The Bhagat Singh of Panama


PM’s April 22 speech ended with the full ‘sarfaroshi ki tamana’ verse, which was later edited out, seriously

While the political opponents and media persons are still engaged in interpreting various shades of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s April 22 speech, the nation has missed an opportunity to watch the Pakistani premier in the role of legendary revolutionary leader Bhagat Singh.

The decision taken at the eleventh hour to cut a revolutionary-verse from the concluding part of Nawaz Sharif’s recorded speech deprived the masses of listening to ‘sarfaroshi ki tamana ab hamaray dil mein hai’ from embattled prime minister’s mouth.

“The final draft of the prime minister’s speech which aired on April 22 ended with the historic verse ‘Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai – Dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-qaatil mein hai’ and he recited it in a revolutionary tone as well. But later on it was edited out of the recording,” a reliable source told Pakistan Today.

The speech writer was none other than the prolific Urdu writer cum Advisor to Prime Minister, Irfan Siddiqqui. The patriotic poem ‘sarfaroshi ki tamana’ was written in 1921 by Ram Parsad Bismal and became immortal in the Indo-Pak history when freedom fighters including Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and Ashfaqullah Khan adopted it as their war-song.

The part was cut at the last moment on as it could have been taken by some ‘circles’ as a ‘declaration of war’ against them. The English translation of the poem reads: “The desire for sacrifice is in our hearts – Let us test the strength in the arms of our executioner.”

Had the speech been delivered in its originally recorded form, it would have ignited a new debate in the media on the possible ‘enemies’ of the Sharif government and the ‘strength of their arms or ARMS’. The comparison between a freedom fighter who laid down his life for the motherland and a politician with hidden offshore assets would have invited further embarrassment for the ruling family if the verse had not been deleted from the tape.