There would be no point for guessing which is going to be the most popular song during the current Navratri season that sets in from today. It would no doubt be Munni Badnam Hui from DABANGG in as diverse manifestations as can be possible. Obviously it provides definite flexibility for the Navratri revelers to groove to it in as myriad forms as possible. But Goddess Durga must be wondering whether the argument is not being extended too far, as even Bhajans made to the tune of Munni Badnam Hui are going to make their debut during the Navratri in the current season.
In Northern part of India Navratri is celebrated by evoking goddess Durga and in her honor paeans are sung throughout the night and that is why the whole process is aptly classified as Bhagwati Jagran. It was Narender Chanchal who had popularized this form of invocation to goddess Durga around North India by using the popular film songs and every year the current hit song would form an adaptative form of bhajan offered to the goddess Durga. The real trigger point was the song Chalo Bulawa aaya hai, which though originally was sung by Mahender Kapoor, it was Narender Chanchal who made it rather an offering song at the Bhagwati Jagran or a binding element of the programme in between.
But goddess Durga indeed could be left looking into corners when she is offered Bhajans to the tune of Munni Badnam hui, after all, how will the bhakts be able to stop themselves from not dancing in gay abandon to the musical beats of Munni Badnam hui, though the lyrics may be an invocation to goddess Durga.
Nowhere else in the world would one find such kind of film based influence even in the religious ceremonies as it is India? It could be owing to the fact that among the Hindus there is no such institutionalized mechanism of accompanying music in sync with the religious ceremonies as it is in the case of Muslims in the form of Quwallis, for the Christians it is the choir while for the Sikhs it is the religious singing of the Gurbaanis. Therefore Hindus chose the film songs as channel vehicles to evoke religious sentiments during large scale mass gatherings. It has now evolved into such a big industry that every singer worth his grain now wants to be associated with it.
When the history of Indian music is written sometime in the near future, may be this aspect would also be factored into as an important ingredient of evolution of Hindi music, and the yeomen contribution that Gulshan Kumar made in popularizing this format of music would also be underlined in golden motif.