“The role of art has never changed. It has always dedicated itself to communicating, stirring up, encouraging, building up and constructing… This is what a true artist will always intend to do,” said musician Mithoon, at the launch event for his latest composition, “One India My India”, held in Delhi on 13 May.
The event was also attended by the track’s singer, Jubin Nautiyal, and the legendary cricketer Kapil Dev. “We are blessed to be living in such a diverse country, where we have so many cultures and languages. The song is beautifully composed and portrays the uniqueness of this country,” said Dev.
Shailendra Singh, the co-producer of the song, is the brains behind this song, which aims to spread the message of unity and harmony across the country. At the event, he spoke of the role each of us can play as agents of change and reminded the attendees of the responsibility they have towards the country. “The power to change lies within us. We make our society and if we change our attitudes and outlooks, we can bring about a positive change in the nation,” he said.
“The track”, Singh added, “is made solely out of a sense of responsibility that I feel towards my country and its people.”
The video of the song has been shot at various locations across India, by a crew of only three people—Singh himself, a cameraman and an editor.
Despite the fact that Singh has been shooting ad campaigns for many years, he found directing this particular video a challenging task. He said, “This has been a different space [from the advertisement world] because it wasn’t a choreographed act… When you shoot an ad campaign there is a team of 20, 30 or more people. But for this song, we were a team of only three. And the locations that we shot at were all scattered in different directions… The video was shot in a realistic manner. By this, I mean that nothing was staged, no actors were involved. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to capture the real essence of our country.”
Speaking about the motivation behind this ambitious music project, Singh said, “I wanted to celebrate India and wanted to leave behind an emotion that would always stay with you.”
The song was first performed two years ago for a capacity audience in Mumbai. It was the response that the performance got here that convinced Singh and Mithoon to further polish the song and re-launch it with new lyrics and melody.
The song also features a stanza in Punjabi sung by Sukhwinder Singh. The producers also plan to launch different versions of this song with this stanza sung in different languages and styles.
Mithoon is the co-producer of the song and told us that it is available for free on various online platforms. He said, “There is no commercial motive behind it. The song has been made for the nation and its people.”
He then went on to talk about how culture and art can serve the nation and its citizens. “Even when you make a love song, you are edifying society. People walk up to me and tell me how a love song that I have made has helped them sail through tough times. This is also serving society and the nation in a small way,” Mithoon said.
Singer Jubin Nautiyal—known for his popular romantic numbers like “Bawara Mann”, “Meherbani” and “Tu Jo Mila” among many others—has given his voice to “One India My India”. He talked about the similarities between romantic and patriotic songs on the level of the form. He said, “If we begin counting there will be a lot of differences [between singing and composing patriotic and love songs]. But what is similar is the romance. The emotions attached to such songs are alike.”
Nautiyal said that he wasn’t thinking about the impact the song would make, but was convinced that anything made with pure intentions is sure to reach the listener’s heart. “For me, music is the only form of magic that all of us have felt. It just changes our state of mind immediately. And as a singer, I feel lucky because I am able to perform this magic for my listeners,” he said.