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Shawwaal 1, 1435





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Independence Day -
August 14





Pakistan Standard Time 12:51 am

   
 

Milli Naghmay - National Patriotic Songs





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Why is it that only a handful of patriotic songs have made it to the hearts of Pakistani listeners in the last 15 years? Is there something wrong with the lyrics? Are the vocalists of the '90s and the new millennium not up to the task of delivering patriotism through self-composed and self-written songs? Or is it simply a lack of quality musicians, with no orchestra to back them up, the reason why this current pop-loving crop is still listening to ever-green patriotic songs sung by the likes of Nur Jehan, Alamgir, Shyhaki and so many others?

There is more than one reason for the deplorable slump in the quality of our national songs. The zeal and fervour that once ruled the airwaves when the month of August began in Pakistan can hardly be spotted these days. Many still celebrate August 14 enthusiastically, but as soon as the day is over, all the love, jazba and patriotism evaporates, leaving tattered paper flags to be trampled under the zombie-like shuffle of the 9-5 office going lot the next day.

The main reason for the dearth of quality milli naghmay is the glut of poor quality Pakistan-loving numbers. Almost every other recording artist coming out with an album has a track praising this beautiful land of ours. The song has intolerable backing vocals, excessive use of guitars, sub-standard vocals and above all, uninspiring lyrics. It was the spirit of the dedicated musicians; the altruistic vocals of the singers and the philanthropic lyrics of the poets that thrilled, enticed and pleased music lovers all through the '60s, '70s and the '80s. Who can forget Mohammad Ali Shyhaki singing Main Bhi Pakistan Hoon ... in bell-bottoms or Shehnaz Begum rendering Sohni Dharti Allah Rakhay and Jeevay, Jeevay Pakistan? Not a soul. The songs were made by those who worshipped Pakistan and their work spoke volumes of their patriotism and passion for music, the financial aspect of the whole deal not even making it to third place.

Our older generation didn't care about sponsors and advertisements, had no lust for jam-packed concerts, was least worried about the success or failure of music albums and was dedicated to quality stuff. On the other hand, for the new generation of popsters, patriotic numbers are there either to bag advertisements, fulfill their commitment to sponsors, get good reviews for their albums or just because it's a norm to have at least one Pakistan song in their album to fulfill a sense of duty.

In the past, patriotic songs were brought to us by radio, TV and the big screen. Most catered to the national sentiment during the wars of '65 and '71. These immortal melodies are discussed here to give you an idea of what life was when there was an abundance of such songs.

Films have always played an important part in churning patriotic sentiments in people. Songs like Aao Bachchon Sair Karaein, Yaad Karta Hai Zamana, Himmat Se Har Qadam, Iss Parcham Ke Saaye Tallay, Allah-o-Akbar and Qasam Us Waqt Ki generated zeal, motivation and patriotic fervour amongst the public.

While the Armed Forces of Pakistan defended the homeland in '65 and '71; our musicians, poets and singers boosted their morales with songs that touched the hearts of all those who were praying for their motherland's safety. Inayat Hussain Bhatti's Allah-o-Akbar was and still is one of the most captivating songs ever rendered with smashing and dynamic lyrics by Tufail Hoshiyarpuri, and the brilliant composition of Rasheed Attre for the film Changez Khan.

Masood Rana's Jaag Utha Hai Sara Watan, Mehdi Hassan's self-composed Apni Jaan Nazar Karoon, Nur Jehan's Ae Puttar Hattan De Naen Vikday and Aae Watan Ke Sajilay Jawanoon, Mehdi Zaheer's Hum Mustafawee Hain and Naseem Begum's Ae Rah-i-Haq Kay Shaheedoon were equally wonderful. They succeeded in their task as singers and their services can never be forgotten. But would the current crop, which remixes the original work in an attempt to achieve instant fame, have been able to raise the morales of the jawaans on the war front? Instead, cigarettes, sweet supari and bubble gums dominate their songs in this post-war era.

Television in Pakistan, from its inception in the early '60s till the time private TV channels were introduced in the country, played an important part in making national songs available to all. The day private channels were given the right to air their transmissions marked the slow death of quality patriotic songs. People like Fakhr, Saleem Javed, Hadiqa Kiyani, Ali Haider, Ali Sher, Rizwanul Haq, Rahim Shah, Shehzad Roy and Haroon became the new pop icons while their transition made Alamgir, Shyhaki and others disappear.

