Song Book: Kraanti Geet

Have I mentioned how important music was in our InSPIRE experience? The coordinators even put together a song book for us with songs related to what we were seeing, feeling, and experiencing. Singing, humming, snapping, whistling, ukelele-ing, and flute-ing made our world go round. So, I uploaded 2 “mix tapes” – one with versions of songs in our songbook that I found online and one with recordings of us singing some of these songs. I wanted to highlight some of the songs in the song book and explain their meaning and relevance so I will start with the first section called “Kraanti Geet”. More to come later.

Kraanti Geet (Revolutionary Songs) – In the rich ground of the classical, semi-classical and folk music of India; from the strong spirit of song that permeates this country; are born words and melodies to express revolutionary ideas and to spur movements: for equality, for human rights, for women, for change, for democracy…

One song which we sang a lot was called “Mandir-Masjid” and the meaning really struck me. The song was written by Vinay Mahajan as a response to the communal violence occuring in Ahemdabad in 1985. (Source: AID website)

See below for the lyrics, translation, and video: 

Mandir Masjid Girajaghar ne baant liya bhagwaan ko,
dharati baanti, saagar baanta, mat baanto insaan ko. Mandir Masjid..

The temple, the mosque, and the church have divided up the almighty,
the land is divided, the sea is divided, but please, don’t divide the human being

Hindu kehta mandir mera, mandir mera dhaam hai,
Muslim kehta Makka mera Allah ka imaan hai.
Dono ladate, lad lad marate, ladte ladte khatam hue,
dono ne ek duje pe na jaane kya kya zulm kiye
kiska ye maqsad hai, kiski chaal hai ye jaan lo,
dharati baanti, saagar baanta, mat baanto insaan ko. Mandir Masjid…

The Hindu says the temple is sacred to him
The Muslim says Makka is his allah’s pride
both fight, keep fighting, died fighting
torturing each other in unthinkable ways
find out who really wants this, whose strategy this is
the land is…

Neta ne satta ki khatir kaumvaad se kaam liya,
dharam ke thekedaar se milkar logon ko nakaam kiya
bhaai bante tukde-tukde mein, neta ka imaan badha
vote mile aur neta jeeta, shoshan ko aadhaar mila
waqt nahin beeta hai ab bhi waqt ki kimat jaan lo
dharati baanti, saagar baanta, mat baanto insaan ko. Mandir Masjid…

The politician used communalism to gain power
the religious leader helped, the people were rendered helpless
brothers were cut up in pieces, the politician’s credibility increased
The politician got all the votes to win the election and exploitation was sustained
The time has not passed yet, understand how precious it is,
the land is…

Prajatantra mein praja ko loote ye kaisi sarkaar hai,
laathi goli ishwar allah ye saare hathiyaar hain
inse bacho aur bach ke raho aur ladkar inse jeet lo
haq hai tumhara chain se rahna apne haq ko chheen lo
agar ho tum shaitani se tang, khatm karo shaitaan ko,
dharati baanti, saagar baanta, mat baanto insaan ko. Mandir Masjid..

What kind of government exploits the people in a democracy
batons, bullets, Ishwar, and Allah, all these are used as weapons
Save yourselves from these and fight for your victory from them
It is your right to live peacefully, snatch that right back
If you are tired of this devilry, kill it off.
the land is…

(Source: AID website)


One Comment to “Song Book: Kraanti Geet”

  1. This was deeply honest lyrics & very touching to the readers. I finally got a chance to read many pieces on your blog and can I just the stuff you have experienced and written is just (to use an expression from hindi movies) “mind blowing”. What you have seen and experienced for 6 weeks in india is something I wish i could have done ……..maybe someday in the future. Something definitely I would want Y&K to hear about your expereinces. But keep up your passion for helping and writing.

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