You're browsing: Home / Meri awaaz suno / Clarion call to Bollywood

Clarion call to Bollywood

This article is written by Mr. A.S.Murty

Mohd RafiMohammed Rafi, the Numero Uno among all the singers that our country has produced, ruled over Bollywood for close to four decades. He sang over 27000 songs and in many languages and he sang all types of songs. Be it ghazals, geets, qawwallis, bhajans, romantic or tragic, patriotic or plain MESSAGE BOARD songs, Mohd. Rafi rendered them all with such subtle ease and passion that he has no parallels in the music industry. He worked with all the top film producers, directors, music directors, female lead singers, male lead singers and a host of chorus artistes.

Many a Music Directors owe their success to Mohd. Rafi sahib, for HE not just sang for them but raised the class of their compositions many times over. Mohd. Rafi was the soul of many all-time mega movies in the four decades that he was sitting at the altar of Bollywood’s music industry. Several hundreds of movies became instant hits and went on to celebrate Silver Jubilees and many a actor made their day by becoming romantic heroes. Such was the aura of the phenomenon called Mohd. Rafi that none could choose to find alternate singers. Producers, Directors, Heroes, Music Directors and even Female playback singers all made a beeline to the residence of Mohd. Rafi sahib – all because their individual and collective future depended on the greatest singer of our times. He shaped the destiny of several hundred artistes, music directors, actors, singers and many more in the industry. Mohd. Rafi saheb did not disappoint anyone of them. Each got more than what they had bargained for in the form of the best music rendering that Bollywood would offer to a cinema-crazy nation. Such was the impact of his magic that his fan following soon spread across nations – from the sub-continent to the great Americas and the Europe.

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi

The mid-1950s to late 1970s saw the versatility and the range that this humble and shy human being could produce – not only outsmarting the very best in the Indian film industry but also the likes of which has not been seen in any other part of the world. This arrangement continued until it came to a grinding and abrupt halt on that fateful day of July 1980. A whole nation was shell shocked to hear the unbelievable news that Mohd. Rafi was no more. People travelled from all corners of the country to Bombay (now Mumbai) to pay their last respects to a superlative artiste. Thousands braved the rains to attend the funeral of a man they had loved and respected. Radio stations broadcast the gloomy information and TV channels telecast the funeral procession and the musical sway that the great son of India had generated through his immortal songs. I had just then settled in Hyderabad after a long innings at Ahmedabad where we had a core-Rafi group. There were no mobiles then and no emails either. My Rafian-friends collected all the newspaper and magazine reports on the untimely death and the works of Mohd. Rafi saheb and mailed them to me. The tinge of grief and gloom loomed over our lives for many months to come.

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi

Rafi sahib worked with several hundreds of artistes from the film industry. Many a film critics and film journalists had known him from close quarters having studied his music and his life-style. Several of them had interviewed him too. Many of those artistes and media personnel are still alive reminiscing the times they had spent knowing the magic of Mohd. Rafi saheb. Musicians would know how they felt after the recording sessions and so too the Music Directors would be able to label Mohd. Rafi saheb as the top most singer. Film heroes of yesteryears for whom Rafi Saheb was an integral part of their careers would be able to tell us the impact that his songs had on their rise in the industry. Rafi saheb had contributed to the rise of each one of them. While many notable artistes, including many legendary music directors are no more, there are still quite a sizeable of them and their orchestra members who could shed light on the phenomenal presence of Mohd. Rafi saheb in the industry. Film critics and journalists can dig out their archives and present to the world the legacy Mohd. Rafi saheb by way of fresh articles.

Mohd RafiToday is the age of the internet and websites. Younger generation today does not read periodicals and newspapers. We Rafians have adapted to the changing times and made the internet our daily staple food. Let those in the Bollywood spare their memories and anecdotes and experiences with all music lovers through their columns – regular or occasional. It is the call of the hour that Bollywood pays back Mohd. Rafi saheb, in equal measure, in return for all that Mohd Rafi saheb had done in such a short span. Bollywood must also take the lead in the march for glorification of Mohd. Rafi saheb with the Bharat Ratna. Let this become the one-point agenda for all those who were associated with a great humnan being and the greatest singer of all times – MOHAMMED RAFI. Generations to come would thank Bollywood for their contribution to this most reasonable and justified cause. The media also should play a positive part in portraying the works of this wonderful artiste – both in the print and visual sectors – for HE remains an inseparable part of lives of millions of people still swearing by his name. Come one BOLLYWOOD. Your turn to do a noble duty.


