Pak government forgets Mehdi Hassan on 1st death anniversary

NEW DELHI, June 16: It has been a year since the death of Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan but the promises to build a mausoleum and museum in Pakistan in his memory are a distant dream with his first death anniversary even being apparently overlooked.

The 84-year-old died following multiple organ failure in Karachi on June 13 last year and Governor of Sindh, Ishrat Ul Ibad, had alloted 2000 square yards of land for his mausoleum.

It was to be constructed in the Shah Mohammed cemetery in North Karachi within a year.

“Forget about the mausoleum, they did not even construct the boundary wall. It has been a year but construction work did not begin. I visit Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s office almost everyday but officials say that fund has not been released yet,” Hassan’s son Arif told PTI over phone from Karachi.

Arif said that last year Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) had announced the establishment of museum and music library in memory of the legendary singer.

The museum will display his personal belongings alongwith a collection of memorable songs and ghazals sung by the maestro.

“There was so much of political turmoil in Pakistan in the last few months but how can they forget the death anniversary of one of country’s finest artiste.

“Neither any government department nor any non government organization has remembered this day. Such is the situation that I am compelled to say that it would have been better if he had remained in India after partition where legends are worshipped,” he said.

Hassan was born on July 18, 1927 in a village called Luna in Jhunjhnu district in India in a family of traditional musicians. After the Partition, Hassan, who was 20-year-old, and his family migrated to Pakistan and suffered severe financial hardships.

Arif said that he is so disappointed with the government that he is planning to organize a fund raising event to build this mausoleum.

“Now I am planning to organize a fund raising event in Dubai with Indian and Pakistani artistes. I have spoken with Hari Haran, Udit Narayan and they are ready to perform but not in Pakistan. I will visit India next month to finalise everything,” he said. (PTI)


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