Pankaj Udhas: Patriotism is in-built quality

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Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas is a self-proclaimed patriot and will not hear a word against the nation he was born and raised in. In a brief chat with Bombay Times, the ‘Chandi Jaisa Rang’ singer talks about the emotional connect he shares with Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon‘ and that one time someone rewarded him with 51 rupees for singing the song well. “I have an emotional connect with the song ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon’ sung by Lata ji as I learnt this song when I was in school, and that too the radio because in those days, there was no television… there was nothing! And so I learnt this song by heart and it so happened that I sung this song at a Navratri festival when I was 11 years old and I remember it was so very well received that one gentleman from the audience got up and offered a prize of 51 rupees to me for singing it so well. Yes, I have a great connect with this song and obviously, it is a historic song (sic),” shared Udhas.

His chest puffs with pride about the fact that in 1986, he could lend his voice to the classic patriotic songChitthi Aayi Hai‘ from the movie ‘Naam‘. “I am so grateful to the Almighty that in 1986, I could sing the patriotic song ‘Chitti Aayi Hai’ which has a fantastic patriotic feeling and I feel very fortunate that in my career, I had the opportunity to sing a song that is iconic in terms of its emotions (sic),” said the singer.

“In my opinion, patriotism is a quality that is in-built. It is a quality that on is born with, especially with the kind of surrounding and upbringing one has. And who does not love their nation? I belong to this mitti and I cannot tolerate anything rubbish being said about my country. I, certainly, am patriotic and want to see India become the number one country in the world (sic),” he concluded.

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