‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’ is a song that is close to the heart of every patriotic Indian. Many generations have grown listening to the melodious song written in praise of the fallen heroes who had died defending their motherland. The song is in the limelight again, but unfortunately, this time for the wrong reason.
Pro-AAP musician Vishal Dadlani has made a ridiculous and historically incorrect claim during a reality show that Lata Mangeshkar sang it for then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1947. His statement, which went unchecked by the producers of the reality show and made to the aired episode, has brought all sorts of sentiments on the social media platforms. While some netizens criticize him for being unfamiliar with the history of such a famous song, others are mocking him with mocked-up facts and trending #DadlaniFacts.
Dadlani’s claim about the famous song
Vishal Dadlani is a judge in the reality show Indian Idol that airs on Sony TV, and the episodes are available on the Sony Liv OTT platform too. During its Republic Day special episode, a contestant named Sireesha Bhagavatula performed the famous patriotic song ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon.’ After her performance, Dadlani, while praising her for the performance, said, “Lala Ji herself sang this song for the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru 73-74 years ago in 1947 when we got our independence. If there is any song that is the greatest song of all times, then it is this song.”
Idiot @VishalDadlani is claiming that the song ‘Ae Mere Vatan Ke Logon’ was sung by Lata ji in 1947 for Nehru.— Amit Kumar (@AMIT_GUJJU) January 24, 2021
This song was first performed in 1963 in memory of Indian Soldiers who died in 1962 war against China.
How is @SonyTV allowing such fake political propaganda? pic.twitter.com/wgBbOk038h
The actual history of the song
There are several reports based on the history of the song. Rajya Sabha TV did a 28-minute show on the song in 2013 on its 50th anniversary. Famous poet Pradeep wrote the song in 1962 to commemorate the heroes of the 1962 India-China war. The song was composed by famous musician C. Ramchandra and sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
As the story goes, it is said that Pradeep was in low spirits because of the war. One day he was walking on Mahim Beach when he first thought of the lines. He immediately borrowed a pen from a fellow walker and wrote the first few lines on a piece of paper he ripped from his pack of cigarettes.
There was some misunderstanding between Ramchandra and Mangeshkar at that time. It was supposed to be sung by Asha Bhosle, but Pradeep convinced Mangeshkar to sing it instead of her sister. The song was first performed live on January 26, 1963, at the National Stadium in New Delhi.
In fact, the parts in the song tha mention ‘das das ko ek ne saara’ (each of our soldiers killed ten enemy soldiers) is said to be about the battle of Rezang La, where just 123 Indian soldiers under Major Shaitan Singh had faced over 3000 well-armed Chinese troops on 18 November 1962 at Ladakh’s Rezang La.
At the event, then-President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru were present, and several other prominent personalities including Indira Gandhi, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Mohammad Rafi and more. In an interview, Pradeep’s daughter Mithul said that it was unfortunate that her father was not invited to the event. After the performance, Nehru said, “Bahut achcha. Mere aankhon mein paani aa gaya (Very nice. There were tears in my eyes).”
Reactions from netizens over Dadlani’s claims
Several netizens called out the blunder made by musician Dadlani and some even trended the hashtag #DadlaniFacts to make other similarly wrong and outrageous claims regarding famous songs.
As per @VishalDadlani, Lata Mangeshkar sang ‘Ae mere watan ke logon’ for Nehru in 1947 🤦— Gems of Bollywood (@GemsOfBollywood) January 25, 2021
Hope you are not taking history lessons from Bollywood (the beautiful song written by Kavi Pradeep & composed by C Ramchandra, was sung by Mangeshkar after 1972 war)pic.twitter.com/Ilz4omQOr1
Hum Dekhenge was written by Faiz for Nehru when he was told by Lord Mountbatten not to peep into his house. #DadlaniFacts— Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) January 24, 2021
Altaf Raja sang tum to thehre pardesi for nehru when he realized Edwina would be leaving india after independence. #DadlaniFacts— Sailor (@sailorsmoon) January 24, 2021
Reaction from Vishal Dadlani
Though Dadlani has ‘apologized’ for the mistake, he did not seem to think he has done anything wrong. Instead he claimed that he is being targeted by ‘right-wingers’ and branded them as trolls.
His now-pinned tweet says, “I see a few right-wingers “offended” by my messing up the date of “Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon” being sung to Pt. Nehru. I apologise for my error. These “staunch Nationalists” didn’t say a thing when #Chornab celebrated the deaths of 40 Indian soldiers in #Pulwama as a TRP win. Odd.”
Dadlani also laughed at the people who were trending the hashtag #DadlaniFacts and called them BJP’s 2 rupees trolls. He also claimed that the hashtag and the criticism does not affect him at all.
What's really funny is them thinking that it makes even the slightest difference.— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) January 25, 2021
But hey….it's a couple of hours of amusement for me, a couple of articles for random online sites, & they get paid their Rs.2 each.
Much needed, in this economy! 😆😆😆#DadlaniFacts https://t.co/u4jAZoxPDH
Dadlani’s past blunders
This is not the first time Dadlani has been facing criticism for his statements. In 2016, he had made derogatory comments on Jain Monk Tarun Sagar that was heavily criticized. In November 2019, he used derogatory words against former-CJI Ranjan Gogoi on his retirement.
In December 2019, Dadlani claimed that the cases of rape, murder, encounters and even ‘onions’ were actually the government’s evil plan to distract the citizenry from the ‘Citizenship Amendment Bill.’ Dadlani had shared a post claiming the same on Instagram.