Artistic expressions such as poetry, music, song, and dance go together in a society and give a face to the people living there.
It’s even more than that.
All these art forms are the collective expression of sensitive people that present what they feel is going on around them.
The great thing about good Artistic expression is that it is the ultimate truth, it is something that cannot be forced out of people any other way.
- “There are two kinds of people in the world, those who want to know and those who (only) want to believe” Nietzsche
Artists are from the former category.
Truth is important because great nations are based on a core truth.
A genuine artist, musician, dancer, poet cannot fake great work – it comes from the deepest part of them, which only speaks the truth.
Pakistan is no exception.
The unique thing about true Artistic expression, such as poetry, song and dance is that it permeates the society rapidly, both ways – inwards and outwards
Profound Quotes by Thinkers
A carefully chosen couplet, or a phrase, can reach the soul of every human being that it touches, because of its simplicity, brevity, imagination and raw truthfulness.
- “You that turns stone into gold… change me” Rumi
- “I think; therefore, I am” Descartes
- “The greatest wealth is to live content with little” Plato
- “Become who you are” Nietzsche
- “Thing in itself (things the way they actually are as opposed to things the way they seem)” Kant
Poetry gives voice to music and dance.
Ancient Culture of Song, Dance and Music in Pakistan
The artistic expression has been used as a form of storytelling, entertainment, religious express and binding societies since the first time humans settled in to agricultural colonies 13000 years ago.
Images of dancing girls have been found in caves that were inhabited 13000 years ago in China and 9000 years ago in India.
Even Pakistan has archeological figures of a dancing girl dating back 4300 years
Poetry as an art form imagines the world in another light, the light that no one else notices till the time it is revealed to them.
Even my elders, both men and women, back in the village of Kashmir would tell us stories passed on through generations, interspersed with songs.
Poetry is therefore, a healer, an empath, a mentor, and a guidance counselor.
Prerequisites for Poetry, Song and Dance to Flourish
For all these art forms to be effective, an essential prerequisite is freedom of expression and association.
- “Music is moral law… it gives charm and gaiety to life” Plato
- “Without music life would be a mistake” Nietzsche
Rumi responding to a question on which music is considered Haram
- “The sound of spoons playing in the pots of the rich, which are heard by the poor and hungry”
Arts and Music in Tyrannical Societies
It is no coincidence that countries and societies ruled by dictators or tyrants are poor in Arts and Craft.
Dictators are too fearful of their slaves getting a mind of their own – and questioning their shallow rulers’ real intentions to hold on to power by all means possible.
The Pakistani Dictator Zia ul Haq dealt at mortal blow to poetry, art, music, dance and play – for him to hold on to power.
Poetry, Song, Dance and Music in Religion
No religion in the world has ever discouraged music.
No Philosopher in the 3500 years of recorded philosophy has ever thought of these art forms as being wrong or required to be abolished.
Even Christianity, a monotheistic religion like Islam does not discourage song, music and dance
- Besides Psalms, that is all about Poetry, other religious texts like Song of Solomon, ecclesiasts, and New Testament have lyrics in poetic form. For example Revelation 5, 7 & 15
All world religions are milestones in a natural sequence of evolution of societal living rules, thought through the eyes of philosophers.
These were later referred to as apostles, Saints and Shamans– that even Islam talks about.
Music and Islam
The Quran does not mention music at all in its verses, but the Quranic expression is all poetry.
The authentic saying of Prophet Muhammad in Sahih Bukhari must be read together in context to understand what he wanted to tell his followers about music.
- Bukhari Vol 7, narrated by Abu Amir “from among my followers there will be people who consider illegal sexual intercourse, wearing of silk, the drinking of alcohol, and use of musical instruments, as lawful… And in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something and they would say ‘come to us tomorrow’. Allah will destroy them”
- Bukhari Volume 6 Narrated by Abu Musa, “O Abu Musa! You have been given one of the musical wind-instruments of the family of David”
- (Hazrat) Ayesha narrated that when her relative was married to an Ansari man, the Prophet (PBUH) said “Ayesha, did they have any entertainment? The Ansar are fond of entertainment”
- Bukhari Vol 2, narrated by (Hazrat) Ayesha, when (Hazrat) Abu Bakr protested the singing of two Ansari girls, Prophet Muhammad said, “O Abu Bakr, there is Eid for every nation and this is our Eid”
This clearly shows that the Prophet Muhammad wanted his followers to be responsible to their duties as a virtuous person, but did not ban music, dance, poetry or song as such.
Iman Jafar as Sadiq has also emphasized musical instruments that divert their attention from the ultimate power “Allah” is wrong, except the “Daff.”
Watch Doctor Zakir Naik’s video, which almost says the same.
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Song, Dance and Music and Nation Building
So, Pakistan should let their people think, feel, express through writing and songs, what is essentially the soul of the nation talking to itself.
To add insult to injury, Pakistan’s culture lost its way when a dictator changed the underlying language to Arabic.
How can a common man identify with the words of a language that are so foreign that he needs a translator to make out the basic meanings?
