An ode to journalists

Mridula Ghai has written 22 poems in Hindi and a few in English ever since she began in April. 
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

A poem written by Additional Central Provident Fund Commissioner Headquarters (at EPFO, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt of India) Mridula Ghai has turned into a powerful anthem for the journalist community. Titled Desh Ke Patrakrar, the poem restructured as a song, has been sung by noted Bollywood singers Alka Yagnik and Shaan, and was recently launched by the Working Journalists of India (WJI) in honour of the journalists who went beyond the call of duty to keep public informed as Covid raged. The song is produced and supported by Major Manjit Rajain of Tenon Group.

“This anthem will work as a catalyst to bring the sacrifices of the journalists to the forefront, and also work as a morale booster for youngsters who aspire to be journalists,” says Major Rajain.

“After Tenon Group, Bullman Records, known for promoting non-filmy romantic songs, has come forward to support it. They are promoting it on platforms like JioSaavn and Spotify among others. And former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadanvis will be releasing the song officially on digital platforms on September 3,” says Ghai.

It all began about five months back, when Ghai lost her mother. She was so impacted by the loss that her friends feared she would slip into depression. One of her friends, who knew that she used to write in her school and college days, suggested that she vent out her feelings with pen on paper. And Ghai did just that.
“Mother was the first poem I wrote. Writing down my feelings greatly helped me deal with my loss, and other poems followed,” she says.

“Then in May, when we were at the peak of the second Covid wave, someone told me that as many as 350 journalists had died in the line of duty. And I thought these were the people who were discharging their duties but no one was talking about them, their work. I wrote a poem, Desh Ke Pratakar, and shared it with a friend, who loved it so much that she further shared it,” she says. And before Ghai knew, the poem had gone viral and been published by 35 vernacular publications. Some Urdu publications even translated it into Urdu.

Ghai has written 22 poems in Hindi and a few in English ever since she began in April.  Some of her other hit poems include Kallo (on problems faced by dark-skinned people), Udaan (on education of girl child), Sach Kaisa Sach (on status of women in society) and Azaad Hain (on what Independence entails). Each of her poems is a direct attack on the ills that ail society. “I will always write hard-hitting poems on social issues as I really feel strongly about these. But each of my poems ends with a hope for the future. One cannot be picturising all gloom, without showing a way out,” she concludes.

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