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Appeal for Bharat Ratna to Rafi

This appeal is written by Mr.Raju Korti, Mumbai.

Mohd RafiThis appeal is a chorus for The Voice of the sub continent, the singer of the millennium. A fervent, passionate appeal to correct what all his legion of admirers and devotees righteously feel is a historic wrong.

The mortal remains of, what the world undisputably acknowledges, of the legendary Mohammad Rafi may have bereaved us 27 years ago, but his ageless voice continues to throb and pulsate in our hearts even today.

But have we been fair to the genial giant whose voice soothes many a body and soul day unfailingly every day? The answer, unfortunately is a ‘no’. He swamped our lives for four decades, made his peerless voice an integral part of our psyche, rose above all petty human barriers and set a glorious example of impeccable dignity and honour in a strife-torn world. Rafisaab, as the world knew him, was an epitome of excellence and paragon of virtues in an industry notorious for its crass commercial values.

We as the people and government, have done precious little to perpetuate his memory. If this jewel lives on, it is because of his uniquely mind-boggling, 24-carat achievements that spanned an entire eon and swept generations. It must be the only instance of its kind where one personality has dominated the profession so comprehensively — four decades in a life that was cruelly cut short at just 56.

Mohammad Rafi is a jewel in India’s crown. His devotees have conferred their own Bharat Ratna on him. Still, it would be doing yeoman’s service to this shining light if the government gets its act together and confers this highest civilian award on him, although late in the day. Indeed, the title Bharat Ratna would feel honoured to be bestowed on this truly great son of the soil.
Unarguably among the greatest Indians born, Mohammad Rafi was the true ambassador of this country – an iconic symbol who persona and career can be succinctly euologised as cultural heritage. There is not a lexicon made that can encompass his astonishing feats. The respect, love and adoration the country has for him is phenomenal by all standards even today where tomorrow becomes yesterday in no time. He was past-perfect, and will remain future-perfect because time has very rarely shown the courtesy to stand still for mortals whose reputation also comes with a short shelf life.

It is hardly necessary to list the legendary exploits of this Great. To have provided unmatched brilliance to thousands of compositions, to have provided sparkle to the works of innumerable lyricists and composers is a feat unheard of in the annals of music. It could be only God’s own voice that could survive in a profession of cut-throats and with such a flourish. The sublime divinity in his voice tuned with his charitable disposition. To him, the song came first, rewards and remuneration later.

The eternal banyan tree of the film fraternity, this one-man music institution gave bread and butter to thousands of people. Today, twenty-seven years after his passing away, he is still a one-man ‘Gharana’.

It is a sad commentary that while we as people sing paens to him, we as government fail to recognize the greatness of this titan who was secularism personified. A formal Padma Shri and one busy throughfare in Mumbai’s suburban Bandra in his name is all that we have done for this wonderful singer who sang Bhajans with the same depth and gusto as the patriotic songs. When the country lapsed into its first worst riots in 1948 after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, Mohammed Rafi’s was the only sane voice that soothed our nerves with “Suno suno ae duniyawalon Bapu ki yeh amar kahani.” When the nation went through anxious times in the wake of Chinese aggression in 1962, his voice gave us the strength to guard our fronts with a soul-stirring “Kar chale hum fida jaan-o-tan saathiyon.” During the wars with Pakistan, his dimunitive presence and Pahadi voice fired the Indian soldiers, for whom he specially sang in war zones.

Mohammad Rafi deserves Bharat Ratna for more reasons than one. He was one simple soul who was above factional and religious politics. The government would be sending right signals to all right-thinking people of this country by conferring Bharat Ratna on Mohammad Rafi posthumously. The precedent to bestow this coveted award posthumously has already been set.

We earnestly feel that giving Mohammad Rafi this long-awaited due, will serve as a great binding force for the distanced Hindu-Muslims. For, here was a personality, who despite his lack of formal education, had the courage of conviction and the cultural resilience to bring these two religions together. The love for Rafisaab transcends religion, caste, creed, gender and nationalities.

We passionately appeal to the committee that names the civilian awards that he be honoured aptly with the Bharat Ratna – befitting of the 26 th January occasion. Rafisaab, as we all know, will never fade away from human memory. Such is his glittering career. An ideal citizen and an ideal professional, he was an embodiment of all virtues. He will remain a beacon light for not only music lovers, but also to all those who are blessed to be born in this country.

We at the Rafi Foundation feel it is a privilege to run this campaign for a path-breaker maverick who brings an unrequited joy to millions across the world. The humanity would be that much poorer not to acknowledge and appreciate his class act – stuff folklores are made of. For, honouring Mohammad Rafi is honouring humanity itself.

May we again ardently appeal to you to confer the country’s highest award on him and do justice that he so eminently deserves. While the Government of Maharashtra has agreed in principle for the same, it will be creditable if the government in Delhi announces his name at the earliest.

