A singer sang then (1957, Movie: Pyasaa, Director: Guru Dutt, Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi)….
A singer sang now (2008, Private album)….
The lyrics have changed, and the context of these songs are completely different but the despair and feelings behind the songs remain same. Except, when Dutt pictured his song, he talked only about the prostitution that was apparent. Rabbi talks about something that is a lot more subtle and a lot more potent at danger. Several blogs have elaborated on what Rabbi Sherigll says about Bilqis Yakoob Rasul, Manjunath Shanmugham, Satydendra Dubey and Navleen Kumar [1, 2, 3]. Issues have certainly changed, but the artists observation about the callous nature of people remains true, and in the modern times it is even more grave.
A related song is “Ganga Behti Ho Kyon”, by Bhupen Hazarika:
The song by Bhupen Hazarika has a very nice history . The song had been inspired from Robeson’s “Ol’ Man River”, whom Bhupen Hazarika had met while studying at Columbia. I wonder where those poets are now? Maybe working as BPO operators, or worse, Engineers (and IAS officers)… who are busy in building a new, concrete tomorrow.