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Why Mohammed Rafi Deserves Bharat Ratna

This appeal is from all Rafi fans and members of The Rafi Foundation.

This 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.


Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

It is an acknowledge fact. In his lifetime, the greatest singer of this country became a legend by sheer dint of his virtuosity. A man singing a marathon 25,000 songs in a career that spanned for four relentlessly melodious decades is an example unheard of in the annals of any profession. No other personality has dominated any profession in this manner. He made this priceless contribution to art and music which perhaps no one can replicate. His peer, Lata Mangeshkar, who has similar achievements to her credit has already been conferred with the prestigious award. Most social, cultural and political organizations have conceded in black and white that Mohommed Rafi is undoubtedly among the greatest 100 Indians ever born. Now it is for the Indian Government to honour this people’s verdict and ser right a historic wrong.


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.

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

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. 

His ageless voice brought India closer to the world. Indeed he was by far the most popular, respect and admired singer.  

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.


Mohommed Rafi was a man of tall character and tall achievements. Such was his profound influence that he became 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’. To be a Mohommed Rafi clone is actually considered to be a compliment by many upcoming singers.

Even today, all young and budding singers make no bones that they want to grow up to be another Rafisaab. It is amazing that twenty eight years after his death Mohommed Rafi continues to hold the same sway and charisma that he held during his incomparable career. 

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

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 diminutive presence and Pahadi voice fired the Indian soldiers, for whom he specially sang in war zones.


Mohommed Rafi sang for 41 years. In this marathon span, his voice captured every human emotion, every note, every range and every mood. He was a man for all seasons. The mind boggling 25,000 songs of myriad hues that he song are an unimpeachable testimony to a career that will remain one-off in the history of playback singing. He lent his unique voice to the compositions of over 175 composers, brought out the sparkle in the lyrics of over 275 lyricists and sang for virtually every actor of the Indian cinema, spanning generations.


Mohommed Rafi was far ahead of his times, a man who was above any religion. Indeed his only dharma was to sing and which he did with such merit. A Muslim he may have been by birth, but he sang the maximum bhajans and with so much feelings. One has to only soak in the Bhakti Rasa to know that here was a performer whose brilliance crossed all  human barriers and was a great binding force for all religions, which unfortunately are mired in petty issues. Today, if the country desperately needs any messiah, it has to be Mohommed Rafi hands down.  

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. 

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

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 26th 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. 

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi


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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137 Blog Comments to “Why Mohammed Rafi Deserves Bharat Ratna”

  1. sabnavees says:

    Ref post- 91

    Mr unknow whats that you are writing here? you are asking what rafi sahab has done for the people of india? he has done a great job for the people of the entire world & not only for india.

    he has made to realise the people of the entire world about melody, diction,clarity, emotion & expression all put together in right proportion. he brought tears in the eyes, laughter in a melancholic face, tempo & enthusiasm for the modern youth, beautiful romantic approach for a true lover. and all these he brought us through his songs with exceptional talent.
    he was the threshold of melody.

    he has been qouted as the master of melody by Dr Jesu doss, s.p.balasubramanyam, p.susheela, p.b.srinivas, suneetha amongst the singers.

    lakshmikant pyarelal, shankar-jaikishen, o.p.nayyar, madan mohan, ravi, kalyan ji anand ji, s.d.burman & roshan among the music directors.

    the recent concert of sonu nigam in london we felt rafi sahab was present in each artist of the orchestra.

    lesser known people worship rafi sahab like a god. sunday what we call as ravi vaar they call as rafi vaar. the day they dedicate to rafi sahab. his songs are played the entire day, people are allowed to visit their house to see the photographs , cassettes & other collections of rafi sahab.

    he was a man who knew only giving but never knew how to take. he was not an ordinary man like you and me. he was either a saint or an innocent child.

    he has done a lot for the mankind & for the world. bharat ratna is a small token gift for him, he is a vishwa ratna.

    he is like sun where you & me get burnt like a parvaana & he is like an ocean where you & me get lost.

  2. unknow says:

    Dear SIr Kumar Ji and Binu,
    religion and country where we born not our choice but religion and country like our child which we love more than anything that is real we can’t change that real,Myself I feel that religion is something your personal and we should not speak on this topic but when we look at Mohd Rafi history and Lata Ji history the only think we will see that Lata Ji got award because of religion(sorry for saying that),in India or any other country in world the first thing comes the religion that is true offourse we don’t agree that but that is true.
    As I think more than 99% having religion because they born the home where was that religion.
    Dear shashank chickermane.
    we are not comparing singers with the politicians but what like to say how was they great in there field same as our Mohd Rafi is…….
    I asked many Pakistans who is the best singer in Pakistan they gave Pakistan singers name but when I asked them are he is better then Mohd Rafi the answer is only I got no one can be compare with Mohd Rafi,Mohd Rafi is Mohd Rafi only and same said by mostly by Indian.
    I am Mohd Rafi fan I never said anything wrong about any other singer as a singer maybe I said something about KK or Lata Ji as human and that all knew is true
    As I think Mohd Rafi is gift of God to this great country but in this great country people they are mostly the religion is important for them…..
    who got Bharat Ratna award was given by politicians as I think Mohd Rafi already got Bharat Ranta award(how)because people who know about music they all ready gave this award to Mohd Rafi people like Mandan Mohan,SJ,Naushand Ali and many many more……….

