Monday, August 15, 2016

Films in the freedom struggle

It is now almost more than 40 years that I am listening this song in the most emotional voice of none other than our Bharat Ratna Swar Samragyi Lata Mangeskar ji. Hardly we knew that it was a song for a film and anyway connected to the Bombay Film Industry. It was most creative outpour of Kavi Pradeep, who penned down these words. 
The song had been synonymous with the celebration of Independence day.  Later it was after 1971 when my personal emotions were also attached to it. My uncle P N Mishra did not return home. Martyred while fighting at Pakistan Border somewhere in Jammu Kashmir. Whole of my family got disturbed. My father who was himself in Indian Navy wept that day.  My Saheed Uncle was many years younger to my father and loved my father very much. My father also loved him very much. I have a hand written letter of my uncle he sent to my father when he was serving in Army.  My father was in INS VIKRANT, and was in the team of sailors who were sent to UK to sail back the INS Vikrant to India in 1961. We are used to hearing all experiences my father and his friends faced during his long service in Indian Navy.
below is the song which whole nation India loves very much. It is synonymous to national anthem, i mean the feeling you get on listening this song is totally out of world. The magic it created. The words-lyrics of Kavi Pradeep were superb. He had the tune also in his mind while writing those words.
i don't know how to decrease size of this frame ??? This song remains one of the most famous all over these years. I think Swar samragyi  स्वर सम्राज्ञी लाता मंगेश्कर our Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar ji must be feeling proud while singing this song.
ALl over these years popularity of this song will never decrease. That is called as Desh Bhakti देश भक्ति।
With this song all associated persons have become immortal. सदैव याद करे जाएँगे। गाने के रचयिता तथा सभी लोग जो किसी भी तरह से इस गाने के साथ जुड़े थे अमर होगए  हैं।

Another song on which we used to dance in school on Independence day and Republic day. it was also a very popular song. यह देश है वीर जवानों का इस देश का यारों क्या कहना

Thus Contribution of Indian Cinema in the freedom struggle is immense and unforgettable. That time people associated with Hindi Cinema were having high capability, highly creative. I can’t list them all. God pardons me for this. Since the technology was not there. no one taught them, all of them have imagined/ visioned on their own and created a media which has become a HISTORY.

It is only after watching our Doordarshan I came to know about those great personalities. To name few DadaSaheb Phalke, V. ShantaRam, Sohrab Modi, Kedar Sharma, Mehboob, SS Vasan, Iyer, Shanta, Prithviraj Kapoor, Bimal Roy, Satyajit Ray, Gemini pictures, movietone, Himanshu rai, Devika Rani, K Asif, Naushad, RK, Manoj Kumar, Bengal, and Many more. A detailed research has to be done on this aspect of Indian Cinema.
When we say Cinema then we imagine not only the producer directors but many of Actors, writer, lyricist, music composer, director, Singers, cameramen, set designers and many more also comes to mind. I left out Dancers.
There was no cinema in India. No one could have imagined that anything like this can ever exists or can be created. But lately thank to the Gramophone companies who came to India and collected huge profits? But this profit was mainly due to the so called Dancing girls, women who sang. I don’t want to write that word. I hate that word. But they write it as Courtesan? Later “Bai” word was also added. Tawaif was commonly used before that period. In English often we find the word as “Nautch girl”. British later became patron of this art. In absence of Films Television, Radio etc only mode of entertainment was these singing-dancing girls. I can write that they were similar as actors and heroines of films do today? They earn money by dancing/acting in films. Same thing those dancing and singing girls were doing- earning their livelihood. There are number of cases where the film & TV actors were found to be involved several cases of illegal activities, but then we do not call all actors by bad name. But why we call all those dancing & singing girls of yesteryears. There were also many categories of workers in that time also. Thus painting all of them with same brush is not good.  Later as we got Independence, thanx to the ladies like Rukmini Devi Arundale, Sunaina Devi  ji. I somewhere read that Sunaina ji added word “Devi” as suffix to the names of singing artists. Thus they were later come to be known as Devi not Jaan or Bai?

