Dada Manna Dey at Last Gets Phalke Award

Dada Manna Dey gets Dada Saheb Phalke award, for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.  His real name is Prabodh Chandra Dey. He was born to Purna Chandra (father) and Mahamaya Devi (mother) in 1919.

He worked with top music directors of the time between 1940s and 1970s, though arguably some of his best hits he belted with Shankar Jaikishen and Vasant Desai. Few of his hits are presented below to commomerate the  occasion.

This was a hilarious song picturised on thespian Jewish actor David in a jail situation singing Malhar inviting Rain (movie: Boot Polish)

This was a song reflecting India’s Eastern UP/Bihar culture

Song on Hindu Bhakti – Bhajan.

Song reflecting native Indian dance tradition

Qawaali Song


(There are some who wonder at muslim participation in India’s Hindu cultural mileau. Islamic injunctions rule out fine arts as Islam accepts music only if it is for glory of islam. Power of native Indian culture was such that many Islamic rulers despite islamic injunctions took to native Indian culture. This was beautifully captured by Satyajit Ray in Shatranj ke Khiladi. What passes off as culture in areas like pakistan today as culture (Ganga Jamuna Tehzeeb) is quintessentially Indian. Regions where islam is older in greater Hindustan areas like Afghanistan, native tradition in fine arts has been brutally cut down by forces of islam. Mahaan Rafi, India’s great Singer successfully braved the challenge of islamic forces that wanted to stop him from singing. Naushad Ali, music composer ran off from his Lucknow home as his islamic family frowned on his music interest. Probability in places like Pakistan is it will go the islamic way and make pakistanis get converted to little meccan arabs unless they take a strong stand against islamic dogma)

Manna Dey carried the aspirational V Shantaram movie “Toofan aur Diya” on his shoulders through the songs Nirbal Se Ladaai Toofan Ki.

Dada Manna Dey’s humility as a singer can be perceived from his comments on his remarkable colleague Mahaan Rafi.

Dada goes on to lament about downfall in standards – in lyrics, in music composition and singers. PR mandated media based deceit subverting genuine talent immensely pained Dada. One can get a feel of this in the Vande Matharam versions – original one sung by Lata and the subverted one here.

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