Rivers – Lifeline Of India

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Gange cha Yamune chaiva Godavari Saraswati
Narmade Sindhu Kaveri jalesmin sannidhim kuru

Meaning – I invoke the presence of all the holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu, Kaveri et al, in this water.
There was a time when people chanted this mantra while having a bath. One not only purifies the body but also the mind while taking a bath. Taking a bath in these rivers is still considered to be auspicious and hence invoking their presence during the bath is considered as good as having a bath in their expanse. These rivers have their own significance. Geographical, historical, mythological, ecological. But people have not only been neglecting the importance of river but also been neglecting to take care of the environment around. Forgetting the fact that these rivers have nurtured the mankind since hundreds of years, people are literally exploiting the nature for their own gain and in turn causing more harm to themselves. The untimely rains, floods, the unpredictable weather, earthquakes, tsunami are all the results of nature’s fury against its exploitation. Mankind being the ultimate sufferers.
Gone are the days when people cared for each other and the environment. As lyricist Shailendra once said in his lines –

Mehmaan jo humara hota hai
Wo jaan se pyara hota hai
Zyada ki laalach nahi humko
Thode mein guzara hota hai
Bacchon ke liye jo dharti maa
Sadiyon se sabhi kuch sehti hai
Hum uss desh ke vaasi hain
Jis desh mein Ganga behti hai

Identification of a country through its river – Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai!!!
What can we really do to save our ecology, our nature, the rich soils? Does it look like a philosophical question? Too difficult to answer or to do anything out of one’s comfort zone? Time to come out of our comfort zones and stop the abuse of nature and the ecological balance.

9th July 2017 marked the birth of a nationwide campaign focused on a critical cause – saving India’s dying rivers.
Sadhguru Vasudev, founder of ISHA Foundation, is on a mission to revive the dying rivers of India and save them. He has been asking for support from the citizens and creating awareness about the rivers in India. While launching this campaign the Sadhguru said, “Our civilisations flourished on the banks of rivers. Rivers are the lifeline of our country. But if you look at the state of perennial rivers like the Cauvery, Krishna or Narmada they are at dangerous levels of depletion. In a matter of another 50 years, most of the perennial rivers will be seasonal and will no longer be perennial.” He further added, “Owing to pressure of population explosion and rapid development, many small rivers have already vanished. It will be surprising and shocking that we have 75 percent less water per person than in 1947, and almost 25 percent of India, turning into a desert.” Joining him in this campaign are several celebrities, who have pledged to spread the awareness. These include names like – Karan Johar, filmmakers Prasoon Joshi, Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra,Shekhar Kapur, Suhasini Maniratnam, Kajol, Rishi Kapoor, Tamannaah Bhatia, Dia Mirza, Manoj Bajpai, Juhi Chawla, Anupam Kher, Malayalam actor Mohanlal and music composer Shankar Mahadevan also several corporates and cricketers.

Hindi films have depicted the roles of some of the major rivers in so many stories. There have been mythological movies on them. Some love stories, some stories of valour. Many Hindi films have their titles with these names. Ganga being the most common in them. Chenab is called the river of romance with love stories like Sohni Mahiwal, Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahibaan set against its backdrop. Narmada plays an important role in the story of Rani Roopmati and Baaz Bahadur. Raavi Paar, a collection of short stories by Gulzar, touches all the human emotions from the times of partition.
Hindi film songs convey so much in so less time. Carrying messages of love, philosophy etc through the lyrics. Above all they also add lot of fun to life, spreading happiness. To add some fun quotient to the write up above, here’s showcasing a few songs from Hindi films which have the names of rivers in it. Apart from the songs given below, can you add more such songs which have river names in it? (Avoiding Ganga and Yamuna – since they are very common in our songs)

1. Ganga – Most significant river in India and also the most polluted one (sadly). An amazing song by Ravindra Jain from Ram Teri Ganga Maili narrates this story so effectively.

2. Yamuna/Jamuna – Connected with the religious beliefs and most importantly Krishna legends. The river is worshipped as Goddess Yamuna and also known as Kalindi in Hindi literature.

3. Sabarmati – One of the major rivers of western India. Also has a patriotic significance. During India’s independence struggle, Mahatma Gandhi established Sabarmati Ashram as his home on the banks of this river.

4. Chenab – As stated earlier the river of romance. One of the members of Panjnad River – Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.

5. Jhelum – A tributary of Chenab. Another one of the Panjnad rivers, also called Vitasta in Sanskrit. Legends have it that the river was named by Lord Shiva himself.
A song which carries the romance and soul of the valley – Aao na aao na, Jhelum mein beh lenge!!

6. Teesta – From the snow capped mountains of the north, we move towards East/ North-East. It flows southward through gorges and rapids in the Sikkim Himalayas merging with Brahmaputra. Teesta is said to have very clear water. Isn’t that the reason Anand Bakshi says – Darpan sa chamke re Teesta ka paani
Mukh dekhe paani mein bhor suhani

7. Son – Originating from Amarkantak, Son is one of the major rivers of Bihar. In Bihar, this river forms the border line between the Bhojpuri- and Magahi-speaking regions. Needless to say it finds a mention in one of the most loved films of the region – Nadiya Ke Paar (1981).

Ho Sona nadi ka paani hilor maare
Preet manvaa maa hamri jor maare

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan


  1. Ram krishna

    September 1, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Good effort to bring back lovely memories. Thank you.

    • Nadee Vriksh

      September 27, 2017 at 5:49 am

      Aware? Plant 2 fruit trees and care for 2 years – near a river/lake/pond/canal. thanks for songs.

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