Feb. 23, 2022, 8:10 a.m. by Karuwaki Speaks ( 241 views)
Kavi Pradeep is widely regarded as one of the most well-respected patriotic poets and song writers during India’s freedom struggle.Born as Ramchandra Narayanji Dwivedi,Pradeep was an Indian poet and best known for his patriotic song "Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo" written as a tribute to the soldiers who had died defending the country during the Sino-Indian War.The battle of Rezang la & the incredible bravery of major Shaitan Singh moved him immensely.
It is said that the lyrics of this very famous song came to Pradeep while he was taking a stroll on Mahim beach. As soon as the words came pouring in, “he borrowed a pen from a passerby and wrote the opening stanza of the song on a foil ripped out from his cigarette packet”.
He recruited music director C. Ramchandra to write the music and asked Lata Mangeshkar to sing the song.When Lataji heard the song that Pradeep sang in front of her, it is said that she broke down and agreed at once—only on the condition that Pradeep would have to be present in all the rehearsals.
On 27 January 1963,lata Mangeshkar sang the song in public for the very first time in the presence of Nehru and other eminent dignitaries during the Republic Day celebrations at the National Stadium in New Delhi. The Prime Minister was moved to tears upon listening to the soulful rendition. Unfortunately, Pradeep never got to see the overwhelming response, as he wasn’t invited to the event.
Recalling the song in 2013, lata Mangeshkar stated that she never expected the song to be so successful, saying, "Since it was not part of a film, I thought it would have a limited impact. 'Ae mere watan ke logon' became my signature tune. No show of mine, no concert or event is complete until I sing it." Lata Mangeshkar in an interview had revealed that she had initially refused to sing Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo as she didn't have enough rehearsal time, and her sister Asha Bhosle was considered as a replacement.
She also stated that Pradeepji was always sure of the song's success saying, "Only Pradeepji had faith in the song. He had prophesied to me, 'Lata, tum dekhna yeh gaana bahot chalega. Log hamesha ke liye issey yaad rakhenge .Pradeep himself sang the song for Nehru on 21 March 1963 at a function at R.M. High School in Mumbai and also presented Nehru with the original handwritten lyrics of the song.The entire team of artists and technicians involved with the song pledged the royalties from the song in perpetuity to the War Widows Fund .
Kavi Pradeep always believed in writing in simple words portraying a meaning fitting into the situation. The popularity of his songs was due to his down-to-earth lyrics and simple language that was well understood by everyone.As a young man, he lived very close to Anand Bhawan, in Allahabad.He attended many political meetings & decided to contribute to the independence struggle against the British in his own way.
“I finished my graduation and decided to join a teacher’s course and teach, but destiny had other plans for me. I was invited to a kavi sammelan in Bombay,” Pradeep said once. Himanshu Rai, the owner of Bombay Talkies, offered Pradeep Rs 200 and made him sign a contract for Kangan. The film starred Devika Rani and Ashok Kumar. Pradeep wrote four songs for the film, all of which became very popular, and sung three of the songs himself.
He next film was Bandhan (1940) & he wrote all the songs which became huge hits. The most notable is "Chal Chal Re Naujawan", which made waves since the Indian freedom movement was at a crucial juncture.But by the 1960s, film producers were looking for catchy foot tapping music and there was a downslide in his career,which again took off in the 1975 super hit film "Jai Santoshi ma".In 1959, he wrote a song called ‘O Ameeron ke Parameshwari’ for the film Paigham. This song put into perspective in this increasingly interconnected world, that what happens to poor people is never divorced from the actions of the rich & powerful .
"Aisa lagta garibo ke jag meinAaj rakhwala koi nahiAisa lagta ke dukhiyon ke aansuPochhne wala koi nahiO ameeron ke parameshwar"
Kavi Pradeep's songs for children are still played throughout the country on 14 November, Children's Day, continuing to inspire generations of tender hearts. "Hum laye hain toofan se kishti nikal ke" and "Insaaf Ki Dagar Pe"remain popular even now.Jagriti was unofficially remade in Pakistan as Bedari (1956), by Rafiq Rizvi, with Pradeep's songs also being refurbished. The songs had Paktistani nationalist symbols replacing Indian ones such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah in "Aey Qaid-e-Azam, tera ehsan hai ehsan" and "Aao Bachho Sair Karain Tum Ko Pakistan Ki".
In 1997,he was honoured with India's highest award in cinema, the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, for lifetime achievement.Pradeepji once said, "Love is just a part of life and the love written about today talks about love between the sexes only. But do young men and women have a monopoly where love is concerned. Aren't there different kinds of love that between a mother and her children, between a father and his children, between a devotee and his deity, between a man and hismotherland? I chose to write about all these different kinds of love!
Pradeep died in Mumbai in 1998. On hearing of his death, the nightangle of India,lataMangeshkar said, “I am very sad. I have known him since 1948 and I owe much of my name and fame to him.”HG Wells once said,"Our true nationality is mankind" and Kavi Pradeep belonged to a generation who truly believed in these words.The magic and miracles in the little things is the essence of Kavi Pradeep's poetry & opens the door to our heart.