Proclaim your love for Rafi Sahab on twitter

Post your Comment on this Blog

If your comments hit the moderation queue, comments will be moderated within 7 days.

9 Blog Comments to “Clarion call to Bollywood”

  1. Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula says:

    We indians have a syaing, “Jo bhagwan ko zyada pyare hote hain woh jaldi hi oopar chale jaate hain”…on similar lines, i think God would have got a famine of good music in his heaven and would have peeped into this earth, which made him take note of the God of singing being born as human, and thus he called him back after allowing him to sing 25000+ songs as a golden gift for the humans

  2. Shyam Eranky says:

    It is the mesmerizing voice that makes any song worth hearing. Every word that comes out seems to tweak some chord somewhere in your heart. It is a feeling that cannot be described but only experienced. I fell in love with Urdu as a language after listening to Rafi songs. As Lata Mangeshkar says in the introduction in one of the Golden Collection CDs – itni saral aur madhur gaayak the rafi saab, ke gaana naa samajh ne waale bhi wah wah kehte reh jaayenge!

  3. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:

    In one of the talent hunt programmes, one singer sang “Din Dhal Jaye Haye” from GUIDE. One of the Judges, a popular Singer, remarked that the contestant chose a simple song. That is the knowledge level of these Singers of today. In fact, this song, why all the three songs from this movie are masterpieces. How many of the present day Singers can sing this song like Rafiji.

  4. N.G.RAMASWAMY says:

    Dear Murty,

    Well done. Like you (not only you but the whole universe), I am also the one in the universe to be part of Rafi Saab’s memory. Believe it or not, not a single day passes without uttering his name (to me and my family). Truly, next to God. For your kind information, pl. be in touch with Ramakrishnan, whom I met on 31st July 2007, for garlanding Rafi Saab at his Mazhar and we now interact with each other through mails. Yesterday, in Mulund R Mall, Star voice of india’s contestants had given a live show for 2 hours for their publicity as well as for Mall’s publicity. One Miss Sumitra Iyer, who is a contestant, is my neighbour and we were invited for the show. There is also a 17 year old boy Master Abhaas Joshi, who is now a household name, and is also participating in the contest and he had also come for the show. You must have noticed from the STAR VOICE OF INDIA’s clippings that this boy has a huge photograph of Rafi saab in his drawing room and whom he adores. He has also sung 3 or 4 songs of our Rafi saab which drew the judges out of their seats and hug and shower praises on him. When I went for the show I spoke to him and advised him and his brother (when he opens his mobile the first thing we see is photo of our saab) that for those who can sing Rafi saab’s songs, there is no limit to success and they immediately fell on my feet. Pl. do vote for him in bulk and also advise your near and dear ones so that he can be number 1 male singer in the contest. His id is : 1862 424 7827 05 from landline or SMS VOI(space)01 and send it to 57827. Voting is open all saturdays from 10 p.m. to sunday midnight. Also pl. watch the show every friday and saturday from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. and repeat telecast on sundays at 10 a.m. The only regret is that they don’t allow the singers to select songs of their choice. otherwise this young lad would have sung all of Rafi saab’s song. This I asked him personally. But pl. do vote. Also for female contestant please vote for Sumitra Iyer(my neighbour) whose code No. is : 1862 424 7827 01 from landline or SMS VOI(space)01 and send it to 57827. So far yesterday and today I have voted for him 70 times & also for Sumitra. There is no limit which pl. note. Otherwise, last time this lad fell in danger zone because of poor voting in his favour and luckily he scrapped through. Before that he got massive votes. Pl. do circulate this to all. My is 9820979085 or residence 25458389. I stay in Thane. You may take the address from Ramakrishna.


