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|December 11, 1998||
Kavi Pradeep, master of the patriotic song, dies at 84
Kavi Pradeep, legendary Hindi film lyricist and winner of this year's Dadasaheb Phalke Award, died of old age at his bungalow, 'Panchamrita', at Vile Parle in north-west Bombay today. He was 84 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.
The poet was bed-ridden for the last couple of months, family sources said. The end came at about 6.30pm IST. The funeral procession begins at 10am tomorrow. His body will be cremated at the Waghjibhai crematorium in Vile Parle.
Kavi Pradeep, who was born Ramchandra Narayanji Dwivedi, penned 1,700 songs for more than 85 Hindi films, most of them embellished with a patriotic fervour, including Chal chal re naujawaan and Door hato aye duniyawalon Hindustan hamara hai (both from Kismet, India's first golden jubilee hit), which stirred the souls of the people during the 1942 Quit India Movement. The ire of the British government forced the poet, then known as Pandit Dwivedi, to go underground.
His immortal Aye mere watan ke logon, rendered by melody queen Lata Mangeshkar at a function in Delhi to pay tributes to the soldiers who had died defending the country from the Chinese in 1962, had moved Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears.
Pradeep also penned a large number of non-film songs that inspired freedom-fighters during the independence movement. After Independence, he wrote several more to promote national integration, bringing him a wealth of honours and the title, Rashtra Kavi.
Born in Ujjain in the then Central Provinces (present-day Madhya Pradesh), Pradeep migrated to Bombay in 1939 and joined Bombay Talkies where he earned instant fame with his first film Kangan.
He wrote songs for several hit films like Punarmilan, Bandhan, Jhoola, Kismet, Mashaal, Nastik, Jagruti, Vaman Avatar, Nagmani, Talaaq, Harishchandra Taramati, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Har Har Gange, Sambandh, Khabi Dhoop Khabi Chaon, Jai Santoshi Ma, Jai Bajrang Bali and Paigham.
The Hindi film industry and the literary world of Bombay were plunged in sorrow by the news. Many people called on the bereaved family.
Lata Mangeshkar described his death as a great loss to the film industry. "I am very sad. I have known him since 1948 and I owe much of my name and fame to him," she said. On his birthday last year, Mangeshkar had presented the poet at cheque for Rs 100,000. She regretted that she could not call on him in his last days owing to her ill-health.
Veteran music director Naushad Ali expressed deep sorrow and said Pradeep's death is a great loss to the film industry and the world of poetry. He said it was sad that a poet of his stature received the Phalke Award very late.
Noted film-maker Hrishikesh Mukherjee recalled his association with the lyricist since 1951. A senior member of the film industry, Pradeep never yearned for material goodies, he recalled.
Actor Shammi Kapoor said, "It is a great loss to the film industry that a classical poet of a different nature has passed away."
Singer Usha Mangeshkar described Pradeep's death as a great loss to the film industry. She said the Mangeshkar family and Kavi Pradeep shared close ties. Usha Mangeshkar, who sang a bhajan (devotional song) of Kavi Pradeep, Jagat ke paalan har, said she had intended to sing more bhajans penned by him.
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