  3. BINU NAIR says:

    unknow : i am fed up of your english language and some of your thoughts. can you write in hindi please. it will be more pleasing to the reader. or write in urdu. dont bore us by your broken words and thoughts. and we are not interested in knowing about your pakistan since we are talking about music and rafi saaheb. our subject is not politics and hence keep it away, very far from this site.

    binu nair

  4. sahil says:

    why we people in subcontinent still dont learn lesson from the past history?
    britishes used this tactic to gain power by dividing us on the basis of religion,caste, creed. and they became succesfull in ruling for 300 years .mistery is that still we are fighting oursleves
    on the basis of religion and caste,,? i want to know what we gain from such issues?
    where we are heading for?
    our politicians destroyed our unity, it is disgusting to see such things coming from our well educated society too. they talk about past conflicts between hindu and muslims? do we hear such things from western country or most develop country?
    such things can only be seen in sub continenent where people only want to talk bout such lavish things.

  5. kumar says:

    Contd… Unknow ji,

    Finally, when I hear greatest singers like rafi ji, ghantasala & kishore, lata and others, I hear only the music which flows through these greats and I do not see what is his/their background. it is the music factor which appeals and which gives pleasure and relief to our minds. Music is divine and fortunate are people who really enjoy music in its way.

  6. kumar says:

    Binu nair ji,

    The word honourable – i meant was in a rightful way in line with the talent and skills of the person and his achievements and not otherwise. Hope it is clear.

    Mr. Unknow

    Music, sun, moon, air, land, sky, fire, water etc. and finally the almighty do not belong to any particular religion. All are equal before these constituents and all have every right to have access to them. Why are you bringing religious factors into discussion, pl. stop that as it will pave way for unpleasant discussions. Being a rafi fan, pl. follow binu nairji’s advise, which he has repeated twice already, especially for you, particularly in terms of the language.

  7. BINU NAIR says:

    POST 92 IS ADDRESSED TO mr.UNKNOW AND regrets for not mentioning…


    my best wishes to for enabling mohd rafi fans to reach out to rafi lovers throughout the globe. thanks . may the site get much more success and popularity.

    binu nair….

  8. Please refer post no: 86 everyone, please ensure that Mohammad Rafi and all great legends are the singers not the politicians. So, dont compare singers against politicians. What Mr. Saifullah says absolutely correct that dont ever compare politicians with the singers. So, kindly keep it in the mind that we want Bharat Ratna to the great legendary singer Mohammad Rafisahab not the politician.

  9. BINU NAIR says:

    i meet absolute intelligent fans of mohd rafi saaheb from different professions and i always get delighted by it. it makes my moments of life great on any given day.

    i also meet great fools who claim they are mohd rafi fans. please do not become one of the greatest fools among mohd rafi lovers. and, please note that mohd rafi saaheb always “sang” soulful songs and not singed as u continuously state. please note and understand that there is no word called “singed” and you cut a sorry figure. i wish you understand all this.
    one more thing. mohd rafi is born in india in to a muslim family and by his contribution has become the darling of the masses in all corners of the world. please do not ever, ever cast him in to any religion, city or country as i feel that he is a top class “ideal world citizen”.
    you are a great mohd rafi lover and i appreciate that.

    binu nair

  10. unknow says:

    What does Bharat Ranta Award Mean?
    As I know country highest award and As I think should be given to person who did something great for people of this country.
    What does Mohd Rafi did for people of this country?
    As I think Mohd Rafi made Indian to say any Pakistani that we Indain got best singer..(.sorry for saying that if some one from Pakistan mide)Mohd Rafi helpied many MD and film makers and singed great songs for Indian in China and India war same in Inia Pakistan war on Kashmir…be a muslim born and give best songs for non muslims
    Sorry for saying something I should not say it,

  11. BINU NAIR says:

    post 83 kumar ji… : are you CONFUSED ….. what do you mean by saying rafi saaheb should get the Bharat Ratna award in a honourable way “without stooping to any level”. ur confusion is clearly showing again and please “use” the right phrases and words at the right place. please do not mount “a” high moral pedastal like our home grown politicians and talk just the same.
    i like you only for the reason that you are a great rafi fan. keep that up. good day to you…

    binu nair

  12. unknow says:

    Sir Kumar Ji,
    I think KK was not a classical singers but he was one of the best singers in Bollywood and he was more famous than many classical singers.
    It is not important that a good singer or human should get award but the problems comes when human and people like Maney Day,Naushand Ali,SJ,Anil Biswas,Madan Mohan,Dilip Kumar,Mr Bachchan and many more they don’t got Bharat Ranta and human like Lata ji(bollywood) got that Award so that is wrong……!!!!!!!?

  13. Shiuna says:

    m not an indian but a maldivian, an 18 year old girl and i am a huge fan of mohamed rafi

  14. Saifullah says:

    Thanks for your compliments, Kumarji
    But, have your read my posting carefully?
    I have clearly mentioned that Rafi Saab needs to be honoured and if we Rafians feel that he needs to be honoured with a Bharat Ratna, there is no harm in reminding the higher ups that our legend needs to be remembered and honoured in a much more dignified manner. I am against stooping for this purpose, purely because my Rafi Saab’s soul will not tolerate it. I am not dragging anyone into any argument, nor am I interested in such things. But, I am sure that people like Binu are doing a great job in keeping the spirits of Rafians high by their deeds. Kudos to all of you, Binu and company, this is a great effort. Never mind the deaf ears of the higher ups. There are too many strings being pulled in different directions which result in a situation where the ultimate goal is not being acheived. And please don’t bother about the criticism. People who are not able to do what you are doing, will always try to find fault with your efforts. That is a natural human tendency. Please dont lose heart and please do keep your efforts on, Binu !!!!!
    My only request to anyone who makes a comment here is, please do not try to belittle Rafi Saab. We Rafians will not be able to stand it. As I said earlier, Rafi Saab lives in the hearts and rooms of millions and billions and will continue to do so as long as music remains alive. This site is for people who love Rafi Saab and let it remain so.
    Long live Rafi Saab’s legacy and long live Rafians !!!!

