In the recent years, if there is one person from whom Bollywood is taken inspiration from, it is none other than ‘Mahatma Gandhi’. Post 2006, Ganhiji has firmly come out of the mere photo hangings behind the desk of police officers and judges, and has broken into the world of Bollywood with song and dance sequences in various movies. While there are still a very few movies made on this great man, Bollywood seems to never let go of a chance to include Gandhiji as a revolutionary idol in their films.
And when the Bollywood filmmakers think, how far behind can songs be? And so, suddenly out of no where, Gandhiji seems to be Bollywood’s most popular, in need of a better word, songwriter and composer now (Well, the songs have been identified with him). With the many different versions of prayers that had once brought tears into million eyes, Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, becoming an integral part of filmi soundtracks. And the trade mark Gandhi Bhajan is no longer just that. It’s evolved into a rap music, a part of melody, a remix, etc.. If only Ganhiji had thought of getting it copyrighted, he would have made millions by demanding his own share from the below list of movies below:
In Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
In this film, a faster remix of Raja Ram which had Raja Ram as a fade-away refrain, and a male voice putting in a high pitched Patita Pavana Sita Ram was just classic. It hit the right tone for the audience then. This tune was surely on millions lips because it was zaara-hatke and still had the original lyrics.
In Satyagraha (2013)
The composer-writer duo of Salim and Suliman did a great job. Catchy song, with increasing pace. Except for the refrain of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, everything was changed. One of the lines went like ‘ Uthkar karne hain kuch kaam, Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’, with more such strong lines rhyming all through the song(like Ghayal hai bhola insaan). We don’t know if this was Prakash Jha’s solution for what he called ‘democracy under fire’? But we know that this song was gen next for sure.
In Zanjeer (2013)
Only Apoorva Lakhia knows why a remake of an out-and-out masala film needed this tune. But the film did open with chants of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram. Not just that, the track was used in the background for the violent scenes in the film too – which is a first of it’s kind! No one has ever shown violence in association with Gandhi’s prayers before. So it does feel quite insensible when the the chants are used frequently through out the movie for fight sequences.
In Krrish 3 (yet to be released)
Right after the launch of the video teaser, came out a stunning track Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram. The veteran Rajesh Roshan’s handiwork, this version has nothing to do with the original, and neither is it used in a ‘revolutionary’ manner. The tune is completely different, set to a party tune, and the lyrics which go like, Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, non-stop party, aaj ki party, celebrations tere naam. It’s almost redolent of Radha on the dance floor in the way it is sung. But wait a second, do our youngsters really need to be singing Behke huey hain armaan in the same flow as Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram? Well, it’s Bollywood, alll is fair and square in this part of the world.
Putting all this aside, we personally feel that Lage Raho Munnabhai is the best movie On Gandhiji till date. It was the only movie which was showcased at the United Nations and the movie also received a standing ovation by everyone. Gandhi’s ideologies and philosophies remained only in the books and everyone forgot to practice them until it was showcased in this movie. Munna Bhai is a perfect blend of both humor and emotions. Besides providing entertainment to the audience, it also gives out a strong message to spread peace, love and forgiveness.