A tribute to Veer Savarkar

Some of India’s most popular singers have come together to pay homage to national freedom fighter Veer Savarkar. Prominent names like Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, Hariharan, Javed Ali, Anuradha Paudval, Sadhana Sargam and Sudesh Bhosale have lent their voices to a musical album inspired by a collection of thirty-one poems penned by Marathi littérateur during his incarceration.

Shankar Mahadevan with Bharat Balvalli

After extensive research on the subject at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and India House for two years, the Marathi album was conceptualised and executed by 25-year old music composer Bharat Balvalli.

Recreating history
Interestingly, many of these renowned singers come from a non-Marathi background. Bharat who interacted with many literary experts on the life of Veer Savarkar feels that the audience shouldn’t be myopic about the language barrier.

He explained, “Firstly, to sing on such a great freedom fighter’s work is a matter of pride for all artists. He was a national figure who hailed from Maharashtra but his life was dedicated to the freedom of our country, not just one state. And his literature is a testament to his progressive vision.”

Shankar has sung Tumhi Amhi Sakal Hindu, which is a song of unity. The crooner sounded all praise for Bharat. “He tends to use all the twelve notes (of music) which makes the composition somewhat difficult to render but adds to the overall aesthetic sense,” adds Shankar.

Jaspinder Narula, being a Punjabi, learnt the exact Marathi pronunciation in no time to sing Hind Sundara Tee. Shaan who recently made a stinging comment on the decline of playback singing said that he enjoyed singing Shastra Geet for this album.

The song conveys the importance of self-defence and persuades youth to learn about arms and ammunitions for national security. Renowned music arranger Anil Mohile too was part of this endeavor before he passed away in February this year. 

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