Written By: Prof. Sharif al Mujahid
A new breed of so-called intellectuals and researchers have started targeting core facts/ideas related to creation of Pakistan. Their assertions are intended to create doubt and confusion especially in the mind of young generation. The only objective of such deceptive themes could be hitting Pakistani nationalism. There is a need to be mindful of such falsity and propaganda.
Of all the myths spread about Pakistan, one of the greatest is that relating to the “Qaumi Tarana” by Jagan Nath Azad, a Hindu poet. J. N. Azad brazenly claims that he was asked by Quaid-i-Azam on August 9 to write the “Tarana” and he had submitted it before August 12/14. He also claims that it was played out by Radio Pakistan Lahore.
The present article seeks to investigate how far contemporary evidence sustains and supports J. N. Azad’s claim and credit. At the time of Pakistan’s birth, J. N. Azad was an unknown man and worked for the Hindu extremist paper, Milap, a legatee of the “Shuddhi (re-conversion)” and “Sangathan (consolidation)” movements of the mid 1920’s initiated and patronized by Swami Shraddhanand. “Shuddhi” was meant to convert the Indian Muslims and Christians into Hindus again and “Sangathan” to strengthen the Hindu muscle power. Both were extremely anti-Muslim and they caused an uproar and riots all over the subcontinent which Dr. Ambedkar, the All India Scheduled Castes Federation leader, records in his definitive work, Pakistan or Partition of India. Despite the fact that the naive Muslims were zealous enough to carry Swami Shraddhanand over their shoulders to the minber of the Delhi Jama Masjid at the peak of the Non-Cooperation days, yet the Swami continued to be anti-Muslim for which he paid with his life at the hands of a Muslim devotee Abdul Rashid. Incidentally, Gandhi condemned the Swami’s murder but the Ali Brothers did not. To return to J. N. Azad. He was the son of Tilok Chand Mehroom and he migrated to Delhi during partition. Professor Saeed Ahmad of Lahore, formerly of Hailey College of Commerce, Lahore, has compiled a book called Visitors of Quaid-i-Azam (Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore, 1985), who saw him for personal and political reasons during 1942 to 1948. He doesn’t mention J. N. Azad, among Quaid’s visitors during the period. Dawn used to list Quaid’s interviews and meetings with leaders and others since he was nominated Pakistan’s Governor General in mid 1947, but J. N. Azad doesn’t figure in those entries. In his book, Quaid-i-Azam Bahesiat Governor General (2010) which went into two editions, Qayyum Nizami made assertion in the appendix on J. N. Azad’s “Qaumi Tarana” in which J. N. Azad has been asked personally by the Quaid (Qayyum did not explain reasons as why Quaid should pick an unknown prejudiced Hindu poet) to do the “Tarana” and Azad also claims that it was played out on Radio Pakistan Lahore. This last fake claim must be immediately laid to the door since J. N. Azad’s “Tarana” doesn’t figure in Mah-e-Nau in its list of items put out by Radio Pakistan Lahore every month and was published by Pakistan’s Ministry of Information.
The pioneering study in Urdu was authored by Qayyum Nizami who was a Minister of State in Z.A. Bhutto’s first cabinet (1971-1977) and a columnist in Nawa-i-Waqt and some other leading newspapers. In any case, it was in this work that J. N. Azad received his first dose of publicity. Prof. Ahmad Saeed tells me that while utterly unknown in 1947, J. N. Azad came to the notice of Urdu literary circles in 1977 during the Iqbal Centenary Conference at Lahore to which J. N. Azad was invited for his work on Iqbal. And this was J. N. Azad’s first formal induction with Pakistan’s literary circles.
In a word, this "Tarana" may be termed utterly pedestrian. Nothing awe inspiring even on the face of it. How could it be when J. N. Azad was utterly bereft of the awe-inspiring vision of Pakistan? After all he was a prejudiced Hindu poet, working in an extremist Hindu Daily and engaged in writing articles opposing Pakistan tooth and nail, day and night. How could he become a Pakistani inspired poet over-night, as if at the touch of Midas? By no means could he have conceived the dream of Pakistan, what it stood for the subcontinent, for the world at large and the people who chose to live in the Pakistani tangent. Others tried to catch on such as The Times (London), the leading British Daily in its editorial on August 15, hailing Pakistan’s emergence as the creation of a new centre of “Islamic inspiration and thought” but not a rabid opponent such as J. N. Azad. After all, he was altogether consumed by his snowballing rabidness and bitterness towards Pakistan. Jinnah had explained and dilated upon all the Islamic thought and inspiration aspects and much more throughout the Pakistan struggle period and one can dare say that J. N. Azad had not even read a fraction of what Jinnah had dreamt, said, and hoped.
Thus, all said and done, the "Qaumi Tarana" by J.N. Azad is a myth of gargantuan proportions that must be laid to rest in oblivion now and forever. To add, there is a need to be watchful of the lobby that continuously works on the agenda to create doubts about core values/ideas/facts related to Pakistan. This is done in the name of so-called 'independent research and inquiry' but that has inbuilt anti-Pakistan agenda. This propaganda aims at negatively targeting the minds of Pakistan's youth and new generations and to create doubts about Pakistan Movement, Pakistan's Founding Fathers, and the very raison d'être of Pakistan – the Two Nation Theory. It is incumbent upon older generations and intellectuals to counter such negative assertions that are spread in Pakistan in the name of research and intellectual pursuit.
The writer is HEC Distinguished National Professor, has recently co-edited Unescos History of Humanity, vol. VI, and edited In Quest of Jinnah (2007), the only oral history on Pakistan’s founding father.
Afghan MoD’s Response to Operation Khyber 4 Unwarranted: DG ISPR
Afghan MoD’s response to Operation Khyber 4 is unwarranted and runs counter to Pakistan Army’s efforts for better Pak-Afghan coordination and cooperation. The information about Operation Khyber 4 has been shared (twice verbally and in written) with Afghan Forces as well as Resolute Support Mission, and ODRP.
Pakistan Army looks forward for trust based security coordination and cooperation for fight against common enemy. Rhetoric of blames and suggestive allegations are agenda of forces working against order and peace in the region which should be avoided.
(PR-369/2017-ISPR July 19, 2017)