Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words.
“Ek sur” (One Tune) (languages of India), or “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” as it is better known, is an Indian song and accompanying video promoting national integration and unity in diversity.
The concept for Mile Sur was developed in 1988 by Lok Seva Sanchar Parishad and promoted by Doordarshan (then India’s sole TV broadcaster) and India’s Ministry of Information. The song was composed by Ashok Patki, co-composed & arranged by Louis Banks, with lyrics by Piyush Pandey (then an Account Manager and presently the Executive Chairman and Creative Head of Ogilvy and Mather, India). The project was conceived and directed by Suresh Mullick (then all India Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather) and recorded by people from all walks of life, including a supergroup of Indian celebrities—musicians, sports persons, movie stars, etc.
The national integration video was intended to instill a sense of pride and promote unity amongst Indians, highlighting India’s different linguistic communities and societies—India’s unity in diversity, so to speak. Mile Sur was telecast for the first time on Independence Day 1988, after the telecast of the Prime Minister’s speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
It quickly captivated India, gaining and maintaining near-anthem status ever since.