficult (at least for me) and there is no Devanagari version, the only non-romanized version is in the Nastaliq script.

28 arvindersharma August 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm

AK Ji,
Though I am very much immersed in the music of vintage/golden era, I am very fond of some good poetry and ‘Shayari’.
(Unlike songs, I am unable to remember them though).
Two very heart touching recitations by Gulzar, which pour out the feelings of bonding and the agony of the common man on both the sides of the border, are presented here.

Aman ki Asha Gulzar recites poem for Mehdi Hasan…: http://youtu.be/Vp_ovofJ9fI

Sarhad par kal raat suna hai kuchh khaabon ka khu…: http://youtu.be/0Syhk857sV8

29 AK August 18, 2014 at 8:22 am

You have added two very moving recitations. I was not aware of the second one. Did you notice the two contrasting ways of seeing Indo-Pak relations in the verses? The first was a romanticed view, the second was of sadness at the harsh realities. But there is no harm in being optimistic and dreaming of sunlight.

30 arvindersharma August 18, 2014 at 4:54 pm

AK Ji,
Thanks for your comments.
The first recitation is indicative of the love, nostalgia and a very special kind of bonding, which peoples of India and Pakistan, especially the elder generations feel for each other.
Poets, musicians, players and intellectuals from both the sides also have a mutual respect for each other.
But the reality of the situation is phrased out in the second poem, where hopes vanish and the dreams are shattered.
The ordinary populaces of both India and Pakistan can still be optimistic and hope that ;
‘Wo subeh kabhi to aayegi’

‘Wo subeh kabhi to asyegi’

31 ASHOK M VAISHNAV August 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm

There could not have been a better tribute the spirit of “independence day” than this article.

My happiness multiplies exponentially when such extensive research is tied to “my :)” innocuous amateur concept of multiple versions of the songs.

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