- Pakistan Ka Qaumi Tarana: Kiya Hai Haqeeqat, Kya Hai Fasana by Aqeel Abbas Jafri is a 104-page analytical presentation of archival resources about the national anthem of Pakistan.
In Qaumi Tarana (allow me to refer to the book by this short title), Jafri shows with conclusive documentary evidence that:
- Pakistan did not have a national anthem in the lifetime of Jinnah.
- The present national anthem was the first to be officially adopted by the state.
- There is no evidence to show that any poem by Jagan Nath Azad was played from radio on 14 or 15 August at all.
I strongly recommend it to everybody. Being a basic document about a key symbol of our sovereignty, i.e. our national anthem, it should be kept in every household (Imagine losing your domicile certificate, passport, identity card and personal documents?). The book is modestly priced at Rs.200, which is roughly the same as a full plate of Biryani plus cold drink (and minus the TIP) – so, please do not “starve” your souls.
Now, very interestingly, while explaining that his purpose is just to keep the record straight, Jafri clarifies in the preface that it would not have been unexpected if the Quaid had actually got the national anthem written by a Hindu poet, but facts are facts and history needs to be respected. In the same vein he admits: “I do not have any doubts about Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah being secular, liberal and enlightened… Since Islam is the very name of tolerance.”
This brings us to the second book, which addresses the question: Did Quaid-i-Azam want Pakistan to be a secular state (and is secularism the same thing as the “tolerance” preached by Islam)? In the next post we shall see what Saleena Karim has to say about this in Secular Jinnah and Pakistan: What the Nation Doesn’t Know.
Next: Secular Jinnah