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Patriotic Songs


Patriotic Songs are inspired and composed and sung to articulate the love for one's country and its people and culture. In Bangladesh many of these songs are also inspired by the conditions of the working class and attempt to secure their rights. Now patriotic songs also include the love for the environment of the country. However, patriotic songs have two branches, such as song for love of the country and song for advancing the cause of the deprived and downtrodden.'

Patriotic songs in Bangla first appeared at the beginning of the 19th century when ishwar chandra gupta and his followers began to write about the motherland. The patriotic songs received a big boost during the swadeshi movement. It was nourished through the national products, national fair, and national heritage. and inspirational meetings at the Tagore house in Jorasanko. These songs became even more popular during the 1905 movement against the partition of bengal.

Patriotic songs entered a new era when nationalist movement got momentum from the 1920s. Main theme of patriotic songs was to point to the subjugation under of the country under foreign rule. Tagore himself wrote many songs underlining the country's resources and heritage. The themes of these songs were the richness of the country's resources and the heroism of the country's freedom fighters. Bankimchandra, Rabindranath, Dwijendralal, Rajanikanta, Atulprasad, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Mukundadas, Talim Hossain and Farrukh Ahmed had been in the vanguard of makers of patriotic songs. During the Bangladesh liberation war, patriotic songs provided a great deal of strength, courage and hope in the minds of the people and the freedom fighters on the battle fields.

People's songs in Bangla developed in 1943 through the establishment of the People's Theatre. The great talents of Binoy Roy, Hemango Biswas and Salil Chowdhury made these songs very popular. They set the songs to the tunes of regional folk songs, western songs, as well as tagore songs. The western tunes used by Salil Chowdhury set an important trend in the composition of people's songs.

Two distinct trends may be noticed in these songs. Some songs centred upon the demand for political independence and inspired the struggle for India's freedom. Another set of songs called for the establishment of an exploitation-free socialistic society. These were composed mainly by Mukundadas and Nazrul Islam.

In due course, international themes got into these songs to express solidarity with the depressed people of the world and to raise a voice of protest against imperialism, racialism, feudalism and colonialism. Senior composers and artists in patriotic songs in Bangladesh are Sheikh Lutfar Rahman, Abdul Latif, and Fakir Alamgir. Some groups, including Udichi Shilpigosthi, and Rishis Shilpigosthi are important promoters of patriotic songs. [Mobarak Hossain Khan]