We hope this time round the government corrects this wrong true to the dictum “Der aaye, durust aaye.”

Long live Mohammad Rafi.

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79 Blog Comments to “Appeal for Bharat Ratna to Rafi”

  1. Dr Lateef Mohiuddin Khan says:


  2. binus2000 says:

    post 77…
    ramaswamy ji…

    good suggestion…

    today friends called me up and reported the same news which is
    rafi saab is in the list of bharat ratna probables this year too, as
    reported in star and aaj tak news..

    let s all rejoice at the events unfolding and wait for the d day..

    binu nair .. the rafi foundation…. (celebrating the works of rafi saab)

  3. Glad to know that Shri Ram Vilas Paswan has pushed forward the name of our SHRI RAFI SAAB alongwith SHRI MAHATMA JYOTIBHA PHULE for Bharat Ratna Award. Today I saw him speaking in IBN and Sahara Samay saying that “if Lata Mangeshkar could be given the award, Rafi Saab should also have received the award and should get it.” Many of the patriotic songs have been sung by him. I was jumping from my seat on seeing the photo of RAFI SAAB flashed on my TV. Whether the Govt. okays or not, RAFI FOUNDATION SHOULD SHOW THEM THE WAY BY INSTITUTING “MOHD.RAFI AWARD”, FIRST by honouring the award to our DEAR PRIME MINISTER, FOLLOWED BY PRESIDENT AND LATA MANGESHKAR. This way we have to show our solidarity.


  4. Zorawar says:

    Dear Mr. A.S.Murty
    Ref. Post # 75
    The message contained the specific information about the programme that it will be aired on NDTV Metro Nation channel at 8.30 PM, today (i.e. 04-01-08) in the programme Time Out. The programme carried the story at 2nd slot.
    I don’t know which channel you were watching which aired the programme Picture This.
    I am trying to get a copy of the programme. Once I get it, I will ask for your address and have couriered to you.
    Long Live Rafi Sahab !
    Rafian Zorawar

  5. A S MURTY says:

    Now that Devanand Sahab too has given a clarion call for conferrment of the Bharat Ratna on Rafi sahab, others too from bollywood those who matter and who have a sway, must join this honourable campaign. members of parliament from bollywood for e.g. hemamalini, shatrughna sinha, govinda, priyanka dutt, vyjayanti mala, rajesh khanna (if he is still a member of the rajya sabha) and all others should come forward to request their respective political parties and the government to do a honour for the country. the nation will have redeemed itself by this one announcement alone. rafians who are interested to read the full article on devanand sahab’s remarks are requested to follow these links :
    on the 4th jan 2008 i had received an sms stating that on the ndtv news channel at 8.30 p.m. there would be a talk by mr zorawar on the subject and i immediately mailed to many of my contacts this information and sat through the entire period from 8.15 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. but while the programme “picture this” went on as scheduled from 8.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m., it only contained news of the latest gossip of bollywood rather than any references to the bharat ratna award, much less rafi sahab and the delhi chapter of rafi foundation and mr zorawar. perhaps it will be aired on a subsequent date. but the campaign should not halt even if we miss the bus this 26th jan 2008, instead with new vigour the campaign should manifest itself in all forms and reach out the multitude of people within and outside the country. so also, all political parties, the media and the music world should be made aware of this.

  6. allen says:

    even though rafi is passed away he must be awarded the bharat ratna for maximum and best songs

  7. A S MURTY says:

    rafians out there. please also visit and join in on the same subject by posting your views and comments. the new site is adding these new features almost every other day and let the fragrance of rafi sahab spread to all corners, using all the available fora.

  8. A S MURTY says:

    This article now finds a place in the too. One can see the ‘articles” or the “latest news” section.

  9. bhumesh sharma says:

    I sometimes wonder if someone like Mohammed Rafi really existed in this polluted and sinful world ,,….so pure,… much unpolluted……so much original…. then comes a proof …..a pure voice….voice of Mohammed Rafi…….it can be heard… can be felt….it occupies mind and soul completely, creats an image of extremely handsome,bold, truthful, upright patriotic saintlike man ……and …after that…I rediscover my self…a purified self, full of energy and with renewed faith in truth, goodness and decency of the world……it is all like ZADOO…..that is. Mohamed Rafi

  10. Narayan says:


  11. Kartik Vaidyanathan says:

    Rafi saab is next only to Goddess Saraswati in music.
    More than that, a perfect human being who believed that
    humility and humanity go hand in hand.

    This call of conferring the Bharat Ratna to Rafi saab has come
    late, but nevertheless is a call for correction on the part of
    the Indian polity not to have acclaimed this maestro.

    Rafi saab is the rarest of rare gems, and for all of us Rafi
    devotees is the de-facto Bharat Ratna.

    Long Live Md.Rafi.

