I wrote this article for English Wikipedia. I am re-publishing it here for my blog readers. If you wish to read the original Wikipedia article, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekla_Chalo_Re
(Updated: 29 November, 2011, 20:00 hrs IST.)
“Jodi Tor Daak Shune Keu Na Ase Tobe Ekla Chalo Re” (Bengali: যদি তোর ডাক শুনে কেউ না আসে তবে একলা চলো রে, Jodi Tor Daak Shune Keu Naa Aase Tobe Eklaa Chalo Re, “If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone”), commonly known as Ekla Chalo Re, is a Bengali patriotic song written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905.
Originally titled as “Eka”, the song was first published in the September 1905 issue of Bhandar magazine. It was influenced by “Harinaam Diye Jagat Matale Amar Ekla Nitai Re”, a popular Bengali Kirtan song of Dhapkirtan or Manoharshahi gharana praising Nityananda, disciple of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Ekla Chalo Re was incorporated in the “Swadesh” (Homeland) section of Tagore’s lyrical anthology Gitabitan.
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, cited it as one his favorite songs.