Inayat Husain Bhatti's - Contirbution to Music
Written by Administrator   
ON May 31, 2000, death laid its icy hands on yet another singer, whose contributions to Pakistani music, especially its folk tradition, had been widely acknowledged.


Bhatti, who also contributed significantly to the development of the theatre and Pakistani cinema in its infancy, is remembered fondly by a large number of people from the rural hinterland, of the Punjab. A number of his songs recorded for Pakistani films are still remembered with a great deal of nostalgia by senior music fans in the country. After his death Pakistan became the poorer as it has now lost almost all the male playback singers associated with its film industry from 1950 to 1980. Saleem Raza, Ahmad Rushdi, Muneer Husain, Masud Rana and Fazl-i-Husain were gone before Inayat Husain Bhatti.

The district of Gujrat in the Punjab has produced a number of creative playwrights, intellectuals, actors/actresses and singers. Included among them were playwright, actor and radio dramatist Rafi Peer, intellectual, columnist, playwright and political analyst Safdar Mir (Zeno),  pre-partition queen of the Indian silver screen Mumtaz Shanti and Sabiha Khanum, who ruled the roost at Lollywood until a decade ago. Another son of Gujrat was Inayat Husain Bhatti, whose  many-faceted personality endeared him to millions of people in Pakistan, especially the village folk in the Punjab.

During the early phase of his life,  Inayat  Husain  Bhatti, enjoyed and benefited from his j association with two persons, both from Gujrat Syed Ijaz Husain Gilani, a practising lawyer, whose abrasive interest in fine arts, especially music and theatre, won him the appreciation of a large number of music lovers and connoisseurs, and Mr Asghar Hayat Jaura, once a well known Kabbadi player. The late artist from Mohalla Fattupura, Gujrat, spent several formative years of his life in the company of these individuals in Gujrat and Lahore.

Bhatti was involved in a number of creative pursuits, which included singing, film and stage acting, part-time distribution and production of films, and comparing television series of programme on Muslim sufi saints of the Punjab.

He also dabbled in politics by joining i the Pakistan Peoples Party in 1977. In the 1985 non-party general elections, he contested a National Assembly seat from Lahore (during the Zia regime) but failed in getting the voters' confidence. He was a zakir also and participated in Muharram congregations regularly every year. During the evening of his life, he contributed a regular weekly column to a local Urdu daily newspaper. Inayat Husain Bhatti received his early training in music from his father, Master Fazal," says advocate Gilani, who knew him from his childhood days. After initial training, Inayat Bhatti became a mehfli singer performing at soirees arranged at the residence of his friends. His first performance in Lahore was in the YMCA Hall, Lahore, where I, produced a play in 1948, which f ocussed on the struggle of the Kashmiri freedom-fighters.

After his YMCA Hall performance, Inayat Husain moved on to Radio Pakistan, Lahore, where he became a formal pupil of Master Niaz Husain Shami, a composer then working for Radio. It was his association with, and training under, Master Shami, winch facilitated his participation in regular radio programmes. He was introduced to composer GA Chishti by Master Shami in 1948, who offered him a chance to record songs in producer director Nazeer's Punjabi' film Phairey. The song Akkiyan laanveen naan, a duet, which Bhatti recorded with Munawwar Sultana for the film, was an instant hit. Other songs of that movie,  including  the   solos ( recorded in the voice of Inayat Husain Bhatti, also won wide popularity, and are still remembered for their lively compositions. Courtesy GA Chishti and the movie, Phairey, Inayat Bhatti became an almost overnight success, and fortune began to smile.

After his debut in film industry as a playback singer courtesy composer GA Chishti, Inayat Husain's vocal resources were successfully employed by several music directors including Master Inayat Husain and Rashid Attrey, for recording their songs in a number of films.

Spotting his histrionic talent, producer-director Nazeer offered Bhatti the lead role in his Punjabi film Heer against actress Sawaran Lata, which he did to the satisfaction of the inveterate producer, director actor Nazeer.

The film did a good business at the box office. For several years thereafter, it was a complete success story for Bhatti.

As is inevitable in showbiz, Inayat Husain Bhatti, too, had a lean period after he had touched the pinnacle of success and glory, first by recording number of popular film songs, and later by acting in several movies produced in Lahore. A number of his films, which are still remembered by cinegoers are: Heer, Chunn Makhnaan, Sajjart Payara, Jind Jaan, Ishq Deewana, Duniya Matlab Dee, and Zulm da Badla. He took to stage singing and acting in the rural hinterland of the Punjab along with his theatre group, where he entertained a vast multitude of entertainment hungry village folk. It was then that theatre became almost a passion for him. I met Bhatti on a number of occasions at the residence of the late poet Saifuddin Saif (on McLead Road, Lahore), where he used to narrate his experiences with the simple folks in the rural areas of the province.

Innayat bhatti_noor
Innayat Hussain 2

Inayat Husain Bhatti possessed a somewhat coarse, husky but melodious voice, particularly suited for the singer of a certain type of songs derived from folk melodies of the Punjab.

He could have prolonged his career as a playback singer, but for his acting stints, which kept him away from singing. His preoccupation with acting restricted his singing to occasional participation in radio and television programmes. During the wars of 1965 and 1971, like other singers, he, too, recorded a few patriotic songs, one of which, Allah-o-Akbar, a chorus led by him, has now become a signature tune for the armed forces of Pakistan. After retirement from film, radio   and   television   programmes, Inayat Husain Bhatti compered a series of TV programmes on Punjabi sufi saints. The well, researched scripts and well produced series showed his sufisric bent of mind.

For about two years, Inayat Husain Bhatti suffered from the debilitating effects of an attack of paralysis, which impaired his speech, and kept him bed-ridden for most of the time. A few days before his death, the septuagenarian artiste was taken to his native home in Gujrat, where he died on May 31 in 2000.