& Kashmir's National Song
By Syed Junaid Hashmi
12 November, 2007
the constituent assembly declare the poem written by Maulana Masoodi
and recited by Sheikh Mohammed Akbar at the request of president of
the assembly Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq in the year 1952, the National Song
of the state?
Historical records and research
studies conducted by various institutes suggest that it was declared
National Song but veterans maintain that it was recited but not declared
a National Song. The opening lines of the song are "Lehra aye kashmir
key jhanday, Hal walay dilgeer key jhanday, her dam Lehra, her soo Lehra,
Taba Kayaamat paiham Lehra (Let this Flag of kashmir be unfurled, Whoever
plough the land, May it fly forever, in every nook and corner, till
the day of judgment, May I hold thee!).
Historical records suggest
that when the Poem was being recited by late Sheikh Mohammed Akbar,
some members of the legislative assembly were found weeping bitterly.
During their speeches, they did describe their attachment to the state
Flag and the poem recited upon it which was described as National Song.
But while moving the draft for adopting state flag, nothing was stated
about the poem written on it.
According to the commentary
on the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir written by late Justice R.P.Sethi,
the poem recited by late Sheikh Mohammed Akbar was described as National
Song. He writes "When the motion for adopting the state flag as
defined in section 144 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir was
adopted, the president of the assembly requested Sheikh Mohammed Akbar,
a member of the constituent assembly to recite the poem of the flag
in the house. The said member recited the poem which was described as
However, the commentary of
Late Justice R.P.Sethi has not stated anything about the fate that this
song met which was described as National Song after late Sheikh Mohammed
Abdullah was arrested. Historical records suggest that after sheikh
was detained, this poem was reduced to merely a song recited on the
designated flag of National Conference (NC), despite the fact that it
was recited when draft for adopting state flag was accepted.
Member of the constituent
assembly and a veteran communist leader Comrade K.D.Sethi says that
the poem was recited by Sheikh Mohammed Akbar who represented Tangmarg
constituency. "He recited this poem which was written by Maulana
Masoodi in the constituent assembly after being told to do so by president
of the assembly, but there was no such proposal to declare it National
song," said Com.K.D.Sethi.
However, constitutional experts
suggest that the song was meant for the state flag and not for the flag
of National Conference. "Red flag with plough is party symbol of
National Conference, they sing this song whenever they hold huge public
gatherings or party meetings which they cannot do, this song was sung
with intent to honour the state flag which was adopted on June 7, 1952"
said a veteran national conference leader.
He added that either the
song should be declared song of the state and recited whenever the state
flag is raised otherwise what erstwhile Praja Parishad(PP) and presently
Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has been demanding should be accepted.
"It is highly unfortunate
that even after witnessing worst face of terror, we are reluctant to
accept certain realities, our state flag which was described as flag
of oppressed and suppressed is being attached to a particular party
despite the fact that neither it is raised nor lowered on any official
occasion," said another veteran who resigned from politics and
is presently living a life in isolation.
Virtually appearing disgusted
with the leadership of state, one time close associate of Sheikh Mohammed
Abdullah maintained that ceremonial raising or lowering of state flag
is of no use. "For me honour of the state flag is incomplete until
the song which was recited on this flag is not attached to it, if it
cannot be done, then let National Flag represent identity of this state,"
added the former stalwart of National Conference.
However, Senior People's
Democratic Party (PDP) leader Nizamuddin Bhatt said that state constituent
assembly should have retained the poem of Maulana Masoodi as National
Song. "When state flag was adopted, poem recited on it which was
described as National Song represented the aspirations of the people
living in the state, it should have been allowed to remain alive which
unfortunately did not happen, a particular political party as if it
was their personal property," said Bhat.
He added that whatever is
spoken within the walls of legislative assembly becomes a property of
the state. "When we plead Self-rule, we necessarily mean that identity
of the state remains fully protected in view of the fact that we have
a constitution of our own, a song describing greatness of state flag
generates a feeling of having a protected constitution with authority
resting in the hands of the people of all three regions of the state,"
added the senior leader of PDP.
He added that if we have
been given special status, we should be given a feeling of blessed separate
identity. Contrary to this, Senior National Conference Leader Abdul
Rahim Rather says that the song is recited at all such places where
National Conference is the host. "We sing it with the same honour
and dignity with which it was recited in the constituent assembly, but
as far as making it a national song is concerned, issue could be debated
but we have to keep in mind that Jammu and kashmir is a multi-lingual,
multi-religious and multi-ethnic state," added Rather.
English Translation of the
Let this flag of Kashmir
The flag of our people,
Of young and old alike,
Of the strong and the non-violent,
And of our poor peasants
Whoever ploughs the land.
Let this flag be always flying
Over our valleys and our
Till the day of judgment
Let it raise its proud head
May this flag forever fly
Over the meadows and the
Over pastures green and rushing
And Limitless expanse of
May it ever fly over the
houses of the poor
And adorn mansions of the
Let this flag be ever flying
In the four corners of this
Till the day of judgment
Let this our symbol be.
This red flag of Kashmir
This beloved flag of ours
And of our peasants, too;
Which brings succor to the
And the down-trodden
And gladdens every heart
May it fly forever
In every nook and corner,
Till the day of judgment,
May I behold thee!
Writer is a Journalist, presently associated with Jammu and Kashmir's
highly reputed and largest circulated daily "The Kashmir Times".
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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