Pakistan's first National Anthem

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by humblehobbes, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. humblehobbes

    humblehobbes FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    449
    Ratings:
    +0 / 272 / -0
    As children we learnt that Pakistan didn’t have a national anthem until the 1950s. My journalist uncle Zawwar Hasan used to tell us of a reporter friend who visited China soon after Independence. Asked about Pakistan’s national anthem, he sang the nonsensical ‘laralapa laralapa.’

    If these journalists were unaware that Pakistan had a national anthem — commissioned and approved in 1947 by no less a person than the country’s founder and first Governor General, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, long before Hafeez Jullandri’s Persianised lyrics were adopted as the anthem in the 1950s — ordinary citizens may be forgiven for their ignorance.

    The lyricist of the first national anthem was the poet Jagannath Azad, son of the renowned poet Tilok Chand Mahroom (who won accolades for his rendering of naat at mushairas). Born in Isa Khel (Mianwali), Jagannath Azad was working in Lahore when Mr. Jinnah commissioned him for this task just three days before Independence. He complied, Jinnah approved the lyrics, and the anthem went on air on Radio Pakistan Karachi (then the capital of Pakistan) the day Pakistan was born. Some Pakistanis still remember hearing it. Those who came after 1948 have no memory of it.

    My own introduction to it was recent, through an unexpected resource. Flying to Karachi from Lahore, I came upon an article on the history of Pakistan’s flag and national anthem in PIA’s monthly ‘Hamsafar’ magazine (‘Pride of Pakistan’ by Khushboo Aziz, August issue).

    “Quaid-e-Azam being the visionary that he was knew an anthem would also be needed, not only to be used in official capacity but inspire patriotism in the nation. Since he was secular-minded, enlightened, and although very patriotic but not in the least petty Jinnah commissioned a Hindu, Lahore-based writer Jagannath Azad three days before independence to write a national anthem for Pakistan. Jagannath submitted these lyrics:

    Ae sarzameene paak?

    Zarray teray haen aaj sitaaron se taabnaak?

    Roshan hai kehkashaan se kaheen aaj teri khaak?

    Ae sarzameene paak.”?

    (“Oh land of Pakistan, the stars themselves illuminate each particle of yours/Rainbows brighten your very dust”).

    As Jaswant Singh’s forthcoming book on Mr. Jinnah created ripples in mid-August, The Kashmir Times, Jammu, published a short piece, ‘A Hindu wrote Pakistan’s first national anthem – How Jinnah got Urdu-knowing Jagannath Azad to write the song’ (Aug 21, 2009). The reproduction of a front-page report by Luv Puri in The Hindu (June 19, 2005), it drew on Puri’s interview of Azad in Jammu city days before his death. Talking to Puri, Azad recalled how Jinnah asked him to write Pakistan’s national anthem. In the interview, headlined ‘My last wish is to write a song of peace for both India & Pakistan: Azad,’ he said he was in Lahore working in a literary newspaper “when mayhem had struck” the entire country (Special report by Luv Puri, Milli Gazette, New Delhi, Aug 16-31, 2004).

    “All my relatives had left for India and for me to think of leaving Lahore was painful… My Muslim friends requested me to stay on and took responsibility of my safety. On the morning of August 9, 1947, there was a message from Pakistan’s first Governor-General, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It was through a friend working in Radio Lahore who called me to his office. He told me ‘Quaid-e-Azam wants you to write a national anthem for Pakistan.’

    “I told them it would be difficult to pen it in five days and my friend pleaded that as the request has come from the tallest leader of Pakistan, I should consider his request. On much persistence, I agreed.”
    Jinnah’s speech

    Why him? Azad felt that the answer lay in Jinnah’s speech of Aug 11, 1947, stating that if everyone saw themselves “first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges, and obligations… in the course of time, Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.”

    “Even I was surprised when my colleagues in Radio Pakistan, Lahore approached me,” recalled Azad. “…They confided in me that ‘Quaid-e-Azam wanted the anthem to be written by an Urdu-knowing Hindu.’ Through this, I believe Jinnah Sahib wanted to sow the roots of secularism in a Pakistan where intolerance had no place.”

    Hamsafar terms it “the anthem for Pakistan’s Muslims” — apparently forgetting about the country’s non-Muslim citizens. Even after the forced migrations on either side, West Pakistan still had some 10 per cent, and East Pakistan about 25 per cent non-Muslims — symbolised by the white stripe in Pakistan’s flag.

    Increasing insecurity forced Azad to migrate to Delhi in mid-September 1947. He returned to Lahore in October, says his son Chander K. Azad in an email to this writer. “However, his friends advised him against staying as they found it difficult to keep him safe… He returned to Delhi with a refugee party.”

    Azad had a distinguished career in India — eminent Urdu journalist, authority on Allama Iqbal (in the preface of his last manuscript, unpublished, ‘Roodad-e-Iqbal’ he wrote immodestly, “anything on Iqbal after this has no meaning”), author of over 70 books, government servant (retired in 1997), and recipient of numerous awards and honours. (See Chander K. Azad’s email of Sept. 6 in Journeys to democracy).

    However, his lyrics survived in Pakistani barely six months beyond Jinnah’s death in September 1948. “The people and the Constitutional bodies of the country wanted to have a more patriotic and more passionate national anthem that depicted their values and identity to the world,” explains Hamsafar (loaded ideological terminology aside, one never read about the Hindu poet Azad’s contribution in any official literature before, ‘enlightened moderation’ notwithstanding.)

    The National Anthem Committee (NAC), formed in December 1948, took two years to finalise a new anthem. After the Shah of Iran’s impending visit in 1950 made the decision imperative, NAC member Hafeez Jallandri’s poem was chosen from among 723 submissions.

