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Rafi Sahab should have received filmfare awards for many other songs

By: Dr Souvik Chatterji (Associate Professor in Law and Head of Department, JIS University, Kolkata)

Rafi Sahab should have received filmfare awards for many other songs

Rafi Sahab is remembered all over the world on his birth anniversary today, on 24th December, 2018. He had remained an inspiration for numerous singers all over the world. While he received filmfare for best male playback singer 6 times, there were many more songs in which he deserved the filmfare award.

Here is a list of songs where Rafi Sahab deserved filmfare awards.

Year Song Music Director Reason
1953 “O Duniya ke rakhwale” Naushad Ali The filmfare awards started in 1953 but at that time only one singer award was given. Rafisahab deserved the award for brilliant bhajan andaz and spiritual rendition of the song in film Baiju Bawra.
1954 “nanne munne bacche tere muthi me kya hai” Shankar Jaikishan The song had great philosophy related to children. It was from film Boot Polish which reserved Indian and international awards.
1955 “o door ke musafir hum ko bhi saath le le” Naushad Ali The song had great chorus andaz and tragic andaz. Dilip Kumar’s “tragedy king” image was bolstered by the lyrics and rendition of the song in film Uran Khatola.
1956 “duniya nab bhay” Shankar Jaikishan The song had both classical andaz and devotional andaz. It was a musical film with Shankar Jaikishan portraying different ragas. Rafisahab balanced the mood of film Basant Bahar.
1957 “chal ur jaa re panchi ki ab yeh des hua begana” Chitragupt The song was philosophical in nature. It had great message for society. Rafisahab expressed the message of director in the film Bhabhi.
1958 “mai soya aankhiya meeche” OP Nayyar The song was a duet song with Asha Bhosle. But it had great romantic andaz of OP Nayyar in the film Phagun.
1960 “madhuban me radhika nachere” and “zindagi bhar nahi bhulegi barsaat ki raat” Naushad Ali and Roshanlal Nagrath Rafisahab won the filmfare award for the song “chaudavi ka chand ho” but he deserved the award in “madhuban me radhika” for brilliant rendition of raag hamir and “zindagi bhar nahi bhulegi” for excellent ghazal andaz.
1962 “ab kya misaal doon” Roshanlal Nagrath Rafisahab should have won the award for excellent rendition of ghazal andaz and soft romantic andaz
1963 “mere mehboob tujhe meri muhobbat ki kasam” Naushad Ali Rafisahab should have won the award for the best ghazal and mushaira. Rafisahab by Naushad Ali’s tunes and Shakeel’s shayari displayed the urdu ghazal culture of Lucknow, Aligarh.
1964 “kisiki yaad me apnako hai bhalaye hue”, “man re tu kahe na dheer dhare” and “apni azaadi ko hum hargeze mita sakte nahi” Madanmohan Kohli, Roshanlal Nagrath and Naushad Ali. Rafisahab brought about the great ghazal culture of Lucknow, Aligarh and replicated the history during Mughal period. Madanmohan Kohli’s music in film Jahanaara had great ghazal andaz.

“man re” is considered as one of the best bhajans Rafisahab sang in Pradip Kumar’s Chitralekha having philosophical andaz. “apni azaadi” had fantastic patriotic andaz and Rafisahab deserved filmfare award for rendering patriotic andaz in Dilip Kumar’s film Leader.

1965 “aye watan aye watan humko teri kasam” Prem Dhawan Rafisahab deserved filmfare award for outstanding patriotic in the film Shaheed based on Shahid Bhagat Singh’s life portrayed by Manoj Kumar
1966 “aaja re aa zara aa” and “aapse maine meri jaan muhobbat ki hai” Shankar Jaikishan and OP Nayyar Rafisahab deserved filmfare award for western andaz of singing in Joy Mukherjee’s Love in Tokyo in intoxicating mood and waltz andaz song in Biswajeet’s Yeh Raat Phir Na Ayegi
1967 “hum intezer karenge tera qayamat tak” Roshanlal Nagrath Rafisahab deserved filmfare award for rendition of royal style of singing during the period of Nawabs of northern India in Pradeep Kumar’s film Bahu Begum.
1968 “babul ki duwayen leti ja” Ravi Shankar Sharma Rafisahab deserved filmfare award for singing the best song based on getting daughters married. The feeling of the parents of the daughters is brought by Rafisahab in Balraj Sahani’s Neel Kamal.
1969 “teri aankhon ke siva duniya me rakkha kya hai” Madanmohan Kohli Rafisahab deserved filmfare award for rendition of excellent quality ghazal with romantic andaz in Sunil Dutt’s film Chirag.
1971 “unke khayal aye to ate chale gaye” Shankar Jaikishan Rafisahab deserved filmfare award for singing songs having mujra andaz the way it was sung in royal courts of nawabs in Raj Kumar’s film Lal Patthar.
1973 “tum jo mil gaye ho” Madanmohan Kohli Rafisahab deserved filmfare award because the orchestration was related to movement of star in car in the film and Rafisahab brought the romantic mood in rainy ambience in Navin Nischal’s Hanste Zakhm.
1976 “barbad muhabbat ki dua saath liye ja” Jaidev and Madanmohan Kohli Rafisahab deserved filmfare award for presenting style of singing in middle east based on life of Laila Majnu in Rishi Kapoor’s film Laila Majnu.
1977 “parda hai parda” and “shirdiwali saibaba” Laxmikant Pyarellal Rafisahab deserved filmfare award for presenting style of qawalli in “parda hai” and rendering brilliant spiritual song with bhajan andaz in “shirdiwali saibaba” in Rishi Kapoor’s film Amar Akbar Anthony.


