The lost son of Lahore

By Shreya Ray:

It is an uncanny coincidence that Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan Kasuri, the magistrate who signed the death warrant of Bhagat Singh, was killed, more than 40 years later, at the same spot as the 23-year-old freedom fighter. The roundabout in Shadman Colony, Lahore—where the execution chambers of the Lahore Central jail used to be—is where the magistrate was shot in 1974. Not that many Pakistani youngsters know these details about Singh’s death, or even that he was from Lahore; to them he’s the guy Ajay Devgn played in a Bollywood movie.

Resurrecting Singh—and reclaiming him—as a son of Lahore is Pakistan’s Ajoka theatre group, in the first-ever Pakistani production on the freedom fighter, Mera Rang De Basanti Chola. The play, to be staged today at the National School of Drama’s (NSD’s) Bharat Rang Mahotsav, is third in a series of Ajoka’s plays that question the Arabised Pakistani identity, and emphasize its roots with the Indian subcontinent. Drawing constant parallels with contemporary society, peppered with traditional folk song and dance (including a Tangewala ki ghodi, a type of Punjabi folk song on the verge of extinction), this is a typical Ajoka play.Click here to read complete article.


4 responses to “The lost son of Lahore

  1. Atleast we have someone saying”question the Arabised Pakistani identity, and emphasize its roots with the Indian subcontinent”.We have forgotten our roots.As a student we read Indian History to which most of the population’s forefathers belonged.
    It is ironic that our children are taught a history that starts from Mohammed Bin Qasim who i consider an invading army chief.Nasin Hijazi fictionalised and dramatised his invasion.It was a distortment of our history.We belong to this sub-continent and most of us have nothing in common with Arabs except our religion.The children of today are taught a two nation theory,implying we were always different forgetting that most of us come from families whose forefathers converted to Islam.I hope time will come when we will be able to correct this wrong belief.It is my belief and people may disagree with my comments.

  2. Shreya Ray and Naeem A. Jamil have raised some very interesting social aspects of us Pakistanis.
    Islam provides us general guide lines on how live our lives as per the Quran and life of Prophat Mohammad (pbuh).
    No where does it ask us to abandon our culture and adopt Arab culture. By converting to Islam we the people of this sub-continent do not become Arabs. Similarly the Africans who converted to Islam did not become Arabs, the same goes for Persians, Chinese, far easterns nations and so on and so forth.
    The problem with us is that our so called religous leaders want to control the masses and treat them as their subjects just like their counterparts Christian Padris did in Europe some couple of centuries ago.
    There have been instances / practices reported and seen that amount to Sherik, something which is strictly forbiden in Islam, and some Malvis do not discourge illiterate masses from such practices. Very uinfortunate.
    Only education in its true sense can change the situation for the better.
    May Allah guide to follow His instructions in the true spirit.

  3. Tunnel vision and the concept of “ped chaal” is what we pakistanis tend to follow. We have stopped to think and use the mass present in our heads. We blindly follow what the maulvis say. Sadly they themselves are ill-literate and know one side of the story. Islam allows us to question and seek clarification then decide for ourselves what course of action we want to take about matters in life. Unfortunately Pakistanis confuse culture and religion. The Isreali jews and Arabs of the middle east have more in common culturally than those of us in the sub-continent with the Arabs. Perhaps some day we will wake up from this deep sleep and realize where we are wrong. Will we ever be able to change the one-track mindset or not is debatable but one can always hope for the best for change is always good.

  4. Bhagat Sing was from Faisalabad not lahore 🙂

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