  12. Saleem says:

    Naeey Umr ki Nayee Fasal. The song is – Sapne jade bhool se, meeth chube shool se, lut chiraagh sabhi baagh ke babool ke, aur hum kahde khade bahaar dekthe rahe, kaarwaan guzar gaya, ghubaar dekthe rahe. Neeraj catapult himself near to Shailendar, Majrooh and Sahir. And Rafi’ rendition! I dont think any other singer could have brought such pathos into this pearly poetry.

    Kaheen yeh Rafians ka kaarwaan bhi guzar na jaaey before it is delayed further
    At least Bharat Ratan now for transcontinental Rathan

  13. A.B.Dharwadkar says:

    Legend Mohd. Rafi is Real Bharat Ratna.

  14. harshbuttruth says:

    I totally agree with you all. He definitely deserves it. And God knows much more.
    But Is it going to enhance His image? I dont think so. Because He has already reached a stage beyond these awards which are bestowed by politicians upon somone who towed them all along.
    Subhash Chandra Bose doesnt have one. When offered recently, it was rejected by his family members, a noble gesture indeed. It says how much value this award or any award has in the eyes of true people.
    Rafi Sahab is Duniya ki Ratna…Usko Bharat Ratna ab dene jaroorat kya hai?

    Rafi Sahab would have his divine voice ”
    yeh mahalo, ye takhto, ye taajon ki duniya
    yeh insaan ke dushman samaajon kee duniya
    yeh daulat ke bhukhe rawaajon ki duniya
    yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye to kyaa hai ? ”

    For the life of me I can never imagine Rafi Sahab getting this award after Rajiv al… Whew..

  15. Shriram says:

    I could not think of a more deserving candidate for India’s ultimate honour. I believe that there is a select group of people that are put on this earth for a specific reason: Don Bradman was sent down from the heavens to bat, Pele to play soccer, Shivaji Maharaj to rule, Eisenhower to command an army, Michelangelo to paint and sculpt, Einstein to perceive the imperceptible . Likewise, Rafi Saab was God’s gift to music and he was put amongst us all to singand we should feel fortunate for it. Like the other luminaries, he was so far ahead of anyone else in his field that it does not even merit discussion.

  16. deshpandecv says:

    I strongly support the cadidature of great Mohd. rafi for Bharat Ratna award. Indeed, a great and noble artist like him does not need any award for recognising his talent. In fact the award and we would be honoured to bestow this honour on him.

  17. milind atre says:

    I honestly feel from bottom of my heart that Mohammed Rafi definitely desereved Bharat Ratna Award.

    I will always support your views for such a geinus singer for receiving the highest Civilian Award .


  18. A S MURTY says:

    i have also posted this very article by mr raju korti at the following link :

    Someone commented on a Scribd document you commented on. Check it out here:

    readers may go to the search column and type BHARAT RATNA to find this article there.

  19. A S MURTY says:

    I feel that this article should be sent by the rafi foundation to all the magazines, all the major newspapers, all the tv channels, all the political parties, all the cultural organizations, all major government bodies in the field of arts, culture, sports, etc. Likewise all the rafians can post it on their own blogs so that many more rafi fans and the general public are made aware of this holy task. I have posted a sample survey on and readers can access the survey by following the following link :

    good writers amongst us should also pen similar articles and send to various websites, magazines, journals, newspapers and the electronic media. the momentum should grow day by day and no stone should be left unturned by any rafi-fan in this regard. each one of us should play a positive role and do whatever little that we can. if we think for a few cool moments, we do not have to go too far to search for new ideas. we will find them all within us and a little more effort from each one of us will do wonders. let the charity begin at home.

  20. Narayanan says:

    Dear Rafi lovers,
    Bharat Ratna will surely gladden the hearts of music lovers in the world who are into film music.
    But Rafi saab himself never cared for any award . For him God is the only one which he got associated in the physical world before 80 and now in the heaven.
    So award depends on the govt who can be inconsiderate like in the past but let us put our best fforts.
    Rafi saab thusi bemisal ho hamesha

  21. RAMAKRISHNA says:

    ref post 44

    mr sayyad ji,

    please note these following points.

    1. rafi sahab is ( not was ) a universal person not confining to religion.

    2. his love, passion, respiration is only ‘ music ‘ . in one of the interviews Mr Shahid rafi has explained that when ever any one praised rafi sahab for his renderings then immediately rafi sahab used to point his finger above & gave all credit to the almighty for this.

    3. to us rafi sahab is not a normal person but a ‘ saint ‘ , question of religion does not come here at all.

    4. and finally, melody begins with rafi sahab & ends with rafi sahab only.

    please for heavens sake dont bring this ‘ religion ‘ factor here.

    here please recall the english number rendered by rafi sahab, ‘
    although we hail from different lands’

  22. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Please do not forget “Watan ki raah mein watan ke naujawan shaheed ho…”, one of the best patriotic song by Rafi Saheb.