  15. I want to ask one thing to all Indians, when Mohd Rafi was alive, who took the initiative to give him a prestigous award. No body from the film industry bothered to recommend the awards to the Govt of India. can anybdy tell us how many Filmfare Award? he got or any type of awards. The fact no male playback singers of yesteryears got any such type of awards till now. Who got this bharat ratna award till now whether Mukesh, Kishorekumar, Hemantkumar, TalatMohd, Mahendrakapoor or any of the singers, I am askng this question to all the fans: Nobdy, we (fans) have ignored all this thngs, only we just listened to his songs but whther we tried for so many years, its 28 years past rafisahab passed away. Infact, We shld start with mohdrafi onwards and then all other singers i feel and try to give names of all the playback singers. whtever will be if this award gets to rafisahab then it will be very much respect to him from all the Govt of India.

  16. hashim khan (chicago) says:

    mohd rafi sahib his greatest singer ever what a golden melody voice he had ever i always fan of his voice since i was a 5 year old kid jab tak surat chand rahega mohd rafi sahib ap ka naam rahega hum sub ke dilon mein

  17. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Doston, Pehle yeh to bataiye, aaj tak Govt. of India ne aisa kaunsa accha kaam kiya hai jo ab karegi?? Jinko Bharat Ratna dena chahiye tha unko nahin diya, aur jinko nahin dena chahiye tha, unko de diya. Na jaane Govt. of India kab jaagegi aur kab realize karegi? Really, it’s a matter of shame for the Govt. of India.

  18. kumar says:

    Post 77 saifullah sahab – Pl. accept my accolades – good message. This is what I had already conveyed earlier.

    Hello again my dear friends & rafi fans – Why are you taking things in personal way. I have never disputed anything, in fact i very much mentioned that rafi ji definitely needs to be honoured in a honourable way without stooping to any level. My request is not to take my view in the other way, but to pl. know that, it is wrong to assume that classical singing is lower (which is not so) as stated by some pure rafi fanboys here.

    Post 76 – classical singing vs. playback singing.

    And regarding greatness of playback singers than classical singers, its a big debate again. Pl, remember almost all filmy playback singers are first classical singers only. Classical singing is the original base for any singing, this I repeat again. Without being trained in classical music, no singer can do justice to any type of singing be it filmy or otherwise, because without that knowledge of classical, command over notes etc. cannot be made. So classical singing alone is the basis for any singing , I again repeat, classical singing only is the mother of music. Coming to filmy playback singing – only singers with melodious and attractive voices are successful here, why because to attract public that’s all and moreover almost all successful filmy playback singers are trained classical singers (remember they are classical trained first), In case of classical singing, the voice (melody) is not important, the presentation from technicality of music is more important.

    Finally, in my opinion, Filmy playback singers who have great classical edge (of course most have classical base) with melodious voices are all greatest, since they are capable of creating filmy effect without compromising the original classical style : to this category belong the great playback singers viz., ghantasala, k j yesudas, lata mangeshkar, mohd rafi etc. – all were first classically trained (they were not born in film music pl.) Whereas, purely classical greats such as pandit bhimsen joshi, pt. jasraj, pt. ravi shankar, m s subbulakshmi, m balamuralikrishna are definitely technically ahead of all the respective playback singers (in terms of technical qualification) – few filmy greats such as ghantasala and yesudas fall under exception, as they maintained their classical edge throughout, same time achieving marvellous success in all areas of filmy singing as well due to their melodious voices.

    So I conclude, almost all filmy playback singers are classical singers but not the reverse i.e. all classical singers may not be filmy playback singers.

  19. BINU NAIR says:

    mr.kumar saaheb : I will tell you a home truth about politicians in particular whom you have brought herein. they all have done a “great” service to the people. 99% of them. but, this service is restricted to themselves and their near and dear ones only and not to the common man.
    the days of mahatma gandhi is almost over. there is only cosmetic patriotism left nowadays. in the early fifties, majrooh sultanpuri was sent to the jails – for he had criticised the p.m.
    he was asked to say “sorry” for his statement. he refused and he was sent to prison. morarji desai was in the government and he kept his silence.persons who disagree with this view may write to me at my personal e.mail as this portal needs to be kept “spotlessly clean” in all respects.

