Yeh duniya haye hamari yeh duniya – Mohammad Rafi – Shankar-Jaikishan | Yahudi (1958)

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Movie: This song appeared in 1958 Bombay Films’ historical drama Yahudi (Jew) directed by Bimal Roy and produced by Savak B. Vacha. The movie starred Dilip Kumar, late Meena Kumari, late Sohrab Modi, late Nazir Hussain, Nigar Sultana, etc. The plot of the movie was based on an Agha Hashar Kashmiri’s play Yahudi Ki Ladki, which was loosely inspired by the opera La Juive by Jacques Fromental Halevy.

Circa more than 2000 years ago. The era of the Roman Empire. The plot: persecution of the Jews at the hands of the Romans.

Ezra (Sohrab Modi) is a gemstone trader, having a son Elijah. His slave Emmanuel functions as the caretaker of Elijah. Ezra goes out to visit a trader. Elijah is upset to stand on the balcony. Brutus (Nazir Hussain) the Governor of Rome is passing that way, with a preceding an announcement of his coming. Elijah is watching him from the balcony. A stone slips from his hand and hits Brutus on his head. As Elijah is a Jew, he is sentenced to death.

When Ezra returns he is shocked to hear about the incident. He visits Brutus and begs him to free his son. But, Brutus orders the boy to be fed to hungry lions. Ezra returns to his home, mourning the death of his son. Emmanuel kidnaps Brutus’s motherless daughter Lydia (Baby Naaz) and takes her to Ezra to avenge the death of his master’s son. Ezra forbids him to kill Lydia and adopts her. Brutus is angry and orders his soldiers to find his daughter and punish all Jews. When the Jews are being persecuted, a mendicant sings this song.

Song: The music of this song was scored by Shankar-Jaikishan and the lyrics were penned by Shailendra.

The gist of the song is, “This world is a settlement of devils. Life is cheap here.”

Video: Cinematography is by Dilip Gupta.

The video opens with the Jews running around the place. They come together at one place and look upward toward the sky to pray. Roman soldiers come there to scatter the Jews around the place. As the soldiers move away from the focus of the camera, a mendicant comes forward singing this song.

A child is separated from her mother, who stays back crying. There are several dead bodies of Jews strewn around. The Roman soldiers burn the houses of Jews. A passage of several years is shown in the song. Some people have gathered listening to the song. The song peters out and the video ends as the people leave the place.

Artists: The playback of this song was sung by Mohammad Rafi.

Cultural Influence: Basically, the song reveals the pathetic situation of the Jews in the Roman Empire. The song and the artists are fantastic. The video is watchable for the same.

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