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

Log Aurat Ko Faqat Jism Samajh Lete Hain

Posted on: March 8, 2017


This article is written by Raja, 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.

It’s been a while since my last post here.  And to be absolutely honest, I haven’t even been active on the blog recently.

This is for a variety of reasons, none of which is, thankfully, any cause of worry. I go into this shell from time to time. I hope Atul, and my other friends here, know me long enough now to not mind my absence. It is nothing to do with the blog or with them, it is just me and my bizarre-ness. Anyway, it doesn’t matter – what matters is that I’m back here today.

But why today? What’s so special about today? Well, today is special, not just for one, but for two reasons. Firstly, the 8th of March is celebrated worldwide as International Women’s Day. Secondly, it also happens to be the birthday of Sahir Ludhianvi, one of our most celebrated poets and lyricists.  And most people who know me on this blog know what a special place Sahir has in my heart.  I have often posted his songs here, especially on his birth and death anniversaries. I feel that’s the least I can do for him.

So today, in keeping with this tradition, I am returning from the wilderness 🙂 to post here on the blog. Since they are two different occasions, coinciding on the same date, there are two posts from me. So you have to bear with me twice today. 🙂

On the positive side, they are both Sahir songs, so you can straightaway skip to the song if you like. 🙂

Before I continue on the topic,  I need to give some background about these posts. Sort of, “the making of….”. Simply put, both these posts are thanks to Avinashji. He is an even bigger fan of Sahir than I am – and is absolutely dedicated to ensuring that every Sahir song out there is presented on this blog as soon as possible. It is a sort of “junoon” for him.  🙂

So, almost a month ago, he sent me a couple of Sahir songs and requested me to write them up. I said I would – but then withdrew into my shell – and it didn’t happen. Around the same time, he sent me this Sahir song about women and requested me to write a post on it for Women’s Day coming up on 8th March. I said “Sure”. 8th March was a month away, so I was confident I’d have it ready by then. But then, shell, withdrawal et al happened. So here I am, on the night of the 7th of March, frantically trying to put together thoughts for both these occasions.

Now, let me come to the topic of this post – International Women’s Day.

Different people probably react differently to it. I think it has grown in significance in the last few years – and that’s a good thing, in my opinion. It IS a day when women  and their issues tend to get attention in the media, through articles and interviews. Even governments, especially of late, seem to want to use the occasion to make announcements relating to women. All of this is good.  What can be bad about highlighting women’s issues? Bringing them onto the radar, building awareness about them. The first step to addressing an issue is, acknowledging it. So all of this is good.

But then, what next? Are we going to work on fixing these issues, or just pay lip service to them? And then wait for the next Women’s Day and play the record all over again? All of us know what the issues are. I would be mansplaining if I start getting into detail about them, so I won’t.  I’ll just say, women go through these issues every single day, at home, on the streets, at their workplace, while trying to enjoy a stroll in the park, just about everywhere.

Men have no clue. Really, they don’t. (And let’s not get into #NotAllMen here. Obviously there are exceptions but that’s not the point at all. This isn’t personally about you, you or you. It’s a broader point that we need to accept – and not diminish it by defending men with the #NotAllMen tag).

Many men think they understand – and believe me, they mean well. But the ground reality is that without the lived experiences that women go through every single day, men can never really feel the way women feel.  That’s just how it is. It’s the privilege they enjoy purely by virtue of being born male.

Even as I’m writing this post here, I recognise that. Which is why, while I can be supportive, I will stop with just that. Instead of saying “I know exactly what you mean and I fully empathise with you”.  No, I don’t. Because I cannot.

How can I? I’ve never been groped. I’ve never been objectified. I’ve never had lewd remarks made about me.  I’ve never had to worry about being raped. I’ve never had to worry about whether what I’m wearing could “get me into trouble”, or whether I could be “bringing dishonor to the family” by staying out late. I’ve never had to ….. ok, there I go mansplaining again. Sorry! You get the drift!