    Binu Nair,

  20. BINU NAIR says:

    mohd rafi lovers are very passionate men and women. they are intelligent too and it’s nice as in various discussions – the thought process gets clarity.
    but, some are confused tooo – i must say. why bring politicians in a discussion about music and that too shri morarji desai. politicians have messed up the state and are forgotten by their victims, the common man. please do not open avoidable controversies which “might” result in “opening” a can of worms. this is a personal opinion.
    the rafi foundation has appealed to the government to honour mohd rafi saaheb and this is a demand being echoed by large sections of music lovers who are not even mohd rafi fans.
    if, mohd rafi lovers ( a microspic few )are to ridicule the “appeal” in some ways and by using wrong english words, then it shows their class, thinking and/or poor knowledge of the languages. “unknow” please note and mind your words please as this is for you.
    but, as said earlier, discussions give clarity of thought and action and this must continue along with golden era songs.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai…

  21. BINU NAIR says:

    we have seen many lobbies working to get their favourites the awards. it happened with many prestigeous awards beginning with the filmfare awards. many composers used to buy filmfare in bulk, ask their chamchas to fill in the forms and send to filmfare. the maximum forms means popular support – and the awards are home. one will always remember the contest of two great music movies : sangam and dosti. i have an inside “view” since one of the chamchas was my immediate neighbour.
    let me inform that mohd rafi saaheb had his “art” speaking for himself and inside his heart, he knew he was the best. mohd rafi saaheb’s family members welcome the move to honour mohd rafi saaheb with the bharat ratna award and we will put it to the government.

    binu nair..

  22. Rashid Khan says:

    Dear All ,

    In front of Rafi all awards are small

    but still we want that Rafi sahab must get the Bharat Ratna awards

    Rafi Sahab Dyeing Fan
    Mohd Rafi Group

  23. sahil says:

    What can one expect from poilticians of this great country?(thanks GOD our country have produced great personality in every field ).
    since independent they politisized every issue to gain political milaeage out of such issues . mistery is that nomination of this great award are in the hands of these politicians?
    then how could one expect justice from these hypcrites?
    i think we have to make collective effort to honour rafi saheb , who had become so cheap in the hands of such politicians who had been denied for this honourbale award since 3 decades.
    we could see his popularity still today ,and youngster today still love his voice.
    if u just surf any websites for the best singer of this country.
    you will find the name of mohd rafi stood first. this reflects his popularity even today in india and very part of the world.

  24. Saifullah says:

    I am ardent Rafi fan and I dont listen to anything other than our Rafi Saab’s songs. I mentioned this just to stake my claims as an ardent Rafi fan.

    Well, I have been going through this site everyday reading comments that have been put in by fellow Rafians on the issue of bestowing The Bharat Ratna on this legendendary singer. I see some friends comparing Rafi Saab with Mahatma Gandhi, Morarji Desai etc etc. Now, if you want to claim the award posthumously for these leaders, please go ahead and do it. No one is going to stop you and no one is going to question your wisdom in doing so. With due respect to The Father of The nation and to Morarji Desai, let me tell you something, we are not trying to belittle these greats. We are only requesting the govt of India to honour this great singer in one more way. Agreed that we should not bring in politics into this and we need not stoop beyond a limit for this purpose, but there is no harm in reminding the authorities that this man also needs to be recognized in more ways. Let us not compare our Rafi Saab with others. Rafi Saab has his own standing and the others have their own standings. This is in no way belittling the contributions made to the society by leaders of the stature of Gandhiji. He was a great human being, a great leader and a true beacon of peace. His contribution to the Indian society is in another realm of life and Rafi Saab’s is different. How can you compare two greats who come from different walks of life? Let us not belittle either of them by making such comparisons. There is no need to belittle anyone

    This are my personal opininons and is not meant to hurt anyone.

    If Rafians feel that Rafi Saab deserves a Bharat Ratna, there is no harm in requesting the authorities to bestow it on him. But, even if it does not happen, Rafi Saab will continue to live in the lives millions of his fans and will continue to do so as long as music is part of human life. That is by itself, the biggest recognition that he has received during his life and after his departure.

    My opinions are not meant to hurt anyone and no one needs to take these comments personal.


  25. J.K.Bhagchandani says:

    Post No. 62: On the one hand Kumar says that hindustani classical music and filmi playback singing should not be compared (he calls it a joke) and then goes on to suggest that filmy playback singing is an inferior virtue than classical singing. He could not have been more wrong. Both forms of singing are equally great and require different types of singing crafts. It is agreed that even for playback singing it is desirable to have training in classical music but to incorporate the nuances of classical music’s knowledge and training in playback singing in the form of a 3 to 5 minutes ‘package’ (song) is something that requires very special skills and great amount of understanding of human emotions, human reactions to various situations. And to make that song sound hero-specific, heavely sweet keeping all the essence of sur and taal intact is a miracle that Rafi did. And he did it day in and day out year after year. Even great classical music exponents like Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pt. Jasraj are great admirers of those great film songs. Years back Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma used to present a programme on Vividh Bharti ‘Sangeet sarita’ where in he used to describe in detail the musical technicalities (like raag, sur, taal orchestration etc.) of all those great great songs that old singers have sung. Even he never suggested that he or his classical music colleagues possess an art superior to playback singing. If Classical music is like Science then, playback singing is like Applied Science.

  26. Anmol Singh says:

    Ref to Post – 62

    Most of these so called Classical Musicians / Singers started their career with filmy music. Since they were failures in Bollywood, they later specialized in pure classical music / singing. Classic example is Ustad Alla Rakha who specialized in Tabla. In the 1940s he use to composed music as ‘A R Qureshi’, where Rafi as a singer contributed the maximum. Similar is the case with Pt Ravishankar as well. Plus Pt Hari Prasad Chorisia & Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma were oridnary musicans in Bollywood, later specialized in classical music.

    So then if we go by your theory Rafi should be bigger than all these classical stalwarts. Filmy music and classical music to two different areas of specialization. Rather compositing filmy songs for diiferent situations as per the story line is far more complex compared to composing a pure classical number. This fact has been acknowledged by Pt Jasraj.

