Ekla Chalo Re

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"Ekla Chalo Re"
Patriotic song
Published September 1905
Genre Rabindra Sangeet
Language Bengali
Writer Rabindranath Tagore
Composer Rabindranath Tagore
Song no 3, "Swadesh", Gitabitan
Notation made by Indira Devi Choudhurani[1]

"Jodi Tor Dak Shune Keu Na Ase Tobe Ekla Cholo Re" (Bengali: যদি তোর ডাক শুনে কেউ না আসে তবে একলা চলো রে, Jodi tor đak shune keu na ashe tôbe êkla chôlo re, "If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone"[2]), commonly known as Ekla Chalo Re, is a Bengali patriotic song written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905.[2]

Originally titled as "Eka", the song was first published in the September 1905 issue of Bhandar magazine.[1] It was influenced by Harinaam Diye Jagat Matale Amar Ekla Nitai Re, a popular Bengali Kirtan song of Dhapkirtan[1] or Manoharshahi gharana[3] praising Nityananda, disciple of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.[1] Ekla Chalo Re was incorporated in the "Swadesh" (Homeland) section of Tagore’s lyrical anthology Gitabitan.[1]

The song exhorts the listener to continue his or her journey, despite abandonment or lack of support from others. The song is often quoted in the context of political or social change movements. Mahatma Gandhi, who was deeply influenced by this song,[4] cited it as one his favorite songs.[5]


The verses of Ekla Chalo Re read as follows:

Bengali script[edit]

যদি তোর ডাক শুনে কেউ না আসে তবে একলা চলো রে।
একলা চলো, একলা চলো, একলা চলো, একলা চলো রে॥

যদি কেউ কথা না কয়, ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা,
যদি সবাই থাকে মুখ ফিরায়ে সবাই করে ভয়—
তবে পরান খুলে
ও তুই মুখ ফুটে তোর মনের কথা একলা বলো রে॥

যদি সবাই ফিরে যায়, ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা,
যদি গহন পথে যাবার কালে কেউ ফিরে না চায়—
তবে পথের কাঁটা
ও তুই রক্তমাখা চরণতলে একলা দলো রে॥

যদি আলো না ধরে, ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা,
যদি ঝড়-বাদলে আঁধার রাতে দুয়ার দেয় ঘরে-
তবে বজ্রানলে
আপন বুকের পাঁজর জ্বালিয়ে নিয়ে একলা জ্বলো রে।।


Jodi tor dak shune keu na ashe tobe ekla cholo re,
Ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo re.

Jodi keu kotha na koe, ore ore o obhaga,
Jodi shobai thake mukh firaee shobai kore bhoe—
Tobe poran khule
O tui mukh fute tor moner kotha ekla bolo re.

Jodi shobai fire jae, ore ore o obhaga,
Jodi gohon pothe jabar kale keu fire na chae—
Tobe pother kata
O tui roktomakha chorontole ekla dolo re.

Jodi alo na dhore, ore ore o obhaga,
Jodi jhor-badole adhar rate duar dee ghore—
Tobe bojranole
Apon buker pajor jalie nie ekla jolo re.

Hindi translation[edit]

तेरी आवाज़ पे कोई ना आये तो फिर चल अकेला रे
फिर चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला रे
ओ तू चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला रे

तेरी आवाज़ पे कोई ना आये तो फिर चल अकेला रे
फिर चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला रे

यदि कोई भी ना बोले ओरे ओ रे ओ अभागे कोई भी ना बोले
यदि सभी मुख मोड़ रहे सब डरा करे
तब डरे बिना ओ तू मुक्तकंठ अपनी बात बोल अकेला रे
ओ तू मुक्तकंठ अपनी बात बोल अकेला रे

तेरी आवाज़ पे कोई ना आये तो फिर चल अकेला रे

यदि लौट सब चले ओरे ओ रे ओ अभागे लौट सब चले
यदि रात गहरी चलती कोई गौर ना करे
तब पथ के कांटे ओ तू लहू लोहित चरण तल चल अकेला रे

तेरी आवाज़ पे कोई ना आये तो फिर चल अकेला रे

यदि दिया ना जले ओरे ओ रे ओ अभागे दिया ना जले
यदि बदरी आंधी रात में द्वार बंद सब करे
तब वज्र शिखा से तू ह्रदय पंजर जला और जल अकेला रे
ओ तू हृदय पंजर चला और जल अकेला रे

तेरी आवाज़ पे कोई ना आये तो फिर चल अकेला रे
फिर चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला रे
ओ तू चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला चल अकेला रे

Translation into English[edit]

Here is the translation in prose of the Bengali original rendered by Rabindranath Tagore himself.[6]

If they answer not to thy call walk alone
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open thy mind and speak out alone.
If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou unlucky one,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.
If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou unlucky one,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart,
and let it burn alone.


