Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Jafri Reveals the Truth
It seems that the poet Jagan Nath Azad (1918-2004) only claimed that the first “tarana” (anthem) broadcast from radio on the night of August 14-15, 1947 was penned by him. While even this claim doesn't seem to be true, in the video recording of a 1993 event where Azad is making this claim, he never says that the said anthem was the official anthem of the country.
There is no evidence supporting the sensational story in which Azad is dramatically called to Lahore Radio Station a few days before independence and asked to write the official national anthem because Quaid-i-Azam wants it to be written by a Hindu, and then the anthem remains official untill the Quaid’s death.
This version was circulated by the award-winning Indian journalist Luv Puri about a month after the death of Azad, with quotations from an alleged interview with the dead poet. Now Jafri has shown with the help of primary sources that Pakistan did not have a national anthem at the time of independence (an additional piece of evidence is an announcement, published in the lifetime of Quaid himself, promising a reward for whoever would write the national anthem of Pakistan).
Details can be seen in the above-mentioned article or in the forthcoming book of Jafri (the title has not been announced yet). Can we at least expect Wikipedia to now stop presenting the unsubstantiated account of Luv Puri as a fact, and the allegedly Pakistani writers and bloggers who promoted the same to at least publish a correction?