    Very few classical stalwarts acknowledge the work of composers like Naushad, SJ, SDB, Madan Mohan, etc. Plus when they guide youngsters with the basic of classical music, there is hardly any mention of any filmy classical song. In their termiology filmy songs are corrupt and impure. These stalwarts do not understand that it through the film songs people come to learn music.

    No wonder we don’t have quality singers who understand the depth of the Indian music. Thanks to the monopoly created by the classical stalwarts, which is very much active till date.

    Thanks to Naushad for breaking their monoply and and giving us the gem called Mohd Rafi.

  27. S.CHANDAR says:

    I completely endorse Narayan’s views that instead of requesting the Govt. for Bharat Ratna for Rafi Saab, we should ask the Govt or famous film personalities to institute an award in his name. If there can be an award in the name of RD Burman, then why not in the name of our dearest Rafi Saab. This way, we shall be keeping alive the memory of our Rafi Saab as ell as encouraging new talents. This suggestion of Mr Narayan is welcome and I think people should give their comments/ suggestions

  28. I will be happy that Mohd Rafi get the prestigous award like Bharat Ratna. But he is indeed a Ratna to us.

  29. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Post 62: Bhimsen Joshi is not ahead of Rafi Saheb and I fully agree with Post 66.

  30. Dhani Ram says:

    kumar sahib
    i am utterly baffled by your post.i haven’t been able to understand your motive in denigrating rafi sahib.nobody before your rant appeared said a word against the award to pt bhimsen joshi on this forum.binu has welcomed it.we are not interested in making any comparisons.we love rafi and this site is devoted to him by his lovers.and we don’t say a word against any singer unless we are unnecessarily provoked as you have done without any reason.we all respect pt joshi and are happy that the great maestro has deservedly won the award.we are not questioning the award to him.but why does it trouble you if we ask for the award for rafi profess to love rafi sahib but your hypocrisy is outrageous as your sole motive is to belittle rafi sahib.

    but unlike you,we all genuine lovers of rafi sahib regard him to be the best and greatest singer of all times,having absolutely no equal in any genre of singing.if you think otherwise,keep your stink out of this forum.

  31. M. Zaman says:

    Well said Mr. Kumar, Rafi sahab is not only bharat Ratna but , bisbha Ratna,
    But still we want to see from the Govt. of india that they are not marely act on the policatical compaltoin , but they know the music and Rasfi Sahab fully.
    If Govt of India dos’nt , it’s open debate , i will make thame understand that who is Mohd Rafi sahab , and what is till today his capasity & contribution to the country he belongs to thats ” MERA BHARAT MAHAN “

  32. mohanflora says:

    Gharana has nothing to do with rise of singer’
    Varinder Singh
    Tribune News Service

    Patiala, November 11
    Describing late singer Mohammed Rafi as an inimitable figure and the ‘best singing soul the world has ever come across’, Pakistan-based folk and Sufi singer Ustad Shaukat Ali virtually discarded the age-old ‘gharana system’ by observing that the rise of a singer and his or her subsequent acceptance by the audience has almost nothing to do with a ‘gharana’.

    “Gharana system has been a respectable establishment which has been producing singers of quality. But, generally when an aspiring singer turns into an acclaimed singer, it happens only through divine intervention. Actually, the song comes out spontaneously if one has blessings bestowed upon by the elderly and God,” said Ustad Shaukat in an exclusive conversation with this correspondent. Nevertheless, riyaaz is of utmost importance, he added.

    Shaukat shot to fame with his evergreen folk numbers such as, ‘Challa’, ‘Kissa yusuf zulaikhan’, ‘Kalam-e-bahu’, ‘Mirza’, ‘Quafian’ and ’Jagga’. What took him to the heights of fame was his song ‘Kadi te hass bol ve’. What is not known to many is the fact that apart from being a singer, Shaukat is also a lyricist and a composer.

    The theme song of Punjabi super-hit film ‘Chan Pardesi’, according to him, was based on his composition. Not only this, ‘Neend Udegi’, a song of Hindi film ‘Ram Bharose’, was also “inspired” by his composition. He is currently on a visit to Punjab alongwith his son and co-artiste Mohsin Shaukat.

    “There is no parallel of Rafi on the firmament of music. He was gifted with such a sweet velvety voice which has never been owned by any other singer in the world till date. I met him a number of times between 1963 and 1980,” Shaukat said.

    It was he who had introduced Ghulam Ali and Mohammed Rafi during one of his foreign trips.

    “Rafi sahib even came to my house in Lahore. Our proximity was to such a level that when he passed away in 1980, there was a three-day mourning at my place in Lahore. I kept sobbing all these days thinking that I had lost whatever I had in my life. Rafi sahib was my ideal and I always keep his photograph placed on my harmonium. He was pure-hearted and did not conceal anything from anyone. It was his character that reflected through his zestful songs. He did not belong to any gharana and was son of a barber. Today, he stands tall as the best singer of the nation,” he said.

    Virtually scoffing at certain contemporary singers, Shaukat smiled and said, “Building biceps in gym does not make one a singer.”

