TIMES OF ASSAM
TRUTH BOLD FEARLESS

Ya Ali & Zubin – An alternative take

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Ya Ali is a song from the Hindi Film Gangster and Zubin Garg a Balladeer from Assam, gave his voice to the song which became a popular number. The music was composed by Pritam Choudhury on the lyrics of Sayeed Quadri.

The song briefly is, about a lovelorn fellow wanting help from Ali in his hour of sorrow.

Who is this Ali? If Sayeed Quadri is a Shia Muslim he meant the first Khalif who is a gift from Islamic god Allah.

Otherwise, Ali is the son of Abu Talib, the uncle of Muhammad bin Abdullah(Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn Abd Allāh ibn Abd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim) and the first male convert to Islam. He, later on, married the daughter of Muhammad and became the Fourth Khalif.

If one is to scrutinize the lyrics of Hindi Cinema written by Mohammedans it is quite often obvious that use of Islamically relevant words or phrases are abounded in songs to go with stories which do not have anything to do with Muslims or Islam.

If we analyze the Alvida in the song Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna; The vida here means goodbye from the word Bidai/Vidai. Why is the need for Al in front then? I am fairly certain it is to purify a word from Sanskrit to be used by a Muslim keeping his commitments to Islam(Sanskrit being the language of a non-Islamic religion is, of course, Haram to a true Muslim!) by the songwriter Javed Akhtar. It is perhaps not widely known that the Kaba is called the Masjid Al Haram, the Al prefix changing the meaning of Haram to opposite what it means. So, readers should now easily see the connection.

Why do the Muslim lyricists in Hindi films need to use Islamically weighted words/phrases where it can be avoided? A similar query can be made on Muslim scriptwriters who follow a similar tradition.

I am sure there is enough Data for an aspiring student to get his/her Doctoral accolade by producing a thesis and bare it all in critical analysis.

My one-line take on it is, ‘It is jihad with ink, to establish the Deen’. Non-Muslim filmgoers are being fed with a dose of the literary poison masking it as Honeyed expressions.

I am truly surprised that Shabana Azmi with her upbringing has not voiced against this stealth use of Islamic ideation. Maybe she is very loyal to her TRUE Muslim husband Javed Akhtar, who’s pen oozes Islamic nectar in his superb literary skill otherwise.

Maybe she has lost her wits in the presence of this literary giant Javed. In that case, how our Bechara Zubin would know that he was praising Islam at the top of his voice while singing Ya Ali! The life of Pi famed Adil Hussain making a statement on Ya Ali as a song praising the divinity proves my above point, after all, Adil is most likely is a practicing Muslim!

Zubin may be a fool in becoming a tool in the Jihad of the Ink & Tune, but, what about the rest of the non-Muslim music lovers of South Asia? Have they been all made Deaf and Blind as per commandments (Sura Al Bakarh 2: 17 -18) or have all these souls become appeasers?

Zubin came to fame rendering Assamese folk music into modern day ballads, more or less like Bhupen Hazarika, so as to say packaging old wine in a new bottle! (Bhupen at least has some originals, but unfortunately, plagiarism came in too viz Bristiirno Parore without initially attributing it to Paul Robson’s Ole Man River.)

If Zubin has artistic creativity that he claims in demanding his creative freedom, the proof would be in him creating original scores which can be proven to be so.

When I read about the news of The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)’s reaction after Zubin singing the Ya Ali number during Bihu function, MY JAW DROPPED WHEN I REALISE THAT THE COMMENDABLE JOB BY THE PUBLICITY ARM OF THE ORGANISATION IN DIGGING UP THE INFORMATION ON THE NON EXISTENT oft-repeated Hindi as the RASHTRABHASA (National Language) OF INDIA notion and exposing this fallacy.

My PUN to the Rashtrabhasa Prasar Samity, Natkhat Tera Lal Jasoda, Natkhat Tera Lal.

And to Zubin.

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Ya Ali & Zubin – An alternative take

By: Dr. Dilip Dutta Read time: 4 min