Vote campaigning songs of Hindi Cinema

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By Abhijit Roy

These days political fever is in full swing in the entire state for assembly elections in Jharkhand. For this, there is a strong trial among all political parties. With an aim to make this election process in five stages more exciting among the public, the political parties are all basing the tunes of popular film songs of their time. The purpose of making these songs may have been something but there is no denial that the voters are being entertained very well. Needless to say, our Hindi films in this course too not lagging behind. There were many movies from the 60s and 70s that have attempted to speed up campaigning through songs.

Probably this tradition of campaigning through songs has started in Hindi films since 1969. In the same year, for the first time in the film Aashu Ban Gaye Phool, directed by filmmaker Satyen Bose, a song in the voice of Kishore Kumar, whose lyrics were Election mein Maalik ke ladke khade hain, arey inhen kam na samjho . The song was composed by music director Laxmikant Pyarelal, written by lyricist Taj Bhopali. Starred by Ashok Kumar, Pran, Dev Mukherjee, Alka Krishna, the film was produced by Ashok Kumar’s younger brother and character actor Anoop Kumar.

In the same year, a song came in the voice of Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar in the superhit film Apna Desh.  Superstar Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz starrer Apna Desh had a chartbuster song Sun Ri Champa Sun Tara, Koi Jeeta Koi Hara. The following year, in 1973, filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s superhit film Namak Haram, had a song (Wo Jhutha hai vote na usko dena)played on actor Asrani in the voice of the late singer Kishore Kumar. The song was also a big hit in its time. Apparently, these two songs, composed under the musical direction of RD Burman, were also written by the popular lyricist Anand Bakshi.

In the year 1974, Manmohan Desai’s film Roti‘s song, Yeh jo public hai sab janti hai, even though the song in the film was not done in the backdrop of the election, but the lyrics of the song definitely tells that the politicians may try a million but they cannot hide its reality from the public. In this series, the song written and directed by Gulzar for Aandhi, Salaam Kijiye haali Janab aye hain, yeh panch saalon ka dene hisaab laye hain, how can be forgotten. The song sung by Mohammed Rafi, Bhupendra Singh and Amit Kumar, was shot on character actors Harish Magan and Robert instead of the lead actors Sanjeev Kumar, Omprakash in the film. The film, which came in the era of Emergency, did not get much success at that time, but after the Emergency was lifted, the then Central Government approved the film to be shown on Doordarshan.

Filmmaker Vijay Anand’s film Jaan Hazir Hai also featured a song to show the disputes between the public and the leader. Songs written by Shailee Shailendra, son of popular lyricist Shailendra, Bhande Phoot Jayenge, Chakke Choot Jayenge was sung by Amit Kumar and Manhar Udhas. Jayakumar Parte, who had long collaborated with music composer duo Kalyanji Anandji, composed the music for the film, which was shot on Shekhar Kapoor and Prem Kishan.

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