  33. BINU NAIR says:

    KUMAR JI : politicians have ruined the country and morarji desai did the grandest politicking to reach the top. please do not bring him here in and pollute this site. a sincere request is this.

    binu nair..mumbai

  34. unknow says:

    Sir kumar
    bhimsen joshi is good but you can’t put him better than Mohd rafi, do you agree that bhimsen joshi better than Mahatma Gandhi,I hope you got my point.
    My self I don’t know who is bhimsen joshi and please ask any one on street about bhimsen joshi and Mohd Rafi any where in the world,offousre I don’t mean that people don’t know he should not get award but can’t be compare with Mohd Rafi when singer like Manny Day MD like Madan mohan and actor like Shammi Kapoor what they said about our mohd rafi that is more better than Bharat Ratna award…..

  35. unknow says:

    Sir kumar
    bhimsen joshi is good but you can’t put him better than Mohd rafi, do you agree that bhimsen joshi better than Mahatma Gandhi,I hope you got my point.
    My self I don’t know who is bhimsen joshi and please ask any one on street about bhimsen joshi and Mohd Rafi any where in the world,offousre I don’t mean that people don’t know he should not get award but can’t be compare with Mohd Rafi when singer like Manny Day MD like Madan mohan and actor like Shammi Kapoor what they said about our mohd rafi that is more better than Bharat Ratna award…..
    I am happiest fan of mohd rafi that they are not giving award to Mohd Rafi boz I feel Mohd Rafi born by mistake in India and that is our good luck that he born in India………….
    Mohd Rafi can be compre with mohd Rafi only…
    Mohd Rafi having award of God 28 years left still the top singer….

  36. Refer Post No. 56, 58 and 63. I fully agree that the Bharat Ratna for Rafi Saab should not be at the cost of Rafiji’s reputation. The powers be after awarding the Bharat Ratna would claim credit for the same as tribute to secularism, etc. etc. and would try to encash it for furthering their vote banks totally forgetting or ignoring that Rafiji is perhaps one of the few persons in India who really deserves to be honoured with Bharat Ratna. How many of those awardees listed are remembered by the people. But BR or no BR, Rafiji is remebered by all, even after 28 years of his demise. Rafiji’s songs are AMAR and will be there perhaps till Sooraj Aur Chaand rahenge. Let us not be too much obsessed with the BR for Rafiji. As somebody pointed out, he is WORLD RATNA. If the award is given with right spirit, we will be happy but if political mileage is derived after awarding BR to Rafiji, that will be sad day for all Rafi fans.

    Of course, this is my personal opinion.

  37. Nasir says:

    S. Chandar has very valid points. Yes, to think of it, Rafi Sahaab doesn’t need a Bharat Ratna Award. In the list provided above, there are many of the awardees whom we don’t even know. Whereas Rafi Sahaab’s name is a household name in the sub-continent and to those who are abroad. Then why?
    On pondering, the answers that came to my mind are twofold:
    1. Rafi Sahaab’s official recognition will lend credibility to the system.
    2. Rafi Sahaab doesn’t need the award – but we do! Yes, we need the award. In the said recognition of Rafi Sahaab lies the millions of sentiments of his fans who feel denied by the heartless attitude of the governfment. But the government and those in charge of the awards should know that even if they deny the award to Rafi Sahaab it only reflects either on their ignorance or their apathy and poor knowledge of what music really is about.

  38. Narayan says:

    I fully endorse the views of Chander and reemphasise that politicians are the deciding authorities for Bharat Ratna and most them ARE DEAF N CUTTHROAT…
    So let us all make a presentation to the Punjab govt and the Maharastra govt to hon celebreties in the field of Cinema an award in the name of Rafi sahab

  39. kumar says:

    Hello my dear fellow rafi fans,

    Rafi ji is the greatest filmy playback singer, the bollywood has so far produced, even greater than saigal and lata mangeshkar, no doubt about it. In h.f.m. he is the greatest one. But as alleged by some people, it is wrong to compare rafi ji with bhimsen joshi who was a hindusthani classical exponent, and in classical and technical terms certainely far ahead of rafi ji. (Sorry to rafi fans if i have told the truth – I am also a rafi fan) There is nothing wrong in requesting the govt. (Not begging) in honourable ways for bharat ratna to rafi ji, but comparing playback singing with pure classical music, is not good and a big big joke. Playback singing is a child of Classical Music. Classical music, whether hindusthani or carnatic, is the original base and mother for any type of singing whether filmi or other, and classical music experts, strictly speaking are certainly greater than filmy playback singers. Filmy playback singers who have greater classical edge are all greater since without compromising classical base (the mother) they excel in filmy style. So my request is pl. do not try to project a child being greater than a mother. Filmy playback singing cannot be greater than classical singing as it is a child before it and filmy singing has its base from classical singing only.

    The decision to confer bharat ratna on pt. bhimsen joshi is indeed laudable.

    Moresover, as somebody was mentioning, it this award is awarded posthumously, then there are many greater greats such as mahatma gandhi, morarji desai (his daughter asked him for a recommendation letter when he was CM, but he refused as a result of which she committed suicide – desai did not care because of his truthful ethics and karma yogi priniciple, he even did not care to lose his govt. in 1980 – he did not accept horse trading as it was against ethics) such was desai. What about swami vivekananda, saint thyagaraja (who had the darshan of lord rama and who brought back dead people to life through devotion), who influenced the entire world and set examples through their achievements and which will continue for a long time. So pl. think, what is true greatness – the list is endless. Certainly, if the award is posthumous, is it not fair that true greats as stated above should be taken into account. I hence feel, posthumous grant of this award has no meaning, but if given, really great people should be considered.

