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The Voice of Patriotism

This article is written by Mr. Sudhir Kumar.

Mohammed Rafi saheb excelled in rendering every type of Hindi and regional film song. We always remember his crystal clear voice, versatility and range, clear diction, adaptability and special touches. I wish to highlight the fact that Rafi Saheb has also rendered the most heart rendering patriotic songs ever sung in hindi cinema. Maybe patriotism is a vanishing value these days, what with most people clamouring to move west and copy their culture blindly. Therefore, it is more relevant for todays generation(X, Y or Z) to get exposed to the inspiring and soulful numbers sung by Rafi saheb in his incredible voice which can stir the souls of our masses.

It is well known how Rafi sahebs singing brought tears to the eyes of Pandit Nehru at a live rendition of ‘Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathion‘ (from Haqeeqat) after the Chinese invasion in 1961. In this song the sheer frenzy of emotions generated can give goosepimples to anyone, Rafi saheb himself seems to be on the brink of tears. The songs of the movie Shaheed- ‘Aye Watan‘ and ‘Sarfaroshi ki tamanna‘ captured the determination and resoluteness of our freedom fighters so accurately, we can only marvel at Rafi sahebs own conviction about freedom and independence.

Rafi stirs our souls with the way he starts ‘Ab Koi Gulshan na ujade‘ from Mujhe jeene do, another less celebrated classic. ‘Apni azaaadi ko hum‘ from Leader is sheer brilliance of his youthful and dynamic style, but never running short on emotions and feelings. ‘Jahaan daal daal par‘ starts with a perfectly rendered sanskrit shloka and Rafi saheb in his inimitable style takes it to a crescendo height with ease, and fills our hearts with pride for our motherland. Similarly, the song Watan pe jo fida hoga is a lesser known number which has no comparision. Even in his later years, Rafi saheb has delivered a masterpiece in ‘Mere deshpremiyon‘ from the film Desh Premi.

There are so many such examples and each of them is a gem in itself. I would invite all Rafiians to make this listing of Rafi saheb’s patriotic songs longer. The Greatness of Rafi saheb lies in the fact that no other singer got to sing so many of these songs, that he has set such high standards for patriotic songs, none of the imposters of his legacy dare touch this subject. We get to feel the sense of Patriotism in Rafi Saheb and the pride he felt in being an Indian whenever we hear these numbers. I remember, the effect isn’t dulled even a bit even if you hear these songs from the ‘Bhonpoon’ type speakers they used in the past. I salute Rafi saheb again. He was a true son of India, he is one more reason for us to feel proud to be Indians.

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26 Blog Comments to “The Voice of Patriotism”

  1. sunil kuamr says:

    Rafi saheb was a rare gift to this world by god and i dont think there will any one who would be able to even even touch him because todays singers lack basic quality a singer should have. when i hear his songs tears start rolling my eyes he had such pure voice which could make us forget all our sorrows.

    If bharat Ratna is bestowed upon him he deserves this he has rendered his contribution for quami ekta he sang patriotic songs which inspaired our jawans,he sang bhajans like a very learned pandit , he sang qawalis, romantic songs, fast songs,comedy songs, classical songs . It would be a salute to Bharat Mata to honour one of its very talented son . Jai bharat mata

  2. Sorry, friends

    Missed sending the links with my previous post.

    July 31: Tributes to Two Legends – Mohammed Rafi and Jim Reeves – by Richie Lasrado

    A Rendezvous with Mohammed Haneef, Mangalore’s Mohammed Rafi – by Richie Lasrado


    Richie Lasrado

  3. Hi friends

    By fluke, I bumped into this website. I never knew there was a website for the fans of the late Rafi saab. I have been a fan for decades.

    As editor of a website, I wrote two articles referring to Rafi saab. Maybe you will be interested. Here are the links

    Pls, if you feel like, send your responses through the fields provided in the respective web-pages of our website,

    My best wishes to the guys running this site.


    R Lasrado

  4. irony81 says:






  5. binus2000 says:

    in a recent programme Manoj Kumar openly praised Rafi saab
    for his singing abilities and he was choked with emotions and
    could not continue.

    every o n e loves the legend and everyone m i s s e s
    M O H D R A F I……..