"Ekla Chalo Re"
Tagore c. 1905, the year he wrote "Ekla Chalo Re"
Single by Rabindranath Tagore[1]
from the album Record no 357[1]
Released sometime between 1905 and 1908[1]
Format Cylinder record[1]
Label H. Bose Swadeshi Records[1]
This album is now lost.

Publication of lyric[edit]

"Ekla Chalo Re" was written at Giridih town in modern-day Jharkhand, India.[7] It was one of the 22 protest songs[8] written during the Swadeshi period of Indian freedom movement and along with "Amar Sonar Bangla", it became one of the key anthem of the Anti-Partition Movement in Bengal Presidency in 1905.[8]

Titled as "Eka" ("Alone") the song was first published in the September 1905 issue of Bhandar magazine.[1] "Eka" was first included in Tagore’s song anthology Baul in 1905.[7] In 1941, it was incorporated into the "Swadesh" ("Homeland") section of Gitabitan, the complete anthology of Tagore’s music.[9]

The musical notation of "Ekla Chalo Re" was prepared by Indira Devi, a niece of Tagore.[1] The notation was first published in the April–May 1906 issue of Sangeet-Vignan Prakashika magazine and later incorporated into the 46th volume of Swarabitan, the complete collection of Tagore’s musical notations.[1]

Recording history[edit]

Ekla Chalo Re was first recorded by Rabindranath Tagore himself sometime between 1905 and 1908.[1] The cylinder record labelled H. Bose Swadeshi Records is now lost.[1] Two other records of the song made by Harendranath Dutta (record no P5270) and Hindustan Party (comprising Amala Dutta, Nandita Devi, Sudhin Dutta and Santidev Ghosh) (record no H 191) are released by Gramophone Company of India and Hindustan Records respectively.[1]

Eminent Rabindra Sangeet singer Suchitra Mitra recorded this song twice, first in 1948 (record no N27823) and then in 1984 (record no PSPL 1501).[10]

In popular culture[edit]

"Ekla Cholo Re" excerpt from Kahaani movie depicts Bachchan’s infrequent vocal style

Problems playing this file? See media help.

In 2004, "Ekla chalo re" song was used along with Hindi lyrics composed by A.R Rahman in the movie Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero. The song was included in a 2012 Bollywood film; Kahaani and is sung by actor Amitabh Bachhan under music direction of Vishal-Shekhar.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Mukhopadhyay, Suren (2009) [2001]. Rabindra-Sangeet-Kosh [Encyclopedia of Rabindranath Tagore’s Songs] (in Bengali) (2nd ed.). Kolkata: Sahitya Prakash. p. 290. 
  2. ^ a b Som, Reba (2009). Rabindranath Tagore: The Singer and His Song (1st ed.). New Delhi: Penguin Books India. p. 254. ISBN 978-0-670-08248-3. 
  3. ^ Basu Mallick, Dr Ashis (2004). Rabindranather Bhanga Gaan [Transcreated Songs of Rabindranath Tagore] (in Bengali) (1st ed.). Kolkata: Pratibhas. p. 166. 
  4. ^ "Rabindranath Tagore". Germany: Embassy of India Berlin. 
  5. ^ Monish R. Chatterjee:Sadhaka of Universal Man, Baul of Infinite Songs. "Rabindranath Tagore". Rochester, NY, USA: Bengali Association of Greater Rochester. 
  6. ^ Choudhury, Subhas (2006) [2004]. Gitabitaner Jagat [The World of Gitabitan] (in Bengali) (3rd ed.). Kolkata: Papyrus. p. 740. ISBN 81-8175-087-X. 
  7. ^ a b Choudhury, Subhas (2006). Gitabitaner Jagat. p. 33.
  8. ^ a b Ghosh, Santidev (1987) [1942]. Rabindra Sangeet [Songs of Tagore] (in Bengali) (6th ed.). Kolkata: Visva-Bharati. p. 108. ISBN 978-81-7522-302-8. 
  9. ^ Choudhury, Subhas (2006). Gitabitaner Jagat. p. 122.
  10. ^ Mitra, Suchitra (2008) [1995]. "Suchitra Mitrer Record" [Discography of Suchitra Mitra (appendix)]. Mone Rekho [Autobiography of Suchitra Mitra] (in Bengali) (2nd ed.). Kolkata: Ajkaal Publishers Pvt Ltd. pp. 65 & 72. ISBN 81-7990-084-3. 

External links[edit]