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Nizam Din (Mirza Sultan Baig)

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Nizam Din or Nizam Deen (Mirza Sultan Baig) – a legendry Radio artist and who acted in film Billo in 1952 died on July 4, 1991.

This great artist performed in  programs like “Jamhoor di awaz”, “Sohni Dharti”, “Dehati Program”  broadcasted from Radio Pakistan Lahore. Mirza Sultan Baig was a legendary artist who is unique in his Punjabi speaking

RADIO Pakistan has played a significant role to save Punjabi language and literature from extinction by broadcasting plays, folk songs and some programmes in it for the villagers. Some of the prominent writers who emerged through radio are Kartar Singh Duggal, Balwant Gargi and Amrita Preetam. Om Prakash appeared as a character with Chaudhry Nizam Din in the Dehati Programme and on the basis of that performance, he was welcomed by the Bombay film industry.

Mirza Sultan Baig and Abdul Latif (popular characters of Nizam Din and Chaudhri Sahib of Punjabi programme broadcast live every evening) were popular characters of Radio Pakistan Lahore.
These were the talented people who made Radio Pakistan what it was. Then there were those who lent their voices to Radio Pakistan. Our announcers and presenters included such men as Mustafa Ali Hamdani, Akhlaq Ahmed Delhavi, Aziz ur Rehman, Nasreen Mahmood, Khalida were great people.

 

Radio Pakistan Lahore’s legendry artist Nizam Din (Mirza Sultan Baig) from “Jamhoor di awaz” played a role in Punjabi film “Billo” (1951). The real name of this film was “Meerasi” which was changed after the protest from musicians.

These were the talented people who made Radio Pakistan what it was. Then there were those who lent their voices to Radio Pakistan. Our announcers and presenters included such men as Mustafa Ali Hamdani, Akhlaq Ahmed Delhavi, Aziz ur Rehman, Nasreen Mahmood, Khalida Arjumand, Yasmin Imtiaz Ali (later Yasmin Tahir after she married Naeem Tahir), Mohini Hameed, Abdul Latif Musafir, and Mirza Sultan Beg, universally known as Nizam Din.

 

Akhlaq Ahmed Delhavi was known for his wit. Apart from making announcements, he would answer listeners’ letters and compere poetry readings. I can still hear Azizur Rehman’s clean and resonant voice informing listeners, “Hum Radio Pakistan Lahore se bol rahay hain’ – we are speaking from Radio Pakistan, Lahore.

Mustafa Ali Hamadani was the most senior announcer at Lahore radio with a voice and a style all his own. To him belongs the credit of making the first announcement from Radio Pakistan, Lahore, on the night Pakistan came into being (an honour Zahur Azar has claimed as his). He was also a poet and equally at home in Urdu and Persian. And forever unforgettable will remain the witty exchanges in the Lahore station’s farming programme between Mirza Sultan Beg “Nizam Din” and Abdul Latif Musafir. From amongst women announcers, Nasreen Mahmood was the senior most. Even today her voice has the same ring it had all those years ago. Khalida Arjumand began with the children’s programme, but soon moved to drama and features. She was later assigned the responsibility of making most of the station’s announcements. From 1990 on she became the regular presenter of the programme Punjabi Darbar, which had wide listening in Indian East Punjab because of the purity and richness of the language spoken.

When I think of producers at the old radio station – before it shifted to its new location on Empress Road – I recall with nostalgia men such as Abdul Shakoor Bedil, Tasadduq Ali, Rashid Habibi, Riaz Mahmood, Raja Farooq Ali Khan and Shad Amritsari. The movie music director Khayyam was Bedil’s younger brother. Bedil had an excellent ear for music. His recordings of mystic poetry are one of Radio Pakistan’s assets.

Time moves on. It does not look back. It obliterates the past and like a river it only flows forward. It is only man whom God had gifted with the ability to look back and look forward, learning from past mistakes – at least sometimes. There are some who remain lost in the mists of the past. I am not one of them. I have retrieved my past from the womb of time and I move into the future, holding on to my past. On a visit to the Lahore radio station some years ago, as I entered the corridor where the commercial service is housed, I remembered Ayub Rumani, who remained associated with the music section. He was an authority on music and treated with great respect even by professional classical musicians.

Near the end of his life, the poet Nasir Kazmi had come to Radio Pakistan as a staff artist. He wrote a number of memorable programmes under the title Aiwaan-e-Ghazal. I am not sure if any of those recordings have survived. Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabussum would interpret on the air every day a single chosen verse of Iqbal. During the summer, on some evenings, Farida Khanum would bring with her a tray-full of fragrant motia and distribute it among the artists. When Sain Akhtar Hussain sang Mirza Sahiban, you could hear his voice even outside the studio where he was performing.