  6. nadeem says:

    no doubt rafi is The Voice of Patriotism whatever he sang in patriotic its all full of enthusiasm and it opens the way of conquer. Inspiter of this i read some where that MANOJ kUMARS says Mahinder Kapoor is our national singer, how mean mind

  7. irony81 says:


  8. javifazl says:

    Great Article by Sudhir Kumar

  9. A S MURTY says:

    Fantastic article by Mr. Sudhir Kumar. In my last article I had promised that I shall return with other moods and facets of Mohd. Rafi. I was compiling the article on the “Patriotic Songs by Mohd. Rafi” and even before I could complete the same, here was this one by Mr. Sudhir Kumar. I would have written almost the same things as have appeared in this wonderfully crafted article. I am however very happy that the subject was brought up by another “RUFIAN”.

    The 1950s and 1960s saw a wave of patriotic films and songs. Many singers have sung many a patriotic song in various films. From Manna De to Mukesh to Mohd. Rafi to Lata Mangeshkar to Asha Bhonsle and Mahendra Kapoors. All have sung these patriotic songs with a lot of zeal. But there was always something extra that Mohd. Rafi could produce. The lyricists too have written the best of poetry for these songs and the music directors have exemplified themselves composing them. Truly, songs that were mentioned in the article have in them the passion for one’s motherland and for the sheer joy of attainment of freedom. Blessed are we who were born in a free country – breathing free air and being masters of our own destiny. But one needs to be continuously reminded of the era when patriotic zealots gave up their families, their professions, indeed their lives for the cause of an independent nation. Also, the battlefront soldiers who have been guarding the borders against any misadventures by aggression prone neighbors need to be given their due share of recognition. The patriotic films and the songs did just that. Among the many great songs on nationalism, patriotism, freedom and contribution of the armed forces, the songs by Mohd. Rafi stand out for enthusing in the common man the love and respect for these immortal martyrs. The forcefulness that Mohd. Rafi had in his diction and rendition, cannot be matched. To give a few examples, over and above what is contained in the article under context, I would like to mention the song HUM LAYEN HAIN TOOFAN SE KASHTI NIKAL KE, IS DESH KO RAKHNA MERE BACHON SAMBHAL KE. There are four stanzas in the song and each one with a different tune. The last stanza in particular – AARAM KI TUM BHOOL BHULAIYA MEIN NA DOLO – begins on a low note and the tempo increases with each line. In the fourth line – UTHO CHHALANG MARKE AAKASH KO CHOOLO – the pitch is so high as to touch the sky literally. And soon thereafter it is back to the lower note. The diction used for rendering the word “UCHHAAL” in the last line looks as though Mohd. Rafi is actually furling the national flag onto the sky. There are similar instances of Mohd. Rafi underlining the importance of some of the finer words, to give more deafening impact. The lyricist would have exactly wanted that to happen. For example, the word “KAFAN” used in the song – KAR CHALE HUM FIDA JAN-O-TAN SATHIYON- is rendered in such a fashion as to convey that nothing less is required at the moment than to lay down one’s life for ones country. There is that extra punch in that rendition. The opening lines in the song AYE WATAN AYE WATAN – jalte bhi rahe mitate bhi rahe aazadi ke parvane, jeena to isika jeena hai jo marna watan pe jaane – (Film Shaheed) is rendered in such a way as to pay glorious tributes to the martyrs.

    Other songs that did not get mention either in the article itself or subsequent responses are APNE SABHI SUKH EK HAIN APNE SABHI GAM EK HAIN and HINDUSTAN KI KASAM, HINDUSTAN KI KASAM.

    I could go on and on but it would look like another article by itself instead of my response to the valuable one penned by mr. Sudhir Kumar. Hats off to all RUFIANS for taking us back to the wonderful times of the everlasting soulful music. Let us all play these unforgettable songs on the CD / CASSETTE players at home everyday for today’s generation to really understand what they have been missing in the cobweb of listless music of today. Keep up the good work RUFIANS, we look forward to more articles on Mohd. Rafi. Let us also advise all our contacts to visit the MOHD RAFI website often so that the newer generation gets a real feel of the phenomenon that is MOHD RAFI. May our tribe grow.

  10. unknow1 says:

    great news

  11. binus2000 says:

    Dear Mohd Rafi Lovers…

    …. BORN DECEMBER 24TH, 1924. N E V E R DIED:

    THIS IS Maestro, Legend – singer of singers – Mohd Rafi Saab.
    Narayani Creations will release the songs of Rafi Saab. The songs
    are so fresh says the new music rights owners that it seems it
    is recorded – just yesterday. We heard the glimpse and its great….
    New generation singers and music lovers should now ponder why
    Rafi saabs songs dont have ‘EXPIRY’ dates on them whereas
    current songs have a shelf life of few weeks……

    binu nair

  12. mohanflora says:

    But I like this idea! GREAT!