So even as I write this, I feel a woman is in the best position to talk about women’s issues. What a man can do, is to be supportive. Why? Because he’s the reason women have these issues in the first place! So it’s incumbent on him to fix them too. Why should women have to solve problems not created by them? Why should the woman have to “watch her behaviour” just because a man cannot control his? The most pathetic of  excuses is “men will be men”. What sort of drivel is that?

There are many ways men can be supportive.  For example, they can stand up publicly to defend women’s rights.  They can treat women as equals – in all walks of life. They can call out all those “jokes” which effectively demean women.  They can do so much more. Sorry, if this is coming across as giving “gyaan”. That’s not the idea – nor is this the platform for it.

Just that for me, Women’s Day isn’t just about celebration but also about introspection. To be followed by action.

Let’s move on the song for today. It’s by Sahir – who else?

Sahir was known to be a thinker – and was vocal about his views on society. He didn’t hesitate to call out ills in society, and show it a mirror – whether it was bigotry, hypocrisy, corruption,  treatment of women, just about anything. His most famous song discussing the plight of women is, without doubt, “Aurat Ne Janam Diya Mardon Ko”. The same film ‘Sadhna’ (1958) had another song with hard-hitting lyrics “Kaho Ji Tum Kya Kya Khareedoge, Yahaan To Har Cheez Bikti Hai”. These songs have already been covered here on this blog – but the song for today, though not that well-known,  also discusses the plight of women in India.

It is from B.R. Chopra’s ‘Insaaf Ka Tarazu’ (1980) – and it is also hard-hitting. Since Sahir passed away in October 1980, this must have been among the last few films for which he wrote lyrics. I played the song multiple times today – and each time the lyrics just drew me further into the song. That was the power of Sahir.

On one level, it is a depressing song because it talks about how women are treated as just objects by men.  How men, who are supposed to have more cognition than animals, are actually worse than animals.  In the film, Zeenat Aman has been raped by Raj Babbar (who she had considered a friend, if I remember the story right!) – these lines seem to reflect her feelings in the aftermath of the rape.

I wish I could say “Come on, this was 1980! Today, in 2017, things are much better”. Sorry I cannot say that with a straight face. And that is a reflection of the amount of work that still needs to be done. I will leave you with that sobering thought – and this equally sobering song.

The song is sung by Asha Bhosle, with music by Ravindra Jain. The audio has the complete song, the video has a couple of stanzas missing.

Atul’s note- With this song, Asha Bhonsle, silently and un-noticed to most (except Avinash Scrapwala, who noticed it) reaches 2200 songs mark in the blog as a playback singer. It is quite appropriate that she touches this mark on Women’s day and does so while singing the lyrics of Sahir Ludhianvi.

[Video – Partial]

[Audio – Complete]

Song – Log Aurat Ko Faqat Jism Samajh Lete Hain (Insaaf Ka Taraazu) (1980) Singer – Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics – Sahir Ludhianvi, MD – Ravindra Jain

Lyrics (Provided by Avinash Scrapwaala)

log aurat ko faqat jism samajh lete hain
log aurat ko faqat jism samajh lete hain
rooh bhi hoti hai us mein
ye kahaan sochte hain

log aurat ko faqat jism samajh lete hain

rooh kya hoti hai
is se unhen matlab hi nahin
wo to bas tan ke takaazon ka
kahaa maante hain
rooh mar jaaye to har jism
hai chalti huyi laash
is haqeeqat ko samajhte hain
na pehchaante hain
log aurat ko faqat jism samajh lete hain

kitni sadiyon se yeh
wahshat kaa chalan jaari hai
kitni sadiyon se hai kaayam
yeh gunaahon ka riwaaz
log aurat ki har ek cheekh ko
nagmaa samjhe
wo kabeelon ka zamaana ho
ki shehron ka samaaj
log aurat ko faqat jism samajh lete hain

jabr se nasl badhe
zulm se tan mel karein
yeh amal ham mein hai
be-ilm parindon mein nahin
ham jo insaanon ki tehzeeb
liye phirte hain
ham sa vehshee koi
jungle ke darindon mein nahin
log aurat ko faqat jism samajh lete hain

