Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Hum Mehnatkash Is Duniya Se Jab Apna Hissa Maangenge

Posted on: May 1, 2015


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

No other month begins with a day that is named after itself.  It is only the month of May that starts with a day that is called May Day.  Historically, this specific day has a long history of cultural and social significance.  A history that goes back to pre-Christ era.  The Romans used to celebrate this day as a spring festival.  The festival was called Floralia, in the honor of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers.  Further north, in Germany, this day was celebrated as Walburgis Night.  Coinciding with the arrival of summer weather in the European continent, this day was also celebrated as the first day of summer in some regions.  Community fairs were held, with the traditional dancing around the Maypole, and the beauty contest to select and crown the ‘Queen of May’.  People used to distribute anonymous gifts, called May Baskets, in their neighborhoods.

With the spread of Christianity, the significance of these traditional celebrations waned, and the Roman Catholic traditions took precedence.  Here we see the first links of this day to the cause of workers.  This day was celebrated as the day of the feast in honor of St. Joseph the Worker.  He is the patron saint of workers.  In the Christian history, St. Joseph is the carpenter.  His wife gave birth to Jesus.

In the 19th century, as the industrial era got initiated, a new segment of the society was born – the blue collar worker.  These were the people who worked for the new business and factories. For the first time in history, this was a new segment of the population that were contracted to work for other people.  As the industrial age took hold of the economy, this population segment grew very fast and very large.  In the earlier years, there were no laws, and the exploitation of the workers was the norm of the day.  Normal working hours varied between 12 to 16 hours per day, with no regulations on minimum wages etc.

A discontent was simmering and this discontent soon transformed into the workers getting together and getting organized to start a fight for better terms and conditions for themselves.  The first target of course was to regulate the number of working hours in a day.  The workers movement professed an eight hour working day.  Protests and movements started to enforce this proposal.  As these upheavals were occurring in the society, the new concepts of Socialism and Capitalism were born.  Also, the anger and the frustrations of the working class people manifested itself in Anarchism, as the workers believed that their rights have to be taken from the rich industrialists by force, whether by lawful means or otherwise.  Organized groups of workers began forming.  These were called unions, or trade unions, as applied to specific business segments.  The next level of organization happened with unions of different trades and businesses got together to form a federation.  Mind you, all this is happening in the USA.  Traditional view is that the worker movements and trade unions are a forte of socialist and communist countries.  But its origins are in America.

In 1884, a convention was held in Chicago.  Many trade unions came together and formed what is called the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions.  At this convention in 1884, a unilateral proclamation was made that on and after the 1st of May, 1886, the eight hour work day will be enforced, whether the industry and business owners agreed or not.  Thus was born a new significance of this day – the May Day became the symbol of the struggle and strife of the working class people against the capitalists and the rich people, who were seen as the exploiters and the oppressors.  With the emergence of communism as a new social order in the early 20th century, this symbol was embraced globally by the communist movements.  It became synonymous with Communism and with the working class people.

I have a personal relationship with the trade union movement.  My dad has been the driving force behind the workers movement in the newspaper industry in the country.  He dedicated all his life to this cause.  He was the  inspiration and the force behind the foundation of the All India Newspaper Employees Federation, and oversaw its working in various capacities for more than 55 years, practically all of his living years, after coming into adulthood.

He was just 25 years when he was influenced with the ideas of doing something to help the workers.  When the partition happened, he and his elder brother, both were employed with AFP (Agence France-Presse) in Karachi.  At that time, teleprinter was the only significant means of news communications, and AFP had only one line in the sub continent, coming up to Karachi.  They continued working till almost the beginning of 1948, but then the circumstances became too risky.  Both brothers had to leave job and come to India.  My dad got employed with the Simla edition of the Hindustan Times.  After a few years of working in Simla, he was transferred to Delhi.  The real story of his life starts after his arrival in Delhi.  Getting into a larger setup (Simla was a very small setup, with a small sized edition), he got a very close view of the entire operations of making and printing a newspaper.  He got familiar with the people, and started to see their problems.  Aged workers who had no pay raises for decades.  No regulations for working hours.  Workers retiring from service without a penny to their name.  These episodes and these situations troubled him, and he slowly drifted towards communist thought and the communist movement, with the guidance of other senior leaders in the trade union movement at that time, especially PC Joshi and HL Parwana.  The latter is another stalwart of the trade union movement in India, who organized the banking employees trade unions in India.