    Mohd Rafi’s unreleased tracks to release soon

    By IndiaFM News Bureau, April 17, 2007 – 08:40 IST

    Good news for legendary singer Mohammad Rafi’s fans as they will now get a chance to hear some of Rafi’s unreleased songs. Narayani Creative Solutions have bought the music rights of an unreleased film of the late 70’s titled Sorry Madam which has songs sung by Rafi. The film was directed by Dilip Bose but it never got released.

    The music of this film was composed by Chitragupt and the songs were sung by Mohammed Rafi. Narayani Creative Solutions has decided to release the music of the film as an album. They are also planning to make a film by the same title.

    According to Tusshar Kulkarni, one of the partners of Narayani Creative Solutions, the film will be directed by Dilip Bose’s sons Diwakar and Dipankar. He also informed that the film will have all new comers. The pre-production work of the film has already started.

  13. mohanflora says:

    What do you think about this? I don’t like the idea! How can you resurrect someone whose songs still sound so fresh and not forgotten at all by his fans and lovers of HFM and wouldn’t Sonu Nigam be spoiling the originality?
    Sonu Nigam resurrects Rafi

    By IndiaFM News Bureau, April 17, 2007 – 10:00 IST

    In a first of its kind recording in the world, the city of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, an elite 80 member outfit, has joined hands with India’s leading vocalist, Sonu Niigaam (not a spelling error), to create a unique first of its kind album, “Rafi Resurrected…”

    The album originated from a discussion that composer / arranger for the Orchestra, Tim Pottier had with an Indian friend over two years ago. This got Tim interested in Indian film music and Mohammad Rafi in particular and over the course of the next one year, Pottier listened to dozens of Rafi songs in search of material that would work when played by a symphony orchestra. He finally chose the 18 songs that appear on this album and these were performed at a show in Birmingham early April, last year.

    The CBSO then approached Saregama with the vision of releasing an album. The company took the concept a step further by requesting the one person who does the best rendition of Mohammad Rafi and considers him his ‘spiritual Guru’, to bring his magic to the album – Sonu Niigaam, the singer who has a karmic connection with ‘His’ Rafi Saab.

    The CBSO parts were recorded in Birmingham and the resultant tracks will now be dubbed by Sonu from April 18, at Empire Studios, Mumbai.

    Sonu is as enthusiastic about the project as Saregama, despite having refused to cover songs by Mohammad Rafi on several occasions in the recent past. “I share Saregama’s vision of taking Indian music to a higher platform through endeavors like this “says Sonu. “It is time due recognition was given to Rafi Saab who is like my unseen father in the Heavens and whom I revere like a son does”.

    “Rafi Resurrected…” is an 18 song extravaganza that for the first time combines a symphonic interpretation of Indian film music. The songs included such gems as the 1963 “Yaad Na Jaaye Beete Dinon Ki” from the film “Dil Ek Mandir”, the ever popular “Tareef Karoo Kya Uski” from the film “Kashmir Ki Kali”, “Pathar Ke Sanam” from the film of the same name to the absolutely brilliant “Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho” from the film “Hanste Zakhm” which was composed by Madan Mohan and written by Kaifi Azmi.

  14. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:

    In this great job, I am available for any work. My e-mail id is and I am residing at Bangalore.

  15. binus2000 says:

    Thank you Hussein Saab:

    September onwards we would start sending telegrams/letters
    to the Central Govt. to honour Rafi Saab with the highest
    Civilian Award. All Rafians must orchestrate this as a big group.
    Dr.Vinay Kamal from Delhi, MrNarayan – Bangalore and
    Mr.Umesh Makhija – Ahmdebad are spearheading this work.
    I expect the Govt to heed to our request – this time on Jan26.

  16. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Mr. Nair, I live in Africa and if you want any help from my side, I am always ready, RAFI SAHEB KA NAAM HAMESHA ROSHAN RAHEGA. Please do something in order to get Rafi Saheb Bharat Ratna.

  17. binus2000 says:

    Dear Unknown:

    I compliment your deep love for Rafi saab and you have good
    ideas. Please put them in good presentation form; it will carry
    greater punch.

    Dear Rafians : How about spreading Rafi Music Academy activities
    to all towns and countries across CONTINENTS. The activities
    are simple : to spread the legends works and human qualities
    far and wide. Rafi Saab is the real BHARAT RATNA amongst us.


