Kangra- The Patriotic Folk Songs
The Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh is a valley of gods and goddesses, small rivulets, hardworking peasants and innocent shepherds or small businessman and serving personnel. Continuing with the old tradition, many men of the region are serving the motherland in the army.
The folk songs of Kangra though numerous are yet soul stirring, whereas the love songs of these people bring charm to their lives. The folk music further embellishes the songs with typical notes.
The patriotic songs uplift the soul and spirit. They are sung by the people of all ages, irrespective of their sex, caste and creed. They are sung with a spirit of competition like a typical Indian quawali.
The Songs Praising the Land
The most patriotic songsof Kangra praise the very land, its rippling streams, mountain slopes covered with snow, lovely youth and their lovely language.It runs thus,
“Ji mera Kangra des naira,
Dugi dugi nadian,
Tan seili seili dharan,
Chhelei chhelei gabhru,
Tan bankian naran,
Bolna bol piara,
Jim mera kangra des naira.”
“O My Kangra Country is exquisite,
Deep are its rivers,
And lush green the hills,
Handsome are the boys,
And beautiful are the women,
Sweet are their words,
My Kangra Country is exquisite.”
The rival group of singers does not lag behind in this field; they too have the spirit of patriotism showing intense love for their country.
“Kangra des eh sanjho,
Jani the bhi piara ei,
Hare bhare ban jide, chole jo swarde,
Sohne man- mohne phul jis jo sangarde,
Koelan, tote, more, panchi aarti utarde,
Chal chal nadi- nalei papain jo tarde,
Sei eh des sari dunia the piara ei,
Sada Kangra des naira hai.”
“Kangra Country to us,
Is dearer than life,
The green woods embellish its apron,
The touching beauty of its blossoms decorate it,
Nightingale, parrots, peacocks and birds pray for it,
The music of rivulets purge the sinners,
The same country is dearer than the world,
Our Kangra is peculiar.”
The Land is the best
The patriotic songs of Kangra also compare the land to that of the plains. Though these innocent people have no ill-will against their brethren dwelling in the plains yet they feel that their life in the mountains is much better.There is one such song as,
“Paharan da rehna changa, O Gadia,
Paharan da rehna changa O,
Ek the shahran ch garmi je hundi,
Paharan da saath na janda O,
Shahran ch hundian Barhian beemarian,
Paharan da rehna change, O.”
“Hill dwelling is the best, O Shepherd,
Hill dwelling is the best O,
The town weather is hot,
Company of hills can’t be forsaken O,
Several diseases are found in the towns,
Hill dwelling is the best O.”
The youth of the hills are full of patriotic feelings. They love their land. They love its life in Sun and shower. Thus they sing,
“Thandi Thandi hawa jhuldi,
Jhulday cheelan de dalu,
Jeena Kangra da.”
“Cool breeze blows,
The pine trees sway with it,
Life is of Kangra”.
The Patriotic Songs
Many young men of the area joined the Mughal, the British and the Indian army. Such is their love for the nation and their valor. The young man says,
“Mein bhi bharti hoi jana meria bapu,
Mein bhi bharti hoi jana,
Beri nei hamla kita asan tei,
Use jo maja chakana,
Mein bhi bharti hoi jana.”
“I would get recruited, O father,
I would get recruited,
Enemy has attacked,
He would be taught a lesson,
I would get recruited.”
The father replies in equal boldness, besides permitting his son . He even encourages him as,
“Ja bachu apne jo bharti karai le,
Sher bacha bani ke, des jo bachai le,
Dharti ne deni, nalu khoona de bahai de,
Mari ne jaan, mari ne, tan na chamkai de.”
“Go son get yourself recruited,
Like a son of lion, save the country,
Give no land, shed the rivulets of blood,
Die, and after death, earn name and fame.”
The Patriotism of Women
Not to talk of men the women too, do not lag behind in patriotism. Not only they boldly send their menfolk to the battlefield, but also they wish to fight the enemies themselves. A Kangra bride speaks to her husband thus,
“Meiki bhi lei chal Nefa jo,
Merei banku dia chachua,
Veri mein dingi chick vo,
Merei banku dia chachua,
Tringa lia mein hath vo,
Merei banku dia chachua”.
“Take me to NEFA border,
My handsome and their uncle,
I would tear the enemies,
My handsome and their uncle,
Tricolor I hold in hand,
My handsome, and their uncle”.
Another newly married Kangra bride whose husband is already fighting in the battlefield sings thus,
“Choorei jo laaj mat landa O Faujia,
Choorei jo laaj mat landa O,
Ran jitee kare ghar enda O Faujia,
Hare ke ghar mat aenda O.”
"Don’t let down my bangles, O Soldier,
Don’t let down my bangles,
Come after winning in battlefield,
Don’t come after being defeated”.
In this way the women cultivate the sense of patriotism and self-respect in the society, and inculcate the same feelings in their menfolk and sons. There are number of gallantry award winners in Kangra, the description of whom is beyond the scope of the present discussion, and needs separate treatment in detail.
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