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

Apna desh hai apna ghar

Posted on: December 21, 2016

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

Debaki Bose (1898 – 1971) is regarded as one of the pioneers in the field of film direction along with P C Barua, V Shantaram and Nitin Bose. After the production of talkie films started in 1931, Debaki Bose joined New Theatres and got his first chance to show his directorial skills in ‘Puran Bhagat’ (1933). This film is regarded as a turning point in the realm of talkie films. For the first time, the dialogue deliveries by actors were made more like natural talk than in the loud voices with theatrical gestures which was carried over to the films from the theatres. Debaki Bose also used expressions of the actors to supplement the dialogues.

The importance of Debaki Bose in New Theatres can be judged from the fact that he was the only director in early 1930s who was allowed to take directorial assignments outside New Theatres. He directed ‘Seeta’ (1934) for East India Film Company with Prithviraj Kapoor and Durga Khote as lead actors who were in the pay roll of New Theatres. ‘Seeta’ (1934) was the first talkie film from India to be shown in any international film festival. The film won a Honorary Diploma for Debaki Bose in Venice Film Festival.

Debaki Bose directed successful films for New Theatres like ‘Rajrani Meera’ (1933), ‘Inquilab’ (1935), ‘Sapera’ (1936), ‘Vidyapati’ (1937) and ‘Nartaki’ (1940) which was his last film with New Theatres. Thereafter, he was ly a freelance director during which time he directed films for some of the Bombay based film production companies also. Post-1940 period, he directed ‘Apna Ghar’ (1942), ‘Swarg Se Sundar Desh Hamaara’ (1945), ‘Meghdoot’ (1945), ‘Krishna Leela’ (1946), ‘Chandrasekhar’ (1947), ‘Ratnavali’ (1951) among others. It would appear that ‘Kavi’ (1954) was his last Hindi film as a director.

APNA GHAR (1942) was produced under the banner of Circo Productions, Bombay (Mumbai) and it was directed by Debki Bose, his first directorial venture outside Calcutta (Kolkata) for a Hindi film. Shanta Apte and Chandramohan played the lead roles. Other supporting cast included Maya Banerjee, Jagdish Sethi, Jeevan, Vimla Vashisht, Vimal Sardesai, David, Gope, Mahesh Kaul, Maruti Rao etc. For Shanta Apte, the film was her return to acting in Hindi film after ‘Gopalkrishna’ (1938).

It was a rare occasion when Baburao Patel’s ‘Filmindia’ magazine commended the film in its review published in April 1942 issue for “unusual story, excellent direction of Debaki Bose and superb acting by Chandramohan and Shanta Apte”. The story of the film which I have tried to condense from the review is as under:

Narendra (Chandramohan) has turned recluse after the accidental death of his wife. With his self-imposed isolation from the society, he develops individualism and loses sight of emotional values of life. Over a period of time, the inherent goodness in him gets lost and he becomes stubborn in his approach to life.

One day, Narendra, on one of his visits to the city, accidentally meets Meera (Shanta Apte), a social worker and the daughter of an old and infirm father. Some arguments ensue between them over the charges levelled against her father for committing some fraud in the company for which he works. Narendra happens to be one of the directors of that company. The father is asked to give up all his possessions to make good the fraud. The demand makes him sick and he is on his death bed.

Realising the sacrifices her father made in bringing her up and to help her father to die as a happy man, Meera agrees to marry Narendra. Since the marriage was more of a bargain than for love for each other, differences in views come to the fore. Meera is a strong willed girl having definite views on life. Narendra has also uncompromising views on life which he has developed after living in isolation. The married life of Narendra and Meera, therefore, becomes a clash of egos.

At this stage, Mami (Vimla Vashisht), Narendra’s maternal aunt joins the family and creates more problems for the couple. At the same time, on a social front, Meera is on a collision course with Narendra when she encourages the local villagers to resist Narendra’s autocratic orders instead of meekly following them. With strong arm tactics, Narendra crushes the villagers’ rebellion. Many such skirmishes take place between Meera and Narendra as clashes between social worker versus director of the company which create friction in their married life.

Meera is expecting her first child and she is in a delicate condition. Narendra on the other hand has gone to the city for his medical check-up. Meera delivers a boy and the news makes Narendra to leave his medical check half way to be with Meera. But the circumstances make him unable to see his infant child. He suspects a conspiracy to keep him away from the new born son.

Meera becomes a tool in the hands of Mami who creates an impression that the child should be kept away from the evil eyes of Narendra who is eager to see his infant child. One day, Narendra rushes to the house and demands for the child to be handed over to him at gunpoint. Being afraid that her child would be shot, Meera hands over the child to Narendra. Having lost respect for her husband, she runs out of the house leaving the child at the mercy of Narendra. While crossing the river, she accidentally falls in the river and is presumed dead. The fact is that she is saved by some fishermen and she staying at a place some miles away from the house.

The child soon gets ill and Narendra, with his insensitivity embedded in his nature, is not able to judge the seriousness of the situation. The child is now seriously ill and on the last stage before death snatches him away. At this juncture, Narendra gets the news that Meera is alive and living few miles away from his house. With news of illness of the child reaching her, she rushes home only to get the news that her child is no more.

Meera refuses to believe that her child is dead. She holds the child and walks in the room the entire night. When the doctor comes to the house in the morning to take the child away from her, he finds the child to be alive. A mother’s faith has created the miracle.

Having found the child hale and hearty, Meera prepares to leave the house. But the husband and wife have now found a common ground to live together – the well-being of their child and the work for the social upliftment of downtrodden and deprived people some of whom had saved Meera from drowning.

The film had 7 songs, all written by Narottam Vyas and sung by Shanta Apte. All songs were set to music by H C Bali. I am presenting the first song ‘apna desh hai apna ghar’ from the film to appear in the Blog. This is a song with a message to treat the country like our own house where we respect each other’s views, help each other and try to live in harmony.

With this song, ‘Apna Ghar’ (1942) makes its debut in the Blog.

Song-Apna desh hai apna ghar (Apna Ghar)(1942) Singer-Shanta Apte, Lyrics-Narottam Vyas, MD-H C Bali


Apna ghar
apna ghar
apna desh hai apna ghar
apna ghar
apna desh hai apna ghar
apna ghar

desh ke jitne deen aur dukhiya
desh ke jitne deen aur dukhiya
sab hi apne bahen aur bhaiyya
sab hi apne bahen aur bhaiyya
unki sewa prabhu ki pooja
unki sewa prabhu ki pooja
punya yahi badhkar sab se
punya yahi badhkar r r
apna desh hai apna ghar
apna ghar

ghar ghar chhaaye
rog bhagaaye
logon ko jeena sikhlaaye
logon ko jeena sikhlaaye
sab ko shiksha mantra dilaaye
sab ko shiksha mantra dilaaye
ho jaaye nyochhaawar desh par
ho jaaye nyochhaawar r
apna desh hai apna ghar
apna ghar

oonch neech ke bandhan toden
oonch neech ke bandhan toden
sab se prem kaa naata joden
sab se prem kaa naata joden
(??) ghulaami le aazaadi
(??) ghulaami le azaadi
jhanda ooncha kar desh kaa
jhanda ooncha kar desh kaa
jhanda ooncha karrrrr


2 Responses to "Apna desh hai apna ghar"

?? – MeT (मेट) ghulaami le aazaadi.

Harishchandra Bali
Tulsi (1941)
Seedha Raasta(1941)
Apna Ghar (1942)
Nari (1942)
Kirti (1942)
Mamaji (1942)
Mahatma Vidur(1943)
Her Highness(1946)
Janta (1947)

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