An evening of Andolan Geet @ Pravah

Below, Shreya shares her experience of a summer hulchal devoted to revolution songs held on 16th of July. The space was faciliteted by Anchal Kapoor from Kriti.

All of us have a singer in us, some are closet singers and others are centre stage singers. With this event at Pravah the closet singer within me wanted out and I was more than happy to oblige.

When I first reached the venue the crowd was thin and I was hesitant about the ‘success’ of the event due to such a small number of people who had turned up. Anchal spoke to us about our first memories of a ‘movement’ song, it was amusing to see that most of us didn’t know many and patriotic songs were more deeply etched in your memories.

Freedom related songs are usually intrinsically patriotic whereas a movement song has more linkages with an issue and the struggle group. A movement establishes its identity and its roots vis-à-vis a song. We realized that it is essential to draw visuals as we sing to make connections with the song and derive strength, there is a need to recognize the struggle.

Le mashale chal pade hai log mere gaun ke,
Ab andhera jeet lenge log mere gaun ke.

Puchti hai jhopdi aur puchte hai khet bhi,
Kab talak loot- te rahenge log mere gaun ke.

Cheekhti hai har rukawat thokado ki mar se,
Bediyan khanka rahe hai log mere gaun ke.

Lal suraj ab ugega desh ke har gaun me,
Ab ikkatha ho chale hai log mere gaun ke.

Dekh yaara jo subah lagti hai phiki aajkal,
Lal rang usme bharenge log mere gaun ke.

Le mashale chal pade hai log mere gaun ke,
Ab andhera jeet lenge log mere gaun ke.

This song has many versions and it is a very powerful song. It seems that it was written with the sole reason to awaken and arouse the workers from their slumber and fight for their rights. And once risen they will be unstoppable. The imagery of the red sun rising denotes as much.

“Hum dekhenge,
Hum dekhenge,
Lazim hain ki hum bhi dekhenge,
Hum dekhenge”

A beautiful piece of poetry by Faiz Ahmad Faiz that has been put to music and it says that we have that much of strength to rise up against violence and we will rise up. As the musical evening moved along, it seemed as if the showers outside joined us in unison, eager to add its own nuance into the evening.

The session helped sensitize us that we must not dichotomize movement music, instead understand the ideology and history of the movement. Revolutionary music is a part of our heritage of struggle and we must not only promote it through modern means of communication but also explain the underlying cultural context.

We ended our session with Sahir Ludhianavi’s “Who Subah Kabhi toh Aayegi” which has been put to music. We heard it and joined in the singing of the song and as we sang I felt a consciousness in me. A slow realization that all of us have to work to get a new morn as we await the new dawn and work towards it. I had a profound realization..that the numerical strength of the people is unimportant, it is the strength of the words, the strength of the struggle and strength of conviction in each voice that makes a difference.

After this we all felt no need to say anything more and we ended with “We shall overcome.” This is a song which has been sung in many languages and we tend to engage in it not only as listeners but relate to its very essence. The whole musical journey come full circle as many of us related the experience to the Music for Harmony event. I nearly shivered at the strength a song can hold, and as I looked around some of my friends had their eyes closed while some just swayed to the music but one common factor was the confidence in each one to be change makers.


5 thoughts on “An evening of Andolan Geet @ Pravah

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  1. Yes i feel the same.It sounds very interesting,and i wish i had been there too.I mean,besides a revolutionary film,like the ones made on Bhagat singh or Subhash
    chandra bose,i guess i havent really heard any of these songs.And the lyrics that you have written are indeed very strong,powerful words.A very nice article.Thanks.

  2. Yeah same here,it sounds very interesting and i wish i had been there too.I mean,besides a revolutionary film,like the ones on Bhagat singh or Subhash chandra bose,i guess i wouldnt have heard any such songs.I dont know if there is any website or any other medium through which one can get these songs.So an evening like the one you guys had must have been really good fun.And thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  3. Thank you Arjun, its really very encouraginf of you.
    Thank you Rahul.
    It really was a strong and powerful experience, it would have been nice if you all had been there.

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