The patriotic numbers that have managed to do well in the last 15 to 20 years can be counted on the fingertips. Who is responsible for this fall? In this writer's humble opinion, musicians, singers, poets and other factors, including remixed songs, are the culprits.

Musicians played an important role in conceiving songs, considering the mood and conducting the orchestra for national songs in the golden era of the '60s, that continued till the '80s. Sohail Rana composed the most number of patriotic songs, such as the immortal Sohni Dharti, Yeh Des Hamara Hai, Mera Pakistan Hai, Jeevay Pakistan, Main Bhi Pakistan Hoon, Zameen Ki God Rang Se, Hum Mustafawee Hain and many more. His contribution in this regard is equivalent to that of the leaders who helped create Pakistan in 1947.

Famous composer Nisar Bazmi, who left films in the '80s, gave great patriotic numbers, such as Yeh Watan Tumhara Hai, Ae Rooh-i-Quaid, Hum Zinda Qaum Hain and Khayal Rakhna. Khalil Ahmed's timeless Watan Ki Mitti Gawah Rehna, Ae Watan Pak Watan, Jug Jug Jiye Mera Pyara Watan, Jaag Utha Hai Saara Watan, Hamara Parcham and Niaz Ahmed's Itne Baray Jeevan Saagar Main, Mere Watan Mere Chaman, Mera Paigham Pakistan kept the tradition alive till the end of '80s when national TV lost interest in milli naghmay and started competing with rival local and international channels by promoting glamour and commercials.

At a time when national TV was ruled by state-owned PTV, all national holidays including March 23, August 14, September 6 and 11 and December 25 were celebrated with quality shows, plays, quiz programmes and above all, national songs. Favourite songs by Alamgir, Madam Nur Jehan, Masood Rana, Shehnaz Begum, Nayyara Nur, Habib Wali Mohammad, Naheed Akhtar, Mehdi Zaheer, Ahmed Rushdi, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Mohammad Ali Shyhaki, Amjad Hussain, Naseem Begum, Inayat Hussain Bhatti, Mehdi Hasan, Allan Faqir and last but not the least, Junaid Jamshed, were aired on TV much to the pleasure of the viewers. But later-day private channels care less about commemorating national holidays and more about generating revenues. So where does that put the viewers' right to good music?

Jamiluddin Aali (Jeevay Pakistan, Mera Paigham Pakistan, Ae Watan Ke Sajilay Jawanon, Itne Baray Jeevan Saagar Mein, Hum Mustafawee Hain) and Masroor Anwar (Apni Jaan Nazar Karoon, Sohni Dharti, Chand Meri Zameen, Hamara Parcham) have penned the lyrics of the most number of national songs. Sehba Akhtar (Tera Pakistan Hai), Mohammad Nasir (Maaon Ki Dua, Sab Ek Hain) and Hasan Akbar Kamal's (Maula, Hum Hain Pakistani, Dil Mangay, Aise Hum Jeeyain) contribution is also remarkable, but those among these poets who are still around have stopped penning lyrics.

Since the '90s, there have been songs that have tried to keep patriotic songs alive. These saviours, as we call them, include Junaid Jamshed without whom no piece about national songs can be complete. But lately, before bowing out, he remixed his own version of Dil Dil Pakistan and earned bad reviews. Still, he remains an icon, first as a vocalist for Vital Signs and later as a soloist with Maula, Aise Hum Jeeyain, Yehi Zameen, Hum Hain Pakistani, Dil Mangay Aur and Dil Mangay Dil Mangay, apart from Dil Dil Pakistan first aired on TV in 1987. But most of his numbers were later made into sponsored songs for the soft-drink brand he endorsed and here is where he faltered. A handful of songs which have stood out in the last 15 years include Junoon's Jazba-i-Junoon, Jawad Ahmed's Dosti and Awaz's Ae Jawan.

Remixes are the murderers of quality music everywhere. Whenever a song has been remixed, melody has deteriorated. Aamir Saleem remixed Nayyara Noor's Is Parcham Kay Saaye Tallay brought embarrassment to the listeners. The now-revamped Sequencers, who were hot in the Music Channel Charts' days nearly a decade ago, remixed Alamgir's Khayal Rakhna without any regard to Alamgir, Benjamin Sisters, Nisar Bazmi or Tahir Pervaiz.