The lyrics of majority of these songs were written by eminent poets, shayars like Shakeel Badayuni, Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, Rajender Krishan, Sahir Ludhianvi, SH Bihari and others. The standard of singing was very high.

The range of Rafi Sahab was unlimited. So the fact that the greatest singer of the century Rafi Sahab receiving only 6 filmfare awards never show the great contribution for those 35 years where he sang immortal songs and gave expression to the thoughts of directors, producers, writers, poets, musicians.

Dr. Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article
Dr. Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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15 Blog Comments to “Rafi Sahab should have received filmfare awards for many other songs”

  1. andy Sah says:

    Thanks Dr for your comments. Every time I wonder why M.Rafi has got only 6 awards. 100% of his songs melodious & that he is doing his best for any song he sang.

  2. sara says:

    Dear Dr Chatterji, I agree that Mohd Rafi deserved awards for those songs plus awards for many others that are not listed. However, the fact that he has not received the Bharat Ratna that has been overdue for many decades now just goes to show the injustice of it all.

    I think all the award ceromonies have just become a joke and it’s hardly surprising when the worthy are ignored. The love from Mohd Rafi fans is worth more than any trophy is and the fact we are talking about this legend of all legends nearly 40 years after his demise speaks for itself. Not a day goes by when I don’t listen to a Mohd Rafi song, for me it is a tonic for a long, and happy life.

  3. Saini says:

    Rafi does not need any awards, because he himself is the greatest reward from Almighty.

  4. R. Srinivasan says:

    True. Many more songs can be added to this list. For example, here are three iconic songs of Rafi sahab that, to my knowledge, did not get any award.

    1. Tujhko pukare mera pyar.
    2. Tum mujhe yun, bhula na paoge.
    3. Yeh duniyan, yeh mehfil, mere kaam ki nahin.


  5. K P Hassan says:

    Your views in this matter is absolutely right. Rafi Sahab won only 6 Filmfare awards during his career. . Whereas he was deserved more than 12 awards. Reason for this neglect is not known. Rafi Sahab and his melody songs will remain in the hearts of all his fans.

  6. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Congradulations Dr.Souvik Chatterji for bringing such a fantastic topic.

    When there was a poll to select “The Singer of the Millennium” people
    did not have a choice to select other than Rafi Saab as in each and every
    aspect of singing Rafi Saab is the number one.We,Rafians like him not
    only because of his “GOLDEN VOICE” but because of his “GOLDEN

    Merry X’mas and Happy New Year 2019 ahead..

  7. Dr Souvik Chatterji says:

    Thanks Rangaswamyji, Jawaharji, Habeebji for the comments. Merry Christmas, happy new year. Rafisahab truly dominated bollywood playback world from the early 1940s to 1980. Some of the songs he did sing were the best ever created. Question is filmfare awards did not do justice in the nomination and the final selection because the list of songs I mentioned were the best songs of those years. They had classical andaz, devotional mood, ghazal mode, westernised rendition. Do Rafisahab showed that his voice could answer the requirement of every style of music and for all the legendary composers like Naushadsahab, Shankar Jaikishansahab, Roshanji, Madanmohanji Rafisahab was the best. He was the best, he is the best and always will remain immortal in his songs.

  8. Bharat Ratna is what he should get.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Bharat Ratna is what he should get.

  10. Habeeb Bacchus says:

    Please, don’t hold your breath for an award from the Govt.,
    it will be inconsequential to his fans around the world. The
    simple life of this human being was all that mattered to his family,
    & those who knew him well…the master musicians for whom he
    worked and gave his best to all for fee or not. He has left the
    songs that only a genius could perform and is now with the
    angels forever. We remember him fondly and with love.
    Thanks for this listing.

  11. Dr,J.Ketwaru says:

    He is more then any award>There are no awards to give him,otherwise it will be an insult for him. He is the Ustado ke ustad, the Dunya ka Ratna ,the Great Mahatma Mohammed Rafi

  12. dinesh shah says:

    Dr saab Dont you think Rafi ji did wonders in the film Jab Jab Phool Khile where each and every song be it Pardesiyo se or Yahan main ajnabhi hoon or the Duet with Nanda Ek tha gul and another film Haseena Maan Jayegi with the duet Bekhudi mein sanam or Chale the saath milkar..This was my opinion..Thanking you ,,Your admirer
    Dinesh shah..

  13. Ahamed Kutty says:

    The Best Award above even “Bharat Ratna” is to be with the masses
    24x7x365 and the only Artist in such a caliber is Rafi Saab.His is a
    unique personality as a singer and as a human being.He cannot be
    replaced and the coming generations also keep with them with them
    for ever.

  14. n.g.ramaswamy says:


    Yes he deserved more than that. Though you will agree on many occasions his own songs were competing with each other. Only one award is given as per protocol though you may find more than 50 songs of Rafi Saheb in the nomination list in tha particular year. Moreover we all are aware, not all the jurists were honest and frank.

  15. Chunilal Mukhopadhyay says:

    Rafi Shahab did not received the recognition he deserved for his unparalled singing ability . As has been shown in this article , he should have got atleast 15 more flimfare awards. The reason for his not getting is simply politics. Rafi shaheb was very simple man . He was far away from any groupism. He hence was victimised.
    Moreover, flimfare award is very little for him . He should have received Bharat Ratna.

    Many People with much less contribution to the society have received Bharat Ratna, where as a person like Rafi Shahab for whom people are still weeping have not received the same.

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