Mohammad Rafi remembered

Hard News has an interesting and lyrical piece on the history of communalism and music as its retrospective on Mohammad Rafi who passed away 30 years ago this month.

Favorite thing learnt from the piece:

The Rightwing rumblings in India, a country many Pakistanis till recently saw as an escape from Zia’s bigotry, was beginning to look like a replica of Pakistan. That’s how Fehmida Riaz, sensitive to India’s Nehruvian tryst, not the least because she had found refuge there through much of Zia’s military excesses, was moved to speak up.

She wrote: ‘Tum bilkul hum jaise nikle? Ab tak kahaan chhupe thay bhai? Wo ghaamadpan wo jaahilpan jisme humne sadi gawaee Ab pahonchi hai dwaar tumharey? Arey badhaee, bahot badhaee.’ (And so you too turned out like us brother? How well you masked your bigotry. The easy ignorance, the rabid delinquency we nurtured for decades (in Pakistan), is knocking on your doors. Well done my friend, what else can I say?)