Every time I listen to Lata Mangeshkar's Aey mere watan ke logo jara aankh main bhar lo paani I get so drawn that I invariably find tears rolling down. I am sure this happens to most of us. The lyrics and the song is so powerful and heart rendering that it becomes difficult to control your emotions. The song, a tribute to the valour of the Indian soldier, will always be cherished.
I had always wondered why someone could not compose a similar tribute to the Indian farmer. The annadata of the country is now living in hunger and penury, and no one is even remotely concerned at his plight. It is because of these toiling farmers that India can now sit comfortably on top of a growth trajectory. It is because of our farmers that we are not only food secure but also can breathe free. Freedom for hunger is the first and foremost of the freedoms that any nation can dream of, and our farmers have delivered it for us. This ungrateful nation has however forgotten their role, and treats them as a burden.
These thoughts were crossing my mind when the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was delivering his Independence Day address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi yesterday. I was sitting in the studio of a TV channel listening to the Prime Minister who was busy reading his government's report card. Much of the focus of his address however was on the gathering drought, and I thought here was an opportunity for him to tell the nation that his government would do all possible to pull the country's real heroes from the clutches of poverty and despair.
Nevertheless, while the Prime Minister was delivering his address I told a co-panelist Shankar Sahney, a young Bollywood pop-singer, who was present with his guitar and played and sang a few enchanting and patriotic tunes in between, that why doesn't he compose a few lines in memory of thousands of farmers who have committed suicide. After all, their contribution to country's national security is no less than anyone. That is why the former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri gave the nation the slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan !
Shankar was so carried away that he asked me a few details and while we were chatting during one of the commercial breaks, he composed four lines and sang. I can tell you I was greatly moved by what he conveyed in those four lines, and we actually made him sing this newly composed song a couple of times in the live show. Shankar has now promised to give me a complete song in a few days time. Thank you Shankar. You probably don't know what it would mean for the toiling masses, the forgotten heroes of our country.
I will bring the song to you whenever Shankar's composition is ready.
Meanwhile, if you feel like listening to some of his spiritual compositions, you may like to visit his web site http://www.mahamritunjaya.com/