The history of what I have seen and been involved personally, is very long.  Since I was five years old, I had been a regular visitor to his Union office in Connaught Place area (in Delhi).  In the early to mid 1960s, he traveled extensively across the country, contacting newspaper worker groups in different cities and organizing the local unions.  I have traveled with him on these tours.  I was just in pre and early teens at that time.  But the images that I recall still send a tingle up my spine.  Many local meetings were held on railway platforms.  So many towns and cities that I recall, huge masses of people waiting on platform for the arrival of the train.  I remember the train bogie we were traveling in, being decked with flowers and garlands.  I remember my dad on the roof of the bogie, speaking to the crowd on the platform. I remember the train being delayed for the platform meeting to happen, by requesting / influencing the local station manager.  I remember people in the crowd jostling and pushing, just to get a close look at him and to shake his hand.  The significance of all these images came to me only many years later, when I started to realize the import of his work, and the life that he had sacrificed.  His working day for all his life was two eight hour shifts.  One that he spent in the editorial room of Hindustan Time (he retired as the News Editor of the Delhi edition), and second that he spent in the union office, doing all things required to manage and run an all India organization.

He always traveled third class, till third class was there.  A time when I had come into college, I remember a very moving exchange I had with him.  The lawyer who represented the union at the Supreme Court in Delhi, was based in Bombay.  When he had to come to Delhi for a union related case, he always came by plane.  One day I asked my dad, why is it that Phadnis uncle (the lawyer) always traveled by air and why did he (my dad) always travel by third class in train.  His words are imprinted in my mind forever.  He said, when I think of the union, I think of a thousand big and small newspapers around the country.  In small obscure towns there are small newspapers whose employees are members of the union.  Some of them earn maybe 200 rupees a month. From that earning, that person contributes maybe 5 rupees towards the union fund.  He said he cannot even think of traveling anything other than third class in train.

This is the defining principle that he actually lived all his life.  As I look back over the years, and people that I have met, people who have told me what my dad meant to them – things that my dad never talked to me about.  Sometimes in 2009, there was an all India meeting in Delhi, in preparation for the periodic wage review exercise for the newspaper industry (another accomplishment by him and his associates in the late 1950s, getting a law passed in the parliament, specifically setting up a wage review mechanism for newspaper employees).  People had come from all over India.  Dad was present for the discussions, albeit he would not take a very active part now.  He was 82.  There was a group from Tamilnadu, a set of very young men.  I heard them say, that they were looking for ‘Kapur’ (simply the surname by which he was known).  They said they had heard so much in Chennai, about this man, about what he has done for the workers.  They said they wanted to see him, just to be sure that person like him was actually there.  After the meetings they came to him and touched his feet.  My dad was in tears.

He passed away in December 2009, completing a lifetime of dedicated sacrifice, untold, except for the many whose lives he had touched.

And so, this day has a special place in my heart, because what this day that meant to him.  A reminder from Prakash ji came in form of this song, something tingled in my mind, and I changed my plans for the posts that I was preparing for today.  The song is from the 1983 film ‘Mazdoor’.  Prakash ji informs that the ‘mukhda’ of the song comes from the pen of the renowned poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.  The rest of the song is written by Hasan Kamaal.  Music is by RD Burman.  The singing voice is that of Mahendra Kapoor.  Again, Prakash ji informs that Hariharan’s voice is also present in the song.  As I listened closely, I realized that when we see Raj Babbar lip syncing on screen, one can clearly hear two voices, one of Mahendra Kapoor, singing for Dilip Kumar, and the second voice being the voice behind Raj Babbar.  This could be the voice of Hariharan.

