Gods of Hindus and the Song of “Lagaan”


























There is a song in Hindi film “Lagaan”, rendering worship to the God by a group of poor villagers


The song goes like that


“O Palanhare, Nirgun aur Nyare, tumhre bin hamra koi nahin”


The above song sounds nice as a prayer by villagers to the God to save them in the cricket match against the English, for which their future was at stake.

Everything in this song is fine but the word “Nirgun”.


The Hindi/Sanskrit word “Nirgun” means one who has not any particular appearance or particular identity. The words “Nirgun” and “Nirakar” in Hindi are used mainly to define the Gods in Islam or Christianity, where God is assumed in not any particular shape or appearance. In these religions “Murti Puja” (worshipping the idols of God) is not done, they don’t believe in multiple Gods and believe only in one almighty God without assuming any appearance.


But in Hinduism God is not “Nirgun”. We have assumed Gods and their apperance, we make idols of Gods put it in front and worship. 


Hinduism is perhaps only religion in the world, which has no founder, which was never founded, and practice of Hinduism is mainly in India and Nepal. It developed and flourished by itself. The practices of the religion like festivals or rituals are not firm and vary with the regions in India. But,the “Murti Puja”  remains common everywhere, in any part of India, Nepal or world. I firmly believe that “Murti Puja” is the most distinguishing feature of Hinduism. Our Gods are “Sagun” and not “Nirgun”.


 I have high regards for lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar, one of the finest writers in Bollywood, but am slightly surprised by this blunder mistake in one of his songs. Also interestingly I have never heard anyone objecting to this. I object to this because this is misrepresentation of the very concept of Hinduism.





Decline of “Khari Boli”


 Those who belong to or have lived in Haryana, Delhi or Northwestern UP, understand what “Khari boli” (Haryanavi) dialect of Hindi is all about. Some people say it lacks sophistication and even that it’s rude.


The perception of lack of sophistication or being “rude”, is probably because that the words which show respect in Hindi are not part of khari boli, for example , to address someone, “Aap” is non existant, mainly “Tu” is used, and if one wants to give lot of respect “Tum” is used 🙂 .Also, “iye” of sophisticated Hindi is not spoken in “Khari Boli” for example,  to ask some one to sit “ Bathiye” wont be used , only “baith ja” or “Baitho” shall be used. Also, the sentence closing “Hai” of mainstream Hindi is not used in “Khari boli” .The terms most distinct about khari boi are use of “Maka” and “ Nuko”  for “Maine kaha” (I said) and “usne kaha” (he/she said).. Hindi words are spoken differently to give a unique flow to the language, like the word “Anghuthi” (Ring) will be pronounced as “Gunthi”.“Khari Boli” when spoken in it’s original form, is an unbelievably fast accent ..and difference between normal sophisticated Hindi and Khari Boli is just like the difference of spoken English between Indians and westerners.


But, of late “Khari Boli” accent is on decline. First of all Delhi lost it, being a major metropolis and capital of the country, and nowadays urban regions of Haryana and northwestern UP are loosing it and is limited to older generations only, and young generation have developed more sophisticated form of Hindi. The reason behind is the general perception even in the native speakers, that “Khari boi” is “rude” way of speaking and is not sophisticated. Nowadays it has become unfashionable to speak it.


There have been efforts to sanskritize Khari Boli, but this dilect of Hindi will die if sanskritised, as Sanskrit words doesn’t fit naturally here. Of Course the standard or pure Hindi derives it’s vocabulary from Sanskrit, but Khari Boli is different, and uses basically “Tadhbhav” form of Sanskrit words.


But I believe Khari boli is very much alive in the rural area of this region, and some of my relatives (Younger generation too) who live in the villages/small towns of this region, speak it. I personally am very fond of Khari Boli… since my childhood I’ve scene my relatives speaking it, though myself and our parents don’t speak it having lived in urban areas, but my parents can switch gear anytime and start speaking it when with our relatives 🙂 , but myself and my brother (Like other younger generation of urban population of this region ) are not able to speak it, but still we love it.


P.S.- In Bollywood, Khari boli is very rare…A recent example i’ve scene in Bollywood is the character of Komal Chautala in the film “Chak de India”, who spoke in Khari boli dilect