Republic Day in The Melodies of Memorable Music


While a grand parade at the India Gate will remind us of our military arsenal, songs remind us that there is so much more that India is capable of and that the people are at the heart of it.

The New Leam Staff

India is celebrating its 69th Republic Day to mark the day when the Indian Constitution came to force in 1950. The birth of the nation as a democratic and sovereign entity marked one of the most significant days in the historical unfolding of the nation.  

The momentous and turbulent period of India’s freedom struggle where ordinary people committed their blood and soul to the freedom of the nation made India wake to the dawn of self-rule and a national life of dignity.  

While the tune of patriotic music fills the air, the tricolour flag is hoisted and a glorious parade at India Gate reminds the citizens of India’s growing military arsenal- The New Leam selects five songs that evoke the dream of a nation where humanity and brotherhood overpower the political climate of hate.

Jeene Issi Ka Naam Hai ( Film : Anari/1959)

One of the most popular and evergreen songs that Bollywood has ever produced- Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai featuring Raj Kapoor reminds us of the long lost dream of a nation where humanitarian idealism was not dead. Raj Kapoor strolls through the not so crowded streets of Mumbai with his resemblance to the great Charlie Chaplin and characteristic simplicity and reminds us that the love of life lies in falling for somebody’s magnificent smile, borrowing the pain of a tormented soul, being poor and yet having a large heart and being remembered in the tears of a loved one when faced with the time of death. He reminds us of an Indian where love and brotherhood, sharing and standing in each other’s hardships and the aspiration of a collective emancipation had still not faded away.

Aa Chal Ke Tujhe ( Film :Door Gagan Ki Chaaon Mein/1964)

Kishor Kumar’s beautiful rendition is all about giving the younger generation a dream that illuminates their innocent eyes with the hope for the future. It’s a prayer for a world where the first rays of the sun take away the darkness of the night and the firm faith in the potential of the inner light makes possible the transition from hopelessness to hope. The song reminds us that a free land is one where not just one but birds of various colours fly in the sky and the evenings play the music of a shared existence of love.

Humne Suna Tha Ek Hai Bharat( Film : Didi/1959)

Sahir Ludhianwi’s literary creativity was perhaps at its peak when he wrote this path breaking but lesser known song.  Its depiction of a classroom scene where the charismatic pedagogue Sunil Dutt sings to his students of the unity and diversity in India only to be questioned by a series of brilliant young minds about the paradoxes that prevail despite the repeated assertion of unity such as communal violence and hatred. The song depicts the picture of an India that is aware of its immense possibilities but wants to know how its many contradictions can be fixed. It a song that resonates the concerns of our times

Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera ( Film : Swades/ 2004)

The song opens with the beat of the Shehnai that is deeply entrenched in the Indian psyche for its deep and melancholic notes.  The song carefully depicts the dilemma of a young India that often has to cut away from its roots to pursue its vocations but despite the geographical distance, there is an eternal umbilical cord that joins them to the fragrance of India’s soils. The distant land may bring opportunity and wealth but the song asks the listener if anything can replace the warmth of the Indian soil that has nurtured and cared unconditionally? The song binds the listener to an India where one would like to go back home to.

Blowing in the Wind (Song : Bob Dylan1963)


Bob Dylan’s legendary song resounds the present dilemma of a nation like India where marginalisation, discrimination, poverty and violence destroy the social fabric. The song urges one to question the very purpose of war, of hatred and oppression when togetherness and brotherhood hold us together in the same humanity.  The song questions boundaries and invites us to conceive a shared world of love and collective living.


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