"Jān-e Istaqbāl": The Politics and Poetics of Pakistan's National Anthem
Date: 28, September 2022
Time: 11:30-1:00 pm
Venue: G&T Auditorium, IBA Main Campus.
The IBA History Society in collaboration with the SSLA department hosted Ali Raj, an IBA SSLA alumnus! He is now a doctoral student in communications at Columbia University, New York.
His research interests include aesthetics, sound, and media infrastructures. He is a former journalist and has worked for print and television media outlets in Pakistan and the United States.
He was leading a talk on “the historical development of Pakistan’s Qaumi tarānā in our poetic and musical traditions.” He examined the origins of our national anthem in British India and outlined the many anxieties, disputations, and confrontations by way of which Pakistan got its song.
He has chosen to title his talk, "Jān-e Istaqbāl": The Politics and Poetics of Pakistan's National Anthem.
The session contextualized the emergence of the anthem in the years leading to 1947. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah during speeches and press interviews would often bring up "cultural" and "civilizational" differences between the Hindus and Muslims as being central to the Pakistan demand. He would often include language and music in his list of the “overlapping” histories between the two communities. With the creation of Pakistan, the state’s first aesthetic challenge was to produce a national anthem that would bring together its two wings, fulfil requirements of officialdom and ultimately prove the Quaid right about the difference. The process took all but seven years.