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April 4 Black Day: The Song Of Resistance Nasreen Anjum Bhatti Wrote For Bhutto

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Songs have taught me to love my freedom,
Songs will help me to die without fright,
My life has been like a song to my people,
My death will resound as a call to fight.

– Tatari poet Moosa Jalil, tortured to death in a Nazi prison during Second World War

Forty years ago, on this day, General Zia, the most brutal dictator of Pakistan, sent the first directly elected Prime Minister and the architect of the constitution of Pakistan to gallows. Everybody remembers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as thousands of mourners even today throng Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, the final resting abode of the martyred leader.

Many plays, novels and hundreds of verses have been composed by people to pay tribute to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to date.

One of the poets who adored Bhutto was Nasreen Anjum Bhatti. She worked as the producer at Radio Pakistan Lahore. The poet laureate, married to the leftist political activist Zubair Rana, was dismissed from the Radio Pakistan by Zia regime after July 5, 1977, martial law.

Nasreen Anjum Bhatti was devastated when ZAB was hanged on this day, 40 years ago. She wrote this song of resistance, praising the valor of the fallen leader and the mission he lived and died for.

I met Nasreen Anjum Bhatti when I returned to Pakistan in 2008 and took over as the Director General of Radio Pakistan. When I told her that we wanted to compose her song “Mein Bhutto Sagar Sindh Da”, she had tears in her eyes.

For days, composer Mujahid Hussain, singer Anwar Rafi and Manzoor Ali Tanha, the-then Controller Home of Radio Pakistan and Nasreen Anjum Bhatti sat in Lahore radio station studio to finish the production. For the first time the song was aired on July 5, 2011. The brave poetess was very happy about her song. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, his contribution and the song by the poet laureate Nasreen Anjum Bhatti are here to stay. The contribution of both the Bhutto and the Bhatti are very much alive.

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