The song is in two parts.  One part is when Dilip Kumar is a worker himself.  The first two antaraas are sung in that phase of the film.  Later, Dilip Kumar becomes a rich industrialist himself, and now has to face the same issues as his workers strike against him.  The last antaraa is played as part two, in this phase of the film, and is entirely made up of chorus voices.  On screen one can Dilip Kumar, Nanda, Raj Babbar, Yunus Parvez, Johnny Walker, Padmini Kolhapure, and Raj Kiran.

Presenting this song today, remembering all the workers who labor in many industries to make many things happen in our lives, but themselves living lives that are incomplete and inadequate. And remembering my dad, who was moved by this disparity.

Song – Hum Mehnatkash Is Duniya Se Jab Apna Hissa Maangege (Mazdoor) (1983) Singer – Mahendra Kapoor, Lyrics – Hasan Kamaal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, MD – RD Burman
Mahendra Kapoor + Hariharan
Chorus

Lyrics

haaa…aaa….aaa…aaaa….aaa…aaa…aaaa..aa…aaa
hum mehanat kash iss duniyaa se
jab apnaa hissaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge

hum mehanat kash iss duniyaa se
jab apnaa hissaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
hum mehanat kash iss duniyaa se ae ae ae ae

ho ho ho o o ooo..
ho ho ho o o ooo..

daulat ki andheri raaton ne
mehnat kaa suraj chhupaa liyaa
daulat ki andheri raaton ne
mehnat kaa suraj chhupaa liyaa
daulat ki andheri raaton ne
mehnat kaa suraj chhupaa liyaa
daulat ki andheri raaton se
hum apnaa saveraa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
hum mehanat kash iss duniyaa se ae ae ae ae

kyon apne khoon paseene par
haque ho sarmaayadaari kaa
kyon apne khoon paseene par
haque ho sarmaayadaari kaa
kyon apne khoon paseene par
haque ho sarmaayadaari kaa
mazdoor ki mehanat par ab hum
mazdoor kaa kabzaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
hum mehanat kash iss duniyaa se
jab apnaa hissa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
hum mehanat kash iss duniyaa se ae ae ae ae ae

har zor zulam ki takkar mein
hartaal hamaaraa naaraa hai
har zor zulam ki takkar mein
hartaal hamaaraa naaraa hai
har zaalim se takraayenge
har zulm ka badlaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
hum mehanat kash iss duniyaa se
jab apnaa hissaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
ek baag nahin
ek khet nahin
hum saari duniyaa maangenge
hum mehanat kash iss duniyaa se ae ae ae ae ae ae ae

 

26 Responses to "Hum Mehnatkash Is Duniya Se Jab Apna Hissa Maangenge"

What a lovely and heart touching writeup. I have met you several times, but I never realised the fact that your father had done such yeoman service for the newspaper workers. What dedication to the cause. You have clearly inherited that quality of dedication from him.

A very befitting song for the occasion. Thanks a lot for this writeup.

Like

Atul ji
Thanks so much for your words. I am glad.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

Sudhir ji
Very moving post.
What cause and what principles.
Many thanks for the write up.

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Mahesh ji,
Thanks so much for your understanding words.

Rgds
Sudhir

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Sudhirbhai,
Very emotional write up. I can clearly think/feel how you must have felt while writing this post remembering each and every details about your loving father. Atulji has said all I wanted to say.
Thanks for sharing these memories of yours. 🙂

Like

Khyati Ben
I am happy to share these memories. The life that he has led, and the contentment of being able to do something for others, is a shining light for me. He dedicated his life, without any regrets, for something he was convinced about.

The satisfaction that I have is the feelings of honor and respect for him, which has been expressed to me, by the people whose lives were changed because of him. Before the IT and Financial Services industries came into India in a big way in 1990s, the newspaper industry was the second highest paymaster in the country, after the banking industry. And I dare say, it was because of him and his associates in the Federation.

Rgds
Sudhir

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Sudhir ji, your post is very moving. Your well balanced write-up, without going overboard in praise deserves kudos. You are indeed extremely lucky to have such an influence from early life.

And your modesty hasn’t allowed you to mention your father’s full name I guess. Is he KL Kapur?

Like

Yes, Aparna ji,
KL Kapur is his full name.
You seem to know about him. That makes me glad in my heart.
🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

I googled yesterday and found out that his name was K L Kapur.

