In tune with patriotism
Music reviews of four Bhagat Singh films
In 1954, Jagdish Gautam made Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh with Prem Adib and Jayraj.
1963 saw K N Bansal's Shaheed Bhagat Singh starring Shammi Kapoor.
Manoj Kumar’s Shaheed came in 1965 that had Prem Chopra and Pran in important roles. The music was written and composed by Prem Dhawan -- his first independent score. Despite its raging success, no one else showed an inclination to explore the subject.
Thirty-seven years later, the heroic tale of Shaheed Bhagat Singh comes to life in four screen versions: The Legend of Bhagat Singh, 23 March 1931 – Shaheed, Shaheed-E-Azaam and Shaheed Bhagat Singh, directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi, Guddu Dhanoa, Sukumar Nair and Tarun Wadhwaa respectively. Ajay Devgan, Bobby Deol, Sonu Sood and Tarun Khanna play Bhagat Singh in the four interpretations.
Here’s a look at the music of the different versions. Three of the four film albums begin with Mera rang de Basanti chola. The lyrics, however, are different.
23rd March 1931 Shaheed (Bobby Deol)
This one comes as a surprise, a pleasant one at that. Anand Raj Anand’s composition is based on Punjabi folk music and hence gives the music a very period and earthy feel. Lyrics are by Dev Kohli and Ram Prasad Bismil and the vocals by Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Hans Raj Hans, Bhupinder Singh, Mohammed Salamat and Veer Rajinder.
Mera rang de basanti chola and Pagdi sambhal have been very well-composed. Although the lyrics are different from that of Manoj Kumar’s Shaheed, Dev Kohli gives them the right patriotic flavour.
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna retains the lyrics penned by Ram Prasad Bismil.
Moving away from patriotic fervour is the melodious Jogiye ve very well rendered by Alka Yagnik. Marked by dholak and tabla beats, the track makes for pleasant listening.
The other tracks in the album include Khush raho, Aye watan, Watanparaston ki and Deshnu chalo. All have one thing in common – patriotism.
The Legend Of Bhagat Singh (Ajay Devgan)
With music by AR Rahman this one surely has the highest expectations.
It doesn’t disappoint. Rahman does make use of the Punjabi flavour but at the same time, retains the Rahman style, thus giving the music a slight modern touch.
Mera rang de basanti chola is slower in pace than Mahendra Kapoor’s version of the same song in Manoj Kumar’s Shaheed. It has been well-rendered by Sonu Nigam and Mohammed Waris.
Sukhvinder Singh’s exquisite rendition of Pagdi sambhal jatta is a treat. A pacy track, this one is marked by the bhangra beats giving it a Punjabi folk flavour.
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna has two versions. The Sonu Nigam-Hariharan rendered duet has been beautifully composed. The tabla, santoor and flute gives this slow and soft number a classical touch. Sonu Nigam renders the second version.
Desh mere desh mere will surely remind one of the Lagaan theme track. However, Sukhvinder Singh along with Rahman does full justice to the lyrics penned by Sameer.
Shora So Pahchaniye is an intense track, both lyrically as well composition wise. A very short track it has been rendered by Karthik, Raquib and Sukhwinder Singh.
Jogiya jogiya and Mahive mahive are the romantic tracks in this album very well rendered by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan.
Shaheed Bhagat Singh (Tarun Khanna)
Tarun Wadhwaa’s version has Jaidev Kumar wielding the musical baton. Naqsh Layallpuri has penned the lyrics.
This one has two version’s of Mera rang de both sung by Roopkumar Rathod, Harbhajan Mann and Mohammed Salamat.
Unlike Rahman’s version, Pagdi sambhal here is a slow track by Sardool Sikandar.
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna is a very slow composition by Harbhajan Mann. Incidentally, Mann was supposed to play the lead role of Bhagat Singh in this film. Tarun Khanna finally bagged the role.
Aao ni behno (Simran and Tripat) has very evocative lyrics about the three martyrs -- Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.
The other tracks in this album include Sadhna Sargam's Chhan chhan chhanke, Kavita Krishnamurthy’s Chup chup ke (a mujra) and Roop Kumar Rathod's Sadhu sant fakiron ki.
Shaheed-e-Azam (Sonu Sood)
Producer Iqbal Dhillon’s Shaheed-E-Azam will go down in the annals of history as the first ever Hindi film launched in Lahore, Pakistan. Professor Jagmohan Singh (nephew of Shaheed Bhagat Singh) has researched extensively for the film directed by Sukumar Nair.
As for the music, of the four albums Shaheed-e-Azam is the only one that boasts of traditional lyrics by Baba Bulle Shah and Khwaha Parvez besides Inquilab zindabad written by Bhagat Singh himself along with S M Sadiq.
Composers Maqbool Khan, Sabar Ali and Sardool Sikandar stick to traditional Punjabi tunes. The vocals are by Sadhna Sargam, Sardool Sikandar, Naseebo Lala, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Jaspinder Narula, Roopkumar Rathod and Kavita Krishnamurthy.