Schumaila Rehmat Hussain, a renowned Pakistani singer has recently launched her new album ‘Gul Mohar Se’. Her songs were previously featured in Pakistani drama ‘Manto’ created by Sarmad Khoosat and ‘Theriye Huzoor’ from the film Azad. She has also enjoyed a strong international presence while studying music and conducting various workshops in the US. One of her musical workshops was handpicked by Mary Wilson (a band member of Diana Ross & The Supremes) to perform across different states of America.
Her latest collaboration with an Indian writer and storyteller Jai Singh is a testament to the power of art in bringing people together. Such alliances are rare to witness, especially when the two sides involved share a history of hatred that persists to date. The turbulent relationship between the countries is best showcased through the cricket hysteria during India vs Pakistan matches. It is clear that the intense fervour displayed by both sides is not about sports; the ensuing bitterness is a result of the nefarious politics promoted by powerful names on both sides, who directly benefit from this hate.
Through the song ‘Rafiqo’, the two artists are coming together to narrate the story of an Indian revolutionary Shaheed Udham Singh, a patriot belonging to the Ghadar Party (an early 20th century, international political movement). He is known for assassinating Michael O’Dwyer, the former lieutenant governor of the Punjab in India, taking revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that happened in Amritsar in 1919.
The refreshing collaboration cements the potential of music as a medium for reshaping narratives. It provides hope for the two countries to move beyond the repetitive cycle of mistrust while simultaneously creating art that speaks to the shared history of both nations.
The album ‘Gul Mohar Se’ comprises eight songs and is available on Spotify & YouTube.
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