At the advent of a new dawn on December 16 in 1971, the people of Bangladesh had something to be proud of -- a country of their own, an identity as a liberated nation. For months together, stories of atrocities committed by the Pakistani soldiers and the collaborators were flowing in from all corners of the country. However, many tales of victory poured in as well, having their heads held high. Many of these stories were written down in the form of songs -- the desires of the people, words of encouragement and the sheer beauty of Bangladesh. On the next two pages we have listed 10 songs that inspire the people of Bangladesh, no matter where they are, even today.
1) O AMAAR DESHER MAATI
An evergreen Tagore composition, O amaar Desher Maati captures the hearts of millions even today. The melancholic melody right in the beginning reminds one of the pain, the patience and determination of the martyrs, the fight of the common man and those who fought for liberation.
2) EKI OPORUP RUPE MAA TOMAY
A beautiful melody by Kazi Nazrul Islam, is the perfect description of Bangladesh, the different elements that define the country as a self sustaining entity, and of course, the natural exquisiteness of the six seasons, wonders of agriculture and the colours that always brighten up the year.
3) DHON-O DHANNO PUSHPO BHARA
A timeless composition by DL Ray, many believe that this song might have worked better as the national anthem of Bangladesh! Not only do the lyrics speak to the music lovers about the many natural resources that the people of Bengal enjoy, relationships that they nurture and the urge to always be united against all odds, the composition always showcases a heart-touching melody, which rises and falls in rhythm.
4) JOY BANGLA BANGLAR JOY
This song symbolises freedom, the struggles of the countrymen and the joy of victory experienced by them. By Gazi Mazharul Anwar and Anwar Parvez, Joy Bangla lives in the heart of every Bangali living anywhere in the world. Even today, this song – rendered in different ways by traditional musicians and rock musicians alike – has the ability to inspire and unite listeners, music lovers and the common people on one platform.
5) POLASH DHAKA KOKIL DAKA
Many describe this song to be a part of their chotobelaar gaan moments – or a song that one had to learn as a music student in his or her childhood. Written by Azizur Rahman and composer by Ustad Mir Kasem Khan, the sweet melody is often performed by groups of school children on different occasions in the country.
6) SHONA SHONA SHONA
For generations together, people have been dreaming of being wealthy overnight, of owning gold bars and diamond necklaces. They hold value to these objects and let these materials govern their thoughts and behaviour. However, the famous Abdul Latif says that nothing can be more valuable than freedom, of being liberated and having an identity. Having written and composed the famous song, Abdul Latif perfectly captured the sentiments of people belonging to the then newly liberated country.
7) PURBO DIGONTEY SHURJO UTHECHHEY
A song that inspires the masses, Purbo Digonte is one song that will be playing over and over again all over the country today! Marking the beginning of a new dawn, composer Samar Das and lyricist Gobindo Haldar came together to create a timeless composition which will never cease to move the people of Bangladesh towards success.
8) MORA EKTI PHOOLKE BANCHABO
A solemn promise to look out for our own, this song was composed by Apel Mahmood and written by Gobinda Haldar commemorating the soldiers, the common people and martyrs – who were always ready to stand up to the oppressors. The simple words, speak for the millions who gave up their lives in the fight for liberation.
9) NONGAR TOLO TOLO SHOMOY JE HOLO HOLO
Yet another feisty composition by Samar Das and equally moving lyrics by Nayeem Gaohar, the song comprises of symbols and elements of freedom and liberty. The composition speaks of ships and boats setting up sail and getting ready to start a new life on a new land. The elements of an anchor and the symbolic cry of 'Heyya Ho' – usually heard in dockyards by boatmen and fishermen in Bangladesh, the song encourages all to get ready to lead the way for the new land of Bangladesh, winning liberation in 1971.
10) JONOTAR SHONGRAM CHOLBEI
A forever promise to hold the reigns! Composed by Sikandar Abu Zafar, this song speaks of how the young and old alike will always stay united and carry on with the revolution. "We as students never failed to become totally captivated by the moods of such songs," says eminent singer Sadya Afreen Mallick, who was part of the groups, as a child, singing for freedom. "There were other unforgettable moments as well when eminent artist Quamrul Hasan performed the songs by Guru Shodoy Dutt and imbued us with the spirit of love for our motherland.”
If music be the food of love, play on – said William Shakespeare. The above compositions and many more that are forever mouthed, sung and performed by the people of Bangldesh even today, speak of stories from the past – of struggles, the angst and the strength of the Bengalis. And they, indeed, reminded us why we should love our motherland more, everyday