    BINU NAIR : Mumbai…..

  18. unknow1 says:

    Sir Plz,
    you should ask strongly Central Govt why they honour some one like Lata ji and they didn’t honour SJ , Nausand Ali,Mr Bachchan,Madan Mohan and many more better as human than Lataji,I think Mohd Rafi don’t need any award from Gov’t the award which Mohd Rafi has more than any award…
    Look to the greatness of Mohd Rafi How God help him see at this Mohd u see link on KK site it first KK name and go to KK site u will see Mohd Rafi name last at list of links..!!!!!!in this site we can write any think and in KK site we can’t,in this site people wrote something it is not true about mohd rafi but KK site there are many thing are true they don’t write.
    Who can give me one name who said bad about Mohd Rafi if it is not award so what is that,some one like Naushand Ali said that mohd Rafi was 50% of his music If it is not award so what is that,Madan Mohan said that he should not paid when MOhd Rafi singed for him if this is not award so what is that,O P Nayar said If there was Mohd Rafi there was no O P Nayar and Shammi Kapoorif it not award so what is that, and many more.

  19. Iftekhar Khan says:

    The Voice of Patriotism:

    I am pleased to read this article about Rafi Sahib and various comments by the readers. I would like to add a very beautiful patriotic song sung by Rafi Sahib which was not mentioned in the forum. This song is composed by Naushad sahib and it was first time introduced in a CD named “Naushad presents RAFI, Unreleased Song” prepared by Naurus record company. This CD presents Rafi Sahib’s 4 unreleased songs but the most thrilling is the patriotic song with opening line: “Aey Merey Ladlo Utho Malik Ka Naam Lo”.

    It is a stunning song with all that spirit and enthusiasm which such a song needs. Rafi sahib has treated every stanza (Antra) with a different style to convey the meaning to its fullest heights. The way he glides to different heights during rendering the song is special to him, only Rafi sahib can do justice to such songs.

    I suggest that all Rafi Sahib’s Patriotic songs should be put on this site so that we can exchange and listen to those ones which we have missed so far.

    Iftekhar Khan

  20. Anmol Singh says:

    Great Article by Sudhir Kumar and Great inputs by Guru Murthy.

    Infact Rafi Saab, sang patriotic songs under many music composers. But ones which he sang under Madan Mohan in films ‘Haqeeqat’ and ‘Hindustan Ki Kasam’ are one what unique. Being as Ex Amry man Madan Mohan could put some extra compared to other MDs. This tunes where perfectly blanded to the war situation in the films, and Rafi Saab gives super performance.

  21. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:


    After partition, Noorjehan moved over to Pakisthan, but Mohammed Rafi though a devout Muslim, stayed back in India. In fact, almost immediately he came out with his tribute to our Father of the Nation – ‘Suno Suno Ae Duniyawalon Bapu Ki Ye Amar Kahani’. We should be grateful to Rafi Saab that he stayed back in India and we Indians also irrespective of our religion considered Rafi a national asset and gave him all the love, affection and respect he so richly deserved.

    Rafiji was so much Indian that his patriotic songs are the best sung by any Singer in the past six decades. He used to really put his heart and soul into all such songs and I still remember people reaching for their hand kerchiefs in the Theatres whenever these songs were played.

    The first such song was probably ‘Watan Ki Raah Me Watan Ke’ from “Shahid”. The other “Shahid” of Manoj Kumar also had two lovely songs ‘Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna’ and ‘Ae Watan Ae Watan’. The taan in the earlier song at the fag end and the two lines in the latter ‘Jab Manao Bharat Ka Aazadi Ka Din To Hame Bhool Jana Nahi’ whenever I listen, I just marvel at Rafi Saab’s capability in putting so much meaning and feeling into these lines. “Upkar” had a wonderful and meaningful song ‘Ye Kaali Ye Kaali Raat Kaali’.

    In “Muzhe Jeene Do”, we had ‘Ab Koi Gulshan Na Ujade’, where Rafi Saab slowly raises his voice from ‘Mandiron Me Shank Baaje’ as only he can do raising to full pitch but without losing the melody. Similarly in “Phool Bane Angare”, Rafi Saab sang ‘Watan Pe Zo Fida Hoga’, especially listen to the lines, ‘Hamare Ek Padosi Ne Hamare Ghar Ko Loota Hai’ where the disappointment of betrayal is so beautifully brought out. ‘Jahan Daal Daal Par Sone Ki’ from “Sikandar E Azam” is an all time hit and can be seen even now frequently on TVs, especially on the eve of Independence and Republic Days. The title song of “Hindusthan Ki Kasam” was another gem. ‘Is Dharti Is Khule Gagan Ka’ from “Ganga Tera Paani Amrit” and the title song were again melodious songs.