The original stuff that did come to the fore was unable to make an impression, either due to lack of patriotism or sponsors. They include Najam Shiraz's Jeet, Abrar's Pak Fauj, Shehzad Roy and Junoon's Khudi Ko Kar, Khudi Ka, Ya Rab Dil-i-Muslim, Awaz's Watan Kahani, Fakhr's Dharti Ki Kasam and Allah Yeh Dua Hai, Haroon's Dil Se, Arif Lohar and Arifa Siddiqui's Mere Des Main Har Pal Chahoon, Saraab and Ahmed Jehanzeb's Sab Se Pehle Pakistan, Khurram Jamshed's Jeewan Sagar, Fakhir's Dil Na Lagay, Ali Sher's Saamne Hai Manzil, Kaash's Tu Hai and Akbar Ali's Chanda Se.

On the other hand, the golden era of national TV was marked by great songs like Masood Rana's Millat Ka Pasban Hai, Nayyara Noor's Jo Naam Wohi Pehchan and Watan Ki Mitti, Habib Wali Mohammad's Ae Nigar-i-Watan and Roshan-o-Rakhshan, Alamgir's Ae Pak Watan, Sab Ek Hain, Khayal Rakhna, Maaon Ki Dua, Shehron Ki Dulhan and Tumhi Se Ae Mujahidon, Mohammad Ali Shyhaki's Main Bhi Pakistan Hoon and Mere Watan Mere Chaman, Benjamin Sisters' Ae Rooh-i-Quaid (with Sajjad Ali) and Hum Zinda Qaum Hain (with Tehseen Javed, Amjad Hussain and Fatima Jaffery), Ustad Amanat Ali Khan's Ae Watan Pak Watan and Chand Meri Zameen, Naheed Akhtar's Jug Jug Jiye and Hamara Parcham, etc, followed by countless songs composed by great composers such as Sohail Rana and Nisar Bazmi.

Irreparable loss
What can be done to redeem the unavailability of quality patriotic songs? It is due to this loss that our patriotism has reached rock-bottom level. The poets who penned classic songs do not seem to be in the mood to write anything for our current crop of singers, while most of the old lot of singers have either left Pakistan or passed away (Nur Jehan, Ahmed Rushdi, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Naseem Begum, Khalil Ahmed, Masood Rana and Allan Faqeer). Ahmed Rushdi, who featured in Pak Sar Zameen as one of the singers, was the first to sing Mera Inaam Pakistan and Sohail Rana's first-ever patriotic song, Himmat Se Har Qadam from the film, Jab Se Dekha Hai Tumhain). His services were recognized last year (20 years after his death) when he was awarded the Pride of Performance by the President of Pakistan along with Niaz Ahmed, the composer of Mera Inaam Pakistan. Alamgir, on the other hand, now lives in the United States and misses Pakistan so much that in one of his concerts in the US recently, he cried during a song.

Sohail Rana left Pakistan to settle down in Canada, apparently never to return again while Nisar Bazmi doesn't compose songs anymore. Habib Wali Mohammed only visits Pakistan once or twice a year while Naheed Akhtar bid farewell to singing after her marriage to Asif Ali Pota. Junaid Jamshed, with his religious bent of mind, refused to shoot the music video for his final album, Dil Ki Baat, while Shehnaz Begum opted for Bangladesh after 1971. Mohammed Efrahim, on the other hand, migrated to Pakistan permanently but never got the fame he deserved after Zameen Ki God Rang Se. The talented Benjamin Sisters are nowhere on the circuit and it is ironic that songs like Zameen Ki God Rang Se and Mera Inaam Pakistan are not even available on audio.

Is this any way to treat those who have made patriotism levels reach sky-high with their vocal renditions? How many more years do we have to wait for quality milli naghmay? We all have played our part in the death of such songs because if we had treated our heroes the way they rightly deserved, we would still be hearing songs of the class of Sohni Dharti and Jeevay Pakistan.





by Omair Alavi
August 15, 2004

DISCLAIMER: The public material presented here is taken from various sources as it becomes available. It is presented without any bias to, or interpretation of, the contents whatsoever. We would be grateful for any help anyone can provide in obtaining other such public material of national importance to Pakistan in order to aid intellectual discourse and debate.





