Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sahir's memorable lines, 'Cheen aur arab hamara'

Sahir Ludhianwi's stinging lyric in 'Phir Subha Hogi' (an adaptation of Dostoevskii's 'Crime And Punishment' starring Raj Kapoor and Mala Sinha and directed by Mohan Sehgal), which is a satirical take on Iqbal's 'saare jahaan se chcha hindustan hamaara' stills rings true. Sung by Mukesh, the words are biting: 'cheen aur arab hamara, hindustan hamara, rehne ko ghra nahin hain, sara jahaan hamaara/... jitne bhi buildingen thee sethon ne baantli hain, footpath bambai ka hain aashian hamara/...taaleem hain adhoori, milti nahin majoori, maloom kya kisi ko dard-e-nihaan hamara'. This is social criticism at its sharpest and most relevant, even after more than 50 years the words were written.
Of course, there is the moving title song, 'woh subah kabhi to aayegi...jis subah ki amrit ke khaatir log vish ke pyaale peelete hain'.
The old obeservation that poets state the truth much better than and more acurately that historians and philosophers -- and we must now include sociologists, economists, scientists and psycholgists as well -- is absolutely true.

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