Ekla Chalo Re

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Ekla Cholo Re"
PublishedSeptember 1905
GenreRabindra Sangeet
Songwriter(s)Rabindranath Tagore
Composer(s)Rabindranath Tagore
"Ekla Cholo Re"
Rabindranath Tagore 1905-1906 Sukumar Ray.jpg
Tagore c. 1905, the year he wrote "Akla Cholo Re"
Single by Rabindranath Tagore[1]
from the album Record no 357[1]
Releasedsometime between 1905 and 1908[1]
LabelH. Bose Swadeshi Records[1]
Songwriter(s)Rabindranath Tagore
This album is now lost.

Jodi Tor Dak Shune Keu Na Ase Tobe Ekla Cholo Re ("If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone"[2]), commonly known as Ekla Cholo 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 their 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 of his favourite 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 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, ও রে 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 ও অভাগা, যদি ঝড়-বাদলে আঁধার রাতে দুয়ার দেয় ঘরে তবে বজ্রানলে আপন বুকের পাঁজর জ্বালিয়ে নিয়ে একলা জ্বলোরে॥

Jodi tor dak shune keu na ashe tobe ekla cholo re, X2
Tobe ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo re.
Jodi tor dak shune keu na ashe tobe ekla cholo re

Jodi keu kotha na koe, ore ore o obhaga,keu kothana koi

Jodi shobai thake mukh phiraee shobai kore bhoe, jodi shobaai thake mukh phiraae shobai kore bhoi—
Tobe poran khule
O tui mukh phute tor moner kotha ekla bolo re.

Jodi tor dak shune keu na ashe tobe ekla cholo re, X2

Jodi shobai phire jae, ore ore o obhaga,shobai phire jai
Jodi gohon pothe jabar kale keu phire na chae, jodi gohon pothe jabar kale keu phire naa chaai—
Tobe pother kata
O tui roktomakha chorontole ekla dolo re

Jodi tor dak shune keu na ashe tobe ekla cholo re, X2

Jodi alo na dhore, ore ore o obhaga, X2
Jodi jhor-badole adhar rate duar dee ghore— X2
Tobe bojranole
Apon buker pajor jalie nie ekla jolo re.
Jodi tor dak shune keu na ashe tobe ekla cholo re X2,

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

If there is no-one responding to your call - then go on all alone
If no-one speaks (to you), don't think you are unfortunate, if no-one speaks (to you),
If everyone turns away, if everyone fears (to speak), then with an open heart without hesitation speak your mind alone
If everyone walks away, O unlucky one, everyone walks away
If no-one looks back towards the (your) unpredictable path, then with thorn pricked (of the path) bloodied feet, walk alone
If no-one heeds your call - then walk alone
If no-one shines a light (on the path), O unlucky one,
If the dark night brings thunder and storm at the door - then let the lightning ignite the light in you alone to shine on the path
If no-one heeds your call - then walk alone


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 songs for 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), for the film Sandipan Pathshala, then in 1984 (record no PSPL 1501). There is also a third recording of this song by Suchitra Mitra from the album Rupantori (1988). She also recorded the song for the fourth time, with the said being played as background music, by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, from the album Tribute to Tagore.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

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 Bachchan under music direction of Vishal-Shekhar. Earlier, it had also been sung by Kishore Kumar, under the direction of Hemanta Mukhopadhyay. The song was also recorded by Hemanta Mukherjee, in 1989. Manna Dey had sung the song in Hindi as Teri Awaz Pe Yadi Koi Naa Aye.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n 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. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  5. ^ Monish R. Chatterjee:Sadhaka of Universal Man, Baul of Infinite Songs. "Rabindranath Tagore". Rochester, NY, USA: Bengali Association of Greater Rochester. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011.
  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]