    The anthem commissioned by Jinnah was just one of his legacies that his successors swept aside, along with the principles he stressed in his address to the Constituent Assembly on Aug 11, 1947 — meant to be his political will and testament according to his official biographer Hector Bolitho (Jinnah: Creator of Pakistan, John Murray, London, 1954).

    Pakistan’s inherited problems, he said included the maintenance of law and order (the State must fully protect “the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects”), the “curse” of bribery and corruption, the “monster” of black-marketing, and the “great evil” of nepotism. Since Partition had happened, he said, we must “concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor.”

    This speech, literally censored by “hidden hands” as Zamir Niazi documents in Press in Chains (1986), also contains Jinnah’s famous lines about the “fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State,” where religious identity becomes secondary and where religion, caste or creed “has nothing to do with the business of the State…”

    A month after his death, the Safety Act Ordinance of 1948, providing for detention without trial — the draft of which Jinnah had in March angrily dismissed as a “black law” — was passed. The following March, the Constituent Assembly passed the ‘Objectives Resolution’ that laid the basis for recognising Pakistan as a state based on an ideology.

    In all these deviations from Jinnah’s vision, perhaps discarding Azad’s poem appears minuscule. But it is important for its symbolism. It must be restored and given a place of honour, at least as a national song our children can learn — after all, Indian children learn Iqbal’s ‘Saarey jehan se accha.’ Such symbolism is necessary if we are to claim the political spaces for resurrecting Jinnah’s vision about a nation where religion, caste or creed “has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

    (The writer is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker.)

    http://www.defence.pk/forums/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=82

    Wow!! This is news to me.. Any members here can throw some light on this? Maybe Mr.Murad can throw some light on this?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  2. humblehobbes

    humblehobbes FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    449
    Ratings:
    +0 / 272 / -0
    As children we learnt that Pakistan didn’t have a national anthem until the 1950s. My journalist uncle Zawwar Hasan used to tell us of a reporter friend who visited China soon after Independence. Asked about Pakistan’s national anthem, he sang the nonsensical ‘laralapa laralapa.’

    What is this by the way??? This also kinda flummoxes me
     
  3. s90

    s90 SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,314
    Ratings:
    +0 / 595 / -0
    Btw nice post Sir it was news for me also as i read it in Dawn few days ago,one question why doesnt our anthem is in Urdu now? :hitwall:

    Secondly can someone here post here the whole anthem by Mr.Azad?
     
  4. humblehobbes

    humblehobbes FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    449
    Ratings:
    +0 / 272 / -0
    Apologies for the ignorance.. Are you telling me that your national anthem is not in Urdu? Is it in Persian ?? :(
     
  5. s90

    s90 SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,314
    Ratings:
    +0 / 595 / -0
  6. humblehobbes

    humblehobbes FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    449
    Ratings:
    +0 / 272 / -0
    Any show of reaction for this would be taken wrongly by 99 percent of Pakistani's here.. So i would refrain from making any wise cracks.. But not many people would be happy with foreign lang song to be a national anthem
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Evil Flare

    Evil Flare SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    3,404
    Ratings:
    +0 / 1,951 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    The lyrics are written in a highly Persianized form of Urdu.


    More than 50% words used in urdu are borrowed from Persian ..

    Persian is not a Foreign Langauge to us ...


    We dont usually Speak Khaalis Urdu ..

    I remember the 1st day in First Year in College ..
    Urdu Teacher asks us to Read the Book ..

    That was so very Hard Urdu ... Even we are smiling while reading the Urdu as it was too hard for us ...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. Peshwa

    Peshwa SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Messages:
    2,956
    Ratings:
    +1 / 3,512 / -2
    ^^^^ But Urdu if Im not mistaken is very similar to Hindi.....At least one speaking can understand the other.....

    But none of us are able to understand Persian....how does that work?
     
  9. greatsequence

    greatsequence FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    753
    Ratings:
    +0 / 373 / -0
    Because you speak urdu on regular basis and you are being told that it is not urdu but hindi.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  10. UmairP

    UmairP SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,451
    Ratings:
    +0 / 1,123 / -0
    Its like this: the words you use of Sanskrit in Hindi are replaced by Persian in Urdu.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  11. R.A.W.

    R.A.W. BANNED

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,092
    Ratings:
    +0 / 382 / -0
    But the language which you guys use and we use is almost 80% same. the only diffrence is you write in urdu we write in devnagari. and when we try to make the same sentence in english it is just the replacement of alphabates. Like when i say "What" in hindi then i will write "Kya" and Pakistani will write "Kia"

    But it is still hard to.............:undecided:
     
  12. warlock21

    warlock21 BANNED

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Ratings:
    +0 / 23 / -0
    Excellent article Humble... keep it up....BTW.. I laughed 5 mins when read tht Journalist sang " laralapa laralapa":lol::lol:... how on earth He can do this.
     
  13. warlock21

    warlock21 BANNED

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Ratings:
    +0 / 23 / -0
    Even I also observed this.... Mostly seen in Emo_girls cocktail writing.. intially i thought why she is saying like this... don't she know how to wrrite "kya".. later on I get habitual.
     
  14. R.A.W.

    R.A.W. BANNED

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,092
    Ratings:
    +0 / 382 / -0
    Actually it is because when they write they write in persian and we in hindi. Like when we say kya we mean adha ka + ya + bada aaaa where as when they write its ka + choti e + bada aaaa if you ask me to ellaborate ..... so the pronounciation is almost same but grammatically they are different in terms of writing them

    My fren was good at urdu so he always bugged me with this stuff so still remember all this ...:D
     
  15. alirulesall123

    alirulesall123 BANNED

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    271
    Ratings:
    +0 / 185 / -0
    We should have kept the old anthem, to give thanks to the hindus and other minorities of Pakistan for always supporting us.