134- Monday Musings - Saada Haq
If movie songs were to be any indicators of the spirit of the times, inspired by or inspiring the tumults of that period and in the process becoming anthems, then gear up to listen to 'Sadda Haq...Ithe rakh' (Give me my rights..NOW) not only from on air and in the dim lit pubs and bars but also on sundry social and corporate occasions alike for a long long time. I can think of a few more in the last few years which had acquired a deep symbolism and shouldered the onus of describing the angst and imagination of the times they became popular.
'Papa kehte hain bada naam karega' was a gentle reminder in the 90's of the huge burden of expectation that the youth shouldered and how the he was clearly ready to chart a course of his own by refusing to become and engineer or a businessman, rather finding solace in the elixir of love. The same actor exactly a decade later gate crashed into the imagination of the carefree youth to move away from the beaten path by announcing 'ham hain naye, andaaz kyon ho purana'. India was changing by the end of the last century and the exhort 'badle duniya, badalne do...hum apni dhun me chalte jayen..hum hain naye..andaaz kyon ho purana' became the ziet gist of the times. Dancing to its lyrics in a sense liberated the generation from the shackles of the old dreams and old methods. The generation had announced its arrival in style.
Another khan in another path breaking movie united disparate groups of people to its war cry 'Chak De', a phrase which has no equivalent in the English language, but which would broadly mean 'Let’s rock'. Any group of people, community or gathering who wanted a point to be proven, a war cry to unite all towards one common task and who wanted a insurmountable problem to be solved, a herculean aspiration to be chased, had to just play 'Chak de' and the spirits would soar. In yet another time when a youth lost in his search for identity, so typical of the age across times, and yet to typical of particularly these, finally finds his calling, not surprisingly sung on high notes 'payega jo lakhya hai tera' from the movie Lakhsya. It is difficult to say with certainty that it right before or right after that we found the youth being so sure about what they wanted from life - in being floaters they were exercising the same choice that fired their souls in wanting to make it big in corporate or business or politics.
Saada Haq, not only in its lyrics but also in its video, depicting Kashmir to North East, farmers to communal rights, is a reminder of the impatience of the times, where no one is willing to wait anymore and any longer. They want their haq, what is their natural and national right, NOW. Intentions won’t suffice, delivery does. The message loud and clear - Don’t suffocate us into slots, don't slice and divide us on samaaj and riwaj, keep your sermonizing and patronizing to yourself if you cannot handle what you preach, just....well..'Saada Haq..Ithe rakh'. The song has all the ingredients to become the theme of the times, the ultimate expression of an impatient people on the edge, almost a warning to the powers to be. Don’t mess or it will be messy. The song has been getting into my bones slowly but surely, and going by its popularity, it is clear that other bones are equally pervious to its uplifting quality. The echoes of saada haq will only intensify in the days to come.
Movies then no doubt are such an addictive craft. They say, there is at least one story in each one us. I am growing to believe there is at least one song and one movie in each one of us. Go ahead - write it, record it, shoot it. You have at least one reader, one listening, one viewer ready.