Patriotic songs, beyond Bollywood

We love our Mere Desh ki Dharti and Chak De India. We get teary eyes at Kar Chale Hum Fida and Ae Mere Pyare Watan. But this Republic Day, we want to look beyond just Bollywood when it comes to famous patriotic songs. So, this R-Day when you feel proud to be an Indian, plug into these non-Bollywood, very patriotic songs on your iPod.

Ae mere watan ke logon
Lata Mangeshkar sang this song at Ramlila Maidan in the presence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on January 27, 1963, just two months after the end of India-China war. This song was written by Kavi Pradeep and composed by C Ramchandra commemorating Indian soldiers who died during the war. If you listen to it today, more than 50 years later, we bet it will bring tears to your eyes. Respect.

Mile sur mera tumhara
This wasn't Bollywood but has got crazy following online. If you were a '80s kid then you would define it as uber cool patriotism - not jingoistic and not Bollywood. Truly democratic and showing India in all its glory and diversity, it makes you realise just what our country stands for. A revival of this song was attempted but it failed. It is impossible to improve perfection. For us, it is India's unofficial national anthem!

Vande Mataram
This song was written by Bankim Chandra in 1875 and has been interpreted and re-interpreted in so many ways. On the 50th anniversary of India's independence, AR Rahman decided to give it a beats-infused revival. While retaining the beauty of the original, Rahman brought it in tune with the times. Jai Ho!
Maa Tujhe Salaam
This one is an ode to both the mother and the motherland. Composed and sung by our very own Mozart AR Rahman, it captures what today's generation feels about its country.

Silent national anthem
Silence can be eloquent. Shot with nearly 500 children with hearing and speech disabilities from eight Mumbai-based special schools, this one made the most cynical of us to get up when it was played before screening of films in cinema halls. Patriotism, as they say, knows no language.


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