Stories about National Anthem

Stand at attention, hand on heart, bow your head – what are you supposed to do during the national anthem?

It is not often that people listening to the national anthem get airtime on multiple occasions over a three-month period. In this era of hyper nationalism and unnecessarily overt displays of patriotism, perhaps this is not entirely a bad thing. However, with the recent oath-taking ceremonies, Independence Day, Defence Day and the Asia Cup coming in quick succession, we’ve been blessed with (or subjected to, depending on your perspective) something approaching an overload of this. One remembers, of course, the brouhaha across the border on people not standing up for the national anthem which, apparently, is played before every movie in the ...

Read Full Post

#ETBlogs plays Independence Day trivia: How well do you know Pakistan?

Like every year, celebrations for our Independence Day have begun full swing. Patriotism can be felt in the air, with brands airing special ads in honour of our 71 years and TV channels airing dramas with an added twist of nationalism. With the creation of ‘Naya Pakistan’ falling around the same time as the creation of the old one, perhaps this year is extra special in how much and how visibly we choose to declare our love for our country. However, as we step into Naya Pakistan, how well do we remember the old one? We took to the streets of Karachi ...

Read Full Post

Remembering Saghar Siddiqui: The maverick who poetically bared corruption and opportunism

Today marks the 44th death anniversary of maverick Pakistani poet Saghar Siddiqui, who died from an overdose of morphine on the streets of Lahore, the city where he found a home after migrating from India to Pakistan in 1947. He was only six years short of turning 50, joining the ranks of legends such as Asrarul Haq Majaz, Saadat Hasan Manto, Miraji and Mustafa Zaidi, who were equally consumed by the callousness and opportunism of a predatory system. Had Saghar lived longer, I have no doubt he would have been as popular among the youth of Pakistan as Jaun Elia ...

Read Full Post

Dear West Indies, you took a chance on us, and we are eternally grateful! Love, Karachi

It’s slowly creeping in, one match at a time. Flags are being rolled out. Hats, paint and whistles are being bought. There are inconceivable traffic jams, and mercifully long ticket lines. You’re afraid to be excited, for fear of it being taken away. You silently pray everything goes smoothly. Putting on your green jerseys, you wear your flashiest smile and plead with the cameras, convincing every foreigner that you are safe, and they will be too. You look around at the sea of green around you, and fight back the tears as, after almost a decade, you once again hear ...

Read Full Post

Twitter is to Donald Trump what fidget spinners are to millennials

The priorities of a leader, particularly in times of crisis, tend to speak volumes about their leadership skills. In today’s political climate, where social media dictates public image, leaders like Justin Trudeau are appreciated for eating biryani with Muslim communities, while leaders like Vladimir Putin, who is regularly pictured hunting or exercising, are derided for trying to sell an image of machismo. In the past several weeks, the US has been severely impacted by two Category 5 hurricanes, with experts believing the devastation to have set Puerto Rico back nearly 20 to 30 years. At the same time, the US was also involved in a verbal war ...

Read Full Post

The best and worst of season 10: Has Coke Studio lost its essence and attuned to mediocrity?

Coke Studio is back and unlike the previous seasons, it has failed to impress us so far. From the beginning, as we saw in their rendition of the national anthem, there were no goose bumps in sight. Now with the season moving forward, I wonder if Coke Studio has lost its essence and has adjusted to mediocrity. Having said that, let’s take a look at all the tracks that have been released so far, starting from best to worst based on my preference. Episode two: Faasle When it comes to vocals, ‘Faasle’ by Kaavish and Quratulain Balouch is my pick of the season so far. Jaffer Zaidi has done a remarkable job, ...

Read Full Post

71st Independence Day special: The evolution of Pakistan’s national song

In the last 70 years, the Pakistan national song has evolved through various governments, wars and music styles. We trace this evolution by reviewing a plethora of national songs from 1947 till the present. Sar Zameen-e-Pak: The first anthem (1947) Very few know that almost seven years before Hafeez Jalandhari’s Pak Sar Zameen was officially adopted as the country’s national anthem (in 1954), Pakistan already had an anthem. Today, it is all but forgotten, despite the fact that it was the first song played by Radio Pakistan when the station began broadcasting at the stroke of Pakistan’s creation in August 1947. The anthem ...

Read Full Post

Instead of invoking patriotism and jazba, #CSNationalAnthem portrayed disrespect and injustice

It’s become common practice for brands to associate themselves with humanitarian work and patriotism in order to gain extra mileage in the public eye. Recently, Coke Studio launched its own version of the national anthem. Considering that it had the likes of Shafqat Amanat Ali, Ali Zafar, Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Noor, it should have been a beautiful rendition, but it was anything but that. I have quite a few issues with this version of the national anthem. Firstly, I find it ridiculous that they thought it was okay to call it the #CSNationalAnthem and not the Pakistani ...

Read Full Post

Is Pakistan willing to jeopardise its relations with Iran for Saudi Arabia?

It was shocking to hear Defence Minister Khwaja Asif proudly confirm that the government has agreed to the Saudi request and will allow former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif to command the Saudi-led military alliance of 34 Muslim nations to fight terrorism. However, observers are concerned that the coalition could be used for future conflicts against Iran and its ally Yemen.  The National Assembly had earlier agreed that it would not be in the country’s interest to take sides in the present war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen (Iran’s ally), and had decided that Pakistan would stay neutral in the ...

Read Full Post

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light…

I will be embarrassingly honest here. I actually do not remember exactly the last time I properly stood up while our national anthem was played. If I recall correctly, I am more the less left sidetracked by the juggling of placing my over-tipping popcorn into the holder and scouring the grubby cinema chair. Where else these days do we get to listen to our qaumi tarana (national anthem) other than the big screen? I for one am past the age of going to school and standing in an assembly every morning, loudly chanting Pak sar zameen shaad baad… So, it ...

Read Full Post