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Dear Sudhir ji,

What an article ! Tears came to my eyes after reading it.

Your father belonged to that category of people who thought that they owed something to the country and its people and they did whatever was possible for them.

My father too, being a revolutionary in pre-independence era sacrificed his family life and we all suffered due to his ideology,but once Independence was achieved,he left all that and looked after the family well.

Such people are the stones of the foundation of a healthy social and industrial atmosphere.

My sincere thanks to you for having brought his profile before us,lest we would have never learnt his contribution to the cause of workers. Its not just a May Day,but everyday that he must be remembered as an inspiration.

-AD

Like

Sudhir ji,

Here is an article on him…

http://archives.peoplesdemocracy.in/2009/1227_pd/12272009_16.html

-AD

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Dear Arun ji,

What you say is so right, it is not just one specific day, but everyday that we must remember, we get inspired, and we continue our own efforts.

Yes, such people are the cornerstones of social systems, balancing against the more selfish and divisive forces in the society.

Thanks for sharing about your father, who was a revolutionary for the cause of freedom of our country.

Sincere regards
Sudhir

PS Thanks for the link to the article on my dad.

Like

Sudhir-ji, the tribute to your father moved me to tears. No longer such dedicated leaders live today.

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Dear Seshadri ji

Your words and words from other friends make me glad that I shared this article today.
Thanks

Rgds
Sudhir

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Vinyl record image of the movie showing lyricist`s name song-wise:
http://bollywoodvinyl.in/products/mazdoor-r-d-burman-hit

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My guess work about A.Hariharan`s voice is there in tis song is based on following 3 factors:
1)As A.Hariharan`s name was there with another Mahendra Kapoor song from the same movie(with Mahendra Kapoor ->”Nana Ho gaya diwana”),
2)another male voice very much sounds like A.Hariharan`s
3)In Pancham`s Dard Ka Rishta(1983) “Ganapati Bappa Morya” song was sung by A.Hariharan(&Chorus)

Like

Sudhir ji

Thanks for introducing and writing about such a great man…………

Prakash

Like

Prakash ji,

Actually the thanks are due to you. It is your email reminder and the song suggestion that started the train of thoughts resulting in this article.

with thanks and lots of love
Sudhir

Like

Atul ji,Sudhir ji

Correction in the “Tag” below the post required,
it was wrongly written as “R.D.Burma”, It should be corrected as “R.D.BURMAN”

Like

Sudhirji, what a wonderful tribute to your father – very well written. Thanks for sharing.
“Mayday” is also an international distress call and its origin comes from the French “m’aidez” – “help me!”.
We are so involved in our own lives, we don’t see the problems others around us are facing. But your dad heard the distress calls of the workers and was BRAVE and UNSELFISH to go out of his way to do something about it. People like him are GOD SENT. You are blessed, not only to have had a father and mentor like him, but also to have inherited his good qualities.
May his soul rest in peace.

Like

Manju ji,

Your kind and appreciative words are a treasure for me.
Thanks for the sentiments.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

Sudhirji,
India is what it is due to people like your Papaji who went beyond his brief to migitate the sufferings of the downtrodden and fought for their rightful causes. Inspite of India being ridden with corruption it is still going strong only due to the efforts of some of our Papajis in the past.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

Like

Thanks Nitin ji,

For the sentiments and words of understanding.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

One of the best posts in this blog which I have read or hope to read. My tributes to the departed soul. I happen to be one of his innumerable fellow-travellers. No comparison though.

Like

Sudhir saab
This article is emotional indeed “defining Human Rights ” Your father has sacrificed his entire life and well known and famous to Indians in his time and even now we all have seen that without enforcing Union Laws . India would have been different .Shekhar.

Like

I knew one Mr. Kapoor who was working at INFA run by Indrajit s/o wellknown journalist late Durgadas. It was in late sixties. I do not remember his full name but he was greatly respected by his colleagues. He too was a trade unionist and was instrumental in establishing the famous PRRM coffee house in a tent in the Theatre Communications Building in Cannaught Place. He had some troule with his back and could not fully stretch it.

c

Like

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