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Milli Naghmay File size [MB] File format Lyrics Listen / Download
Aaj Phir Gulshan-e-Tauheed - - - -
Aao Bachon Sahr Kerain Tum ko Pakistan ki 0,8 ra
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Aey Jawan 1,1 mp3
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Aey Mard-e-Mujahid Jaag 1,7 mp3
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Aey Meri Sarzameen 1,6 mp3
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Aey Quaid-e-Azam Tera Ehsan 1,2 mp3
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Aey Rah-E-Haq Ke Shaheedon 1 mp3
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Aey Watan Hum Hain - - - -
Aey Watan Ke Sajeele Jawanoo 0,8 mp3
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Aey Watan Paak Watan 1 mp3
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Aisay Hum Jeeyain 1 mp3
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Allah Ka Inam Hai Azad 4,2 mp3
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Amar Kahani - - - -
Apni Jaan Nazar Karoon 1,1 mp3
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Azadi 1 mp3
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Chand Meri Zameen 1,2 mp3
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Dil Dil Pakistan 1 mp3
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Dil Hai Mera Mulk Mera 0,9 mp3
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Dil Maangay 1 mp3
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Haathon Mein Haath Liye 0,7 mp3
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Hamara Parcham 1,2 mp3
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Hamari Shaan 1,1 mp3
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Hum Aazad Hain 3,9 mp3
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Hum Hain Pakistan 1,1 mp3
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Hum Loug Yahi Ek Dua - - - -
Hum Mustafawi Hain 1,4 mp3
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Hum Zinda Quam Hain 1,7 mp3
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Inn Fizaaon Se 1,3 mp3
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Is Parcham Kay Saye 1,2 mp3
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Itne Bade Jeeven Sagar 1,2 mp3
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Jaag Utha Hai Sara Watan 1,1 mp3
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Jazba-e-Junoon 1,1 mp3
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Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan 0,9 mp3
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Jiye Jiye 1,7 mp3
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Jug Jug Jiye Mera Pyara 1,1 mp3
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Khayal Rakhna 1,2 mp3
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Khushboo Banke Meihek 1 mp3
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Lala G Jan Dyo 0,5 ra
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Lub Pe Aati Hai 0,9 mp3
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Main_Bhi_Pakistan_Hoon 1 mp3
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Maoon_Ki_Dua 1 mp3
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Maula 0,7 mp3
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Mera Des 1 mp3
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Mera Des Mera Mahiya 0,8 mp3
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Mera Dil Hai Pakistan 1,1 mp3
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Mera Paigham Pakistan 1,1 mp3
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Mere Watan 0,9 mp3
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Meri Jaan Hai Pakistan 1,2 mp3
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Meri Pehli Paichaan Pakistan 1,2 mp3
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Munda Pakistani 1 mp3
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Nay Reesan Pakistan Dian 0,8 ra
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National Anthem - Quami Tarana (Vocal) 0,8 mp3
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National Anthem - Quami Tarana (Instrumental) 0,8 mp3
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Naya Pakistan - - - -
Nigar-e-Watan 0,4 mp3
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Pakistan - - - -
Pakistan Ko Samjho 0,8 mp3
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Proud Pakistani 0,9 mp3
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Pyare Watan 1,5 mp3
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Qasam Uss Waqt Ki 0,8 mp3
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Roshan_Rakhshan 1,5 mp3
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Sapna 3,3 mp3
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Sari Duniya Ghumoh 1,3 mp3
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Sarzameen-e-Watan 1,1 mp3
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Sohni Dharti 1,1 mp3
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Suraj Karey Salam 1 mp3
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Tera Pakistan Hai, Yeh Mera Pakistan Hai 1,4 mp3
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Teri Wadi Wadi 0,9 mp3
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Tu Hi Dildar Hai - - - -
Watan Kahani 0,8 mp3
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Watan Ki Mitti Gawah Rehna 1,3 mp3
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Watan Ki Yaad 2,3 mp3
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Ya Rub Dil-e-Muslim Ko 1,7 mp3
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Yeh Des Hamara Hai 0,9 mp3
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Ye Watan Tumhara Hai 1,4 mp3
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Zameen Ki Goud 0,9 mp3
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