Tu sher-e-hind age ba?h
marne se tu kabhi na dar
u?a ke dushmanon ka sar
josh-e-watan ba?haye ja
Not familiar with the verse? Well, it is the first stanza of the song, Qadam Qadam Badhaye Ja, which has a historical significance. It was used as regimental’s marching tune of Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA). And do you know it was banned by the British in India? Revealed in 64 Netaji files declassified by the West Bengal government, the rulers looked at the song as seditious. A British gramophone company was asked to even stop recording it.
It was on August 29, 1947, two weeks after the country’s Independence that the order on the ban on the song, written by Pt Vanshidhar Shukla, was lifted. It was composed by Captain Ram Singh Thakuri, the band master of INA in 1942 and till today it is the regimental quick march of the Indian Army. Ram Singh, born in village Bhagsu Khaniara, Dharamshala, then Punjab province of British India, is also known for composing Sab Sukh Chain- the national anthem of Provisional Government of Free India.
Kadam Kadam (earlier known as Qadam Qadam) is a constant in almost all of the films that were made on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. This patriotic verse has been sung by AR Rahman in Bose: The Forgotten Hero. Its latest renditions were incorporated in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Raag Desh and Srijit Mukherji’s Gumnaami. Benegal and Rahman brought in the Prague-based Czech Film Orchestra to render the theme. Rahman had said, “Bose wasn’t commercial stuff. It was something emotional, that they might take to much later and stay hooked onto it for a longer time.
Another rendition is that of Indraadip Das Gupta, sung by Ishan Mitra in Gumnaami that caught the attention of the masses. Raag Desh’s Hawaon Mein Woh Aag Hai is another song which took it to a new direction with added lyrics by Sandeep Nath. It was sung by Shreya Ghoshal and KK.