‘Jai ho’ old Congress campaign buzzword: poet

June 6th, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog Millionaire New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) As “Jai ho” makes news again - it is in the race to be the millionth English word - few know that it has always been used in the ruling Congress party’s election campaign songs, says well known Hindi poet Ashok Chakradhar.
In fact, Chakradhar was the man tasked with writing the lyrics for the Congress’ poll campaign song which had the words “Jai ho” and the tune for which was based on the Oscar winning song from the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”.

“I wanted to check what kind of campaign songs had been written in the past. And this search took me to Indore where Suman Chaurasia runs a museum. He has 25,000 gramophone records and his collection also included Congress campaign songs since the time of (first prime minister) Jawaharlal Nehru,” Chakradhar told IANS.

“I heard eights songs of the earlier campaigns and was surprised that all songs had ‘Jai ho’ or “Jai jaikar” mentioned in it,” he added.

Chakradhar is pleased that “Jai ho” could become the millionth English word. It is among 73 words like ‘cuddies’ and ’slumdog’ that are competing for the honour.

“If the word is included in the English lexicon, then the importance of Hindi will be recognised worldwide. English will also be enriched.

“Hindi will not only get recognition but would be accepted far and wide. The youth, which these days identifies themselves with English, will feel proud of Hindi too,” said Chakradhar, who specialises in satire and comedy and was earlier head of department in the Hindi department of Jamia Millia Islamia.

About Congress campaign songs, the poet said although there are no dates mentioned, the Congress’ first campaign song was sung by famous Bollywood singers Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor.

The words were - “Nehru Ki Sarkar Rahegi, Hind Ki Jai Jai Kar Rahegi”. (Nehru would be governing again, India would be praised again and again).

Another campaign song was sung by Mohammed Rafi and the music was given by Shankar Jaikishan. The song was “Kabhi Na Toot Payga, Yeh Unnati Ka Silsila, Yeh Vakt Ki Pukar Hai, Ki Congress Ki Jai Ho”.

“What is interesting is that none of these songs had any negative connotations, or any sort of arrogance. They are all positive campaigns. This struck me and I followed it when I penned the campaign songs this time,” he said.

Chakradhar wrote six campaign songs, of which two were sung by Sukhvinder, who had also given his voice to the original score in the movie.

The “Jai ho” song for the film was written by noted Bollywood lyricist Gulzar and the Congress bought the rights of the song. It earned A.R. Rahman the Oscar for best song and musical score. Gulzar shared the award.

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