Yousaf Salahuddin, more commonly known as Mian Salli, shares a special connect with Pakistan’s heritage, which manifests in the projects he undertakes every now and then to preserve and revive our culture.
Music and video production has occupied most of Yousaf’s time over the last six years. This year, he has put together four different music videos and arguably the finest of the works is his retrieval of an iconic Muhammad Ali Jinnah speech.
Initiating the cause on his own, he recently retrieved Jinnah’s address for BBC radio from December 13, 1946. “I recovered Quaid’s speech from the British government’s library,” he told The Express Tribune. Yousaf is set to release the speech that narrates Jinnah’s rationale for the creation of Pakistan in the form of a video on the founder’s birth anniversary on December 25. Yousaf was dismayed that no Pakistani government in the past made an effort to obtain the tape from the UK and the incumbent government too was not involved in the project.
This extraordinarily rare speech is accompanied by another video of the very popular patriotic song Millat Ka Pasban. The poetry was narrated by its author Mian Bashir Ahmed at the historic March 23, 1940 jalsa in Lahore. The song that became an anthem over the years has been recomposed and sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, with Jovi helming the project as the director. The video comprises a montage of almost 300 of Jinnah’s rare pictures, which are among Yousaf’s most prized possessions. They have been colored and developed for a more modern representation.
Yousaf shared the genesis of the aforementioned, “All the work I do is for my country. It is like a duty to me to revive Iqbal and Jinnah’s ideologies and use the media to pass on the mantle to the younger generation. Our school syllabi have nothing for them to make sense of our history and culture, and the vision of our founding fathers.”
The socialite has also extended the scope of his work to Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi’s naatia kalaam, sung and composed by Hadiqa Kiani and directed by Omer Gulzari. “I chose to produce this video because Persian has been an integral part of our history and literature. Iqbal was greatly influenced by Rumi’s Masnavi. Rumi gave him answers to questions that prominent scholars failed to answer,” he said.
The fourth video that was out on the first anniversary of the harrowing Army Public School, Peshawar attack is called Muhafiz Aman Ke Hain Hum. The song has been sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali and composed by Sahir Ali Bagga, and the video has been directed by Sohail Javed. “We must pay a tribute to the children and teachers who were martyred last year in the attack. This was my contribution in the accolades that were given to our martyrs.” Commenting on the effect of such projects, Yousaf said these videos make us feel good about our country and rekindle hope for the future. The Express Tribune