Gramophone came into being in 1902 or 1904 or 1905. 
India's first disc had Gauhar Jaan, singing a khayal in Raag Jogiya, recorded on 2 November 1902, by Fred Gaisberg, an assistant to Emile Berliner, the father of Gramophone record, who left America to become the first recording engineer with the Gramophone Company, London. The recording was done in a makeshift recording studio in two large rooms of a hotel in Kolkata, and at the end of the trial recording Gauhar Jaan announced – "My name is Gauhar Jaan". Gauhar Jaan agreed to do the recording session for a princely sum of 3,000 rupees. By 1903, her records started appearing in Indian markets and were in great demand. (this is what- Wiki says)

Most of the classical singers of that time hesitated to record their voice on this disk. I have read that there were rumours that if you record on disk then it will snatch your voice? Therefore few singing Bai or Jaan took initiative and recorded their voice. Most of the famous were Gauhar Jaan and Malka jaan(may be Janki Bai). Moreover, these ladies were most creative persons. That time LP records recorded the songs for only 3 minutes or so. But songs of Hindustani Music were having a style of singing consist of Alap, swar-vistar, sargam etc. But they improvised and composed their songs (bandish) into 3 minutes songs. It was a great invention by those ladies. No one writes about their contribution.  there was another problem, at initial stages there was a big phone in which singers have to sing loudly so that machine can record. it must be giving lot of strain on the throats of singers. 

 These gramophones have a very important place in Indian History. As movies came late in early 30 or 40s, but these LP records or DISC were available in market since 1902. Music was confined to the walls of courts of Nawabs and Kings/rajah. There common man could not go and get entertainment. thus when these discs came into the market, thanx to these great singers Music came to the homes. That is a big achievement. Now everyone can listen to these music. Our Bharat Ratna MS and Smt GanguBai Hangal has always listened to the Radio and these LP records.  In those times music was made popular only by these records. Later all types of music, Hindustani Carnatic, Bahajan, Thumri etc all were available in these discs. Then after few years classical musician also wanted to become famous and from there started recording for these disc. 


