Sohni Dharti (1970)“O beautiful land! May Allah keep you happy forever,” says Masroor Anwar (“Sohni Dharti, Allah rakhay…”). “May we see you free as long as the world lasts!”
Even if the prayer is granted, how can the poet expect to last that long and “see” it? The simplest answer can be found with Iqbal who believed that individual achieves immortality through loving the collective ego.
The desire to “see” and to be in touch with the beloved beyond this earthly life brings a tone of spirituality to this national song composed by Sohail Rana and aired from PTV in 1970. The subject, “Shoni Dharti”, emphasizes land rather than idea but due to the spiritual emphasis at the very beginning, matter becomes a form taken by the soul of the nation (much like in the National Anthem discussed earlier).
This is also true about his film songs. Consider the popular love song ‘Akele na jana’. When reinterpreted as a national song, it takes us to a deeper layer of patriotism which is not accessible through national songs alone: "You are a beautiful feeling through which we found courage to live. You are conviction which never dies in heart; you are hope which lives forever." Is it not something which we would like to say to Pakistan?
Next: Who wrote ‘Yeh Watan Tumhara Hai,’ generally considered to be the most meaningful national song of all times.