  23. Saleem says:

    I am extremely sorry for not mentioning Lata’s Aye mere wathan ke logo which is another gem from the Indian nightingale


  24. Saleem says:

    Can any one forget the patriotic renditions as .
    Aye Wathan aye Wathan (what a melody)
    kar chale hum fida jaan wo than saathiyo
    suno suno aye duniya waalo
    ab koyee gulshan na ujde ab wathan aazaad hai
    meri awaaz suno – pyaar ka raag suno
    many many more – Rafi you are unparallel.

    I really fail to understand – Nehru shedding tears for Lata – Aye mere wathan ke logo. possibly he would have appreciated the latter jewels if only he had been in a mood to do so. Specially the first number of Shaheed, it rises your emotions even today.

  25. binus2000 says:

    mr. sayyad : post 44…

    actually rafi saab ‘never’ cared for any awards; he knew his worth.
    nor did he care for money unlike others.
    he did not visit producers houses for assignments nor made a
    ‘caucus’ to further his interests. he rarely attended parties.
    according to him and told by mr. ahmed to me : rafi saheb gave all
    credit to the gods and said he is ‘nothing’ in front of the creator.

    while others canvassed themselves for favours and awards from
    the government; rafi saab kept away from these acts.
    he concentrated ‘only’ on his singing and was a tremendous
    competitor and a perfectionist to the core.
    please do not bring communal passions to this forum and lose
    your sleep too – in the bargain is a sincere request.

    binu nair. ….mumbai…

  26. binus2000 says:

    mr. saayed:
    Please do not tar the image of rafi saab by bringing ‘in’ communal
    rafi saab is a ‘world citizen’ loved, adored and respected for his
    great human qualities and his singing talents. Nothing more , Nothing

    Binu Nair.. the rafi foundation.. Mumbai..

  27. Pradeep Kumar says:

    Fifty or Hundred years from now – when future Indian generations look back to the 20th Century pillars of society who inspired a whole generation through the artistry of hindustani music (be it classical or film) and a voice that only the gods could have bestowed upon – the name of Mohammed Rafi will stand out like a shining diamond.
    Not just for his enormous gifted voice – but for his humbleness, piety, dedication to his livelihood which was always music, trust-worthiness, sincerity, punctuality, very high levels of productivity, honour, love of family, friends and associates, and finally his grace in front of hundreds of thousands (millions) of fans all over India and abroad who just loved to hear him sing.

    How many fellow Indians can we choose from the past 60 years who have all these attributes? It is mind-boggling to even comprehend that a very large group of educated individuals (be it men or women) spread all over India (North-South, East-West) holding high ranks in private life, art, music, politics, civilian and military, entrepreneurs, giants of industry, TV & printed media – the whole gamut, cannot get together to honour one of the greatest Indian achievers of the last half century.

    It will be really shameful and a sinful act if this generation (post-independence to present) of leading Indians cannot honor late Sri. Mohammed Rafi with the highest civilian award, that can ever be bestowed to an individual of such high stature, by the Government of India to a fellow citizen of this illustrious country. Although belated and decades late, it will bring about the greatest joy to his close-knit family and thrill countless Rafi Saab fans spread all over the world.

    It is the only true “way forward” for the people of India to collectively payback Mohammed Rafi for the legacy of treasures that he left behind for us to all share and enjoy for many generations to come.

  28. A S MURTY says:

    Ref post 47 binuji, very glad that a press conference is being held at delhi on the 22nd december and that a cd of all the patriotic songs will be distributed to the ministers etc. a step in the right direction. rafi sahab had rendered some of the best nationalist and patriotic songs ever and with full valour and zest. listening to them itself builds national fervour among masses and each year on the 26th jan and 15th aug, we listen to the same songs by rafi sahab at all street corners. rafi sahab who had spent his early years in lahore, chose to stay put in mumbai and in india after partition of the country and was a great patriot having given several performances for our armed forces, sometimes even in extreme conditions. His mesmerising voice unites the whole of india and transcends all religious/castes/languages barriers. he was above all these man-made divisions in society and was a man of the masses. do advise us how to write to different political parties, mps, mlas etc and to build up the pressure.

    my request to the administrator of this site. Sir, please do not publish any comment that may lead to unwarranted debate on religious lines or result in any other controversy. we would like this site to remain concentrated on one subject alone – rafi sahab, the institution.

  29. binus2000 says:

    bhumesh sharma ji: Post no. 48..

    the culprit is a ‘behroopiya’ who changes his name and identity
    often and creates ‘trouble’ here.
    His latest name is raj : see post 32…

    He has venom in his mind and blood and i wonder about the
    torrid time he must be giving to his family members apart from
    Please comment….

    Binu Nair.,

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