    Perhaps, the most popular of Rafiji’s patriotic song was ‘Kar Chale Hum Fida’ from “Haqeeqat” (Just listen to the lines ‘Jinda Rahne Ke Mausam Bahut Hai Magar, Jaan Dene Ke Rut Roj Aati Nahin’). “Leader” had ‘Apni Aazadi Ko Hum’ and “Naya Daur” had ‘Ye Desh Hai Veera Jawanon Ka’. In the former, one should listen to the stanza, ‘Hum Watan Ke Naujawan Hai’, where in Rafiji raises his voice to the highest while singing ‘Sar Kata Sakte Hai Lekin Sar Zhuka Sakte Nahin’. The “Jagriti” number ‘Hum Laye Hain Toofaan Se’ had a message for all the youngsters. Similarly ‘Aaram Hai Haram’ sung by Rafi and Asha.

    It is astonishing that apart from some serious patriotic songs as mentioned above, Rafi Saab also came out with some Masti Patriotic songs like ‘Mere Desh Me’ from “Jiigri Dost” and ‘Ganga Meri Maa Ka Naam’ from “Tumse Acha Kaun Hai”.

    Other singers also have some good patriotic songs like Hemant Kumar (‘Insaaf Ki Dagar Pe’ from “Ganga Jamuna”), Mukesh (‘Hoton Pe Sachai Rehti Hai’ from “Jis Desh Me Ganga Behati Hai” and ‘Chodo Kalki Baate’ from “Hum Hindusthani”), Mannadey in “Kabuliwala” – ‘Ae Mere Pyaare Watan’, Mahendra Kapoor (‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti’ from “Upkaar”, ‘Dulhan Chali’ and ‘Hai Preet Jahan Ki Reet Sada’ from “Purab Aur Pachim”, ‘Pranam Karo’ from “Balidan”, ‘Mera Rangade Basanti Chola’ from “Shahid”), etc. In terms of quality except probably Mannadey’s “Kabuliwala” number, Mahendra’s ‘Hai Preet Jahan Ki Reet Sada’ and Mukesh’s “JDMGBH” number, no other song comes anywhere near Rafi’s songs. To these list of extra-ordinary patriotic songs can be added Lataji’s ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’ and ‘Chitti Aayee Hai’ from “Naam”.

    The above songs had meaningful lyrics and purposeful picturisation aided by Rafiji’s rendering. No wonder that was the golden period of Hindi Film Patriotic Songs. Alas, we hardly get to listen to any patriotic song these days, leave alone matching the quality of the above mentioned gems.

    Rafiji always came out with feelings while singing each word of a song and that is the reason, his songs were so unique.

  22. binus2000 says:

    Dear Unknown:

    at a function I stated the activities of Rafi Music Academy and and added that we are now strongly asking the
    Central Govt. to honour Rafi saab with the Bharat Ratna Award.
    There was a great applause from the gathering …………..
    Need I say more…..

    binu nair

  23. unknow1 says:

    plz Sir Binus2000 don’t say to Mohd Rafi Bharat Ratna because the Bharat Ratna is Lata ji as given award but Mohd Rafi is World Ranta and bharat is a small part of that world,I think people from Bharat we should feel sham and some one like Lata ji got Bharat Ratna award……………

  24. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Well said Mr. Nair, but Bharat Ratna is a small award for Rafi Saheb.

  25. binus2000 says:

    Your article is crisp and clear – RAFI saab excelled and marvelled
    the profession of Play-back Singing by his incomparable rendition.
    No. 1 all the way but few singers of his time were so egoistic that
    they played behind the curtain – games. But, even this did’nt affect
    the legend .
    RAFI Saab is a BHARAT RATNA by his works and deeds.
    Thank you Sudhir Kumar for the competent write-up.

    binu nair

  26. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Well said Mr. Sudhir kumar, Rafi Saheb’s patriotic songs have the same respect as the legend’s other songs have. You didn’t mention the evergreen “Watan ki raah mein watan ke naujawan shaheed ho…” from “Shaheed”, and the list is endless.

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