Bengaluru: Our national anthem Jana Gana Mana instils in us a sense of pride. Whenever we sing it, our hearts swell with pride, isn’t it?

And there is one more song that is equally effective in uniting us as a nation. That is the Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon song, sung in tribute to our martyrs.

We might profess different religions and occupations, but when it comes to the issue of our country and our soldiers, we bury the hatchet and rise as one entity.

Did you know that this song Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon, which was once sung by Lata Mangeshkar, drove Nehru to tears?

Yes, the story has it that she was once invited to sing it before the then prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru. He was so impressed and touched that he didn’t resist his tears flowing down his cheeks.

But who is the lyricist of this song?

It is a person by name Pradeep. He penned it as a tribute or elegy for the soldiers who laid down their lives in the India-China war of 1962.
It was something of a Eureka moment for the poet when he was taking a stroll at a Mumbai beach. As he strolled and the lyrics dawned upon him, it is said, he borrowed a pen from a fellow stroller and scratched these words on the foil of a cigarette packet.

A week, later, a producer by name Mehboob Khan approached him for a song that would be sung in order to fundraise. Pradeep instantly agreed.

When Pradeep chose Lata Mangeshkar to sing the song and he sang it before her as a demonstration, it is said she too wept.

On January 27, 1963 at the National Stadium in New Delhi, Lata sang in her euphonious and mellifluous voice, which struck Nehru’s heart.

The song, replete with meaning and the tune good enough to strike a chord, moved Nehru to tears.