Theatre became another form of entertainment. Natak Company, Nautanki, Jaatra, Yakshgana, Bhagwatkatha were all there. It was very natural for most of dancing and singing ladies of that time join these avenues available to them. As in those times dancing, singing, acting was not considered as respected jobs? But all respected men used to keep ladies for their entertainment. Men are men. Thus it also became status symbol to patronize dancing or singing girls. They sired many children from these ladies but they did not give their names these own children. Whole generation of humans was born like this. It was greatness of those ladies that they lived and brought up their children without telling the real names of their fathers. Luckily there was no DNA test? Otherwise kings, nawabs, businessmen would have to give/distribute their properties among these illegitimate children. Those ladies were great. Pran jai par vachan na jai. But the society norms were also very repressive and did not permit these ladies to take names and no one that time believed these ladies. They did not have any voice. I mean there was no social sanction to such things. We have seen so many examples in present times also. We have great singers of our times, they were from these families and no mention is given to their fathers though we know their mothers. Fathers were Diwan, Advocates, Chetti (Seth- business), Nawabs, Landlords etc. Some communities were forced to accept that they are and they belong to such category or caste and their status is very low. The word “Angwastram” was most amazing I read about. Ladies from these communities were just like “Ang Vastram” (body cloths) to men of higher caste or status. Such types of (ku-riti ) bad practices were prevalent.
Several film makers came to India obviously due to the British connection. Few English films were shown here and British people enjoyed all those movies. Along with these British people their collaborators of Indian breed who got educated in English also imitated all such mannerism of British, Club going, club dancing, Pub drinking and then how movies can be left out?
We all know Dada Saheb Phalke as the “Janak” of Indian Cinema. Previously, as was the trend in Theatre (Parsi was famous) mythological themes were chosen for films also, Ram Rajya, Harishchadra, Sita haran, Bhakt Prahlad, shakuntala etc
In 1935 film called Mill worker- or Majdoor fey etnwj was made. It was made to show/depict the conditions of mill workers, their problems, Strikes, the right of mill workers and I think to make mill workers aware about their legal rights film was made? The censor board of that time banned it.  The film was based on social issues. Later it was made with many cuts as Gareeb Parwar xjhc ijoj. The actual meaning was lost.
Shri Kedar Sharma was famous film maker that time.
Government of India Act was enacted in the British Parliament in 1935.
Later a film “teen bati char rahen” rhu cRrh pkj jkgsa was made. Most unusual storyline was chosen by our most creative film makers. In the film the social issue of Integration was taken up. A tawaif house was taken. Men of all walks of life and all regions, religions visit her house. Without any discrimination she has to entertain all such men. Similarly it was tried to show that the Government has to act without any discrimination between the regions, religions etc. The government should work only for betterment of its people. The lady changes her attire and mannerism according to the client. Thus at one point of time she has to become a muslim lady and after that she has to become a Hindu lady to entertain a hindu man (he can be a priest or judge or a thief or policeman or a leader/politician). Shanta howlekar acted in it.
In 1939 my favourite Respected Sohrab Modi ji made film PUKAR. He also acted in it as Sardar Sangram Singh. Film had story of Mughal emperor Jahangir and Noorjahan. There was scene showing few kids playing in a playground that looks like on the bank of a river. Suddenly an arrow came flying from the walls of the fort and struck a boy. There was hue and cry. The lady (may be the mother of boy) took her child to the gate of Fort. There was a gate and archway and hanging there was a big bell, called as the bell of justice. As the Mughal King Akbar was famous for his justice, similarly there was this bell, which anyone who wants justice can ring it. King himself comes and ask that person about his problem and pronounce justice. Thus this lady seeks justice and says that culprit is Malika Noorjahan. Sohrab Modi ji had portrayed that India and Indian seek justice and British being RULER must deliver justice, even if the culprits are the British??
Thus in that time these great people made films using the Historical backdrops to convey the social issues. Later great Mehoob made picture called Gramin and years after in 1957 this subject was made into the Mother India, which remains the most famous Oscar nominated film.
In 1941 already there was huge discontent all over India among people towards the British rule. Most respected V ShantaRam ji made film Padosi iMkslh later this was made in Marathi language as Shejari.
During this period there was unrest among our society. Some elements were trying to disturb social fabric of Indian society on basis of religious basis. V ShantaRam ji chose muslim actors to play the role of Hindu characters and similarly Muslim actors played the roles of Hindu characters in the film. In the film when a company man wants to buy the land from villagers, that too on some conditions, in a life saving situation, then suddenly idea came that if someone ask you to sell your mother what you will do? since land is like our mother. Village Elders says “we will not sell our mother”. Same thought is shared by the Muslim padosi. But most important I think both are the son of same mother that is our India? Thus muslim and Hindu residents of village came together and rejected to sell their mother land. This film was made to convey that we are one be a muslim and hindu or sikh etc. we should remain united and do not fall prey to the games of British elements.
Later 1940 Prabhat company of V ShantaRam launched a film called Sant Gyaneshwar. It was released in USA. Film shows the story of Sant Gyaneshwar as the name suggests, but it was also shown through the film that several things should be debated as time is changing so the religious thinking should also change. Film is based on theme of religious renaissance. Common man was suffering due to the inefficiency of Government machinery. A film “Municipality” was made. Film depicts all elements of working culture of govt offices- Municipality.
By this time there was differences in the congress party leadership.
In 1941 most respected Sohrab Modi ji made film SIKANDAR. He tried to show that how an invader-Ruler must respect their colony and show humanity. The dialogues between the Alaxander- Sikandar played by Prithvi Raj Kapoor and the Indian king Pauras- the Puru-King of border state. Prithvi Raj Kapoor was looking exactly similar to what Sashi Kapoor now looked. Later we came to know that Sohrab ji was very strict as a director. His voice I found very powerful on screen. May be it was due to the effect of Theatre experience. In theatre voice modulation are very important. Idea was that British power-ruler should always give respect to Indians, at-least as a human.
Quit India became nationwide slogan in 1942. On 9-8-1942 quit India movement was launched.
In film Kismet most respected Kavi Pradeep wrote a song “Door Hato ey duniya walon Hindustan hamara hai” nwj gVks , nqfu;kokyksa fgUnqLrku gekjk gS also  py py js ukStoku giving voice to millions of people. Immediately the song became hit fuelling the flare of freedom movement.
In 1948 came Saheed the song was oru dh jkg esa oru ds ukStoku “kghn gksa iqdkjrs gSa , tehu vkleku ukStoku “kghn gksa
In 1942 First film “Ekta” in Sindhi was made.
,d fnu dk lqyrku  was made in 1946. Jayraj played the role. 1944 cripps commission came but failed in its objective. The song was made on this as
vk, rhu enkjh ,lk tknw iwdk  pkSjkgs ij ipaj dj nh ....
Santoshi ji made a film hum sab ek hai? Durga Khote was there. Nana bhai Bhatt made chalis karod?
Then there was film Azadi ki rah par featuring Prithvi Raj Kapoor Durga Khote and Jayaraj. It was based on 40 years of Congress history.
In 1947 there was a film named Apraadhi. Pran played a role of freedom fighter. I think his name in film was Mohan. Film was based on the doubt between a husband and wife.
Most famous we know the song by Kavi Pradeep was “ , esjs oru ds yksxks tjk vkW[ksa esa Hkj yks ikuh tks “kghn gq, gS mudh tjk ;kn djks dqckZuh Swar Samrgyi Lata Mangeskar ji sang this song. I think no one else was made to sing this song. Immortal lyrics immortal writer immortal voice. This combination will always remain on earth forever.

dal dal par kare basera

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mile sur mera tumhara

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