  5. ashish kapoor says:

    dear mr murthy’ji in this television world of today where we have talent hunt competitions by the ton’s and all these “staged” programmes only for higher trp’s there is only one pure voice that comes to mind , that of our rafi saab.i don’t know much,but none of these so called “odols and voices of india” come close to even an “iota”of our rafi saab. these so called judges are nothing but “forced fed” fans of rdb and kk,and this alone tells all about their so called talent.these programmes are only to make more and more money.each sms costs 6 rupees.the contestents are seen begging the public for votes\ is pathetic and showers shame on both the contestant and judges.horrible!

  6. Pradeep Kumar says:

    This is a very well composed and timely article prepared by Mr. Murthy. It’s also a loud waking call to the hindi film industry to preserve it’s glorious past, present and future, just like it has been done by US and European film industries. Just by dancing to a few old hindi songs at award shows and digging at the way actors and actresses dressed up during 1950’s to 70’s is engaging in mockery and cynicism. If giant music stalwarts like Mohd Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Geeta Dutt and several music directors, lyricists and musicians associated with the HFM are not given their fair and justified treatment and placed on the highest achievements list and provided proper accolades, what will happen to the current crew who are toiling it out ?? Will they be left with anything. If Rafi is treated this roughly, what about the rest ?? Do they have a place anywhere ? It reflects very poorly on the hindi fim industry and their bearers and they should be ashamed.

    There is absolutely no doubt amongst hundreds to thousands of hindi film music lovers that the very reason that hindi films are so popular outside India (and still is) was not for their great acting and cinematic stories (there were many actors and actresses in regional Indian cinema who could work circles around the hindi stars), but for the music, songs and picturisations. As told by many writers in this forum and through well written articles published during the past several years, Mohd Rafi played a very great and everlasting role in promoting popular hindi film music around the world. Even now, his songs are played every 10 seconds somewhere in the Indian/Asian subcontinent or various other parts of the world.

    There is no greater achievement a human being can have than to have hundreds of new fans as young as 8 to 10 years old join the chorus of devotees. His stature rises day-by-day without any help from a careless and self-serving industry.

  7. RAMAKRISHNA says:

    I suggest there should be a parallel Clarion call to the youth as well. If Bollywood is questioned it gives us an answer that they are making pictures as per the present trend so also the music aspect.

    Its the time for the youth to really understand the situation without being selfish. When I mean selfish I mean it. You can see now a days in every musical programmes, concerts & competitions the melody which reaches us is nothing but the old ( gold ) ones where the male singer is non other than RAFI sahab. why so ? do the singers, participants & competitors ever realise the fact that they are being driven by a divine hypnotic force which makes them to sing such songs to get the applause, recognition in order to get themselves established with perfection as good singers ?

    and now whats that divine hypnotic force ? its non other than the golden voice of our RAFI sahab.

    Therefore its another call to the youth all around to pay their tribute to this evergreen legend to bestow him with BHARAT RATNA award, because for them RAFI sahab is the threshold in the path of melody.

    Here I would like to share one thing with all. During the speech once Swami Chinmaya nanda had explained the cause & effect theory. He explained that from the effect if the cause is removed then nothing remains. as for example from a gold ornament if gold is removed then nothing remains. similarly from melody is RAFI sahab is removed then nothing exists.

    Come on youth & come on Bollywood understand this simple logic & do justice to that divine incarnation who came to this world in the name of ‘ MOHAMMED RAFI ” our RAFI sahab.

  8. unknow says:

    great article but I think we should think abount Bharat Ratna award for Mohd Rafi boz it became so cheap after they gave it a human as Lata Ji,Mohd Rafi should has sub-continent award.

  9. KS Ramachandran says:

    Dear Mr Murthy.
    Hearty congratulations on a well laid out and extremely well composed article on the legend. Please keep writing.
    With love and best regards
    KS Ramachandran

Post your Comment on Facebook

Receive updates in your inbox. Enter your email address:

Other Writeups

Social Collaboration