I have read the Quran several times and Arabic formally for 3 years, still I cannot understand the poetry or Arabic artists – because we are not Bedouins.
Alternatively, despite having zero training in Persian, I identify with this heartwarming Persian poem.
Mann Amadeh am
Ke Ishq Faryaad Kunaad
Man Aamadeh am
Ke Naaz Bunyaad Kunaad
I have come to you willfully
So that Love can cry out to be heard
I have come to you willfully
So that coquetry can cajole (you)
Ae Dilbar e Man Ilayi Sad Saal a Shavi
Dar Pehlu e Ma Nishista humsaya Shavi
Humsaya Shavi, ke dast ba ma saya kuni
Shaid ke naseeb man bechara shavi
Oh my sweetheart, may God (give you) 100 years of life
May you sit besides me like a (close) neighbor
Be my neighbor, so that you hand shades me
Maybe you become destiny of this wretched
I have come to you ready!
Ishq Amad oo khima zad ba sehrai dilam
Zanjeer wafa fikandah dar pai dilaam
Ishq agar bah faryad dil ma narsid
E vai Dilam, E vai Dilam
(Your) love came and pitched a tent in the desert of my heart
(This) chain of devotion, tossed at my heart’s feet
If adoration does not respond to my (desperate) pleadings
Woe my dear heart, woe my dear heart
I have come convinced…
Pakistan must study languages that people understand because of geographical proximity – if nothing else.
Mann Amadeum Googoosh Video
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Civilizations’ Artistic Contribution to World Heritage through Arts
Pakistan like all countries of the world are artificial constructs, and will not be around 1000 years, like all other nations have merged and disintegrated.
While the country is on the map, contribute to the beauty of the world in Arts, and become a real civilization for others to emulate.
There is no point in hold on to a dogmatic truth about the evilness of music, which has no historical or cultural basis in the 60,000 years history of Homo sapiens.
In any case, Pakistanis are desperately looking for an identity that only song, music, dance poetry and literate can give them – not another dogmatic dictator.
- Culture and Handicrafts of Pakistan
Arts, Crafts and Music in the Indus Valley Land of Pakistan
The land that is now Pakistan had Khattak, Gidda, Luddi, Attan, Dhamaal, Sheedi dances ringing in happy occasions even under the darkest years of repression – why not let it free now
Musical instruments such as Tumba, Dhol, Rubab, Saringda, Shernai, and Chimta point to music being ingrained in society – so why fight it?
I hear the boring, clichéd, unimaginative poetry dished out by state channels and I wonder how can a creative group of people be reduced to such mediocrity and shallowness in one lifetime?
Where has the revolutionary, human focused, modern words of Iqbal, Jaun Aliya, Manto, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Habib Jalib and Parveen Shakir disappeared?
The top most benefit of Arts, Crafts and Literature for a modern day country is that it enhances and cements the National Power in the information category.
Artists are Noble too
The written word is “holier than the blood of a martyr” – is true
Arts can create jobs too
Song, dance and music are a great job creator as well – something that is of prime importance to a democratic society that wants to deliver a decent life to their subject in this life time.
Arts can Inspire and move Nations
When the artistic elite is convinced that people need to be moved in a particular direction, like Madam Noor Jehan’s “Ai Ra e Haq ke Shaheed o” did – people become an unstoppable force.
Ae Rah e Haq Ke Shaheedo Video Coke Studio Rendition
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After all, Bollywood gave a diverse group of principalities like India an identity.
Inspiration is the major take away of a vibrant group of people.
Why does the world fear Poetry, Song, Music and Dance?
At least it can’t be as bad as be lying, misleading and robbing compatriots of the right to a decent and happy life
Well in literary circles, that is called pushing the boundaries, if there is no one with the courage to evolve, artistic people will show you the way.
Did I mention, life becomes interesting, romantic, fulfilling, loving and caring under an umbrella of a strong creative culture of homegrown romantics.
Arts and Song come with women Empowerment
With art and crafts comes women empowerment, something that ruthless tribal society abhor.
How can a patriarch have his submissive lady think of romance and freedom, when he has a distorted religious belief and lawless culture to support this robbery and exploitation?
The interesting thing about arts and crafts is that if you cannot imaging, you cannot build.
Artistic Imagination inspires Research
It affects the research and development field as well.
The most outstanding Sci-fi films in today’s time are based on imagined art work a century old.
Song, Dance, Music, Arts and Crafts build nationhood and give people a collective identity – something missing in Pakistan of today.
It moves them collectively too.
Poetry, Song, Dance and Music celebrates Humanity
Art, music, crafts, words and dance have a common streak of humanity that goes beyond borders.
It is for the same reason that a true work of art is appreciated all around the world and not just on country.
For Pakistan to form a national identity, devolution power to the people through local bodies, Rule of Law, freedom of Art, expression and association, women empowerment and non-religious administrative setup.
No government is the best government as far as Arts is concerned.
Let the people carve out their own destiny – it is encoded in their biological code – and has helped them survive for 60,000 years.