ek main hi nahin
kya jaane yeh kitni hongin

jin ko ab aaina takne se jhijhak aati hai
jin ke khwaabon mein na sehre hain na sindoor na sej
raakh hi raakh hai jo zehen pe mandlaati hai
log aurat ko faqat jism samajh lete hain

ik bujhi rooh loote jism ke
dhaanche mein liye
sochti hoon ke kahaan jaa ke
muqaddar phodoon
main na zindaa hoon ki
marne ka sahaara dhoondhoon
aur naa murdaa hoon ke
jeene ke ghamon se chhootoon
log aurat ko faqat jism samajh lete hain

kaun batlaayega mujhko
kise jaakar poochhoon
zindagi keher ke saanchon mein
dhalegi kab tak
kab talak aankh naa kholega
zamaane ka zameer
zulm aur jabr ki ye
reet chalegi kab tak
log aurat ko faqat jism samajh lete hain

———————————-
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Avinash Scrapwaala)
———————————–

लोग औरत को फ़क़त जिस्म समझ लेतें हैं
लोग औरत को फ़क़त जिस्म समझ लेतें हैं
रूह भी होती हैं उसमे ये कहाँ सोचते हैं
लोग औरत को फ़क़त जिस्म समझ लेतें हैं

रूह क्या होती है
इस’से उन्हें मतलब ही नहीं
वो तो बस तन के तकाजों का
कहा मानते हैं
रूह मर जाए तो हर जिस्म
है चलती हुई लाश
इस हकीक़त को समझते हैं
न पहचानते हैं
लोग औरत को फ़क़त जिस्म समझ लेतें हैं

कितनी सदियों से ये
वहशत का चलन जारी है
कितनी सदियों से हैं कायम
ये गुनाहों का रिवाज़
लोग औरत की हर एक चीख को
नगमा समझे
वो कबीलों का ज़माना हो
कि शहरों का समाज
लोग औरत को फ़क़त जिस्म समझ लेतें हैं

ज़ब्र से नस्ल बढे
ज़ुल्म से तन मेल करें
ये अमल हम’में हैं
बे-इल्म परिदों में नहीं
हम जो इंसानों की तहजीब
लिए फिरते हैं
हम सा वहशी कोई
जंगल के दरिंदों में नहीं
लोग औरत को फ़क़त जिस्म समझ लेतें हैं

एक मैं हि नहीं क्या जाने ये कितनी होंगी
जिनको अब आइना तकने से झिझक आती है
जिनके ख़्वाबों में ना सेहरे हैं न सिन्दूर न सेज
राख ही राख हैं जो ज़हन में मंडलाती हैं
लोग औरत को फ़क़त जिस्म समझ लेतें हैं

एक बूझी रूह लुटे जिस्म के
ढाँचे में लिए
सोचती हूँ के कहाँ जा के
मुक़द्दर फोडूं
मैं ना ज़िंदा हूँ की
मरने का सहारा ढूंढूं
और न मुर्दा हूँ के
जीने के ग़मों से छूटूं
लोग औरत को फ़क़त जिस्म समझ लेतें हैं

कौन बतलायेगा मुझको
किसे जा कर पूछूं
ज़िन्दगी कहर के साँचो में
ढलेगी कब तक
कब तलक आँख न खोलेगा
ज़माने का ज़मीर
ज़ुल्म और जब्र की ये
रीत चलेगी कब तक
लोग औरत को फ़क़त जिस्म समझ लेतें हैं

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2 Responses to "Log Aurat Ko Faqat Jism Samajh Lete Hain"

Very strongly worded lyrics about the plight of women by Sahir. It is very normal with him isn’t it?
The way men look at women is changing but slowly, very slowly. But it is a good sign 🙂
Thanks Raja ji for the song. Your genuine feelings for women comes through very effectively in your writing.

She is adept at singing such songs.

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What is this blog all about

This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

This is a labour of love, where "new" songs are added every day, and that has been the case for more than eight years. This blog has over 13200 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 3150 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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