  40. Unknow says:

    Thanks Gov’t of India that you know that award like Bharat Ranta not made for Mahatma Gandhi and Mohd Rafi they are more greatter than this small Award.
    Sir BINU NAIR please stop to beg award from Indian Gov’t if your real Mohd rafi.
    as u said that manna dey said : i would like to be born as mohd rafi if this word of Manna dey is more important than any award….
    I rememeber that I paid money to buy songs when I was child I paid to have songs of Mr Bachchan I don’t care who was the singer but after I became mohd Rafi fan i never paid money to buy any song else than Mohd Rafi..
    Madan Mohan,OPN,Naushand,Ravi,Shammi Kapoor and many more what they said is more important than this small award which called Bharat Ranta,Please stop PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP,MOHD RAFI IS WORLD RATNA NOT BHARAT RATNA ONLY

  41. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Honestly speaking, Rafi Saheb is the only true Bharat Ratna. All others are fake.

  42. BINU NAIR says:

    mohd rafi saaheb is a world citizen; born in to a muslim family near amritsar. he grew up in lahore, made mumbai (bombay) his karma bhoomi, visited many villages and towns spreading the words of love and brotherhood, went to war torn remote areas along with prime ministers including pandit jawaharlal nehru ( a great friend ) didn’t make royalties over his songs more particularly his soul wrenching patriotic numbers, visited towns and world capitals – singing to glory.

    yes. he is a world citizen who will respect priests of all religion, bow and thank a tea boy (chai wallah) who will hand him a cup of tea in the recording room, help people in need anonymously, sing for free – no fees whatsoever and many more acts of goodness and kindness.
    many presidents and prime ministers are forgotten; bharat ratna awardees are forgotten (most of them) and rafi saaheb is remembered and will be remembered because he gave soul to immortal words penned by legend writers. (today’s singers, composers and writers – pls note)

    if the govt wants some glory for the bharat ratna award, mohd rafi saaheb should be honoured. there is no politics in this issue whatsoever and the government has to see the light of the day and the common peoples desire of honouring mohd rafi saaheb.
    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai

  43. S.CHANDAR says:

    Isn’t the topic of awarding Bharat Ratna to our dearest Rafi Saab a little too political. Giving the award posthmously itself is wrong. If it is to be given posthmously, then Bhagwan Ram, Gandhiji et al are the main contenders. Also, the list of recepients includes MG Ramachandran, Morarji Desai, VV Giri, Indira Gandhi, Pandurang Vaman Kane, Dhondo Keshav Karve, et al who, do not, by any stretch of imagination desrve to be in this list.

    I find a lot of enthusiasm among Rafi fans that the great singer be awarded Bharat Ratna. Let us assume that he is awarded Bharat Ratna. What next ? Does he become greater than what he was and is still to us. I think Rafi Saab does not need these titles to enhance his reputation. Even during his singing days he was denied a number of Filmfare/ National awards by deft manipulation of the powers-that-be in those days. It used to pain me. But my love and affection for Rafi Saab did not diminish. On the contrary he grew in stature as far as I was concerned. People are connecting his Muslim origins to confer the award, thereby appeasing the minority community. What is all this bull-shit? Why cant we leave Rafi Saab in peace even after 28 years of his leaving this world. The greatest award to Rafi Saab is the love and affection shown to him by his millions and zillions of his fans. I am personally not in favour of this gimmickry. I feel even if the joint effort is successful in getting the Bharat Ratna for Rafi Saab, the people who are now involved in this campaign will add a feather to their caps. It will make no difference to Rafi Saab’s reputation and to the esteem to which I hold Rafi Saab.

    The above statements are my personal opinions and not to belittle any one in particular. Since, the debate is on, I thought of putting forth my personal opinion.

    That is all.


  44. rafifan says:

    This time bharat ratna goes to Pandit bhimsen joshi. Already govt. has decided on this. Bhimsen joshi is a great hindusthani classical exponent and has to his credit lot of hindusthani music knowledge. Music lovers being given recognition by govt. good.

  45. Unknow says:

    These are great they got Bharat Ranta Award Agree but ………

    Bharat Ratna Awardees

    Kumari Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar
    Arts : 2001 : India : Maharashtra

    Late. Ustad Bismillah Khan
    Arts : 2001 : India : Uttar Pradesh

    Prof. Amartya Sen
    Literature & Education : 1999 : United Kingdom :

    Lokpriya Gopinath (posth.) Bordoloi
    Public Affairs : 1999 : India : Assam

    Loknayak Jayprakash (Posth.) Narayan
    Public Affairs : 1999 : India : Bihar

    Pandit Ravi Shankar
    Arts : 1999 : United States :

    Shri Chidambaram Subramaniam
    Public Affairs : 1998 : India : Tamil Nadu

    Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi
    Arts : 1998 : India : Tamil Nadu

    Shri (Dr.) A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    Science & Engineering. : 1997 : India : Delhi

    Smt. Aruna Asaf (Posth.) Ali
    Public Affairs : 1997 : India : Delhi

    Shri Gulzari Lal (Shri) Nanda
    Public Affairs : 1997 : India : Gujarat

    Shri Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata
    Trade & Industry : 1992 : India : Maharashtra

    Shri Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
    Public Affairs : 1992 : India : West Bengal

    Shri Satyajit Ray
    Arts : 1992 : India : West Bengal

    Shri Morarji Ranchhodji Desai
    Public Affairs : 1991 : India : Gujarat

    Shri Rajiv Gandhi
    Public Affairs : 1991 : India : Delhi

    Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
    Public Affairs : 1991 : India : Gujarat

    Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedakr
    Public Affairs : 1990 : India : Maharashtra

    Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
    Public Affairs : 1990 : South Africa :

    Shri Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran
    Public Affairs : 1988 : India : Tamil Nadu

    Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
    Social Work : 1987 : Pakistan :

    Shri Acharya Vinoba Bhave
    Social Work : 1983 : India : Maharashtra

    Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu Teresa
    Social Work : 1980 : India : West Bengal

    Shri Kumaraswamy Kamraj
    Public Affairs : 1976 : India : Tamil Nadu

    Shri V.V. Giri
    Public Affairs : 1975 : India : Orissa

    Smt. Indira Gandhi
    Public Affairs : 1971 : India : Uttar Pradesh

    Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri
    Public Affairs : 1966 : India : Uttar Pradesh

    Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane
    Social Work : 1963 : India : Maharashtra

    Dr. Zakir Hussain
    Public Affairs : 1963 : India : Andhra Pradesh

    Dr. Rajendra Prasad
    Public Affairs : 1962 : India : Bihar

    Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy
    Public Affairs : 1961 : India : West Bengal

    Shri Purushottam Das Tandon
    Public Affairs : 1961 : India : Uttar Pradesh

    Dr. Dhonde Keshav Karve
    Social Work : 1958 : India : Maharashtra

    Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant
    Public Affairs : 1957 : India : Uttar Pradesh

    Dr. Bhagwan Das
    Literature & Education : 1955 : India : Uttar Pradesh

    Shri Jawaharlal Nehru
    Public Affairs : 1955 : India : Uttar Pradesh

    Dr. M. Vishweshwariah
    Civil Service : 1955 : India : Karnataka

    Shri Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
    Public Affairs : 1954 : India : Tamil Nadu

    Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman
    Science & Engineering. : 1954 : India : Tamil Nadu

    Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan
    Public Affairs : 1954 : India : Tamil Nadu

  46. Unknow says:

    Dear Mohd Rafi fans,
    jest think that why Mahatma Gandhi and Mohd Rafi not having Bharat Ratna award?\

    My answer why Mahatma Gandhi nd Mohd Rafi not having Bharat Ratna award boz they got better award than this small award(Bharat Ratna)when people speak about peace the name of Mahatma Gandhi comes and when people speak about the best play back singer Mohd rafi name comes….
    So why Mohd Rafi and Mahatma Gandhi should get this small award?
    There are none Indian they got this award and people like Lata ji who is great singer but not great human as we all knew that how she stop new singers to come…she didn’t singed for SJ,we all know why?
    Please stop please stop please stop

  47. Emdad says:

    One of the leading Bangla news paper reported that Pt Veem Sen Joshi is conferred Bharat Ratna this year at the age of 86.

  48. syed mohd says:

    Once again disappointed and sad news for rafi’s fan .Goverment has announced this year bharat ratna to pandit bhimsen joshi.(we respect him, but in term of talent , rafi stood above all)
    actually since last 28 years the goverment has been playing with the sentiments of the people of this great country.Its seems a conspiracy and nothing,but a mere biase policy of the goverment.
    the govt has demoralised and dishonour of this great award ( doubt now.)
    A singer who dedicated his whole energy and potential for the last 4 decades,for indian cinema and indian music.
    a man with a true character , a symbol of secularism . and bridge of love between all religion ,whose still considred to be the greatest voice in history of india so far, and his contribution to indian music is unimaginable.
    several singers came and lakhs of singer still are coming to audituon in various programmes in various channel . could u find any one of them going just near to rafis voice.
    that mean that God had given this great voice to heal our soul.
    we are playing with the God by not thanking for this great wealth which we got in the form rafi saheb by not giving due respect and honouring this great singer.

  49. A S MURTY says:

    Today’s morning papers broke the news that the Government has announced that this year’s Bharat Ratna award will go to Pt. bhimsen joshi and the tv channels too broadcast this news. while we as music lovers applaud this decision of the government – pt. bhimsen joshi is certainly a very deserving winner – i have a feeling that our campaign for conferment of this prestigious award to rafi sahab will not bring in the desired result this year. perhaps, we were late in making up our minds to restart the campaign this year. let this not be taken as a set back in case there is no scope now for any other person to be named for bharat ratna for this year and let the campaign continue so that atleast for the next year, our claim finds a place in the decision makers’ minds well in advance. the sudden announcement today came as a surprise though, for we had thought no decision on such matters takes place until the advent of the new year.

  50. N.G.Ramaswamy says:

    All Rafians,

    It is really surprising news for all of us in that Pt.Bhimsen Joshi has been conferred Bharat Ratna even before our appeal could reach the centre this year. Normally, every announcement comes in January but this year I think some mischievous hands are playing truant. This sleepy govt. must have felt not to disappoint Pt.Bhimsen Joshi since he is already 86 and it is better to confer it on him before anything untoward happens. Already they have committed the blunder on Rafi Sahab during his glorious lifetime and the same they must have felt not to repeat on Pt.Bhimsen Joshi. Anyway goodluck to him and his family. None other than these jealous sisters of hindi music were the first to wish Pt.Bhimsen Joshi with Bouquets and flowers. In the local news paper the action by these sisters occupy the first page. It seems with only those whom they can compare themselves they shower praises and not with the one and only incomparable i.e. our beloved Rafi Sahab. Long Live Rafi Sahab. You are the first and you are the ultimate. The world knows this.


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